Saturday, November 1, 2008

Collards: A Southern Recipe

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Collard greeeeeeens. I just got back from a wedding featuring my pals Mark the chef and Michele the designer and as averse as I am to weddings in which I'm not the groom (kinda got used to being the star), this one was a dandy. Not so much because of the wedding ceremony as it was for Mark's collards. Best I've ever had. Being from the South and knowing something about the basic poor people food groups (grease, sugar, flour, sidemeat, salt, collards), I'm confident that's quite a statement.

These little beauties were cooked to perfection, spiced to within a whisker of God and served in the middle of a barbecue spread.

Here's how Mark did it:

Fresh, locally grown collards get it started. Prepare some bacon (and sidemeat and jowel, all cut into small--tiny--pieces) and saute an onion in grease. As the onion sweats, add a bit of garlic and some pepper flakes and heat them for several minutes. Toss in the collards on low heat and let them simmer until they're deep green, limp and gorgeous. If you got the greens before the first frost, don't put any sweetener in them. If it's after the frost, put in a bit of sugar or whatever you choose to use. Top it all of with a bit of apple vinegar and chicken stock and let it simmer until you put it out for the crowd.

Serve it to the best, nearest king you can find. This stuff is unbelievable. And it's good for you. (Don't take that last part as a threat.)

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