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A Delicious New Year’s Dish

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Photographs by Mic Smith, Courtesy of Joggling Board Press

December 31, 2014

A Delicious New Year’s Dish

Charlotte Jenkins shares her take on perfect collard greens

Written by Tori Williams

Like many Southerners, chef Charlotte Jenkins grew up eating collard greens on New Year’s Day. According to tradition, the leaves represent prosperity, and the veggies “bring you good fortune,” she says. Though Jenkins shuttered her Mount Pleasant eatery, Gullah Cuisine, in October, her catering business continues to serve up savory Gullah fare made with farm-fresh ingredients, including collards, one of her most in-demand dishes. Here, she shares her sought-after recipe.

1) Place one pound of smoked ham hocks and six quarts of water in a stockpot and bring to a boil.

2) Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for two and a half hours, or until ham hocks are tender.

3) Rinse two pounds of collard greens. Cut the leaves from the stalks, then place the leaves in cold water and sprinkle them with salt to taste.

4) After soaking, rinse the leaves three times.

5) Cut the leaves into thirds.

6) Using tongs, remove the cooked ham hocks from the stockpot and add the collards to the hock’s broth. Sprinkle the broth with one teaspoon of sugar and return the ham hocks to the pot.

7) Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cover and let simmer for 55 minutes, then add one teaspoon of red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste.

8) Simmer for an additional five minutes, or until tender.

Click here to find a recipe for hoppin’ John, another Gullah dish that’s traditionally served on New Year’s Day.

And, since it’s the season for making resolutions, check out The Charleston Challenge, our list of 40 ways to better yourself and your city in the year to come.