Friday, November 25, 2011

Creamed Collards

I hope everyone had a delightful Thanksgiving feasting with family and friends. I'm still in a thrall over the myriad tastes and treats that were part of my Thanksgiving meal.

My dear friend, John Barrentine, is the best non-professional cook I know. He made a collard dish that was so luxuriously delicious; when I saw collards in today's box, I knew I had to share this recipe.

Turns out, it's a recipe that appeared in this month's issue of Bon Appetit. Of course, John enhanced it a little with a few additions of his own. I'm not sure there is any higher calling for collards than this luscious and creamy dish.

1 bunch collard greens, center stems removed and cut into 1/2" strips
1/4 C cider vinegar
1 t vegetable oil
1/2 C thick-cut smoked bacon, cut into 1/3# pieces
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 leek, finely chopped
1 T + 1 t flour
1 t smoked paprika (or to taste)
3/4 C whole milk
3/4 C heavy cream
salt and pepper

1. Blanch the chopped collards in a large pot of boiling salted water with 1/4 C cider vinegar until bright green and beginning to soften, about 3-4 minutes.

2. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped bacon and cook untiol crisp. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel, reserving the rendered bacon fat.

3. Remove all but 1 T bacon fat and save the rest for another use.

4. Over medium heat, add the chopped shallot and leek to the bacon fat and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

5. Add the flour and the smoked paprika. Stir constantly for 2 minutes.

6. Whisk in the milk and cream and bring to a soft boil, whisking often.

7. Stir in the blanched greens. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until the greens are tender and the sauce thickens, about 30 minutes.

8. Season with salt and lots of pepper. Garnish with the bacon before serving.

Vegetarians may omit the bacon and use vegetable oil instead.

Today's bounty included:

From Underwood Family Farms: colored cauliflower, red leaf lettuce, orange carrots, Easter radishes, spinach, red bell pepper, celery, Satsuma tangerines, and Fuji apples;

From Sage Mountain Farms: baby Torpedo spring onions, collard greens, and acorn squash;

And from Silver Lake Farms: fresh herbs.



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