Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Green and Greens

I probably should save this post for St. Patrick's Day - it's all about green, albeit the wrong green for St. Patty. I've been trying all kinds of different vegetables this winter, hoping to hit on some new favorites to spark up our winter menus. Inspired by the poached egg on collard greens and spuds that I enjoyed in SOCA a couple of weeks ago, I decided to try collard greens again this week.

According to my foodie friends and to most of the online recipes I consulted, collard greens need a long, slow cooking to bring out their best. I lucked into some green garlic last time I was at the farmer's market, so I thought to add three or four spears of that as well. I sautéed the sliced garlic in a little bacon fat, then added the greens to wilt them and enough chicken stock to cover them halfway. Covered the pot and left it to simmer quietly for about an hour, just returning to stir them around about halfway through the cooking time.

Honestly, I think they could easily stand up to a stronger garlic flavor - they are pretty muscular greens and tended to overwhelm the mild green garlic.
And, served with ham, they would have been better than next to my roasted chicken. My Beloved didn't finish his, a sure indication that this is a green he would prefer that I fixed when he's away on business. However, I thought it was good in that homey, soft, seriously cooked way that greens often seem, when the first bright color has given way to a green reminiscent of kelp or Army vehicles.

I plan to use the rest of the broth to make soup, perhaps adding some ham to that concoction; that sounds good in my head. Hope it will be - and that My Beloved will be on a business trip when it makes its debut.

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Blogger namastenancy said...

This green needs serious pork stock to taste its best. Or - if you can't stand making pork stock, try making stock out of smoked turkey thighs. These muscular greens need that slow cooking in a similar "muscular" broth to be at their best. (Love the description of muscular - very clever). I prefer to use them in a mix where they are just an accent to the mixture, not as a stand-alone.
BTW - what "The beloved" didn't eat can go into a fritatta or a quiche where the strong flavor of the greens is tamed by the other ingredients.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

I'm so glad you saved the pot likker! That stuff is good.
I've never cooked my greens in anything but water! I add tons of aromatics, including ham or bacon, though. We eat it as a main meal over rice.
You are so diligent in your quest; good you.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010  
Blogger Louis la Vache said...

"Muscular greens" is a good description. Despite having grown up in Texas where, as in the rest of the South, greens are common fare, «Louis» never could embrace them...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Nancy, I made soup from the leftovers, adding carrots, celery, etc. It was good but, again, not something MB would have loved.

Cookiecrumb, I'm nothing if not persistent.

Louis, I have to admit that collards won't come frequently to my table. My favorite green is Swiss chard - cooks quicker and has more flavor.

Thursday, March 11, 2010  
Blogger Aimee said...

Hi there great blog I came over from meathenge. I love collards but do them totally different - cut them into thin ribbons, stem an all, and fry on a very hot griddle with lots (and lots) of chopped garlic and onions and hot red pepper flakes. In olive oil, this. Finish with a squeeze of lemon. Or, change the flavors by using a bland oil, same veggies, but finish with soy sauce. You'd think the greens would be tough with no boiling but they aren't. Look forward to reading more of your great blog!

Thursday, March 11, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Aimee, thanks for the collard tips. I'm not super fond of seriously cooked greens, so I'll try your kind and see if that's better. Your blog is amazing - and, if I may say so, a little scary to this city slicker! :-)

Thursday, March 11, 2010  

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