Tag Archives: collard greens

Hoppin’ John

Hoppin’ John is a traditionally southern dish that’s often made to celebrate the New Year. It’s also delicious. The ingredients are:

  • Black-eyed peas (1 pound)
  • Rice (3 cups)
  • Collard greens or kale (1-2 bunches)
  • Bacon (half pound or so)
  • Onions (3 large, diced)
  • Garlic (1 head or so, minced)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • Red pepper flakes (to taste)
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The ingredients

The black-eyed peas require special attention. If you don’t soften them up enough, they’ll be somewhat crunchy, and the whole dish will be less pleasant.

So you may want to start by soaking them for an hour, and then rinsing them. But the key thing is to cook them well. Place them in a pot, cover them with water, and boil. Boil for 10-15 minutes at least, and then let them stand in the hot water for another hour, before straining them out and rinsing them in cold water.

 

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Before boiling.

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After boiling. Don’t be worried about the detritus that collects at the top; just skim it off.

You should also make 3 cups of rice; I use a rice cooker.

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Rice-making

Cut the bacon into smallish pieces, and cook until crispy, then remove from the pan.

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Bacon-cutting.

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Bacon-cooking.

Leave the bacon grease in the pan. It’s the grease that lend its flavor the rest of the dish.

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Onion-cooking.

First, fry up the onions until soft. Then add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook for another minute or two.

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The garlic, pre-mincing.

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With the garlic and pepper flakes added.

Then shred up the greens and add them to the pot. They’ll cook down and become tender in the grease.

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The shredded greens will…

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…cook down.

This is then the time to strain, rinse, and add the beans to the pot, as well as the rice.

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Bean-straining.

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Rice-adding.

Mix it all together, and season to taste with the salt and pepper, and you’re done!

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Yum

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Chicken Moambe

Versions of this dish are prevalent in central Africa; it’s considered the national dish of the Congo. The first time I made it, I more or less followed this recipe; the feedback I got was that I should add more tomatoes. Accordingly, the ingredients were as follows:

  • Chicken breasts (two)
  • Lemon juice (6 tbsp)
  • Paprika (1 tsp)
  • Salt (2 tsp)
  • Cayenne Pepper (2 tsp)
  • Coconut oil (2 tbsp)
  • Onion (2 large, chopped)
  • Garlic (6 cloves, minced)
  • Ginger (1-inch piece, minced)
  • Diced Tomatoes (4 14-oz cans)
  • Peanut butter (1 cup)
  • Collard greens (1/2 bunch, shredded)

The original recipe calls for palm oil instead of coconut, so if you can find it (unlike me) you may want to use that instead.

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The ingredients.

First, combine the salt, paprika, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice, and marinate the chicken for 30 minutes.

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The spices.

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The marinade.

It’s not really enough marinade to immerse the chicken, so I just made sure the breasts were coated, and let them set. I also cut the breasts in half, making each one half as thick as it was before. But you do you. You may also want to shred the collard greens, and remove the thick stems.

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Collard green pieces.

Next, melt the oil and start frying the onions – cook until browned, and then add the garlic and cook for another minute before adding the chicken and browning it as well (it’s a big browning party!)

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Adding the oil

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Adding the onions

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Browning the onions

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Browning the chicken.

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Browning the chicken.

Once the chicken is browned a bit, add the tomatoes, the peanut butter, and the collard greens. Then cover and simmer for an hour.

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Adding the tomatoes.

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Adding the collard greens.

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Adding the peanut butter.

…And voila! I think the mixture of tomatoes and peanut butter is very tasty. Enjoy!

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Yum.

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