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FutureStarrCollard Greens Recipe:
This process must be done over and over and over again. My mother believes in washing greens until you don’t see any grit left in the water in your sink. We like to use the deepest sink bowl available in the house so if this means washing greens in your home’s laundry room, so be it! Just make sure you clean the sink out first before adding them. This will allow the greens to both achieve a better texture and soak in more flavor.
This recipe can easily be adapted by removing the ham hock and bacon grease. Because the pot liquor has everything from apple cider vinegar to garlic and paprika, you can simply add collard greens, add garlic, add onion and hot peppers and even liquid smoke and the flavors will still be incredible. I promise you won’t miss the meat at all.
Warm a large, heavy-bottom skillet (cast iron is great) over medium-high heat. Add a generous drizzle of olive oil (the oil will later help your body absorb the nutrients in the greens). Then add the greens and some salt. Give the greens a good stir so they’re all lightly shimmering from the oil and turning darker green.
Ahhh greens. My favorite are mustards, but they are difficult to find. My cooking background is eclectic. My mother moved to Florida from Japan when she was 28 yrs old. Japanese don't really own ovens so American food and grocery stores were fairly intimidating. Our African-American maid taught her how to cook American food, and by American food I mean traditional Southern soul food. So growing up, I always had a saide of rice and soy sauce with my fried gizzard. I have never wanted to cook greens because my mom makes such excellent greens that I don't think I can compare. I remember my mother telling a bunch of African-American co-workers that she made excellent greens and they handily dismissed this 5 ft tall Japanese woman as delusional. Until they had her greens and then begged her to make them at every work pot-luck. There are some changed I made to this recipe according to my mom's recipe. Firstly, you must add brown sugar. This masks the bitterness of the greens. A splash of apple cider vinegar helps too. You've gotta increase the bacon in this recipe. Please. Three slices? Try 8 or more. Cook for a few hours. The longer, the better, but make sure your bacon doesn't start disintegrating. Cook the onion and garlic in the bacon grease and nix the oil. Bacon grease makes everything taste better. And lastly, the weird secret from Mom: These can be made in a rice cooker without the inner rice container. it will boil the broth and then keep it simmeri Read More
Cook the bacon in a deep saute pan on medium-high heat until crisp, then set aside, leaving the fat in the pan. Add the red pepper flakes, garlic and lemon zest, and saute until fragrant. Add the collard greens and cook until they begin to wilt. Add the chicken stock and 1/2 cup water and cover, lowering the heat to a simmer. Let cook until the greens are tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Uncover, add back the bacon, raise the heat to medium-high, and reduce the liquid by one-quarter, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper.
Collard greens are what I would consider the staple green vegetable of the south. They belong to the Brassier operated plant species like most green vegetables including cabbage (link to cabbage rolls), spinach and kale. Collard greens are a loose leafed cabbage, similar to kale, but with very large smooth leaves, and a milder flavor. They are inexpensive, packed with nutrition, and nice and hearty.
I’m having a moment with cooked greens. I know, this is thrilling news, right? I’ve put cooked kale in my mashed potatoes, and now I’m sautéing collard greens for every dinner.
Collards belong to the Brassier, making it an excellent choice in the cooler months. Although it was once called colewort, or “cabbage plant” collards do not have compact leaves that form a head like cabbage does. Collard’s blue-green leaves are broad and smooth in texture. Collard’s leaves lack frilled edges like kale and mustard greens. Collard greens are commonly seen in traditional southern and Creole-style cooking but are also enjoyed in Portugal and Brazilian stews and soups, where they are paired with fish and pork.
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Sometimes when I have nothing else to do, I read recipes..... look for new stuff, look for a different way to do things than I currently do, etc. When I read this and saw some of the negative reviews, I couldn't help but put my two cents' worth in. First, it's a complete no-brainer whether to cover the pot or not! For goodness sake, you're simmering something for hours! Cover that pot! If you have to complain that the recipe didn't spell that out for you and lead you to give a one-star review, you probably need to find some rudimentary, "I've never cooked before and need you to spell everything out for me" site. And for "still waiting's" review, the same thing. You finally decided to turn the heat up after the greens were "just sitting there" after 2 hours??? Really?? To "Oriental's Review", being from the south of NC, you should know that everyone's collards (and fried chicken, cornbread, biscuits, field peas, etc.) are a little different. Nobody does it exactly the same. All that being said, this recipe sounds right good. Myself, I'm from South Georgia. I grew up on (and continue to frequently feast on) collards, turnips and all of the other delicious stuff that people consider to be Southern. I learned to cook greens (collards, turnips and others) from my grandmother's housekeeper, Reba, whose cooking was the epitome of Southern soul food. I have never been able to make a pot of greens taste as good as Reba's, God rest her soul. I remember being a LITTLE girl and standing on a chair in the kitchen alongside Reba washing greens and then rolling and slicing them. If I had a dollar for every pot of turnips and collards that I've made over my 57 years, well, I wouldn't be rich, but I could get quite a few things on my Amazon wish list!! I've not made this particular recipe, but it sounds pretty darn good to me. My initial take is....less liquid. I generally use about 1 qt liquid to 2 pounds of greens. The greens release alot of water as they cook and the liquid doesn't cook off IF YOU COVER THE POT!! I would probably opt for the 12 slices of bacon OR the ham and a little extra bacon grease, not both. If using the bacon, I'd pour off the grease that cooks off leaving just a TBSP or so in the pot. Just personal preference. The amount of sugar sounds good, but you need to taste as the greens near done-ness, may need a bit more to cut the bitterness. And I'd opt for a little less vinegar, maybe a couple of tablespoons. Again, personal preference. Might need a smidge more salt, again, taste near serving time, and add if needed. Overall, the recipe sounds good from a "seasoned" green cookers view!