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By December 28, 2020December 29th, 2020No Comments

Braised Beans, Grains & Greens

By June Naylor
Photos by Meda Kessler

Fort Worth chef Jen Williams

of JayCee Hospitality offers clients a cleaner way of eating with menus rich in vegetables — using Texas produce as often as possible — along with legumes and grains. And she often spotlights unusual ingredients that might otherwise be afterthoughts. For a New Year’s dish, she combines the traditional black-eyed peas and kale with nutrient-packed sorghum grain and quinoa — plus hominy, tomatoes and plenty of herbs and spices for a flavorful stew. Omnivores can always add bacon or smoked ham to deepen flavors.

Braised Beans, Grains & Greens

Serves 4 to 6

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme, tied with twine
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seed or more, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon red chile flakes or more, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 bunches kale (save the stems)
  • 1 cup dried black-eyed peas, rinsed,
    OR 2 15.8‑ounce cans black-eyed peas
  • ½ cup sorghum grain, rinsed
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can hominy
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 8 cups vegetable or chicken stock or broth, divided use
  • 4 cups water
  • ½ cup white quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 bunches green onions or chives

In a large pot, warm olive oil over medium-low heat and add celery and onion, cooking till vegetables are opaque, about 7 to 8 minutes.

Add bay leaves, thyme, cumin, chile flakes, salt and pepper, stirring well and cooking until herbs and spices are fragrant, about 5 minutes longer.

Roughly chop kale stems (reserving leaves) and add to pot, followed by dried black-eyed peas (if using canned peas, add later per instructions below), sorghum and hominy. Stir well and add half the crushed tomatoes, half of the stock and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to keep at a gentle boil for 60 to 90 minutes. Stir frequently; adjust seasonings and add reserved stock as needed.

When sorghum grain is cooked through but still a bit al dente, add quinoa and kale leaves. (If using canned black-eyed peas instead of dried, add those now after rinsing and draining.)

Cover and cook at a gentle boil an additional 15 minutes. Remove bay leaves and thyme.

Serve in bowls garnished with chopped green onions or chives.

JayCee Hospitality Follow Jen Williams on social media, facebook.com/jayceehospitality and check out services and menus at jayceehospitality.com. Send inquiries to jen@jayceehospitality.com.