Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Collard Greens

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Hope everyone has a happy, healthy, prosperous New Year.  In the south we eat collards on New Year's Day to bring us wealth.  I know this recipe is a little late, but put it away for 2012.  These collards are delicious!  My family members (except my husband) are not too fond of collards.  As a matter of fact, I usually make spinach (because it's green) to represent wealth in the New Year.  But this year I was determined to make collards. 

Many years ago my friend gave me this recipe saying they were the best collards she had ever eaten.  Well, my family agrees.  They are definitely the best!  Unfortunately, I halved the recipe because I was afraid no one would like them ("oh, ye of little faith"), and I should have doubled it because everyone wanted more.  Hey, maybe it's not too late.  I'm sure you'll still find fresh collard greens in the grocery store.  Collards may not really bring wealth, but this will give you a great recipe to bring to your family dinner table.

Collard Greens

1 large bunch of fresh collard greens
2 Tablespoons bacon grease
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
6 oz. fat back or a ham hock
(My friend uses the ham hock.  I didn't have either so I put in some uncooked bacon)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon soda
1 quart water

Pull leaves of the collards from the stems and discard the stem.  Chop or tear the leaves.  Wash them thoroughly in cold water.  In a large saucepan combine all ingredients.  Boil slowly for 2 hours until tender.  Makes 4 to 6 servings.

**These are best if cooked a day ahead, chilled and reheated.  I made mine in the morning and put them in the fridge to chill.  That evening, I just put them in the microwave to reheat and served.  Easy and convenient.

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