Black Eyed Peas and Collard Soup with Smoked Turkey and Smoked Gouda Grilled Cheese with Cranberry-Orange Relish

Black Eyed Peas and Collard Soup with Smoked Turkey and Smoked Gouda Grilled Cheese with Cranberry Orange Relish
New Years leftovers done right. I knew right away when I started planning out my New Years day meal (SOUS VIDE “SMOKED” TURKEY, BLACK-EYED PEAS, COLLARD GREENS AND CORNBREAD WITH TURKEY SKIN CHIPS) it would turn into a great soup. The leftovers were “Smoked” turkey, black-eyed peas and spicy collard greens. I also had turkey stock leftover.

I over seasoned the black-eyed peas a bit in the initial recipe so instead of using all stock, I used the rest of the turkey stock and cut that with water. The grilled cheese was a spin on the wildly popular PUBLIX TURKEY, BACON AND CRANBERRY SUB ON MULTIGRAIN post from two years ago. I make those subs at home at least once or twice during the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday so I had the cranberry-orange relish already.

Can I just say WOW about this little meal. The soup had so much depth of flavor, like I mentioned in the original post. Sour, spicy, sweet, creamy and earthy. The sandwich had the savory, crunchy, sweet and spicy (from the mustard). Yum!



  • Leftover “smoked” turkey breast (recipe here)
  • Leftover black-eyed peas (recipe here)
  • Leftover collard greens (recipe here)
  • 1 cup no/low sodium turkey stock
  • 2-3 cups water
  • Publix cranberry orange relish
  • Publix multigrain Italian bread (or whatever you like)
  • Boar’s Head smoked Gouda cheese, sliced
  • Dijon mustard (or spicy deli mustard)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, add the black-eyed peas, collards, stock and water. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer until desired consistency is acheived.
  2. Heat a grill pan or skillet over medium heat.
  3. Open four slices of bread. Add Dijon mustard to one side and cranberry orange relish to the to the other. Add sliced smoked turkey and smoked Gouda cheese. Drizzle the top of the sandwich with oil and season with salt and pepper and place on the grill. Meanwhile, drizzle oil on the now top side of the sandwich with oil and season. Grill both sides until the bread is crunchy and the cheese is melted.
  4. Enjoy!
Black Eyed Peas and Collard Soup with Smoked Turkey and Smoked Gouda Grilled Cheese with Cranberry-Orange Relish

Sous Vide “Smoked” Turkey, Black-Eyed Peas, Collard Greens and Cornbread with Turkey Skin Chips

Smoked Turkey, Black-Eyed-Peas, Collard Greens and Cornbread with Turkey Skin Chips

Field peas for luck and greens for money. That is how it goes in the South. A traditional New Years meal, the first meal, should have field peas (usually black-eyed peas) and greens (usually collards). The peas bring luck and the greens bring wealth and together bring a prosperous year. It has been a tradition in my family for as long as I can remember. I decided this year to come up with my own version of the classic.

As a kid growing up the whole house stunk on New Years day. The huge pot of collards would stew all day with a big old ham hock. Also, black-eyed peas don’t exactly have the best smell either. When we smelled the cornbread we knew it was “fixin to be” (almost) time to eat. We never got a meat, you just fought over the bits of ham hock that would break up in the greens.

I have to admit, I wasn’t a true believer as a kid. The greens weren’t my favorite so I poured vinegar over them. I didn’t love black-eyed peas so I poured ketchup and hot sauce on them. Something about those flavors blending together though, yum! The bitter greens with the smokey/savory ham hock and sour vinegar combined with the earthy peas, sweet ketchup and spicy hot sauce and the crunchy cornbread to sop it all up made an indelible impression. Over the years I have come to love this meal. Now that I’m older I finally decided to put my own spin on it.

I don’t have a smoker, some day I will, but I don’t have one now. The faux sous vide / faux “smoked” turkey was dreamed up to provide a “real” protein and add that smoke since I wasn’t using a ham hock. The sous vide was inspired by this Skillet Roasted Chicken recipe. I could not believe how the turkey turned out. It tasted just like it had been smoked. With the greens, I added the vinegar to mimic what I liked as a kid and it totally tasted just like I used to eat them. I have no idea if the Mirepoix/Holy Trinity of vegetables added to the black-eyed peas is traditional or not but they were also fantastic. Full disclosure, I over seasoned the peas a bit and that is why I suggested low/no sodium stock in the recipe below.

Over all this one brought me back to when I was a kid. I loved it. My “perfect” meals always have something savory, crunchy, creamy, sweet, sour and spicy. This one has all that plus. The smoked turkey turned out way better than I could have hoped and paired very well with the rest. The “not stewed all day long” greens were spicy and sour. The blacked-eyed peas with the vegetables and herbs, as I said, added an earthy, creamy, comfort to the meal. And like when I was a kid, the cornbread was there to sop all that goodness up. But where was the crunch? Oh did I mention, TURKEY SKIN CHIPS. That should be all I have to say.

Give this whole meal or just some of the components a try and let me know how it turns out in the comments.

Happy New Year!

New Year Turkey Skin Chips
Turkey Skin ChipNew Year Black Eyed Peas
New Years Black Eyed Peas, for luckNew Year Cheddar Cornbread
Cheddar Cornbread with Cracked Black Pepper

New Year Turkey Post Marinade
Sous Vide Turkey Post MarinadeNew Year Collard Greens
New Years Collard Greens, for wealth


Use your best judgement here, I just added and tasted until I liked it.

  • 2-3 tbsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tbsp ground aleppo pepper
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground chipotle pepper
  • 1 tbsp applewood smoked sea salt
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil


  • 1 large turkey breast (skin on, bone in)
  • 4 (or more) slices applewood smoke bacon (I prefer Niman Ranch), julienne
  • 12-24 ounces fresh black-eyed peas (dried or canned if need be)
  • 2 large bunches of collard greens (or mustard, kale), stems and ribs removed, chopped
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, 2 minced and 2 smashed
  • Crushed red pepper flake
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2-4 cups low or no sodium turkey stock (or chicken stock)
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Olive Oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • 1 packet Jiffy Cornbread mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup aged cheddar cheese, grated

Directions (the day before serving)

  1. The night before, add all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and whisky together. Taste and add more or less of each to taste. It should taste more smokey and more seasoned then you might want.
  2. Remove the skin from the turkey breast and set aside. Try to keep it in tacked. Some times they come right off, other times you’ll need a pairing knife.
  3. Poke a few holes in the turkey breast with the pairing knife and place in a large zip top bag with the marinade . Fill a large pot with cold water. With part of the bag open, slowly lower the bag into the water to remove all the air. Remove as much air as you can, it should seem like a vacuum seal. Seal the zip top bag and place in the pot. Turn the heat to medium and allow the water to reach 150 degrees F. Once the water temperature is at 150 F, cover the pot, turn off the heat and allow the pot to sit for 50 minutes. After 50 minutes, remove the bag, dry it and place in the refrigerator to chill over night.
  4. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  5. Take two baking sheets (preferably one would be slightly smaller than the other), line the top of one (the larger one) and the bottom of the other (the smaller one) with tin foil. Place a piece of parchment paper on the first pan, spread the turkey skin out flat, season with a little salt and pepper, top that with another piece of parchment, top that with the second sheet pan. Finally, place a heavy skillet or oven proof dutch oven on top and place in the oven for 30 minutes or so. Once the skin is crisp and brown, place between paper towels and allow to cool. Wrap in foil and keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  6. If you are using dried black-eyed peas, place in water to soak. Skip this if you are using fresh or pre-soaked peas

Directions (the day of serving)

  1. Heat a medium or large pot over medium heat. Add the bacon, cook until rendered and remove with slotted spoon. Add olive oil to coat the bottom of the pot. When the oil shimmer add the diced onion, celery, carrot and bell pepper. When the vegetables are almost translucent, add the minced garlic and season with salt and pepper. Toss until the garlic is no longer raw then add the black-eyed peas and toss until coated with the oil. Add the bacon, fresh thyme (I leave it on the sprigs), bay and turkey stock to cover. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 30-40 minutes until the peas are tender. Stir often and add more stock or water as needed. Before serving, I smashed some of the peas to thicken the sauce. Season again to taste and keep warm. Also, remove the thyme stems and bay leaves.
  2. Meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature.
  4. Heat a large cast iron skillet (or oven proof pan) over medium high heat. Season the turkey and sear on all sides and place in the oven. Roast until internal temperature is 165 degrees F (I usually take it out earlier but…), remove and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Heat another large pot over medium heat and coat the bottom with olive oil, crushed red pepper and the remaining smashed garlic cloves. Stir until the pan is to temperature not allowing the pepper to burn. Add the collard greens and toss to coat. Add white wine, apple cider vinegar and a pinch of salt, cover and reduce the heat. Cook until wilted to your liking, about 15-20 minutes. Keep warm.
  6. Combine the Jiffy cornbread mix, two eggs, buttermilk, half the cheese and cracked black pepper to taste. Allow to it sit for 20 minutes.
  7. Mix the cornbread mixture once more than place in pre-sprayed muffin pan. Top with the remaining cheese and set aside.
  8. Place the muffins in the oven and cook until the cheese is melted and the tops are browned.
  9. Place the turkey skin from the day before on a pan and heat until warmed through, about 10 minutes.
  10. To serve I put the greens down, then the black-eyed peas, then the sliced turkey and topped with the crushed turkey skin chips. Enjoy!
Sous Vide “Smoked” Turkey, Black-Eyed Peas, Collard Greens and Cornbread with Turkey Skin Chips

Publix Turkey, Bacon and Cranberry Sub on Multigrain.

Publix Turkey Bacon Cranberry Sub
Publix Turkey Bacon Cranberry Sub


If you don’t have a Publix near you, it might be time to consider relocating. For those not familiar, it is a grocery store or supermarket primarily in the Southern states of the east coast. They are ALL always clean. The employees are always nice. Their products are of the highest quality and their prices are fair. For those of us lucky enough to have one or many Publix nearby, a trip is truly a pleasure. I visit one near work and one near home probably 5 times a week (maybe more).

Everything is pretty awesome about Publix, but their deli and bakery stand out. I’m sure I could get arguments from near and far, but I’ll just say it…Publix sub sandwiches are the best sub sandwiches…EVER.

Why? Quality meat and cheeses (Boar’s Head), suitable toppings and the best bread. The bread is so good, you can eat it by itself. My go to is the Italian but regular old turkey is a faithful friend. I eat at least one of these subs every week.

Of all Publix subs, there is one that stands out. A seasonal sandwich masterpiece that only comes around in November. The Turkey, Bacon and Cranberry. You pick your bread (I always pick the multigrain because it is awesome), they are all good. When ordering other subs, I like to add a little lettuce and tomato, oil and vinegar with the spicy mustard. Don’t do it with this sub, maybe a little spicy mustard. The deli folks add Boar’s Head turkey and smoked gruyere, Publix brand cranberry relish and warm crispy bacon. So good. Sweet, spicy, sour, salty, crunchy, gooey, perfection. I like these so much, I duplicated them at home with the same ingredients except I used Niman’s Ranch Applewood Smoked Bacon instead of Boar’s Head. Now, even if you don’t live near a Publix, you can have a taste.



  • Publix Multigrain bread
  • Boar’s Head Turkey
  • Boar’s Head Smoked Gruyere Cheese
  • Bacon
  • Publix Cranberry/Orange Relish
  • Spicy Deli Mustard

  1. Slice the bread almost half way through and slather with just a little mustard on both of the insides.
  2. Add meat and cheese to your liking in the middle of where you sliced. Note: I did not add the meat in the middle of the slice in the one in the picture but it is a nice thing they do at the deli.
  3. Add cranberry relish to taste.
  4. Add bacon, and then using the backside of the knife push down on the middle of the meat, into the inside of the slice and fold the sandwich over.
  5. Enjoy, over and over again.
Publix Turkey, Bacon and Cranberry Sub on Multigrain.

Hearty and Healthy Three Bean Turkey Chili

Hearty and healthy three bean turkey chili

When temperatures dip, this hearty and healthy chili will hit the spot. The funny thing about this recipe is that I totally had to make up for the fact that I had less than a teaspoon of chili powder. We usually have plenty of chili powder but we were just out, so all the dry ingredients went in to make up. I think it worked out VERY well. This chili is going on our regular rotation; we don’t even miss the beef.

I know I probably drive people crazy with the lack of measurements. I just hate measuring and I hate remembering my measurements even more. My suggestion with this is add some and taste if you want more heat add cayenne if you want more smoke add paprika. Be careful with the salt if you follow this recipe, the fajita seasoning and the Creole seasoning have a good amount of salt already. Also be judicious with the cinnamon and cocoa, a little is nice but it can get to be too much quickly. Use the San Marzano tomatoes, you won’t regret it. They add beautiful color and flavor. The Greek yogurt is a healthier alternative to sour cream, I love it and use it often.

Leftovers make great burritos.
Warn tortillas in oven until tender and pliable. Place on a piece of tin foil. Add warmed chili, and all the garnishes listed above. Wrap the burrito and then roll in the foil. Place in the oven and allow to warm. Serve with chips and salsa. I could have eaten 10 of these. Yum!



  • Olive oil
  • Lean ground turkey (about 1 ½ lbs)
  • 1 15 ounce can Cannellini bean drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 ounce can Navy beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 ounce can low sodium Black beans drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups low sodium beef stock
  • 1 28 ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 medium white onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 jalapeño minced (seeds and stem)
  • 1 large carrot chopped

Dried Ingredients

  • Dried oregano
  • Fajita seasoning
  • Chipotle chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Smoked paprika
  • Regular paprika
  • Chili powder (I only had a teaspoon, hence all the other ingredients)
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Tony Chachere Creole Seasoning
  • Cinnamon (just a pinch)
  • Cocoa powder (just a pinch)
  • Salt and pepper (probably won’t need any)
  • 2 bay leaves


  • Red onion diced
  • Cilantro chopped
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Reduced fat cheddar cheese
  • Jiff cornbread mix

  1. Heat a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until brown then add garlic and jalapeño. Add dried ingredients and stir another minute.
  2. Increase heat to medium high and add turkey. Add more oil if needed, don’t worry if the meat sticks some just don’t let it burn. Cook until it is no longer pink.
  3. Add contents of the whole tomatoes and break up with a wooden spoon. Add tomato sauce, beef stock, bay leaves and carrots. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Stir occasionally and allow to simmer for approximately 45 minutes.
  4. Follow directions on the cornbread box. I added some cheddar cheese in the mix as well as on top of the muffins. You could certainly make your own cornbread mixture but my wife likes these.
  5. Add beans and simmer another 10 minutes. Garnish with Greek yogurt, cheese, red onion and cilantro.
Hearty and Healthy Three Bean Turkey Chili

Roasted Turkey Thigh, Spicy SautĂ©ed Spinach, Whipped Sweet Potatoes and Fried Sage Jus

Portugues Chicken, chorizo and clams

Two questions: Don’t you hate when you have your mouth screwed up for something and they don’t have it at the store? Why do we only eat turkey on Thanksgiving?

So, Jen was out of town which usually means I’ll be experimenting with something exotic. I had planned on duck, pork belly or at least something I couldn’t get at the usual grocery. Trying to knock out my todo list for the weekend, I lost all track of time. No time to visit Whole Food or Trade Joe’s. I headed to the next best thing, my local Publix. I had been wanting to try Cornish Game Hen and Publix usually has some. Nope, fresh out! I picked up some pork chops and put them back. I picked up a t-bone steak and put it back. Finally I came across the turkey section. Yes, yes I am certain that your grocer has one as well. It’s first part of June, nowhere near Thanksgiving. How exotic is that, turkey thighs in June? I picked up some spinach that looked especially good and some sweet potatoes.

I ended up making, Seared and Roasted Turkey Thighs, Sautéed Spinach, Whipped Sweet Potato with Fried Sage Pan Jus.

Let me say, I loved this dish. Overall a really well rounded dish. Crispy, tender turkey. Smooth, creamy, sweet, sweet potato. Spicy, fresh spinach. The sauce totally merged each component together. Hat tip to A Sweet Pea Chef. I was looking for a way to cook the sweet potatoes and leave the skin on. Great idea to steam them, then mix in a food processor. Hat tip to me for recycling (uhhh…reusing) the turkey drippings (fat) in the spinach.



  • 2 large turkey thighs (skin on, bone in)
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 large bag spinach
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Half and half (or heavey cream)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespon crush read pepper flake
  • 1 garlic clove sliced thinly
  • Chicken stock (or broth)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh thyme
  • Fresh sage

  1. Cube sweet potatoes leaving the skin on, place in a steamer and steam for about 20 minutes. If you don’t have a steamer you can just boil them in a large pot.
  2. Meanwhile, set the oven to 400 °.
  3. In a large skillet or oven proof pan, heat canola and olive oil over medium high heat. Season turkey liberally with salt and pepper. Add turkey to the hot pan and cook until crisp on all sides about 4-6 minutes. Place pan in the oven. Most will tell you to cook turkey to an internal temperature of 175 °. I prefer a little less than that for more juice meat.
  4. Once the sweet potatoes are tender, remove from the steamer and place in a food processor.
  5. Add 1-2 tablespoons of fresh thyme to the food processor, depending on how much you like. Add about a 1/2 of a cup of half and half with salt and pepper to taste. Add brown sugar.
  6. Blend sweet potato mixture in the food processor until smooth. Taste and add more cream for creamier, more brown sugar for sweeter or more salt and pepper. Keep warm.
  7. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  8. Check the internal temperature of your turkey. If the turkey is close to your targeted temperature, pour out a few (I poured out 3-4 and still had 2-3 in the pan) tablespoons of the oil and rendered drippings (fat) from the turkey into the fresh pan that is on the stove. Place turkey back in the oven to finish cooking.
  9. In fresh skillet add the crushed red pepper flake and let cook in the fat and oil for a minute. I said a tablespoon of pepper flake but just put as much as you like. I like it spicy, and a tablespoon made it very spicy.
  10. Add thinly sliced garlic and cook for 30 second or so. Add spinach.
  11. Continually toss spinach in the oil until wilted. Remove from heat.
  12. Once the turkey is to a suitable temperature, remove from oven. Remove the turkey from the pan and place in a plate to allow the juices to redistribute.
  13. Place the turkey pan with all the renderings on the stove on medium high heat. When the renderings and oil are hot, add fresh chopped sage. Let the sage fry until it turns dark.
  14. Add chicken stock or broth to the pan and bring to a boil. Stir with wooden spoon scrapping up all the yummy bits and reduce the stock by half.
  15. To plate, as you can see from the above photo, I put down the sweet potato, added the spinach, place the turkey thigh on top then poured the jus over the whole thing.
Roasted Turkey Thigh, Spicy SautĂ©ed Spinach, Whipped Sweet Potatoes and Fried Sage Jus