Whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt together.
Stir in the milk, corn kernels, melted butter and chives.
Using wet hands, form the mixture into just smaller than golf ball size balls ( you should get 16 to 20), set on a plate and refrigerate covered.
For the soup
In a large soup pot bring the water, ham shank and bay leaves to a boil and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours until the meat starts falling off the shank bone.
Discard the bay leaves, remove the shank to cool a bit and reserve the broth in a bowl. Once cooled, dice the ham shank meat, discarding any fat.
In the empty soup pot saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until the onion softens a bit. Add the greens, crushed red pepper, black pepper and 4 cups of the ham stock and simmer all for about 20 minutes.
Combine the remaining ham broth and enough chicken broth to total 8 cups and add to the pot.
Add the beans and shank meat, bring back to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. At this point you can take a break if not ready to serve. I do all the above early in the day.
When ready to serve, bring the soup up to a nice simmer, add the corn kernels and as many of the dumplings that will fit. If you can't use them all, keep the remaining covered and refrigerated for leftover soup tomorrow,
Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes and serve up a bowl with a few dumplings
I think I get my love for food and cooking from my mom, who was an amazing cook. She would start baking and freezing a month before Christmas in order to host our huge open house on Christmas afternoon. I watched and I learned...to this day I try not to procrastinate when it comes to entertaining.
My cooking style is pretty much all over the place, although I'm definitely partial to Greek and Italian cuisine. Oh yes, throw a little Cajun in there too!