Buck Up

January 22, 2008 at 9:08 am 4 comments

Collards 

So, I’ll be honest with you.  I was feeling pretty gloomy yesterday.  Maybe it was the cold snap here in the Northeast.  Maybe it had to do with the Week of Soup being so much fun that my creative mojo was sapped.  Maybe it was the realization that I only have about three locally grown fresh vegetables left in my fridge and no source for getting more now that we’re about to hit February bang on the nose.   Whatever it was, I was pretty low, and I needed some inspiration. 

Rice

My collards were starting to languish in a similar fashion.  It was crucial that I buck up my lagging culinary juices and figure out something to do with them before their slightly yellowing leaves lost all appeal.  I owed it to these hardy greens to make something of them instead of letting them go to waste.  After all, they’d stuck it out in my crisper drawer for three months, perky and lovely green up until about last Friday.  I guess every vegetable has its breaking point too.

I scoured my cookbooks for ideas.  Nothing.  I turned to some of my favorite online resources.  Nothing.  Don’t get me wrong…there were plenty of recipes to be had but nothing was appealing to gloomy lil’ ol’ me.  I was looking for something with a little more umph that the standard soup (hey, one week of nothing but soup was enough for a while)  or sauteed or braised greens just didn’t have. 

More collards

In the end, I hit up good ol’ Google and came upon this recipe for Creamy Collards and Rice on about.com, of all places.  I don’t know how traditional it is when it comes to southern cuisine, but this recipe was just the ticket to get my wooden spoon wielding again.  Turned out that preparation was so fast and easy, my inner cook was somehow unsatisfied.  I decided to add the coconut milk to jazz it up a bit.  That addition of the creamy sweetness was, if I dare say so, downright inspired!   This preparation is by far the best I’ve ever had for collards.

Yea, baby!  The mojo’s back!

Not looking soo pretty while collards and rice cook

CREAMY COLLARDS & RICE
Adapted from Southernfood.about.com

1 c. stock
½ c. uncooked rice, long-grain such as jasmine
½ T. margarine
Generous pinch of salt
2 c. chopped collard leaves, loosely packed
¼ c. coconut milk
Freshly ground black pepper

Bring stock to a boil.  Add rice, margarine and salt.  Stir while adding collards a small handful at a time.  Bring the mixture to a boil again before reducing heat and simmering for 10-15 minutes or until the broth is absorbed.  Stir in coconut milk and let sit for five minutes.  Fluff with a fork, season generously with pepper and serve.

(serves 2)

Creamy Collards and Rice

Entry filed under: Purely Vegetables, Recipes. Tags: , , , , , .

Week of Soup: Anything Goes A Ruta What?

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. taylor  |  January 22, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    Don’t know if I’ve ever seen that before, but it looks good. I was similarly down this week, and coincidentally added coconut milk to rice over the weekend to great effect – a little coconut milk to curry stir fried rice!

    Reply
  • 2. Jennie  |  January 22, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    Seems there’s a connection between glum moods being uplifted and coconut milk in rice…perhaps we should patent it? 🙂

    Reply
  • 3. gintoino  |  January 23, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    Collards are a type of cabbage, right? I’ve eaten something like this (without the coconut milk) and it was very good. I’ll think of this recipe when I’m feeling adventurous (i’m always afraid of adding the sweetness of coconut milk to food other than indian :-))
    It also reminded me of some dishes you could eat while in northern Portugal. Arroz de grelos (grelos are the flowerbuds of turnips or kale and you make them with rice) and arroz de feijão (rice with beans) They are usualy used as side dishes and both are delicious. If you could be persuaded to eat some seafood arroz de feijão is great with filetes de polvo (octopus filets – the octopus tentacles are fried after passing them in egg yolk and flour)
    By the way I did’nt comment on your soup week but I specialy liked the herbed tofu and vegetable soup. I’m still thinking about the citrosy cream of carrot soup (I’m usualy afraid of mixing fruit in “normal” food😉 )

    Reply
  • 4. Jennie  |  January 23, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    Gintoino – Yep, collards are part of the cabbage family. If you like kale, you could probably do the same with them. The coconut milk wasn’t all that sweet…use the kind that’s 100%, not sweetened, and it’ll be perfect.

    Wow, you have a dish there that uses the flowerbuds of turnips and kale??? I *have* to try that! And the bean one sounds like a good option too. Thank you for telling me about them – I’ve jotted them in my notebook so I’ll have them when staring at menus.🙂 I don’t know about the octopus though… maybe!

    Soup week was fun! The tofu and herbed soup is a definite winner! The citrusy cream of carrot was yummy but not as outstanding as the other. 🙂

    Reply

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