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    Creamed Collards

    Source of Recipe

    From "The Southerner's Cookbook" by the editors of Garden & Gun

    Recipe Introduction

    "Tradition says eating greens on New Year's Day brings wealth. But there's another reason Southerners cook collards in the winter; they're ripest for picking after a few hard frosts, which turn starches inside the tobacco-size leaves into sugars. Frost-kissed collards don't need to stew for hours and hours to soften their assertive, sulfurous flavor. In this twist on tradition, they're simply sliced into a chiffonade, then given a steakhouse-style creamed spinach treatment, accented with aromatic nutmeg and roasted garlic. If the blanching step seems fussy, know that it's for a good reason. A quick bath in boiling water helps soften the sturdy leaves for quicker cooking. Dunking them in ice water helps preserve their green color."

    List of Ingredients

    ◦ 1 whole head of garlic, unpeeled, cloves intact
    ◦ 1 teaspoon olive oil
    ◦ Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    ◦ 4 pounds collard greens, rinsed, tough stems removed, cut into ribbons
    ◦ 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
    ◦ 1 red onion, finely diced
    ◦ 3 cups heavy cream
    ◦ ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


    Preheat the oven to 325° F. Slice the top quarter off the whole garlic bulb and discard the top. Put the bulb, cut-side up, in the center of a square of foil. Pour the oil on top of the garlic and sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Bundle the foil to make a pouch and roast for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and, when cool enough to handle, squeeze out the roasted garlic pulp into a small bowl and mash it well.

    Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil over high heat. In a large bowl, prepare an ice-water bath. Blanch the collards in the boiling water in two batches. Drain, then shock the collards in the ice-water bath, then remove and squeeze with clean hands to extract all the excess liquid from the greens.

    Put the butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat and, when it foams, after 2 to 3 minutes, add the onion. Sauté for 3 minutes to just soften. Add the cream and whisk in the roasted garlic, the nutmeg, 1 tablespoon salt, and 2 teaspoons pepper and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the blanched greens and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the cream is slightly reduced and the greens are tender. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if desired. Serve hot.

    Serves 8




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