A Craving for Collard Greens

14 01 2010

Have you ever craved a food so much that you could almost taste it? You lose hours in a day, find yourself hungry after a meal, and perhaps even salivate at the thought of your most favorite food?  Truth be told, I get this way about a lot of different foods, my cravings are all over the place.  One day I want osso bucco, the next day I might want lima beans, I always want salsa chips (I wish I didn’t have an addiction to those), but lately, in this uncommonly cold winter all I really wanted was warm, comfort food.  In particular, I wanted collard greens. 

Lucky for me, it is the perfect season for collard greens, AND my boyfriend’s parents have a garden full! Last year they were so very delicious, and I have been counting down the days until this winter. 

Most often, and especially in the south, collard greens are boiled down to a limp nothing, and prepared with a bit of bacon. Don’t get me wrong, I love this preparation and order it at restaurants whenever possible.  However, these days I need all of the vitamins and nutrients my food can make available, and the boiling process zaps the greens void of anything my body might find useful. 

In my new cookbook (and as promised), The Lee Brothers, “Simple, Fresh, Southern: Knockout Dishes with Down-Home Flavor,” I found the perfect recipe to solve my collard greens craving. 

This recipe is amazingly easy and super fast! Let us know how your attempt works out. ________________________________________________________

Ingredients:

1.5 pounds of collard greens

8 ounces of fresh chorizo, or 4 ounces cured. 

3 poblano chiles

3 cloves of garlic

2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar (I added more!)

Water

1 teaspoon Kosher Salt

2 teaspoons of canola oil

Directions:

Mis en place – Seed your poblano chiles and cut in narrow strips, about 1.5 inches long. 

If the chorizo is fresh, you want to remove the casing and cut into 1 inch pieces. If you are using cured chorizo, you can also cut into narrow strips. 

Thoroughly wash and de-stem your collards. To de-stem, you can remove the entire stem and prepare for cutting.  Cut your collard greens into edible bits.  The easiest way to accomplish this is when removing the stem, 1 leaf becomes 2.  With a large stack, you can roll the collards and cut across, making smaller strips. 

In a large skillet add your oil and set to a high heat setting.  When the oil is hot add the chorizo. If you purchased fresh chorizo, you will want to use a spoon to render the fat out and cook. This takes about 2 minutes. If you are using cured chorizo, the process takes about 1.5 minutes and you only need to stir it around in the pan. 

Add the garlic, salt, water and half of the collard greens.  Toss with tongs until the collards begin to wilt and turn a darker green. With more room in the pan, you can add the remaining collards. Cook up to 6 minutes. Some prefer their collards on the crispy side (me), so you should taste test to find the perfect level of crunchiness. 

Add the vinegar, toss with the collards and allow the vinegar to evaporate in the pan. Add more vinegar and salt if needed. 

__________________________________________________________ 

This recipe might sound a bit crazy to you, as many people hate this delectable leaf, and I even hated them as a kid, but with age a love developed.  Be encouraged to try a new way to cook this leaf, enjoy the spicy flavor, the texture, and the nutrients your body will love you for!  A nice white wine, a bit of cornbread served with a dollop of sour cream and you have a meal.

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