Southern Comfort on a New England December Night

Toasted Cheese Corn Fritters and Bitter Greens and Beans

We are getting antsy to go to Florida, and who wouldn’t want to pop down to 70F weather after walking to work in the cold Boston wind on a 15F morning. Its showing in our food.

Now South Florida, where we are going is by no means the Deep South Proper, we did have some influences of that cuisine, as well as Caribbean food as well.  Last night, we ventured into more “Southern” food with a vinegary beans and greens dish, served on corn pancakes.  It was probably as close as we could get with our current supplies of produce, but it served us very well.

Southern Comfort Food of sorts. The cornmeal was the multicolored Mandan Bride Dent corn, which makes a really sweet and delicate cornmeal.

Vinegary Beans with Baby Mustard Greens

  • 1 cup frozen fresh beans
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter, oil or bacon grease
  • 1 large bag frozen baby mustard greens, thoroughly abused and smashed until the frozen greens are in tiny little pieces (or left whole if you are not shoving things around a lot to make freezer space 🙂 )
  • 1/2 cup canned tomato
  • apple cider vinegar
  • hot sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper
  1. Heat the oil/butter/grease in a large saucepan until hot.  Add the onions and cook until the begin to soften.
  2. Add the frozen beans and a little water.  Keep a small amount of water in the pan to keep the beans from sticking, and to steam the beans.
  3. When the beans are fully cooked (they will be al dante compared to canned beans), add the greens, tomato and condiments to taste.  I would guess I used about 2 tablespoon vinegar, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, and a dash of hot sauce.
  4. Heat through and serve with corn bread, corn fritters, rice or anything else that strikes your fancy.
  5. Ham, bacon, tempeh, smoked tofu, sausage or other nummy protein would be a great addition to this dish.  If you want to use dried beans, try cooking them with a ham bone, or smoked ham hock.  It really adds great flavor.

Now I am in the mood for southern food.  Biscuits with gravy, black-eyed peas, okra, creole spices, fried catfish, sweet potatoes, grits.  Oh goodness.  So good.  Do you like southern food?  What would be your favorite?

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