Thursday, March 6, 2008
Oh Yea, I PROMISED....Collards everyone loves.
I promised Fried Okra a few weeks back that I would post my Collard greens recipe.
I have been so busy, but I always keep a promise.
Two large healthy heads of Collard Greens
5 slices of thick sliced bacon. (slab bacon is best...don't worry, I took out the calories and cholesterol)
1-2 smoked ham hocks (if they're big use one, small, use two)...you may substitute a large smoked turkey leg.
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Hot pepper sauce
2 tablespoons butter
Fresh grated nutmeg
In a very large pot, lay the bacon slices so that they will cook evenly. Cook over medium heat until browned. Once the bacon is browned, remove from pot but to not discard the bacon fat.
Tackle the collards.
As an aside, collards are a HUGE veggie, they can be intimidating. You will have to touch every leaf. NO SHORTCUTS! Cut the bottom stem off the collards and wash the leaves, lay them in between paper towels to dry. Discard yellow or rotten leaves.
Fold each leaf in half along the stem. With a very sharp knife, cut the complete stem away from the leaf (stems are bitter and shortcutting this step will ruin it). Put the leaves in a colander. There will be a HUGE amount.
In the pot that you fried the bacon in, start putting in the greens. You will think there is no way that you will fit all those greens in one pot, but you will just have to trust me.
in between, add the butter and maybe a 1/4 cup water. Work the greens so that as they sautée, you are pressing them down into the pot.
Once you have all the greens in the pot, add the hot pepper sauce, vinegar, fresh grated nutmeg (not more than one or two passes over the grater), garlic and ham hocks.
Cook on low for 1-2 hrs stirring frequently.
When the greens are wilted and the aroma tickles your nostrils they are almost done. Crumble the bacon and stir in. You will also need to extract the meat from the ham hocks (or turkey leg) and add it to the collards.
Taste them, add more pepper sauce to taste, and THEN..........................
Use your best storage, I prefer pyrex with tops. Put them in the fridge and let them sit overnight.
Reheat in microwave or over low heat when you are ready to serve.
Serve with cornbread (or jalapeno cornbread) and enjoy.
IT'S A SOUTHERN THANG (but huge in vitamins an iron)