It’s been a while since I posted a breakfast dish and especially since we just bought some collard greens at the North Union Farmers Market yesterday, what better time to share with you an (old) recipe for one of my favorite Southern style breakfasts?
By now you all know that I love all things Southern and that includes collard greens. I’ve noticed lately that they’re a lot more tender than they used to be. A few years ago, if you were making collard greens, you were going to spend all day cooking them. Now, though, they’re super tender and I don’t know if people are picking them earlier or it’s a different breed of greens, but whatever it is, I like it. They taste better and I like being able to enjoy my collards sooner.
For this breakfast dish, I threw a little polish brined pork belly into my greens. I found it locally and it had a real unique flavor. It wasn’t the saltiest pork belly I’ve ever had but it wasn’t really sweet at all either, so between the paprika-element and the heavily smoked flavor, it was just right.
Add a few eggs, some fried green tomatoes, cornbread, and a side of coarse-ground cheesy grits and you’ve got a pretty sweet Southern breakfast!
For the greens:
2 cups of medium-diced pork belly
2 medium-sized bunches of collard greens
¼ cup small-diced red onion
3 sliced scallions
1 dried chipotle pepper
1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
½ tsp granulated garlic
1 Tbsp honey
½ tsp onion powder
1 Tbsp Frank’s Red Hot
2 Tbsp lemon juice
You’ll want to render down your pork belly first and then add the collard greens, the onions, and the chipotle pepper and sauté everything down. Then you can add your remaining ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes.
For the fried green tomatoes:
2 medium-sized green tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 cup flour
2-3 eggs, whipped
1 cup cornmeal
½ cup cornstarch
Make a standard breading of flour, whipped eggs, cornmeal, and cornstarch. Dip in that succession to bread. Pan fry until golden brown.
For the cornbread:
Use this recipe just without the mango and red pepper.
For the cheesy grits:
1 cup coarse ground grits
3 cups water
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp white pepper
1 tsp lemon juice
¼ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
¼ cup Gouda cheese, shredded
1/8 to ¼ cup cream (depending on how creamy you want your grits)
Bring grits, salt, and pepper to a boil. If your grits suck up too much of the water, you may have to add a bit more water for them to fully cook (depending on the coarseness of your grit). Cut your heat down to a simmer. You’ll want to stir your grits for about 15-20 minutes. I always stir mine with a whisk because it breaks up the lumps and gives you a nice, creamy grit.
At the end, add the lemon juice, the two cheeses, and the cream. You might have to adjust the salt at the end here depending on how salty your cheeses are.