Cooking Tough Greens

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Cooking tough greens is not something I do often. Isn't it so much easier to massage some chopped kale with lemon juice? But every once in a while my hands have so many little cuts on them (I'm a seamstress and an embroiderer), that I have to find another way to get my greens.

This recipe is a welcome change. I think it really highlights the greens' extra-oomph, and it always comes out just right.

How to Cook Tough Greens
serves 6 - 8 people

  • Salt
  • 2 lbs. tough greens (kale, collards, mustard, or turnip greens), stemmed, washed and chopped coarse
  • 2 large garlic cloves, sliced very thin
  • 1/4 tsp hot red pepper flakes
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • lemon to taste

1. Stem greens by holding upright, bringing knife down along either side of the stem towards the cutting board. Wash in several changes of cold water and coarsely chop.

2. Bring 2 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add 1 1/2 tsps salt and greens and stir until wilted. Cover and cook until greens are just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain in colander.

3. Run cold water over greens (or fill a bowl with cold water and add greens) to stop cooking process. Gather handfuls of greens and squeeze until much of the water has been shed. Repeat with remaining greens and 'fluff' with fork or fingers to get them to separate a bit.

4. Heat garlic, red pepper flakes, and oil in large sauté pan over medium heat until garlic becomes fragrant and starts to sizzle, about 1 minute. Add greens and stir to coat. Add 1/3 cup chicken stock, cover, and cook over medium-high heat, adding more stock if necessary, until greens are tender and juicy and most of stock has been absorbed, about 5 minutes.

5. Adjust seasonings to taste and finish with a squeeze of lemon. Serve immediately.

Adapted from Cook's Illustrated, Best Recipe

As always, eat well!


By: Elizabeth Fleming | Apr 25, 2018 06:52 AM | Permalink
1/2 pound smoked meat (ham hocks, smoked turkey wings, or smoked neck bones) 1 tablespoon *House seasoning, recipe follows 1 tablespoon seasoned salt 1 tablespoon hot red pepper sauce 1 large bunch collard greens 1 tablespoon butter

*House Seasoning: 1 cup salt 1/4 cup black pepper 1/4 cup garlic powder

In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil and add smoked meat, house seasoning, seasoned salt and hot sauce. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 1 hour.

Wash the collard greens thoroughly. Remove the stems that run down the center by holding the leaf in your left hand and stripping the leaf down with your right hand. The tender young leaves in the heart of the collards don't need to be stripped. Stack 6 to 8 leaves on top of one another, roll up, and slice into 1/2 to 1-inch thick slices. Place greens in pot with meat and add butter. Cook for 45 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. When done taste and adjust seasoning. credit to food network and Paula Dean

My personal tip is cook with a fresh unshelled pecan in the pot it helps with the smell. Also just before you eat the collards add a sprinkle of texas pete pepper sauce, really enhances the flavor.

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