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Southern comfort creamed collard greens

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Southerners from all parts of the south including Winona savor the taste of collard greens. They are a dark, leafy green vegetable that is part of the cabbage family and closely related to kale. Collard greens have a slight bitter taste similar to turnip or mustard greens. This tartness loses its bite depending upon how long the greens are cooked and what ingredients they are cooked down with. Collard greens may be the most loved southern comfort food vegetables prepared. They can be purchased in the SuperValu in Winona or at the Super Wal-Mart in Grenada. Here is a savory old-fashioned way to prepare this perfect side dish with a creamy touch that is topped with bacon that will have both cook and guest looking for more.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 pounds of collard greens
  • 10-12 slices of crisp crumpled bacon
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup of butter or 2/3 of a stick
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped finely
  • 2 teaspoons of salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon of pepper

Directions:

  1. Cook the bacon until crisp without burning.
  2. Once the bacon is cooked set the slices on paper towels to drain excess fat.
  3. After the slices cool, crumple them and set them back on another towel and set aside.
  4. In a large soup or pasta pot add about 2 quarts of water or fill the pot to the half way mark.
  5. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and set the pot on a high flame to boil.
  6. Once the water boils add the collard greens to the hot water and cook for 20 minutes. Press the leaves and stems down and stir occasionally during the cooking time.
  7. While the collard greens are cooking grab a large frying pan and melt the butter in it over a medium heat without browning it.
  8. Add the chopped and minced onion and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes until tender.
  9. Add the heavy cream, 1 teaspoon of salt and the pepper and stir.
  10. Cook the cream sauce for 3-5 minutes until it starts to thicken.
  11. Drain the green into a colander and run under cold water for about 2 minutes.
  12. Shake as much water as possible out using the colander.
  13. Then remove the stems and leaves and place on paper towels to drain completely and pat dry gently.
  14. Set the greens aside on a dry paper towel for now.
  15. Once the cream sauce is cooked remove it from the stove and stir in the collar greens.
  16. Mix well so all the pieces get coated.
  17. Transfer the creamed collard greens into a serving bowl and top with the crumpled bacon before serving.
  18. Enjoy!

Suggestions:

  • Great side dish served with fried chicken or fried catfish. These greens would also be great when Halibut filets are served for dinner.
  • Salt can be cut back to one teaspoon to reduce on sodium intake.
  • Always use fresh garlic, not the minced pieces sold in jars at the supermarkets. The oils to preserve the garlic will change the taste dramatically when used in this recipe.

The Leflore Farmers Market has a great selection and good prices on their locally grown and farm fresh produce.

Copyright 2011 Beverly Mucha / All Rights Reserved

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