Kickin’ Collard Greens

My dad grew up in the country of Southeast Missouri where pinto beans, cornbread, and greens were one of the most common meals of his childhood.  When I was a child, my mother cooked various greens because my dad loved them so much; however, I will confess…. I never ate them.  They were cooked to death (as many vegetables were) which gave them a disgusting texture and they smelled up the entire house.  (Sometime I really need to revisit turnips, but that is another whole story)!  Now with all the press about how healthy greens are, I decided to give them a try once again.  However, I wanted to do things differently from my mother.  I wanted to cook them a minimal time and add plenty of bacon.  After all, bacon makes everything better!

Well, I am now a convert.  Of course the bacon is wonderful, but with the addition of red pepper flakes and a little sugar, you get the sweet & heat, too.  Just cooking the minimal amount of time to get them tender, but not mushy is key, too.

I now have a new delicious side dish.  While I don’t get terribly excited about pinto beans, I’m thinking next time I make these greens, I will go all out.  I will cook pinto beans and bake up a pan of corn bread to create a perfect Southern meal!  Dad would be so proud!

samoa 030Ingredients:

  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 pound fresh collard greens, (I used bagged ones)

Directions:

In a large pot over medium-high heat, cook bacon until crisp.

Remove bacon from pan, crumble and return to the pan.

Add onion, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

Add garlic, and cook until just fragrant.

Add collard greens, and fry until they start to wilt.

Pour in chicken broth, and season with salt, pepper, sugar, and red pepper flakes.

Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes, or until greens are tender.

(Note:  If you like more heat, add several drops of hot sauce before serving).

Adapted from:  All Recipes.com