An iconic vegetable dish all over the South, collard greens is a kitchen staple. It’s also the recipe with which many Southerners bring in the New Year, along with black-eyed peas, for good luck. Unfortunately, these vegetables can sometimes be overcooked and lose their flavor. So here’s a version that is guaranteed to be full of home-cooked deliciousness.
Like many culinary creations, this hearty comfort food has as many versions as there are cooks. Because the base recipe simply incorporates cooked beef, stock, and canned tomatoes, it’s a great way to use up spare vegetables and whatever else you like. The stew or soup often accompanies the dish that follows and makes a complete Smoky Mountains meal.
Don’t let the basic name of this dish scare you off. This salad offers a refreshing starter or something to enjoy when you want something light for a warm day. The dry salt-cured pork imparts some welcome meaty smoky flavor, and if you create the cornbread croutons alongside, you’ll have a great buttery crunchy texture.
Scratch the surface of this dish, and you’ll find its roots in Native American cooking. Adapted by the European settlers to the Appalachians, this dish is a predecessor of pork ‘n’ beans and really pairs up well with homemade cornbread.
This is the quintessential Smoky Mountains dessert, created with dried apples and flat cake discs, and takes patience to make right. There is some debate about whether the recipe should include spices, or if the straightforward original (which uses flour, eggs, buttermilk, sorghum, and apples) will do just fine. You’ll probably find that it’s a matter of preference or that you just might enjoy both kinds.