Thursday, January 01, 2015

Start the New Year Right: Cook Some Collards

It's been a while since I've talked about cooking collards. Today we cooked a medley of collard greens and other vegetables. This dish was so good I wish I could put the taste right here and you could pull it out of this blog. It was a little work chopping but really uncomplicated. Working as a team, we found it fun. I want to show you this procedure step by step.
First, chop the collards. I'm sorry that I didn't photograph this process. We used two large bunches. They cook down to a much smaller amount than one would expect. Simply cut the stems out, roll two or three leaves like a cigar and slice into slivers. With practice, this step goes fast.
Soak them in a bowl of cool tap water with some salt,
Then wash them until you are sure they are free of grit.
While the collards are soaking in salt water.slice a couple of small potatoes.
In a very large skillet, fry the potatoes in a mixture of olive oil and canola oil.
Remove the potatoes.
Throw in a cup of sliced mushrooms and cook no longer than a minute.
Remove the mushrooms.
Set the potatoes and mushrooms aside.
Chop a large purple onion.
Saute it.
Don't overcook the onion. Just let it cook in some oil until it sweats.
Add the collards on top of the onions.
You may need to add some more oil. Try to use as little as possible, but don't skimp until you are miserable. A little oil is good for you.
In this picture the collards are sitting in the large skillet on top of the onions.
Don't add water.
Stir fry the collards and onions at high heat for two or three minutes.
Lower the heat, and put the lid on the skillet.
Chop a small apple. It's surprising how good an apple tastes in most stir-fried dishes.
You don't need to peel it.
We usually select Gala apples.
Toss the apple into the collard mixture and give it a stir.
Continue to cook the collard greens at low heat.
Chop some more vegetables.
Drop them into the skillet.
Today we added a yellow squash, a zucchini, a small stick of celery, and small sections of bell peppers three different colors.
This dish needs some cornbread on the side.
We used a Jiffy(R) mix.
Add a 10 ounce can of Ro-Tel Mexican Lime and Cilantro Diced Tomatoes (R).
Pour in a couple of tablespoons of juice from your sweet pickle jar.
Make a pass through your spices and season it to your taste.
We added Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime (R) and some garlic powder.
We shook in just a bit of Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning(R) and a few grains of Kosher salt. Also we added a few chunks of cooked chicken.
It's time to add those potatoes and mushrooms, too.
You may want a side dish.
Since we were cooking New Year's Day lunch, we opened a can of black-eyed peas, heated them, and served them over rice.
With all the lively seasoning of the collards, peas tasted good plain.
Oh, yum!