Okay, y’all, I have a special treat for you today. I’ve been feeling sorry about how my pictures lately have been---well, less than picturesque. So today I have a pictorial journey for you, courtesy of my friend, Todd, who provided the illustrations for today’s recipe: collards! Yes, he actually went to a collard field, picked the greens, and cooked them. :)
Why do collard greens and the New Year go together? It’s a tradition in the Southern US to eat black-eyed peas and greens to ensure a lucky and prosperous New Year. The peas represented coins and the greens represent paper money. So there you have it! :)
· One large head collards- 2, if smaller heads
· 5 cups chicken stock
· 3 tbsp butter
· 2 tbsp vinegar (white or apple)
· 1 tbsp sugar
· Salt and pepper to taste
· 1 tbsp red pepper flakes (optional)
Cut the leaves from the head and wash the collard greens thoroughly. Remove the heavy steams by shaving the rib with a knife. You can also fold the leaf and pull or cut the stem away. Not all leaves need to be stripped as tender stems can add good texture. Stack 5-10 leaves on top of each other, roll and slice into 1-2 inch slices. You can adjust the size of your slices depending on how hearty you want the collards to be. Place the collards in the pot and add the chicken stock and butter and bring to a boil. You may have to let the collards cook down slightly to get all in the pot (depending on the size of your pot). Once the collards have cooked down some, about 15 minutes, add the remaining ingredients and reduce to a simmer. Cover and let the collards cook for 1 to 1.5 hours. Stir occasionally and check to make sure adequate liquid is in the pot, adding water if necessary. Taste and adjust seasoning as appropriate.
These are especially delicious when served with several dashes of vinegar induced with hot peppers and a side of cornbread.
Enjoy and be prepared for your whole kitchen to have a collard aroma!
Delicious and Suspicious (July 6, 2010) Riley Adams
Pretty is as Pretty Dies –Elizabeth Spann Craig