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These Southern favorite dishes combine to make a great Southern meal

Grits, greens, tomato chutney and tender pork make a great combination.
Grits, greens, tomato chutney and tender pork make a great combination. Special to the Sun Herald

Turnip and collard greens are Southern favorites.

Well-cooked greens are even better if you combine them with other good Southern favorites, for instance cheese grits, tender pork chops and tomato chutney.

Check out the recipes included here, but first:

A few tips

▪ The key to good greens is the stock in which they are cooked. Homemade ham stock is my favorite.

▪ Do not overcook the greens. They should have just a bit of crunch to them, and should never be mushy.

▪ The best grits are fresh ground, just like coffee. Check out the local farmers markets for fresh-ground grits, such as Original Grit Girl Grits.

▪ Tomato chutney, a.k.a. chow-chow, is a great condiment for beans, peas and greens. Master this simple recipe and you will be amazed at the things that go well with it.

Thick cut pork chops

For best results cook the chops in an immersion circulator. Nothing else will produce the same, juicy, tender results: 1 ½ hour at 90.5 F (32.5 C), seasoned aggressively with black pepper. Then sear in a very hot skillet.

If you are not interested in sous vide cooking, season thick-cut pork chops with salt and pepper and sear in a very hot skillet. Finish in a 350-f oven until done, internal temperature should be 145 f. If you prefer your pork medium-rare, reduce the cooking time accordingly.

Slice the chops into ½ inch slices and serve.

Cheese Grits

1 cup fresh-ground grits

6-8 cups hot chicken stock

½ cup (or more) cream

½ cup grated Swiss cheese

Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning

Add the grits and 2 cups chicken stock to a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Continue to add stock when the grits get too dry, whisking the hot stock in vigorously. Cold stock stops the cooking process and takes much longer to cook. When the grits are tender, at least 30-40 minutes, whisk in the cream and cheese. Taste and season. Pour into oiled ramekins and let cool. Pop out when you are ready to serve.

Tomato chutney

1 large can whole tomatoes

1 chopped onion

1 cup sugar

2/3 cups vinegar

6-8 whole cloves

1 chopped jalapeno

Combine all the ingredients and simmer until very thick. Will keep sealed in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

Greens in Ham stock

1 bunch greens

2-3 smoked pork chops

2-3 diced cloves of garlic

3-4 cups chicken stock

Olive oil

Black pepper and Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning, optional red pepper flakes

Stem and rinse the greens. Chop the smoked pork chops into bite-sized pieces, then sauté in oil until browned. Add the garlic and cook 2-3 minutes longer. Add the stock, and the red pepper flakes if you choose to use them and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with black pepper and Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning. Add the greens a handful at a time, simmer until tender, 15 minutes. Do not overcook.

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