In the true spirit of my Southern heart…this year we are kicking off January 1st with this Good Luck recipe. My father-in-law knows how much I love to cook, so on one of his trips from Chicago to Florida he stopped at the Lodge outlet to pick me up a few cast iron pieces. He also bought me a cookbook, The National Cornbread Festival winning recipes from 1997-2011. This recipe was the 1998 first prize winner by K. Shankles in Tennessee.
1 lb smoked sausage, cut lengthwise and then into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 to 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 (15 oz) cans black eyed peas, drained
1 (14.5 oz) can of chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 (10 oz) package of frozen chopped collard greens, thawed (I used fresh)
2 cups Martha White self-Rising Corn Meal Mix
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
Heat oven to 400 degrees. In 12 inch cast iron skillet, over medium heat, cook sausage, onion and garlic until sausage is browned and onion is translucent. Stir in remaining filling ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine all cornbread topping ingredients, stir until smooth. Spoon batter over sausage mixture in skillet, spreading evenly. Bake in 400 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until cornbread is browned.
Tip: Garnish servings with sour cream, pickled jalapeno slices, and fresh cilantro leaves.