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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
In the last few years I moved from the frozen north (zone 4 gardening) to the South-some would say the deep south, with gardening zone 8 and triple digit summer temperatures regularly. (Never did I think I would consider 85 degrees "cool: but it is down here, LOL!) In that kind of summer heat most of the garden burns up by June if left unprotected in full sun. Fortunately the things that survive are both healthy and tasty, so I am always looking for as many recipes as possible for those "standbys"...collards, sweet potatoes, okra, southern peas (crowder, blackeye, field), and mustard greens. If the weather continues to deteriorate, knowing how to cook such "survivor" vegetables could come in very handy. Here are some of my favorite fixes for these heat resistant vegetables.

Collards are huge-leafed greens. You lay them down and cut out the center rib (I do have a recipe for pickling them I have not tried yet). Then the leaves are stacked, rolled into a cigar shape, and sliced into strips. They cook down a LOT, so a huge pot of greens (4 quarts) will end up making 2 cups of cooked greens or so. The thing that makes collards so memorable is the southern seasoning for them. Southern folk respect their greens and take pains to make them especially tasty. I have come to love them for their reliability....hot weather, cold weather, they are always growing in the garden.

GRANDMAS BEST IN THE WORLD COLLARDS GREENS 6 servings
3 tablespoons lard or shortening, divided
1 large onion, chopped (onion powder if you are cooking from storage)
6 garlic cloves, minced (garlic powder)
1-1/2 pounds smoked ham hocks (if no meat, try adding some ham flavored soup base instead of salt)
6 cups water
2 teaspoons seasoned salt (omit if using ham soup base)
1 to 3 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes (or tabasco sauce, or whatever hot stuff you prefer)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 large bunch collard greens (about 2 pounds), coarsely chopped
1-1/2 cups white wine (I omit this, pleanty of flavor already. Maybe I'll try beer one of these days)
In a 6-qt. stockpot, heat 1 tablespoon lard over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until tender. Add ham hocks, water, seasoned salt, pepper flakes, and sugar. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 55-60 minutes or until meat is tender.Add collard greens, wine, and remaining lard. Return to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 55-60 minutes or until greens are very tender. Remove meat from bones; finely chop and return to pan. Discard bones. Serve with a slotted spoon.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 204 calories, 9g fat (3g saturated fat), 19mg cholesterol, 849mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 7g fiber), 10g protein.

You can make slaw from any cabbage family vegetable....yes, even collards. They need a robust dressing though, or they will overpower it. Shredding them is hard work so I use the blender to chop them fine. Then I dress them.

COLLARD GREEN SLAW Yield: 6 to 8 servings
1 bunch collard greens, stems removed and shredded 1 cup thinly sliced radish
(about 8 cups) 1⁄2 cup matchstick carrot
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced 1⁄2 cup apple cider vinegar
1⁄4 cup sugar 2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons celery seeds 1 1⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt
1⁄2 teaspoon ground dry mustard 1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper
In a large bowl, combine greens, radish, carrot, and shallot. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, stir together vinegar, sugar, canola oil, celery seeds, salt, mustard, and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat. Pour over collard mixture, stirring to combine. Refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving. Store, covered, in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

COLLARD SLAW WITH WARM BACON DRESSING (Weight Watchers, 1 smart point per svg)
Total Time 31 min Prep 15 min Cook 6 min Serves 16
Stacking and rolling the collard leaves before slicing them, allows you to cut them into thin, even strips.
1 pound(s), leaves only Uncooked collard greens
3 cup(s) Shredded red cabbage
1 cup Shredded carrot(s)
3 TB Vegetable oil
2 slices, thinly sliced raw turkey bacon
1/4 c Apple cider vinegar
1 TB whole grain type dijon Mustard
1 tsp sugar
Stack collard leaves in small piles; roll tightly and slice into thin strips.Transfer to a large mixing bowl; add cabbage and carrots. Toss; set aside.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When oil shimmers, add bacon; cook bacon, stirring frequently, until crisp, 5-6 minutes. Transfer bacon to mixing bowl; set aside.
Remove skillet from heat; carefully stir in vinegar, mustard and sugar. Pour vinegar mixture over slaw; toss to coat and let sit for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with bacon; serve.
Serving size: 1/2 c
If you prefer your collards in smaller pieces, give the julienned collards a rough chop.

I thought using them as wraps was wierd, but apparently not. They hold up far better than lettuce used as a wrap in asian cuisine
.
COLLARD GREEN CHICKEN SALAD WRAPS 4 servings
1/2 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon curry powder 2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning Freshly ground black pepper
4 cups (about 1 pound) shredded or chopped cooked chicken 1/4 cup raisins, regular or
golden
1/2 bunch collard greens, tough center stems removed
Mix the yogurt, mayonnaise, curry powder, scallions, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Add the chicken and raisins and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt, pepper, or curry powder as needed.
Place the collard green leaves shiny-side down on a work surface. Divide the chicken salad among the leaves, placing the chicken salad across the top. Roll each leaf up like a burrito: Fold the bottom up over the filling, fold the sides in, and then roll tightly from the bottom up. Cut each wrap in half if desired (or if the leaf naturally splits where the stem is).

It goes without saying that collards make a good cooked green. I have it in stir frys often. My favorite is this recipe for "eggroll in a bowl" sometimes called "collard crack" due to its addictive taste! (Its also low carb).
EGGROLL IN A BOWL OR CRACKSLAW 4 svg
2 TB soy sauce
2 TB hot sauce
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp splenda
2 lb lean gr beef
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 lbs cabbage or mixed stir fry veg (carrot, broccoli, bell peppers, onions, COLLARDS, etc shredded
2 tsp oil (sesame is nice but not mandatory)
Add all ingredients to the largest pot you have. Cook over med high heat 10 min. or until beef in browned and vegetables al dente. STIR CONSTANTLY. As soon as beef is done this can be served. Per serving: cal 339, fat 14 g, carbs 4.5 gr, protein 23 gr.

PICKLED COLLARD STEMS – WASTE NOT WANT NOT
2 pounds collard green stems 8 cups water
48 cups distilled water 1/4 cup pickling salt
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (5% acidity) 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon black peppercorns 8 bay leaves
1 poblano chile, cut into 2-inch squares 1 serrano chile, cut into 8 rings
1/2 teaspoon pink peppercorns 6 garlic cloves, crushed
Fill a 2-gallon stockpot half-full with water. Place 8 (1-quart) jars and their lids in the water bath. Bring to a boil and boil 5 minutes to sterilize the jars and lids. Remove the jars and lids using tongs or a jar lifter. Reduce heat to low and maintain a simmer. Fill a sink with cold water. Place a cutting board near the sink. Cut the collard green stems into 2-inch pieces and rinse in cold water. Drain. Bring the 8 cups water to a boil in a separate stockpot over medium-high. Blanch the stems, 2 cups at a time, in the boiling water, 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a medium bowl with ice and water. Transfer the blanched stems to the ice bath. Bring the distilled water to a boil in a 2-gallon stockpot over medium. Add the pickling salt, vinegars, peppercorns, and bay leaves, and cook until the salt is dissolved.
Transfer the collard green stems to the hot sterilized jars; top evenly with the chiles, pink peppercorns, and crushed garlic.
Pour the pickling salt mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a liquid measuring cup, reserving the peppercorns. Discard the remaining solids. Divide the black peppercorns evenly among the jars. Pour enough of the pickling liquid evenly into the jars to cover the collard green stems, filling to 1⁄2 inch from the top of each jar.
Wipe jar rims; cover at once with metal lids, and screw on bands (snug but not too tight). Place jars in simmering water in the stockpot. Add additional boiling water as needed to cover by 1 to 2 inches. Simmer about 20 minutes or until jar lids are set. (Follow the jar manufacturer’s instructions for a good seal.)
Remove from heat. Cool jars in the water bath for 15 minutes. Transfer the jars to a cutting board; let stand at least 3 days before using. Store in a cool, dry place at room temperature. Refrigerate after opening.

What about okra?

OKRA CRISPS
1 pound fresh okra
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
Rinse the okra and slice each pod lengthwise. Place the sliced okra in a large bowl with enough water to completely cover. Add the vinegar and mix well. Let stand for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Drain and rinse the sliced okra. Pat dry with paper towels.
Place the prepared okra in a large bowl and drizzle over the olive oil. Sprinkle in the salt and garlic powder. Toss until all pods are coated evenly with the oil and seasonings.
Put the seasoned okra on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake
for 20 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking time.
Remove from the oven and lower the temperature to 170 degrees. When the oven has cooled to 170, return the pan to the oven and prop the door open. Continue to bake for 2-3 hours or until crisp. Remove from the oven and cool for at least 30 minutes.
May be stored at room temp for 2-3 days
Serving: 1g | Calories: 70kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 299mg | Potassium: 341mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 812IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 1mg

Okra I also use as a side vegetable. Since some of my diners find its mucilaginous texture odd, I usually leave it whole, just trimming off the tip and the stem, then sauteeing until tender. This also looks very nice in a stir fry.
The slices dehydrate well, for use in soups during the winter months. And okra can be sprayed with fat spray, then tossed with shake and bake, then baked alonside the chicken as a side dish.

Sweet potatoes I generally prefer simply baked then split open and buttered, just like irish potatoes. They also can be cut in strips, tossed with oil and baked for oven fries. In the phillipines, the leaves and stems are also eaten as greens. I have tried them too, and they are delicious, not spinachy at all, but rather taste like a cross between snow peas and snap beans. The leaves and the leaf stems are what are generally eaten.

BAKED SWEET POTATO WEDGES
sweet potato wedges
3 sweet potatoes cut in 6 wedges each
1/3 c oliveoil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsppepper
2 tb rosemary
Cut sweet potatoes into long wedges. Toss with oil to coat. Combine salt, pepper and rosemary. Sprinkle evenly over wedges, mixing to coat evenly. Place on cookie sheet standing with the pointy side up and the skin side down; bake in a preheated 400 deg for 30-40 min until soft and roasted. Dip in ketchup or cocktail sauce.

I like croquettes any time, even for breakfast!
SWEET POTATO CROQUETTES
Sweet potatoes
Bread crumbs
Margarine
Wash potatoes thoroughly. Cook until soft. Peel potatoes while hot. Mash immediately with electric mixer, beating until snooth. (potato fibers will cling to beaters). Chill mashed potatoes for several hours. Shape into uniform croquettes approsimately 3 x 1 ¼ inch. Roll in bread crumbs. Fry in margarine, turning so all sides brown, serve at once. Croquettes may be frozen and reheated in an oven at 325 for 20 min. for a quickie side dish.

Southern "Peas" are basically cooked like dried beans. There are very few cultivars that also have edible green pods that are eaten like snap beans, but most are too fibrous. I have found the yellow-eye field peas are mild flavored and superior to Great Northern beans in any recipe. I am still eating my way through the various kinds available at the grocery stores (the smaller towns have best selections here of local type foods) but I am quite fond of "field peas" as they are called. I cook and use them like any dry bean and find their flaavors both varied and interesting. And then again there is that southern standard legume...boiled peanuts! Absolutely delicious! They can also be canned (just like the ones you can get at Walmart).

Now, before I run out of space I will finish by saying that these "weather extreme resistant" crops are delicious, healthful, and perhaps a life saver in the face of the weather extremes that are becoming the norm. They have a spot in my garden, and will continue to do so as famine insurance at the very least.
 

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Roast groundhog supreme.

I LOVE GROUND HOG!

Take one large, skinned groundhog and remove the feet.

Simmer just under boiling for two hours.

Rub it down in bacon grease.

Drape the carcass in pepper bacon or sliced fat back and use toothpicks to anchor in place.

Cut 4 sweet potatoes length wise into quarters, do the same with 4 regular potatoes and stuff the body cavity with them, you can add carrots and chunks of corn ear if you like, but it all ends up tasting like sweet potato anyway. Drizzle in a cup of cooking oil and wrap in tin foil and place over a medium fire and rotate/ flip every twenty minutes and check after two hours, if the sweet potatoes are soft and brown your meat is either ready or within a few minutes of being so.



Serve with boiled corn, green beans and beer cornbread or use the broth if you don't use beer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Magus you are my kinda cook...beer and bacon make anything delectable . I haven't found any groundhogs yet but I bet it would be good with 'dillos too.
 
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