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I've been so excited to start cooking from the new Lee Bros. cookbook, Simple Fresh Southern, ever since I got it in the mail last week. There are a ton of recipes I want to try, and everything I've made so far has turned out really well. I'm always impressed with excellent directions in cookbooks, and these are very well written. The measurements are all accurate (1 1/2 pounds of collard greens really do make about 4 cups once they're sliced), and the timing is good. They even tell you about how long it'll take you to peel your shrimp.

Anyways, last night I made the Collard Greens with Poblano Chiles and Chorizo. I'm making it again tonight, it was such a hit. I'm a sucker for anything with chorizo, either fresh or cured. I love the smoky, vinegary hit it gives to dishes. The recipe recommends fresh chorizo, the kind that crumbles when you cook it, but what I had on hand was dry-cured chorizo, which you have to chop and is already cooked. The flavor is very close, it's really a texture difference. Needless to say, the cured chorizo worked beautifully.

A note on the collard greens: don't buy the pre-washed bagged collard greens unless you absolutely can't spare the 5 minutes it takes to prepare them. The greens are dried out, ragged, the wrong shape for this recipe, and they never remove the ribs. You end up with a big chunk of stem when you are aiming for silky greens. Ick. To wash whole collards, fill up a large bowl or your clean sink with cold water. Swish the leaves around for a bit, then let the collards sit for a minute to let any grit settle to the bottom of the bowl. Gently lift out the leaves, and give them a twirl in a salad spinner if you like. If they still seem gritty, empty out the water and repeat the rinsing. It's easy to pull out the ribs by hand, or just run a sharp paring knife down either side of the rib. Then you just stack up the leaves and cut them into thin slices.

This recipe serves 4 as a side dish, but we had it along with a salad as a main course for two. There wasn't any leftover.

Collard Greens with Poblano Chiles and Chorizo, from the Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern Cookbook

2 teaspoons canola oil
8 ounces of fresh chorizo, casings removed, or 4 ounces cured chorizo, finely diced
3 poblano chiles, seeded and sliced cross-wise into thin strips (you'll have about 3 cups)
1 1/2 pounds of collard greens, ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced (about 4 cups packed)
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon table salt)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic (2 cloves)

Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over high heat. when the oil shimmers, add the chorizo. Cook, chopping up the (fresh) sausage with a spatula or just stir the cured sausage, until it has rendered much of its fat, about 2 minutes. Add the poblanos and cook until they have softened a bit and the sausage is cooked through, another 5 minutes or so.

Add the garlic, half of the collards, the salt, and 2 tablespoons of water to the skillet. Cook, turning the collards with tongs and adding more greens as those in the pan wilt, until all the collards are in the skillet. Continue to cook until the collard have softened and become dark green, about 6 minutes. Add the vinegar and continue to cook until the vinegar has completely evaporated and the pan is try (keep turning the collards) about 3 more minutes. Serve immediately.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 4th, 2010 04:10 am (UTC)
Oh, yum!!!
Jan. 2nd, 2011 03:07 am (UTC)
Even though you posted this 9 months ago, I'm glad I got to try these tonight and that I could print out the recipe right away!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )