On a recent morning, Andria Simckes and her mother Evelyn Lard invited Gut Check to Simckes' Creve Coeur kitchen to give us a crash course in their specialty: kosher soul food. The results were delicious. They were kind enough to provide recipes, but Gut Check declines to take responsibility if they don't come out as tasty in your own kitchen.
To read a post about Andria Simckes' adventures in kosher cooking, click on Kosher Soul Food: Uncommonly Delicious.
4 bunches of collard greens Salt Garlic powder Kosher smoked turkey leg 2 cups water
Under running water, using a paper towel, wash each collard green leaf individually, front and back. Inspect the leaves for bugs or discoloration. Remove any found. Tear leaf from the thicker part of the stalk. Discard thick stalk. Fill sink with cool to cold water. Place greens in the water; water should cover the greens. Use your hands to wash the greens in the water. Repeat as needed. Once no debris is evident in the water, greens are clean.
Place 4-6 leaves rolled into a cylinder onto a cutting board and slice roll into half-inch strips. Repeat until all leaves have been cut.
Place a stockpot filled with two cups of water and the kosher smoked turkey leg on the stove and bring water to a boil over medium heat. Add sliced greens to boiling water. Greens may appear to overflow the pot. Don't worry, greens will shrink.
Cook at least one hour (I prefer two hours); greens should be tender. During cooking time, occasionally rotate greens, using a long-handled fork, from bottom to top. Taste greens to correct seasoning. Add salt if needed.
When serving, break off pieces of smoked turkey.
1 small package of dry black-eyed peas Salt to taste 2 tablespoons of margarine 1 teaspoon of garlic powder Water
Follow directions on back of the back for cleaning the peas. Rinse them in cold water. Pour off the rinse water. Place the peas in a stockpot and cover with cold water; water should be about ½ inch above the peas. Soak the peas from 2 hours to overnight.
Pour off the water. Cover peas again with cold water and put stockpot on stove on medium heat. Cook for 2-2 ½ hours. Add margarine, salt, and garlic powder at any time during the 2-2 ½ hours cooking time. Stir occasionally. Mash some of the peas after they have softened against the side of the stockpot. This will thicken the broth.
Add additional salt if needed, after tasting. Serve hot.
(From Kosher By Design)
4-5 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled (about 5 large) 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) margarine 1 cup dark brown sugar 1 tablespoon vanilla extract ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ cup whiskey or bourbon, such as Jack Daniels
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the sweet potatoes into ½-inch slices. Steam the sweet potatoes for 10 minutes or until soft but not mushy. Remove potatoes from the steamer and set aside.
In a small saucepan, melt the margarine over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, vanilla, and salt, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the whiskey or bourbon and cook for 5-10 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.
Spray a large 9- by 13-inch glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place the sweet potatoes in the pan and drizzle the sauce over the top.
Bake uncovered for 1 hour. Baste with the sauce every 10 minutes to keep the potatoes from drying out.
Yield: 8-10 Servings
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