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Thought I Would Give Y'all a Laugh

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acara
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Post  bettyd_z7_va 10/20/2010, 3:24 pm

Just remember- I'm new at this. OK?

Yesterday I decided I would harvest some mixed greens and cook a panful for DH and myself, so I grab a bowl and go out and pull up some baby mustard, kale, collards, creasy and turnip greens. I pulled them up because I had planted them as thick as theives and had to thin them out.

Since they were so small I just clipped off the roots, gave them a good wash and threw them, stems and all, in the pan with some olive oil, a shot of soy sauce and a generous amount of sea salt. See where I'm going with this?

After they had warmed up and turned a pretty bright green I hit them with a shot of Marsala cooking wine and put a top on them and let them cook for a few minutes.

When I took the top off there was this tiny little smidgen of greens in the pan that were VERY salty, tough and stringy!!

Oh well, live and learn - to cut the stems off or cook differently, add HUGE amounts of greens to the pan if I'm going to have enough to eat and add salt to taste AFTER they have shrivled to almost nothing!!!!

I warned DH, so he didn't touch them! LOL

I ate them anyway with a knife to cut those tough stems! I was REALLY craving some greens! I added a little heavy cream which helped tone down some of the saltiness.

I believe I will cook the next batch a little bit differently. LOL

You can stop laughing anytime now.

Betty
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Post  Aub 10/20/2010, 3:58 pm

I have never eaten "greens". It's not something you see much in my area. Does anyone have any good family recipes for them?
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Post  acara 10/20/2010, 4:30 pm

Mmmmmmmm ....c-o-l-l-a-r-d-s !!!!!!!!!!!!

*** Disclaimer ... your house will STINK after cooking collards ....

Good ventillation, an open window or outdoor cooking recommended. My wife and daughter are usually out of town when I do this ...based on previous "cracker-cooking-collards-again" episode

All you need is boiling water & 1 tablespoon of salt max (unless you don't use smokedhocks/necks). You can add a splash of cider vinegar if you like to help with the bitterness (if you consider collards too bitter).

For a large batch (you can eat off the pot for a week ... collards get better with age). Take 3 smoked ham hocks (or smoked neck bones) and put them in a large (6 quart) pot of water. Bring the water to a rolling boil and let it boil for about 1 1/2 hours. Add more water as it boils down. The idea is to boil the ham hocks until they begin to fall apart.

You may not have to roll/slick smaller greens ... but everything I can get my hands on down here is very large leaves.

Anyways ...

Take the collard greens and separate the leaves. Now rinse each leaf individually under cold running water (may just be a Florida thing, but our collards are always sandy/dirty as heck). You can also wash the leaves in a pot with a couple of tsp of baking soda to minimize/reduce the bitterness. After you rinse the collard greens thoroughly, I slice the center stem (thickest) out of the leaves and stack several leaves on top of each other. Roll these leaves together. Then slice the leaves into thin strips (1/2" is fine) using a cutting board and large knife. Rolling them together speeds up the process as you are slicking through several leaves at once.

Next, add your collard greens to the pot. Since this is a lot of collards, you will need to add them until the pot is full. Then allow them to wilt as they cook - then add more. Add you salt, cover and cook for thirty minutes on medium heat. Stir every few minutes to distribute the smoked meat taste evenly. Taste to confirm they are the tenderness you prefer. Eat the ham hocks or neck bones right along with the collards.

As far as what to add .... butter, salt, tobasco ..... pickled pepper juice ..... whatever spins-your wheels.


The house-stench usually dissapates after the first hour after cooking.

acara
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Post  ander217 10/20/2010, 7:31 pm

I love greens. I had my first nice mess of greens this week. I don't usually have a problem with the stems being tough, though. Some people strip the stems out, but other people chop them up and cook them right along with the greens unless they're really old stems.

Collards take longer cooking than most greens which is why I cook them alone and don't usually don't add them to my pot of mixed greens unless they're pre-cooked. I wash my greens three times to get rid of any dirt or lurking beasties. (Some people put them through one wash of salted water. I don't bother unless I know they are really buggy with something small like aphids.)

If the leaves are small, you can just put them right in a cooking pot with the water that is clinging to them. If the leaves are large, I lay a pile of them on my cutting board and cut crosswise into two-inch strips. Fill the cooking pot two-thirds full with greens - don't add much water, just enough to keep them from burning and to have a little "pot liquor". Flip them over occasionally until they begin to wilt down. Keep adding strips of greens until all are wilted down and bubbling. THEN add your salt. Otherwise, you will invariably get too much. A loosely packed grocery bag of fresh greens will make about a large cereal bowl full when cooked.

I add bacon grease or diced ham to mine for seasoning or if I'm feeling guilty I'll add olive oil instead. I cook mine until they just lose their bright green color, or if the stems are a little large I'll cook them longer until the stems get tender. My MIL cooks hers all night in a crockpot, and my mom used to boil hers for an hour with salt pork, but I don't like mine cooked nearly so long.

Some people add a little sugar or a pinch of baking soda to cut any bitterness, or sprinkle vinegar on them after they are cooked, but I like them fine just as they are. Just have plenty of cornbread ready.

This week I had a mixture of Tendergreens, mustard greens, and Russian kale. Sometimes I mix turnip greens and mustard and dice up a few turnips in the mix. In the spring I cook poke greens and add a few wild greens to the pot, or eat a mess of spinach and beet greens. My mom liked pure mustard greens, the more pungent the better. My mom's friend added scrambled eggs to her poke greens before serving them.

There are lots of ways to mix and cook greens. Try a few and see what you like.
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Post  middlemamma 10/20/2010, 7:59 pm

I have never had greens either. I kinda equate them with cooked spinach and I don't like that so....well so there ya go! Is my comparison accurate?

I should follow the advice I give my kids constantly...I always make the kids try something new before they say they don't like something! I think its scary to cook a regional dish when you have never had it. I wouldn't even know if I did it right and was giving it a fair shake. Rolling Eyes

Maybe I will get up the courage to try this. Smile I think I live in a great area to grow these through the summer.. Smile I don't think it gets hot enough here to burn up the cooler temp crops.
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Post  Megan 10/20/2010, 8:04 pm

I am still a greens newbie. I have NEVER, ever had collards. (Sorry, folks, I grew up in Northern New England!) I've only ever had kale in hearty winter soups. The only greens I've really cooked as greens are bok choy and Swiss chard. (Well, and spinach of course.)

For bok choy and swiss chard, if they are big at all, what I do is separate out each leaf. I fold them in half the long way so the folded faces of the leaf are touching each other, and I crease it with my hand against the cutting board. Then I pull the main "spine" or rib out with my fingers (it comes off pretty easily) or use a knife if I feel like it. I then roll the leaves and slice those -- I use about 2" strips also, Ander -- and chop the spines separately. The chopped spines go into the pan first to give them a little more cooking time, and then once those are well on their way to being tender I toss in the leaves and whatever else I am doing. The leaves cook fast so it doesn't take long after that.

Ander's description is far better (and yummier-sounding!!) than mine, I only spoke up to suggest a way to pull those ribs out easily.

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Post  Megan 10/20/2010, 8:05 pm

@middlemamma wrote:I have never had greens either. I kinda equate them with cooked spinach and I don't like that so....well so there ya go! Is my comparison accurate?

The greens I've had are not much like spinach, Jennie, though swiss chard can be similar. Guess we can learn together! Very Happy
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Post  ander217 10/20/2010, 8:25 pm

Jennie and Megan, I think greens are an acquired taste. I couldn't stand them when I was a kid. They tasted strong and bitter to me, but Mom would always "ask" me to eat just a few and one day I realized they weren't too bad. Now I love 'em. (Of course, in hard times that's all some people had to eat during the winter so there wasn't a question of liking them or not.)

It reminds me of the old Jerry Clower story about the hound dog. He saw his neighbor feeding his hound dog turnip greens instead of dog food. He told his neighbor he wished his dog would eat them since it would be a lot cheaper than buying dog food, but he said he didn't think his dog would eat turnip greens. His neighbor smiled and replied, "Mind wouldn't either for the first 30 days."
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Post  Megan 10/20/2010, 8:29 pm

Good one, Ander. I really like kale in the hearty black bean soup I make from scratch, but I've never had it any other way. Like Jennie, I wish I had someone to "cook it right for me the first time!" I am very dubious of restaurants... not just because maybe they don't do them well, but I try to go as low-sodium as I can and most restaurant soups are waaaaay too salty.
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Post  acara 10/20/2010, 10:25 pm

Yep .... I probably didn't like them as a kid for the first 30 days either Very Happy


I still haven't convinced my wife/daughter to eat them yet ..... heck, I can't even get them to stay in the same zip code while I'm cooking them.


I can eat them by the pot-full though!!
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Post  Old Hippie 10/21/2010, 1:45 am

Other than lettuce the only 'greens' I've ever had were spinach, swiss chard and beet greens. Oh yeah, and pig weed as a kid when we were really poor. We never ate turnip greens, kale, mustard greens or anything else you refer to as greens. I haven't a clue how to grow or cook those things but if they smell bad and taste bad then I know my DH won't even touch them. I have to sneak the spinach and chard into salads etc. to get him to eat that! So, my garden space is most likely put to better use with carrots, beets, peas, beans. (Mind you, he did try corn on the cob for the first time in 40 years and has also started to learn to cook so who knows, maybe he might surprise me again)

Made cabbage rolls the other day and the house STILL smells like cabbage. Do greens smell worse than that?

GK
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Post  acara 10/21/2010, 6:34 am

Hope Wife/Daughter never see this ......

Yeah, collards stink to high-heaven when your cooking them (probably worse than baking eggplant by itself).

Personally, I think it's even worse than cabbage......but the smell lingers less time than when you pan fry bacon.

Doesn't make them any less yummy when they are done though.
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