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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Southern "Soul Food" Style Greens

As a teen I moved with my family from a small rural town in central Illinois to a town in far southern Illinois. I was lucky and met a great friend and later found out that her mom could cook. I am not sure what made our friendship stronger, that my friend was awesome or that her mother was an awesome cook. It was at her house that I would gain my first taste of soul food.

One dish that she often cooked was  greens. You know those delicious green vegetable greens serve year round in most Southern homes but something this small town girl from a rural farming community had not ate.

1 - Pound of Greens (collard greens, mustard greens or whatever you prefer), washed well and chopped.
1 - Smoked Ham Hock (about 4oz) or fat back, hog jowl or streak-o-lean
1 - Medium Onion, chopped
2 - Cloves of Garlic, chopped
1 - teaspoon of Black Pepper
1 - Tablespoon of Salt
1 - Tablespoon of Sugar
1 - Tablespoon of  Hot Sauce
1 - Tablespoon of Butter
3 - Quarts of Water

Place 3 cups of water in a large pot and bring to a boil.
Wash and scrub the Ham Hock well, cut into sections and add to the boiling water.
Let Ham Hock simmer for about 30 minutes on medium heat.
Wash the  greens scrubbing each leaf under cool running water until clean.
Fold each  leaf in half, either in your hand or on your cutting board.
Pull the leaf section away from the stem. Discard stems.
Stack a couple of leaves together on your cutting board.
Begin at one end and roll the leaves up tightly. Then, cut lengthwise down the center of the roll.
Squeeze the cut sections back together, rotate and cut the roll into about 3/4 inch slices.
Add leaves to the pot a little at a time, let them cook down a minute and then add more.
Reduce heat to a low simmer, leave the pot uncovered and simmer for about 30 minutes.
Chop the onions and chop or mince the garlic cloves.
In a small saucepan on medium low heat, add the butter and let it melt.
Add the chopped onions and garlic to the butter and sauté until onions are translucent.
Add the cooked onions and garlic to your stock pot with the  leaves.
Add salt, sugar, black pepper and Texas Pete Hot Sauce in amounts listed. Stir well.
Let simmer another 15 minutes or until the  are as tender as you prefer.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the greens and place in a bowl. Let the liquid continue to simmer.
Chop the greens into smaller pieces but not to the point of being mushy.
Remove the ham hock, chop the meatier portions into small pieces and return to the liquid.
Return the chopped  greens to the liquid and stir well.
Keep warm until ready to serve.

Cornbread goes well with  Greens. Some folks like to dip their cornbread in the "potlikker" or liquid and eat it that way. Leftover potlikker and even some of the greens can be used to make Potlikker Soup.

this recipe post shared at
home sweet home
snickerdoodle sunday


  1. Collard greens are delicious. Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home.

  2. I love southern greens. My husband isnt a fan but I grew up eating them!

  3. Simple family recipes are the best. This looks like a great side to a hearty meal!

  4. Love soul food! This looks so yummy and comforting

  5. I went on a culinary tour in Charleston, SC, just last week, and tried collards for the first time! They are an acquired taste I think, but so much better than I thought they were going to be. I'll save your recipe to try making them at home.

  6. Yum! I haven't had anything like this in a really long time. I love some good soul food! - Jeanine

  7. Southern food is definitely the best. If we could only move there, we would! My husband has been asking me to make dishes with collard greens. Now I have a new recipe to try, thanks to you!

  8. This sounds like a perfect comfort food. We have a really rainy weather here lately, so have to add this dish to our menu asap.

  9. I have honestly never eaten collard greens. I am very interested in giving it a try now.

  10. Omg can we say yum?!?! I just love southern food! The best. I will definitely be giving this recipe a try

  11. Sounds interesting I've always wondered how to make this dish I'll have to try it some day


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