Friday, June 24, 2011

I LOVE Collard Greens!

Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOOOOVE Collard greens. They are perhaps my favorite comfort food. But they are not always vegetarian friendly. Every southern aunt will tell you that you absolutely have to add smoked ham-hocks to tthe collard greens. Oh, no! Collards are a fibrous green , so the purpose of the ham-cocks is to provide the fat that the helps break down the green into the soft palatable soul food that we enjoy.  The ham-hocks also add a smokey flavor that can’t beat, or so I was told.
Fall semester finals are here and my nerves are wrecked. I need comfort food to get me through. No problem, just  replace the fat from the ham-hocks with olive oil. But it still needed that smokey flavor. I phoned a friend on this (my mom). The solution: liquid smoke. Duh, the flavor of mesquite in a bottle (what will they think of next?) Thank goodness they thought of fake bacon. That’s right folks.  The salty flavor would come from Morning Stars fake bacon strips. Yum! Here’s the breakdown:
2 lbs of chopped Collard greens
½ of a large red onion
2 teaspoons of chopped garlic
6 strips of Morning Star vegetarian bacon (or any fake bacon product)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cups of water
1 vegetable bouillon cube
I teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
Bragg’s liquid aminos (optional)

The Unusual Suspects
Now here’s what ya gotta do:
-Heat olive oil in  a wok or large frying pan. When the oil is hot add the garlic.
-When garlic is just turning brown add onions. Cook onions till brown.
-Add chopped fake bacon strips.
-When everything is nice and brown and the bacon strips start to crisp, add the collard greens. Stir fry over a medium heat until the greens are wilted. This will smell like heaven but don’t eat it yet!
-While this browning is going on, in a large pot, dissolve the bouillon cube in the water and bring to a light boil.
-When greens are wilted add this to the pot of boiling water, and bring to a boil. Once the greens are a full boil, add the cumin and liquid smoke. then bring the heat to low.
-Let the greens cook for about 2o minutes on low.
*I like to add Bragg’s liquid amino just before serving. It’s sorta like soy sauce but more flavorful. Hot sauce would be nice too.

Study Aid in a Bowl
                                                                                                       Life is Delicious…go taste it!

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