January 4, 2014

Lucky New Years Collard Greens

 We were still staying in Florida for the holidays, so for New Year's Eve this year Ava and I decided on a low key night with my parents. Dinner out, early fireworks, then bed for Ava and champagne and a movie for my parents and I. When midnight rolled around, my Mom and I were the only ones still awake to countdown to the New Year. Way different from a few years ago! Man, my 30s really are different than my 20s!
But, I wouldn't trade my calmer life-and mommyhood- for anything!
~ The only thing missing was my kiss at midnight from Ashton! ~
On New Years Day, my family traditionally makes a big dinner, usually ham or turkey, and always served with Mama's Hoppin' John. This year we changed it up a bit. My Dad made prime rib and sweet potatoes, Mom made her Hoppin' John with rice and I made Cheddar Bay Garlic Biscuits, Egg Nog, and, for the first time, Collard Greens.
Collards Greens are traditionally served with Black Eyed Peas, or Hoppin' John, on New Years Day to bring good luck. Collard Greens represent wealth because they look like folded money. Well then, bring on the collard greens, I say!
As a Southern girl I know I'm supposed to love Collards but ever since I tasted an overcooked, burned batch 20+ years ago I haven't tried them again. But my Uncle Mike, one of my cooking mentors, made some after Thanksgiving and they were delish! So using his recipe I made my first pot of greens on New Years Day and they were a hit! I recommend serving them with bread (I prefer cornbread or biscuits) to soak up the juices.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large bag of chopped collard greens 
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced or crushed
  • 1 ham bone or 2 ham hocks
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 32 box of vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp white vinegar
  • salt/pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1.  Fill a sink or large bowl with water and rinse and soak collard greens well. Drain.
  2. Heat a large pot over medium heat and add butter.
  3. Once butter is melted add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add garlic cloves and cook, stirring for another minute.
  5. Add remaining ingredients, including collards to the pot and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat to low and cook for 2 hours.
  7. Serve warm with a side of Hoppin' John and rice and biscuits or cornbread!
~Recipe courtesy of my Uncle Mike~
Rinse your greens well! The last thing you want it gritty collard greens!
I like to soak them in the sink for 10 minutes, rinse, and drain well.
Chop onions and cook in a large pot with butter.
Cook down for 5 minutes then add 2 garlic cloves.
Finally add all the remaining ingredients, including the washed Collard Greens to the pot.
The pot will be full to the top but don't worry it will cook down. 
Once it comes to a boil, turn the temp down to low and cook for 2 hours.
Collards are ready for eatin'!
It's a tradition in my house to serve Mama's Hoppin' John on New Years Day. This dish, cooked in a Crock-pot, is said to bring good luck!
Cheddar Bay Garlic Biscuits are perfect for serving with Collards to soak up the juices!
Dad roasted a fantastic Prime Rib and served it with a side of horseradish sour cream.
My absolute favorite and a dish I look forward to every year: Mama's Hoppin' John!
 
Remove the ham hocks and serve warm with out without the juices.
Dinner is served! Here's to a happy and lucky New Year!
Even Ava ate some! Nom,nom,nom!
Sushi Buffet Dinner in Destin for New Year's Eve. 
Dad's favorite place in town (and I will never pass up yummy sushi!) .
My silly Dad enjoying his Miso Soup.
 
Miss Ava tried her first steamed crab leg and loved it! She's already a fan of salmon and shrimp. She's going to be a seafood lover like her Mama! I was eating Lobster at 2!
Mommy and baby selfies!
Mom and Dad making a Sake toast!
Family pictures at the buffet! Haha that's how we roll! (Get it "roll" at a sushi place?!)
We stopped at HarborWalk in Destin to watch the early firework display 
but since it was raining and freezing we decided to watch from the car.
Back at home, a champagne toast by the fire pit to end our night! 
Happy New Year!
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