Thursday, February 10, 2011

Results of the Collard Green Throwdown

The first ever collard green throwdown is over!  Too bad that you missed it!  My colleagues and I enjoyed our share of collard greens, mac 'n cheese, cornbread, and iced tea.  Everything was quite delicious.

I am not sure if Amanda will ever prepare collard greens my way, nor I hers.  However, it was fun to try another method and I gained a higher level of respect for a different way to make a dish that I consider mine.  I believe that being open to new ideas is always a good thing.  Culture should not only be preserved, but shared.  So, on that note, we accomplished our goal.

When southerners prepare greens, they never use a recipe.  They are cooked by taste and personal preference.  For that reason, the list and amount of ingredients are not exact.  Salt may need to be adjusted according to the saltiness of the neck bones.  Instead of ground pepper, pepper flakes can be used or dried pod.  If you don't quite like the first batch of collard greens that you prepare, keep trying (besides greens are very nutritious).  As with most things you get better with practice.  The same is true for Asian style cooking.

If you decide to try collard greens, here are my Southern Collard Greens and Amanda's Asian Style.  Below the recipes are pictures on how to cut and wash the greens.

Southern Collard Greens

1 pound collard greens
About 4 smoked neck bones, depending on size
to ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
to ¼ teaspoon salt
⅛ to ¼ teaspoon seasoning salt

1. In a medium saucepan, cover neck bones with about 2 cups of water.  Cook until tender.
2. Remove the main stem of the greens.  Slice diagonally into 1/2 inch wide slices.  Wash greens in at least two changes of water.
3. Drain was much water from the washed greens as possible.  Place greens in saucepan with neck bones.  Cover with lid and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes.  Stir and add the seasonings.  Continue to cook until greens reach the desired degree of doneness.

**Southerners will sometimes add condiments to their greens.  Chopped onions, chow chow (pronounced "cha cha" by Southerners), and hot pepper vinegar are common addition to greens.  These are usually added at the table.

Collard Green Stir-Fry

 Tablespoons vegetable oil, for frying
1teaspoon ginger, finely minced
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 pound collard greens
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce (more or less to taste)
teaspoon cracked black pepper

1. Remove main stem from collard greens.  Stack leaves on top of each other and roll them into a cigar shape.  Cut across greens into 1/2 inch strips.  Wash greens well and drain off water.
2. Add oil to a saute pan over medium high heat until oil is hot.  Add ginger and garlic and fry for 30 seconds (or until fragrant).  Constantly move ginger and garlic with a spatula to keep them from burning.
3. Add washed collard greens to the pan.  Move the greens around in the pan until the greens are wilted.
4.  Add red pepper flakes, vinegar, soy sauce, and black pepper.  Cook for 3-5 minutes longer.  Taste the greens and add more of any ingredient according to your preference.

How to Cut and Wash Collard Greens

Beautiful Collard Greens

To remove the stem, take a paring knife and strip the leaf on each side of the stem

Then snap the center of the stem with the paring knife to remove it 
Stack the leaves and roll them into a cigar; cut across the leaves into ½  inch strips
Wash collard greens at least two times to remove dirt
Washed and cut collard greens ready to be cooked!


  1. After reading your blog, I also began to learn to do these things , But does not seem to you to write so simple Tried several times , I hope you have more to share
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