Jan 1, 2014 6:00 PM by Jennifer English

Let's Make a Meal: Black-eyed peas with sausage and greens

My friend, the distinguished Spirits writer Anastasia Miller shared with me an old adage about New Year's Day dining: "Eat poor that day, eat rich the rest of the year. Rice for riches and peas for peace."

Black-eyed peas with sausage and barbecue sauce, paired with some wilted greens and a good sopping biscuit and 2014 will start out on a lucky, heart healthy happy note.


1 pound dried black-eyed peas
1 pound link sausage, or your favorite
1 small onion, chopped
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup prepared barbecue sauce


Rinse, prepare, soak, and cook peas in about 3 cups water, following directions on the package. Drain and reserve half of the cooking liquid. In a skillet over medium heat, brown sausage and onions; drain off excess fat. Place peas in a 3-quart casserole; add sausage and onions. Stir in reserved liquid, brown sugar, mustard, salt, and barbecue sauce. Bake at 300° for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Serves 6.My good friend Chef Virginia Willis offers us this classic Southern New Year's Tradition. Happy New Year y'all and thank you Chef Virginia Willis. Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey and Whole Grain Buttermilk Cornbread
Recipe courtesy of Virginia Willis

For the cornbread, bacon grease is the most traditional, butter creates a rich aromatic flavor and vegetable oil, such as canola, lets the flavor of the stone-ground corn shine.


Whole Grain Buttermilk Cornbread:
2 tablespoons bacon grease, unsalted butter or vegetable oil
2 cups whole grain yellow cornmeal (not cornmeal mix or self-rising cornmeal)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Collard Greens:

2 pounds young collard greens (about 2 bunches), tough stems removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
4 cups chicken stock or reduced-fat low-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf, preferably fresh
1 smoked turkey drumstick
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Butter, for serving cornbread, optional


For the whole grain buttermilk cornbread: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place the fat in a 10 1/2-inch cast-iron skillet or ovenproof baking dish and heat in the oven until sizzling, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the cornmeal, baking soda and salt. In a large measuring cup, combine the buttermilk and egg. Add the buttermilk combination to the cornmeal mixture and stir to combine.
Remove the heated skillet from the oven and carefully pour the hot fat into the batter. Stir to combine, and then pour the batter back into the hot skillet. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool slightly. Cut with a serrated knife just before serving.

For the collard greens: While the cornbread is baking, stack several collard leaves at a time and cut into 1/4-inch strips; repeat until all the leaves are shredded.
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until clear and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 45 to 60 seconds. Add the greens, stock, vinegar, red pepper flakes, bay leaf and turkey; season with salt and pepper. Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover and cook until the greens are just tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. If desired, shred the meat off the turkey drumstick to serve with the collards.
Serve immediately with hot buttered cornbread.


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