Full Disclosure: I am not Southern. Not even close. So why would anyone listen to me about how to cook collard greens and a bastardized version of dirty rice? (Especially when I’ve been a horrible slacker and not posted on this blog in ugh… months) Well, dear readers, the proof is in the, well, collards, as it were. I adapted this recipe from Men’s Health, where the measurements are denoted in “glugs” and feature lengths of cook time such as “shake your manly booty.” Though sauteing collard greens does not require the exact science of making french pastries, I’d like to at least provide you dear readers with standard and gender neutral instructions. These are also referred to as “enlightened” collard greens because they eschew the traditional bacon fat, but I disagree with that value judgement. These are greens. Have at ye:
- 2 bunches collard greens, de-stemmed and cut into strips
- 3-4 T olive oil (enough to coat the greens as they wilt)
- One medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- pinch red pepper flakes
- Salt & pepper
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1-2 cups stock (any kind will do)
- T Maple Syrup
- T white wine, sherry, or apple cider vinegar
There is a bit of an art to chopping collard greens, kale, swiss chard, or any other giant leafy plant (that’s probably not the scientific term). You can slice out the stems with a knife, or what I do is run my hand along the stem so that the leaf rips apart from the stem. I then lay the collards flat on top of each other and roll them lengthwise, sort of like a jellyroll (but healthier). Then, starting at the top, slice the greens into strips and wash them. You’re going to need a big bowl.
In a large pan or wok, add olive oil and saute onions on medium heat until translucent. Add garlic, chili flakes, and salt and pepper until fragrant. Add collards, and use tongs to slowly coat with the oil. You’ll have to wait until the greens wilt a bit to add in all of them. Once the greens are coated and bright green, add the wine and stock. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the collards are tender and the liquid has evaporated, about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, and stir in the maple syrup and vinegar. ~fin~
Now. As I do not expect you to eat only a pile of leafy greens for dinner, let me tell you about Chorizo Rice and Beans. This dish is quite simple, as aside from a mirpoix and some cilantro, the dish calls for exactly that. Chorizo. Rice. Beans. The spiciness from the chorizo flavors the whole dish.
Chorizo Rice and Beans:
- One chorizo sausage, sliced
- One medium onion, diced
- 3 medium carrots, pared and diced
- 3 ribs celery, diced
- one can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1.5 cups brown rice
- salt & pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Add 3.5 cups water and the rice in a large pot on high heat. Bring to a boil with the lid off and once it reaches a boil, reduce to simmer and cover. Slice the sausage and put it in a large pan on medium heat. Allow the sausage to soften and release the oils. After 5-7 minutes, add the onion, carrots and celery. Once the onions are translucent and the vegetables have a nice sweat going, add the beans. Make sure it’s mixed together well. If necessary, add olive oil, but the oil from the chorizo should coat everything quite nicely. The beans should be cooked for about 10 minutes. Once the rice is ready, add in the rice and mix thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste (don’t add too much salt, as the chorizo is already pretty salty). Mix in the cilantro and serve.