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Excellent Holiday Dishes: Collard Greens Are A Compliment To Any Entree If Prepared Properly

Updated on April 3, 2012

Cover of 'Vain Thing' in e-book

Complete preparation instructions

Southern American cooking is indelibly, one of the most flavorful styles of food preparation established in the history of the culinary arts. One dish eludes the duplicators of this style of cooking and that is the preparation of Collard Greens, for the vegetarian or the meat lover. Contrary to popular belief, this is a very healthy dish for the digestive system.

The history of this leafy plant belonging to the cabbage family, is deeply inbedded within the period of American slavery. Slaves weren't given the best of food choices by their owners so they improvised with the loud smelling plant to maintain a healthy diet. The greens that grew wild, boiled in a pot with some salt pork added for flavoring, if the slave was lucky enough to get salt pork, made for a good meal after a long day's work.

The secret is smoked flavoring which can be found in a liquid form, for the vegetarian, or in smoked meats.

1) No matter the amount of Collard Greens you decide to prepare(I would say at least two pounds), always wash the leaves thoroughly in cold water and rinse.

2) I suggest separating the leafy portions from the stems by picking but it's your prerogrative (it shortens the cooking time).

3) According to the amount you have chosen to prepare, bring a pot of water to a boil with either the smoked meat (fresh) inside or for the vegetarian, the smoke flavoring according to the direction's potency of the product. If you don't eat pork, smoked turkey is just as good.

4) Add to the boil your preference of salt i.e Sea Salt or Seasoning Salt with no MSG(0.8 ounces per quart of water); 0.5 ounces of Ground Celery to boil. These ingredients must boil rapidly for at least fifteen minutes before adding the Collard Greens which will cook down in the pot. Reduce heat, cover and allow added ingredients to permeate the leafy vegetable.

5) Cook to desired tenderness and flavor adding a pinch of Garlic Powder towards the end of the low boil;

Best served as a side dish to battered/fried Shrimp and cocktail sauce; although I'll eat them as a main course sometimes. Now don't forget to top and garnish with sliced red tomatoes, chopped white onions and a dash of your favorite Hot Sauce or peppers. Some lovers of this dish even enjoy it with malt or apple cider vinegar( apple cider vinegar is very healthy). Dig in because if they come out right, they won't be around for long.


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