The richness of greens and ham is combined with black-eyed peas and veggies and baked in a cornbread crust to make a down-home, comforting meal.
By Heather Schmitt-González
- 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
- ~4 c. chopped, cooked ham (preferably smoked)
- 2 small bell peppers (any color), diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 3 Tbs. flour
- 3 c. ham or chicken stock (or low-sodium broth)
- 1 (16 oz.) pkg. frozen, chopped collard greens
- 1 (15.5 oz.) can black-eyed peas, drained & rinsed
- ½ tsp. crushed red chile flakes
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 c. + 2 Tbs. white cornmeal
- ¾ c. + ½ Tbs. flour
- 1½ Tbs. baking powder
- 1 tsp. sugar
- ¾ tsp. salt
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1½ c. buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 425° F.
- Place oil in a large, deep pan over medium-high heat and add ham. Sauté until it starts to turn golden in spots, 5-10 minutes. Add diced veggies and sauté for another 3 minutes or so, until they just start to soften and color. Sprinkle flour over everything, and cook while stirring for another minute. Gradually pour in stock or broth and cook, stirring, until liquid begins to thicken, ~3 minutes.
- Bring to a boil, add collard greens, reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Stir in black-eyed peas, crushed red chile flakes, and salt and pepper to taste (may not need much salt because of the ham and broth).
- Spoon into a large baking or casserole dish, or into smaller ramekins.
- While the mixture is simmering, you can make the cornbread batter by stirring together the dry ingredients and then whisking in the wet ingredients until just combined.
- Pour the cornbread batter evenly over the casserole dish(es). Depending on the size you used, you may not need all of the batter.
- Slide into preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cornbread is set and golden brown.
Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez is a Michiana-based food writer with a fondness for garlic, freshly baked bread, stinky cheese, dark beer, and Mexican food—who believes that immersing herself in different cultures one bite at a time is the best path to enlightenment.