Collard Greens with Cornmeal Dumplings
Source of Recipe
From "Jubilee" by Toni Tipton-Martin
"Cornmeal dumplings dropped into a bubbling pot of turnip greens, collards, or cabbage will remind some of African fufu, the pones made from pounded yam, cassava, or potato flour—or their contemporary adaptations featuring cream of wheat, farina, or even instant potato flakes. This is a totemic soul food dish—greens simmered long and slow until quite tender, though young greens cook in half the time. Choose a state of doneness that best suits your tastes and your collards."
List of Ingredients
◦ 1 ½ quarts Smoky Soul Stock (recipe follows)
◦ ½ cup chopped onion
◦ 1 clove garlic, minced
◦ 1 pound collard greens
◦ 2 small dried red chile peppers or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
◦ ¾ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
◦ Black pepper
◦ ½ cup all-purpose flour
◦ 1 ½ cups coarsely ground cornmeal
◦ 1 teaspoon baking powder
◦ 1 teaspoon sugar
◦ 2 tablespoons butter
In a saucepan, bring the stock, onion, and garlic to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer while preparing the greens.
Thoroughly wash the greens and trim away the stems, if desired. Discard the stems or coarsely chop. Stack two or three leaves on a cutting board and roll tightly into a log. Slice the greens crosswise into ¼-inch-wide ribbons. Place the greens and the chiles in the broth and return to a simmer. Cook, covered, about 1 ½ hours for very tender greens; you may cook them for less if you have young greens or prefer greens with more chew. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Spoon out ½ cup of the potlikker and set aside
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, and ¾ teaspoon salt. In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the reserved potlikker, and heat to just below boiling. Remove the potlikker mixture from the heat and whisk it into the dry ingredients. Let stand 5 minutes. When cool enough to handle, use wet fingertips to shape the dough into six dumplings.
During the last 15 minutes of the collards' cooking time, carefully drop the cornmeal dumplings into the pot with the greens, making sure the dumplings rest in the potlikker. Cover the pot and simmer until the dumplings are cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes.
Serve greens and dumplings in bowls with plenty of potlikker.
❧ Smoky Soul Stock:
◦ 2 smoked ham hocks or two smoked turkey wings
◦ 2 medium onions, quartered
◦ 4 celery stalks, including leaves, halved
◦ 2 carrots, trimmed and quartered
◦ 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
◦ ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
◦ 2 bay leaves
In a large heavy stockpot, bring 3 quarts water, the smoked meat, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, peppercorns, and bay leaves to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the flavors are well blended, about 2 hours. The broth develops stronger flavor the longer you let it simmer.
Remove the meat from the broth. When cool enough to handle, pull the meat off the bones (discard the skin, fat, and bones). Chop the meat and reserve for another use. Use a fine-mesh sieve to strain the stock.
Refrigerate the stock until the fat floats to the top.
Use a slotted spoon to skim off the fat and discard. Store the stock tightly covered in the freezer.
Makes about 2 quarts