I have a firm rule- no gifts from clients. However, this year a client had the idea we would all make recipe cards and everyone would exchange them in group. I couldn’t argue with this idea as everyone seemed on board and it truly cost more time than money. I also found it a great sharing experience for them to open up and share in a safe environment. The recipe I ended up getting appeared to be a family heirloom. As I read the ingredients, I thought this was invented by a woman with a creative mind and who cooked without measuring. Turning the card over was a note that read “Welcome to the family”. This is a recipe I will cherish and make a part of my family. Not just because it warms my bones and makes my kitchen smell amazing, but also because it warms my heart.
- 1⁄2 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 small onion
- 3 bulbs of garlic
- 1 half jalapeno (optional a half bell pepper will do)
- 2 tbsp. canola oil
- kielbasa sausage, cut thick slices (Andouille sausage would be a great substitute)
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 4 oz. collard greens, stemmed and thinly sliced crosswise
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons of Herbfarm
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
Preparation: Collard greens involve a bit of prep work. First unroll them and then cut them as close as you can to the stem. Give them a quick ice bath and rinse them, then rinse them again (grit is not your friend). Place them in the food processor for a quick mince.
Heat cornmeal in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook, swirling pan constantly, until lightly toasted and fragrant, about three to four minutes. This is a culinary challenge if there ever was one. I kept looking at it and shaking my pan not wanting to burn it as it’s already naturally golden. The key to knowing its toasted is twofold- one, it will turn a deep golden brown and, two, it smells like corn bread. Transfer cornmeal to a bowl; set aside.
Heat oil in skillet and add minced onions , garlic and sausages; cook, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Bring chicken stock to a boil in a 6-qt. pot over high heat. Whisk in reserved cornmeal. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, whisking often, until cornmeal is tender, about 40 minutes. Stir in reserved sausages and collards and cook, stirring occasionally, until collards wilt, 15 minutes. Place eggs in a medium bowl and add toasted cornmeal; whisking into soup until you see smooth ribbons of eggs (yes this is another culinary challenge your “ribbons” should look like the ones below). Return mixture to pot and stir until incorporated; cook for one minute more and season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with scallions. Serve hot.