with The Parabolic Mirror Has a Thousand Eyes, Berenice Abbott
I first learned of Berenice Abbott at an exhibit at MIT in 2012 showcasing her photography and its capture of physics and motion.
Abbott was renowned for her early to mid-century photography in Paris and New York. She assisted Man-Ray before opening her own studio, and was a strong advocate of Atget's work. She also "spent two years at MIT creating photographs that memorably document the principles of physical science—mechanics, electromagnetism, and waves. She often developed innovative techniques for capturing scientific phenomena, including one for very detailed, close-in photography that she called Super Sight." - MIT Museum
Learn more about Abbott here and here.
The recipe I made here is a variation of David Tannis's New York Times recipe. I've made it smaller and combined the southern (more onion, with cilantro and/or red onion on top) and Mediterranean (cumin instead of allspice) influences I grew up with. This is best served with cornbread. Enjoy!
- 12 oz. dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight (4 cups when soaked)
- 1 pound thick bacon, cut into 3 inch strips (alternatives: ham hock or meaty ham bone)
- 8 cups water
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 onions cut in half
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon ground clove
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 bunch collard greens, washed, thick stems removed, and cut in 1-inch strips (about 6 cups cut)
- handful cilantro and/or chopped red onion for garnish
How to make it:
1) Drain the peas and put them in a large pot. Add bacon or ham, cover with the 8 cups of water and turn to high. Add the halved onions as they are, along with the cumin, ground clove, bay leaf, salt and pepper.
2) Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. If foam rises to the surface, skim it off. Simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the peas are tender. Add water as needed; make sure there's always about an inch of water above the surface of the peas. Stir occasionally. Turn off heat. Check the broth adjust your seasoning to taste. It should be fairly soupy. Remove the bacon and set it aside. If some breaks off and you can't get it out, no harm done!
3) Put a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add vegetable oil and heat just until wavy. Add the garlic and red pepper and let them sizzle for 30 seconds. Add collard greens and stir with tongs. They may seem like they won't fit, but they will. Season with the kosher salt and add a cup of water, stirring to wilt the greens. Add the bacon and reduce your heat to medium, then cover with lid slightly open and cook until the greens are soft, about 20 minutes. Check seasoning.
4) Place greens and meat in low soup bowls, then ladle over hot black-eyed peas. Top with cilantro or red onion (both or neither!), serve with cornbread (optional) and enjoy!