Sunday, January 6, 2013

Collard Greens

Remember those Collard Greens? Well, I attempted to cook them today. Attempted--because I blew it!

Since today is my late son Andrew's birthday and he liked to explore his Portuguese heritage, this is a nod to him. I found a recipe on from Chef Emeril Lagasse for Portuguese Feijoada with Accompaniments: vinaigrette, rice, collard greens. The meal consisted of rice topped with a ham-hock and black bean soup, topped with collard greens sauteed in beer and finished off with a tomato-onion relish. I got to use those beautiful red tomatoes in a vinegar and oil dressing, which turned out beautifully. The fresh parsley really finished it. I really could have eaten that alone!

The main part of the meal was the Feijoada (black bean soup with ham hocks, linguicia sausage and bacon). It was kind of an overkill on pork, but hey, who's complaining? The recipe also called for corned beef, but I just had to stop. I used one of the leeks and some garlic with the bacon to start it off, then, since I had canned black beans instead of dried beans, I added about a quart of water and cooked the ham hocks for a couple of hours. The recipe call for an quartered orange, and I used one from the box. I tossed in one big beautiful bay leaf that I got from my last trip to New Frontier Foods. You can buy spices there from their bulk bins, and I got 15 or so bay leaves for .05 cents. I can fill up most of my spice jars of anything for under a dollar. Anywy, then I added three small cans of black beans from the pantry and cooked the soup down to a thick sauce.

Then to tackle those humugeous collards! I put some olive oil in a large skillet and sauteed some chopped garlic for a minute or two, then add the collards which had been sliced into strips. I sauteed that for a few minutes, then poured in a whole bottle of beer and put the lid on it. I checked it a couple of times as it cooked down. After about 30 minutes, the collards were still a bit bitter and crunchy, so I put the lid back on for more cooking time. I sat down to visit with my brother and help him program his new cell phone. I should have added a little water to the skillet, because all of a sudden I was smelling something...I went to check and yep! I burnt the collards! Dang it. I added some water and gave them a stir, because I was going to eat them anyway. Next time I will cook them lower and slower, allowing about an hour to an hour and a half cooking time.

So we dished up the rice, then the beans, and put a little bit of collard greens on the side, then topped the whole dish with the fresh tomato relish dish, which Emeril referred to as a vinaigrette sauce. Okay, the greens tasted burnt, but it was okay. My brother Alan joined us for dinner and he liked it, too! I paired our dinner with a 2008 Cabernet Franc from Santa Ynez Valley's Buttonwood Farms.

I also made Andrew's favorite mayonnaise cake for dessert, but right now we are too full  to try it. I think I will save it for tomorrow and share it with his sisters when we meet up tomorrow evening.

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