P has started our newest family tradition. It’s called “last minute holiday cooking.”
Case in point: Thanksgiving Eve. At 11 p.m., after all the stores closed (and I was snug as a bug in my PJs), P suddenly decided he MUST make his mother’s famous pecan pie for dessert the next day. Until the wee hours of the morning he dutifully chopped pecans, painstakingly mixed the ingredients with the hand-mixer, and attended to his darling pies as they baked in the oven. The next morning, just before the start of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, he proudly displayed his golden brown pecan pies, ready for the afternoon’s feast.
They were delicious… and they were made at the very last minute.
So, it should not have come as a surprise when, on New Year’s Day, my sweet Georgia-boy of a fiancé frantically declared that he COULD NOT have wealth in 2016 without his precious collard greens. Only a few short hours before our gathering with friends, P announced to our hostess that he was bringing greens for dinner.
This resulted in a wild Google search for collard greens recipes. Correction: A collard greens recipe that you could complete, start to finish, in about an hour and a half. For all you collard greens virgins like myself out there, please note that this is nearly impossible, as most recipes suggest you let the greens simmer for anywhere from six to eight hours, AT THE VERY LEAST.
2 – 3 tbsp. of olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of a large pot)
5 slices of organic, preservative-free bacon
1 extra large onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tsp. salt (we eyeballed it)
1 tsp. pepper (we also eyeballed this)
3 cups of organic chicken broth (we used just over 3 cups)
2 pinches of red pepper flakes (add more for extra heat)
1 1/2 pounds of fresh, organic collard greens, cut into 2-inch pieces
The first and most labor-intensive step is to wash, dry, and chop the collard leaves.
We like to prep all of our ingredients before we start cooking, so we used our Pampered Chef Handy-Chopper to dice our onion and garlic. It cuts preparation time in half.
These collard greens will be sure to keep the vampires away. Check out the garlic!
When your vegetables are chopped and ready to go, heat the olive oil in a large pot on the stove. P and I are limited with our cookware these days so we used the largest and shiniest metal pot we could find.
When the oil is hot, add the strips of bacon and cook until crisp.
Once crisp, remove the bacon from the pan and crumble.
Return the bacon to the pan and add the onion. Cook until soft.
Next, add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
Side note: Between the onions, garlic, and collards, this is a pretty stinky meal. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Finally, you are ready to add your greens.
Fry the greens until they begin to wilt.
Next, pour in the chicken broth.
Season with salt and pepper. And, most importantly, don’t forget the red pepper flakes!
Mix well and reduce heat to low.
The most miraculous part of this recipe is that you only need to simmer the greens for 45 minutes! (Or until the greens are tender.) We will let you in on a little secret – P and I simmered our greens for a little over an hour, just because we had some extra time. The longer you simmer, the better the flavor.
The large pot also made our greens very easy to transport. We loaded this baby into the back of my Ford Escape and drove it to our friends’ house without spilling.
P’s collard greens were such a hit with our friends on New Year’s Day that we made a second batch to take to my parents’ house the next weekend. It’s the perfect combination of bitter greens, smoky bacon, and spicy red pepper. Here’s to last minute holiday cooking!
Eat your greens for wealth in 2016!
… and P.