Friday, February 26, 2010
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.