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Article: Collard Greens - Washing, Cooking, Eating, Freezing and some healthy "Likker": Great Info!

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Forum: Article: Collard Greens - Washing, Cooking, Eating, Freezing and some healthy "Likker"Replies: 50, Views: 297
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jadajoy
Newport News, VA
(Zone 11)

November 29, 2007
11:25 AM

Post #4242146

Really enjoyed the article! Thanks for the info on freezing. Now I can always have some on hand. And yes, Collards have the most nutritional value of all the veggies. It tops the list! Thanks again Dea!

jordankittyjo

jordankittyjo
Bessemer, AL
(Zone 8b)

November 29, 2007
12:23 PM

Post #4242209

great article! i learned a faster way to clean collards, and will try it. it usually takes me 2 hours to clean a mess
Riverland
Northeast, LA
(Zone 8a)

November 29, 2007
1:09 PM

Post #4242287

I really enjoyed this article too. I save and freeze the pot Likkar of a really good tasting batch . This helps make another batch that just doesn't have the flavor or a little bitter very tasty.
LariAnn
Miami, FL
(Zone 10a)

November 29, 2007
2:31 PM

Post #4242540

A fun article to read and make me hungry. Now, how can I do the greens without using the bacon (I'm a vegetarian)? Can't wait for THAT recipe!
debnes_dfw_tx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

November 29, 2007
2:34 PM

Post #4242555

Nicely written Dea!

You have a way with words, and an even better tooth for cooking!

You're so right about the cooking not loosing any nutritional value, in fact when greens are cooked they are much more nutritious than raw. My dad would say the likker is learropin, lol.

:-)

jordankittyjo

jordankittyjo
Bessemer, AL
(Zone 8b)

November 29, 2007
2:42 PM

Post #4242611

LariAnn, use lots of garlic, onions, and pepper, and tony's seasoning
Dea
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6a)

November 29, 2007
2:51 PM

Post #4242658

Ya know what's making me chuckle? Look at all the comments so far - no Northerners - ha! They don't know what they're missing!

You're right on the money j-kittyjo on your advice for LariAnn :)

jordankittyjo

jordankittyjo
Bessemer, AL
(Zone 8b)

November 29, 2007
3:08 PM

Post #4242753

thanks Dea
svplantingfool
South Venice, FL
(Zone 9b)

November 29, 2007
3:53 PM

Post #4242904

Great article! As a transplanted Northerner, I grew up in MA, there's nothing I like better than a big ole pile of yummy greens! Thanks for the recipe.
Cathy

victorgardener

victorgardener
Lower Hudson Valley, NY
(Zone 6b)

November 29, 2007
5:26 PM

Post #4243257

Northerner here! I like them - not my favorite greens though. Good article!
BronxBoy
Lawrenceville, GA
(Zone 7b)

November 29, 2007
8:53 PM

Post #4243816

Great article Dea!

We fixed up a bunch so we could process them. Mrs Bronx made us both a cup of "likker".

It was GOOOOOOD!
Clementine
Chapel Hill, NC
(Zone 7b)

November 29, 2007
9:54 PM

Post #4244042

Great article on collards. I'd like to contribute my recipe, which is esp. good for vegetarians - i.e. no meat, bacon, etc. It is just slightly adapted from one of the Jane Brodie books:

Wash, clean, cut and blanch like Dea says.

Heat a little olive oil in a largish pan, add chopped garlic to taste, cook lightly.

Add the drained collards, toss around in the pan, then add some of the cooking water, about a 1/4 to 1/2 cup (the original recipe says to use chicken broth), add a little black pepper and cook, covered, for about 11-12 minutes. FINISHED.

I can imagine that most Southerners would find it undercooked, but if you can eat green beans, for instance, that are not cooked mushy, then you will like this too. I make this quite a bit. Sometimes I add a tiny pat of butter, DH adds vinegar. He is from Pennsylvania and I am also not a Southerner but wherever we go there are always good things to eat.
Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

November 29, 2007
9:56 PM

Post #4244046

Oh m'goo'ness!... I practically live off collards in the Winter!

I don't dare cook them 2 hours though but some varieties certainly need to be cooked longer than others. I prefer "cabbage collards" over all others and I pick them when fairly young so that has a lot to do with the cooking time I'm sure.

Good topic, Dea! I could go on and on about collards! Cook 'em with smoked ham hock, or salted fatback(!), or when I cook them so the veggie wife can eat them I omit any meat and add a cube or so of Knorr's vegetarian bouillon to the water (plus a pinch of red pepper flakes, salt). Yummy!

Fortunately where I live I don't have to freeze any, I get to grow them all Winter here! I bet you could, too, BB! Just harvest the lower leaves each time you want a batch and let the plant keep on growing!

Thanks, Dea!
Shoe (heading to the collard patch!)
Dea
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6a)

November 29, 2007
10:03 PM

Post #4244071

Thanks Clementine!!

Shoe, I'm going to try that next season - we start them so early in late Feb, but have always feared the freezes we get here - sometimes just bitter for weeks in the single digits :(

I ate half a pot last Sunday and drank my likker instead of hot tea - slept like a baby :)

ceeadsalaskazone3
Seward, AK

November 30, 2007
12:25 AM

Post #4244497

Way North here, in Seward, Alaska and I make do with turnip greens, never been south, any comparision?
Carol
Dea
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6a)

November 30, 2007
12:33 AM

Post #4244536

Howdy hi Carol! Never used just turnip greens - anyone else know the taste difference?

I will say something funny though - I don't wear make-up; just not my style :) So whenever I do make up a pot of greens and am tasting as I go, DH will always come by after I taste and gimme a nice kiss - he always says "mmmm, you're wearing 'slipstick' :)

ceeadsalaskazone3
Seward, AK

November 30, 2007
8:46 AM

Post #4245839

Hi Dea, sometimes I just go to the store and buy two packages of spinach and do that same recipe above, just wilting it down w/bacon bits and fresh garlic
BronxBoy
Lawrenceville, GA
(Zone 7b)

November 30, 2007
11:25 AM

Post #4245891

Turnips have a little bit more of a peppery taste to me. Other than that the cooking methods are the same. We like to add the roots to the pot. Same thing with rutabagas

For a real treat, my wife sometimes makes a mixed green pot using mustards, turnips, collards and kale.

Very good

BB

jadajoy
Newport News, VA
(Zone 11)

November 30, 2007
1:42 PM

Post #4246192

I agree --turnips have a little more kick to them and my mom, who is from Georgia, mixed all the greens in one pot just like your wife does Bronxboy. BTW I lived in the Bronx also :-)
debnes_dfw_tx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

November 30, 2007
2:33 PM

Post #4246369

LOL slipstick Dea!

Another good recipe for greens.. I learned it from an Italian neighbor lady when I lived in NJ:

Garlic, Sun dried tomatoes, Olive Oil and any kind of greens... She used Spinach. It cooks up in less than 15 minutes. (Spinach takes less time to cook.) With other greens ya might cook it an hour or two and add the garlic in the last 10 min.
Lovely side for any Pasta dish..

debnes


BronxBoy
Lawrenceville, GA
(Zone 7b)

November 30, 2007
2:42 PM

Post #4246403

Shoe:

We do keep a patch going through the winter. It seems the get sweeter with every frost.

Hi Jadajoy:

Hello to a native. I so miss NY pizza. I'm making a trip right after the new year.

BB

jordankittyjo

jordankittyjo
Bessemer, AL
(Zone 8b)

November 30, 2007
4:12 PM

Post #4246696

i have collards growing year long also. my favorite greens are beet greens and the rabbits ate them all.
debnes_dfw_tx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

November 30, 2007
6:49 PM

Post #4247159

I'll be there the week of 23-30 Dec..
Spending Christmas with MIL in Montclair about 30 min away from NYC.

:-S
BronxBoy
Lawrenceville, GA
(Zone 7b)

November 30, 2007
8:22 PM

Post #4247513

So we can call you a Joizie girl!

LOL
Dea
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6a)

November 30, 2007
9:40 PM

Post #4247799

I still haven't eaten our beet greens yet - why haven't I thought of that? Thanks!!

BB - that mixed pot sounds wonderful :)

Have fun in the "City" deb!!
debnes_dfw_tx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

November 30, 2007
10:04 PM

Post #4247913

Thx Dea and BB!

Actually I'm a 3rd gen. Texan, lol... But I really love it up there and love the people dearly!
Still don't mind if you call me a Joisie girl, lol. Lived there 3 years and really kinda melted into the place...As a locksmith in Montclair I got to know so many wonderful people from NJ and NY up close and personal.

debnes



BronxBoy
Lawrenceville, GA
(Zone 7b)

November 30, 2007
10:54 PM

Post #4248142

Dea:

Do you ever can them?

I did last year and they were great. I was running our of room in the freezer.

BB
Dea
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6a)

November 30, 2007
10:57 PM

Post #4248150

I wish I was more self confident in canning (jars) things that are naturally non-acidic. I can maters, but have not done greens - silly of me now, isn't it? They've got so much vinegar and hot sauce :)

Thanks BB for a reminder that I need to get over this silliness and put up a mess :)
BronxBoy
Lawrenceville, GA
(Zone 7b)

November 30, 2007
11:01 PM

Post #4248162

Well we are still newbies.

Last year we just blanched them and put them in the jar. They only problem we had was that it seem to soak up all of the water. But they were fine when we ate them

This year, we prepared them as if we were preparing them for the table, meat and all. And then we pressure canned them under 15PSI for about 20 minutes. They look very, very nice.

BB
debnes_dfw_tx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

November 30, 2007
11:08 PM

Post #4248179

Gotta love those pressure cookers.

Dea
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6a)

November 30, 2007
11:11 PM

Post #4248188

Ours gets a great workout at least once a week :) Not for canning greens, but for lovely kosher chickens :)

This spring, we shall try this BB and thanks!!
debnes_dfw_tx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

November 30, 2007
11:22 PM

Post #4248236

Magnes (dh) is of the Kosher persuasion, so I learned how to kosher... It's a delicious way to cook!
You'll have to share that recipe.

:-)
gardenwife
Newark, OH
(Zone 5b)

December 2, 2007
4:37 PM

Post #4253612

I've never rinsed greens by your method. It sure sounds easier than how I've done them in the past. If you're not going to cook greens right away, how do you store them once rinsed?

Quoting: Ours gets a great workout at least once a week :) Not for canning greens, but for lovely kosher chickens :)


Oh, that chicken is so good! That was the aroma that greeted us that Sunday evening we showed up at Dea's doorstep back when Howie and I stayed at her house during the time we were in Maryland for his back surgery. She uses the chicken for various things over the next several days. It's a great way to have good meat at the ready.
Dea
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6a)

December 2, 2007
4:43 PM

Post #4253630

We just blanch them, lay them on a sheet tray to dry, then put them in the freezer in ziploc bags.

LOL - and that de-fatted broth from the chickens then became a nice batch of "liquid love" for Howie the day he couldn't eat before surgery :) What a miracle that surgery was!!
gardenwife
Newark, OH
(Zone 5b)

December 2, 2007
8:14 PM

Post #4254236

And how.

Can you freeze them without blanching them first? What does blanching do, exactly?
Dea
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6a)

December 2, 2007
10:35 PM

Post #4254768

In this case, it helps the greens to keep their "green" bright color and stops the chlorophyll from leaching out. It also gives me a head start on the cooking process when I'm ready :)

gardenwife
Newark, OH
(Zone 5b)

December 3, 2007
6:51 AM

Post #4256328

So that's how to keep their color. I never knew that. And I never thought about drinking the likker, either. You'd definitely reap the benefits of your greens by drinking that.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

October 7, 2009
7:54 PM

Post #7145187

Mustard, collards, turnips, and spinach!

And Farmerdill and Horseshoe taught me how to clean a HUGE batch of fresh picked mustards and collards in just 20 minutes on New Year's morning, this year.

I did it outside in the grass, using two 18 gallon RubberMaid tubs, salt and my garden hose. Fill one tub with fresh water for rinsing. Fill the other tub 1/2 to 2/3 with water. Add enough table salt in that water to float an egg (or at least make it bob up and down). I used 6 boxes ot table salt (I've since learned to buy a huge bag at Sam's/Costo) for $4. I'm still using that salt up.

I used my kitchen shears to cut the leaves from the plants (my leaves are 24". I cook them overnight in a crock pot, so the size and toughness don't matter once I cook em). Mash the pile of leaves down to the bottom of the salt brined water. IMPORTANT: You can leave those tough collard leaves under the water for up to 5 minutes or so with no problem. However, because the Mustard greens are much more tender, leaving them under the salt brine for more than about 2-3 minutes will begin to COOK your leaves, so work quickly with the mustard greens leaves! I piled these up on the grass first and when I had a good batch I mashed them all down under the water at once, and then swished em around for just about a minute or so and pulled them out.

As you pull your leaves from the salt brine, immerse them into the fresh water bath in the other container. Then, pull your leaves out and hit em front and back with your garden hose. You'll get a rhythm and a production line going after awhile, and you can see why this is done outside (But you can do this quickly after awhile, and no kitchen mess to clean up!).

I guarantee that ANYTHING clinging to a leaf, that was once alive when it went into that salt brine, will die IMMEDIATELY and float to the top of the brine. I swore I checked every leaf front and back before I dunk it and I'll be doggone if I didn't see some little green wormies floating by!

I'll never clean greens inside again...

P.S. No need to "can" greens after you blanch 'em if you have a vacuum sealer. Just blanch em (I do mine quicker than Dea - plunge a batch to the bottom of the boiling water and almost immediately lift 'em out --- then plunge into the sink filled with water and ice cubes to shock 'em and stop them from cooking).

Put them into the vacuum bags and seal, but be careful there's not too much pot likker in the bag or it'll mess up your seal and countertop oozing out!) Or, just put them into gallon Ziplok freezer bags and use a straw to suck out as much air as you can -- don't suck up that juice cause you'll choke yourself! :-)

Linda

Here's the link to "Lilly Mae's Greens". It looks involved, but you can do this in 20 minutes and go to bed...

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/p.php?pid=6284693

This message was edited Oct 8, 2009 11:18 AM
Dea
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6a)

October 7, 2009
8:14 PM

Post #7145287

Thanks Linda for that link - super info :)

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

October 7, 2009
8:45 PM

Post #7145409

Dea,
Thank YOU for reminding me to pull out all those freezer bags of greens I put up earlier this year! I think I was hoarding them until I knew I really could grow more. I have seedlings going out this weekend (a whole month earlier than last year), so I guess it's safe to eat the ones I already have, huh?

Thanks again! Great article!
BronxBoy
Lawrenceville, GA
(Zone 7b)

October 8, 2009
3:43 PM

Post #7147975

LOL

I call these Zombie threads because you think the things are long dead and gone and BANG! They come back.

We clean our greens the same exact way Gym. Wifey is a pro at it.

We look like we are going to have a great greens year!

BB

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

October 8, 2009
4:17 PM

Post #7148071

"Wife-y???!!!"

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

October 8, 2009
4:20 PM

Post #7148083

:-)
BronxBoy
Lawrenceville, GA
(Zone 7b)

October 8, 2009
5:30 PM

Post #7148313

LOL

It's OK. She lets me call her that.


BB

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

October 8, 2009
5:41 PM

Post #7148342

Ok. Long as she LETS you call her that. "Wives of America, unite!" :-)
BronxBoy
Lawrenceville, GA
(Zone 7b)

October 8, 2009
5:58 PM

Post #7148387

Now you should hear what she calls ME !!!!

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

October 8, 2009
6:08 PM

Post #7148408

Oh, I already KNOW some of those names! :-)
BronxBoy
Lawrenceville, GA
(Zone 7b)

October 8, 2009
6:14 PM

Post #7148417

LOL

And we generally hear them after we've done something that we think is absolutely brilliant.

BB
Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

October 8, 2009
7:05 PM

Post #7148575

Hehehe, ya'll are too funny!

Then again, probably cus I can identify with it!! *grin

Shoe

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

October 8, 2009
7:49 PM

Post #7148705

Hey Shoe!

What'cha doing in the "Dead Zone?"
pgcarroll
Belleair, FL
(Zone 9b)

January 4, 2011
3:52 PM

Post #8292491

Thanks for the article, Dea. I grew up in north Florida and my whole family is a fan of collards. Alas, I was not until we "accidentally" purchased some collard seedlings a few years ago at Lowe's (they were mismarked). Since they were pretty inexpensive, we planted them anyway and thought we'd figure out a way to cook them to our liking. My mom always cooked greens "gray and greasy" with a pork product of some sort and cooking them "to death" in my humble opinion. I just could never get excited about slimy, gray-green greens of any type.

When our mistakes began to grow, we had to try them, so I started with a little bit of some kind of pork - ham, bacon, pancetta - and some onion slices (cut pole to pole). I washed and cleaned the collards (although I cut the ribs out, but will definitely try your method from now on - provided I can figure out which hand should be a fist!). When I rolled them up into what I call a collard cigar, I cut them down the length of the "cigar" and then slice them crosswise into thin strips. After rinsing, the collards retain a bit of water, so I pile them up in the pan with the pork product, add salt and pepper, toss them with tongs to coat then put a lid on them. The small amount of water steams the collards. After only about 3-4 minutes, I remove them from the pan, top them with a little white wine vinegar, and serve. They are so yummy and my husband (who grew up in New York) and I are definitely collard converts.

This started about 3 years ago, and we don't miss an opportunity to plant collard seedlings as soon as they appear at Lowe's in fall. Everyone who walks by our yard (where we have our collards planted in the front yard with all of our other plants) comments on how pretty our "ornamental cabbage" is. When we tell them they're collards, they look at us as if we're crazy. It's awfully nice to have a dinner side dish growing in your front yard and, when we head out on our boat for several weeks, simply stripping the rib and washing them thoroughly, then packaging in plastic bags with all the air squeezed out ensures that we have collards that last for several weeks in our ice box.

As an aside, we are not fans of kale, so if we have a recipe that calls for kale, we simply substitute our ever-present collards. We have yet to be disappointed. We are in zone 9b, and our collards survive any frost or freeze that the strange weather throws at us.

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