Thursday, January 10, 2013

Collard Greens to Make a Southern Boy Happy

I was never the child stuck at the dinner table with my elbows on the table and tears running down my cheeks in protest of the leafy greens left on my plate. I love my veggies. Always have. Always will. However, I love them a little bit extra when they are braised with smoked meats and garlic.

It is no secret that I have a small obsession with southern food. If you haven't picked up on this small little detail yet....well, then- SURPRISE..... learn how to read. I just love it. I sometimes think that I may have married my husband for the regular trips to North Carolina that somewhat revolve around which pulled pork sandwich I will stuff in my mouth next. And if any of you have tasted his smoked tri-tip (get your mind out of the gutter, I am not talking about man-meat here).... well, you know where the inspiration for my vows may have come from.

On our last trip to NC over Christmas I became a champ at absolutely devouring collard greens. Ok, ok..... so they aren't deep fried or cooked in their own fat for hours on end.... or even smothered in a tangy BBQ sauce, but holy hell- I am obsessed with this tender smokey dish. And.... wait for it..... it is actually packed with nutrients and health benefits. Ya, I said it.... collard greens are good for you! So give yourself 2 hours or so and get cooking- these are sure to win you some new friends or make your old ones actually like you more.... and these are southern hubby approved!

southern collard greens.

2 pounds collard greens
2 meaty, smoked ham hocks
1 1/2 cups white wine
4 cups chicken broth
3 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1 tsp red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic
2 cups chopped yellow onion
Coarse sea salt
Fresh cracked black pepper

In a large pot, add ham hocks, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, and white wine. Bring to a boil and reduce for about 5 minutes. Add collard greens, vinegar, and chicken broth and bring back to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to low heat and simmer for about 2 hours until greens are very tender and ham hocks are starting to pull apart. Season with salt and pepper and try not to eat the whole pot.

Now... since I have lots of new family that are probably pro at making collard greens.... this was my first time, and while these turned out ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS- I am more than open to suggestions and tips on how you make yours :)

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