Monday, March 9, 2009

Southern (California) Living

Last night I had a hankerin’ for collard greens and coleslaw.

Which is odd, since I’ve never had collard greens.

I’m not Southern. Not one single gene is from South of the Mason-Dixon line (I actually need to google where that line is…). But some instinct deep inside told me that I could make collard greens as good as any belle of the South. So I went to my favorite inspirational website,, and looked up a top rated recipe for collard greens – and then tweaked the hell out of it to make a pretty wicked dish of greens, bacon and spicy sausage, and coleslaw on the side to relieve the heat.

This is not my picture (wish it was).

SoCal Collards
Serves 3

1 tablespoon garlic olive oil
6 slices turkey bacon*
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon pepper
1 bunch fresh collard greens, chopped
2 cups low sodium chicken broth (if using buillon cubes, go with ½cube for 2 cups)
1 pinch red pepper flakes (or a packet leftover from the last Dominos delivery)
2 big sausages, grilled (I used Italian)
*Note: If you’re using real bacon, just use the bacon grease to cook everything and forget about the olive oil.

1. Use a deep skillet to cook the turkey bacon until browned. It’s not oily, unlike bacon, so you may need to add a dash of garlic oil. Remove from pan.

2. Add the 1Tb garlic oil, garlic and onion to the hot pan. Cook until slightly browned on the edges. It’s ok if the onions begin to caramelize.

3. Add the chopped collard greens and cook down for 5 minutes. Then add the 2 cups of chicken broth and red pepper flakes. I add the fresh ground black pepper at this point too. Simmer for 45 minutes, or until greens are tender.

4. Using a grill, cook the sausages for around 7 minutes on each side to serve along side the greens.

SoCal Coleslaw
Servings: 2

½ bag of broccoli slaw
3Tb diced red onion
2 TB mayonnaise
1 tsp olive oil
1 Tb sugar
¼ tsp salt, pepper to taste
2 tsp white vinegar (or to taste)

1. Mix ingredients together. Taste. I like my coleslaw more on the tart/salty side than the sweet side so I added more salt and vinegar. That's it!
Next Stop: GRITS. I wonder which aisle they're in at Ralphs...


Ashley said...

No, next I think that you'll be making hush puppies, whose lazy name I love more than the side itself! Between the food and the "lolly-gagging" lifestyle in the South, I always gain at least an ounce when I visit there--but it's fun!

Question: Did you use real bacon for your collard greens? I like the picture, too.

(Our Restoration Drama teacher was Southern, remember? I recall because, at the end of the class, I provided him with a postcard to send me my grades, of a Charleston mansion. "Lovely house," he wrote.

LV said...

Don't tell Charles, but I used Turkey bacon (which is why it took 6 slices to equal the taste of maybe 3 slices of the real stuff). Turkey bacon is a whole 'nuther animal, literally and figuratively. It doesn't cook the same way at all.

Mmmmmm, hush puppies. Those are so good. And crabcakes. Though I really do have an inexplicable craving for grits.

Ashley said...

Stop talking or I'll crave grits, too :)

P.S. I made real bacon BLTs last week--delicious!

jawlz said...

I *THOUGHT* it didn't taste entirely like real bacon, and it turns out that it was indeed fake bacon. Or, as I like to call it, FACON. :(

jawlz said...

oh.... btw.... ummm.... aisle, not isle. Unless, that is, Ralph's got a TON COOLER since the last time I was there.