Thursday, June 24, 2010

No Excuses

"That Girl Baby," as my sons call her (and as she will now be referred to on this blog) is now 6 weeks old! That means I'm 100% approved by the doc for runs. Darn! Yay, and darn. All at the same time. I decided Sunday night that if she slept well, I'd meet up with my sis-in-law and neighbor for my old usual 4 mile, 5:45 am run. I was secretly hoping I'd have a rough night, and therefore another excuse to not run, but lo and behold That Girl Baby slept like a champ. 7:30 to 5 am. Just enough time to wake up, feed/change her, put her back to sleep, and be out the door in perfect timing.

It went great! And by "great" I mean, I didn't want to die like I did last time! The hardest part is always making yourself get out the door, but once you "run" out of excuses and you just GO... there is never any regret.

Along the same lines, I had no excuse to not make a side to bring to a BBQ Saturday night even though I was tired and kind of wanted to "forget". I had a whooooole bunch of veggies from CSA that needed usin' up. I had about 20 mysterious huge leaves from CSA that I needed to use before they went bad but I had NO CLUE what they were.

Then I discovered... they were Collard Greens! Is it obvious I'm from the North? Virginia may be below the Mason Dixon Line, but let me tell you Northern Virginia is a whole different world, where the best Sweet Tea you'll find is at a McDonald's and there is nothing slow-paced about anything we do.

So after a little research, it seemed that most people made collard greens by braising them or slow cooking them because the stems are kind of tough. I had about 20 minutes before we were leaving for a friend's house so I tried to make the fast version. (See? Still thinking like a Northern Girl)

Here's how it went...

Quick Sweet and Spicy Collard Greens
adapted from Fine Cooking

10+ large Collard Greens leaves
3-4 slices bacon, chopped
A couple cloves of chopped garlic
1 tbl malt vinegar
1 tbl maple syrup
Red Pepper Flakes
Lemon Juice

So since I was a little scared these would turn out terrible I ADDED BACON! When in doubt, throw some bacon in there and everyone loves it. Proven fact.

To make this cook quickly, I cut out the stems from the leaves

Then piled up the leaf halves

Rolled them up like so

And cut them into "ribbons"

Oops, once your bacon gets crispy, don't forget to add garlic!

Then add in the collard greens and use tongs to toss them up with the bacon grease so that they can cook down. I didn't leave them in there too long though, just 2-3 minutes. Long enough to cook down but still be a bright, healthy looking green (makes you forget they are covered in bacon grease).
Next time I will remove bacon and garlic, let the grease drain on a paper towel, and saute the collards in olive oil instead, adding bacon at the end.

Meanwhile mix the malt vinegar, crushed red pepper and maple syrup

Transfer collard greens to a serving dish, and pour maple syrup mixture on top. Mix it all around! I topped with a squeeze of fresh lemon because it just felt right.

Did I do them right? I'm not sure, but they tasted good to me! Must have been the bacon.

Do you make Collard Greens? How do you do them?

1 comment:

Jessica said...

I absolutely looveee collards. I had them for the first time about 3 months ago! Huge fan! I made then with stewed tomatoes, brown sugar, onion, vinegar, water, red pepper flakes, hmm sure I'm forgetting something but yess i love it! they're soo yummyyyy!