Home Cooking

Collards

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Home Cooking 13

Collards

Will Owen | Aug 8, 2006 09:45 PM

Mrs. O is off luxuriating in the fleshpots of Grand Rapids this week, hanging with her fellow button collectors, leaving me to console myself with cooking and consuming some things that I like and she does not. Greens is a good category to begin with, as her taste for those things stops shortly after spinach. I had gotten a very nice inch-thick pork steak from Marconda Meats, in the LA Farmer's Market, and after looking at likely side-vegetables I decided that the collard greens would be perfect.

These were a lot more mature than most of my recipes called for, but I went ahead anyway and stripped out the main ribs, then rolled up each leaf and sliced it into narrow strips, and put these into a big bowl of cold water for an hour or so while the pork came up to room temp. Then I chopped up two slices of good bacon and cooked that in my big nonstick pot, then drained most of the fat and poured in a like amount of canola oil. When that was up to heat I drained the collards and dropped them into the pot, dashed in some salt, and stir-fried the greens for a while, then lowered the heat and put the lid on. They cooked like this for a good 40 minutes - I had to add some water when they ran dry and started to scorch - and eventually became tender enough to chew and swallow, though hardly melting, at which point I stirred in a couple of dashes of Tabasco and put the pot on the hot tray while the pork braised and I mashed some potatoes.

It was all pretty good - I really like the more intense flavor of greens done this way - but I'm wondering if I should maybe have parboiled and blanched them instead of just soaking. All the recipes I've seen call for either stir-frying very young ones or boiling the bejayzus out of the older ones; waddaya think? A bit more tenderness would have been welcome.

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