Friday, February 26, 2010

Crocked collards

This week's potluck had a southern theme. It was quite a spread: fried chicken, mac & cheese, ribs, and pecan pie. I decided to contribute cornbread and collard greens. Can't get more southern, right? But I've never made collards before, and I don't even like them that much. So, I experimented.

I looked up a few recipes for these greens, and most seemed to include cooking for more than an hour, had a little vinegar, some broth, and ham hocks or something similar.

Since I wasn't going to have a lot of time between work and the potluck, I decided to use the crockpot to cook the greens all day. And because I don't like ham, I decided to use bacon instead.

I washed and coarsely cut two big bunches of collards (cutting off most of the stems). I cut a 1/2 lb of thick bacon into big pieces. I mixed these with some white wine vinegar, 2 cups of chicken broth, some sugar, and salt and pepper and stuck them in the crockpot. They barely fit.

Then I just put it on low and let it go for 9 hours. It cooked down A LOT, but was nice and moist and flavorful. I liked them, and others raved about them. A successful experiment!

In the theme of experimentation, I also used a new recipe for cornbread. I can't say it's my favorite. It was from one of my favorite cookbooks - The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins - and was called "Hot and Sassy Cornbread". To me, it wasn't moist or flavorful enough. It was fine, but I might find a different recipe next time.

If you feel so inclined:
1 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
fresh ground pepper to taste
1 cup canned cream style corn
1/2 cup frozen corn kernals, thawed
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tblspn vegetable oil
1 Tblspn packed brown sugar
1 or 2 fresh jalepeno peppers, minched

Heat the oven to 400. Butter an 8 or 9 inch square baking pan.
Mix dry ingredients in large bowl. Mix wet ingredients in smaller bowl. Add 1/2 the wet mix to the dry - stir till just combined. Add the rest of the wet stuff and mix again until just combined. Pour into the pan. Bake for 25 minutes - or until knife comes out clean. Cool in the pan for a bit before cutting and eating.

1 comment:

  1. Mmmm... I love collard greens. I'm not sure if you already know this, but here's a fun trick. To easily destem the greens, wrap one hand around the leavy top part of the greens and hold the stem with the other. Then pull your hands away from eachother as if you're pulling apart a new years cracker. You'll end up with a long stem in one hand and the leafy parts in the other. Good times.


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