Monday, January 26, 2009


Collard greens are a very nutritious and inexpensive treat. When my dad was growing up, his mother would buy about 50 cents worth of collard seeds and this would grow enough collard greens to feed them for the entire year. That 50 cents worth of seeds would produce hundreds of collard plants in her backyard garden. When I was growing up, my dad would get them free once or twice a year, they grew wild in the fields by the train tracks in Dog Town a section of Watts. In the late 1950 Collards cost 10 to 15 cent a bunch. When I was teenager the cost of Collards was 5 bunches for a $1.00

5 pounds of collards greens*
2 teaspoon of salt
1 chili pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/3 cup apple vinegar
½ cup margarine
*several large bunches or 2 bags of pre-cleaned collards green

Take the collard greens and separate the leaves and wash them two or three times, now rinse each leaf individually under cold running water. After you rinse the collard greens thoroughly, stack several leaves on top of each other, roll these leaves together. Then slice the leaves into thin strips using a cutting board and large knife. Rolling them together speeds up the process as you are slicing through several leaves at once.
Next, add your collard greens to the pot. Since this is a lot of collards, you will need to add them until the pot is full. Then allow them to wilt as they cook - then add more. Stir every few minutes to distribute the smoked meat evenly. You want the ham hocks to be falling apart. Add your seasoning cover and cook for 2 hours thirty minutes on medium heat. Taste to confirm they are the tenderness you prefer, if a little bitter add the vinegar and margarine. Serve with your favorite meat dish such as chitterlings or eat the ham hocks or neck bones right along with the collards. My favorite way to cook collard greens is very simple.
I take 2 or 3 smoked ham hocks and put them in a large (6quart) pot of water. Bring the water to a rolling boil and let them boil for about 1 1/2 hours. Add more water as it boils down. The idea is to boil the ham hocks until they begin to fall apart. You should always cook pork very thoroughly and use proper food handling

If you used pre-cleaned collards, simply rinse them under cold running water.
If you use smoked neck bones, they usually don't take as long to cook as ham hocks.
If you used smoked turkey parts they don’t take as long to cook as pork.
Since this is a large pot full, just save the extras in the refrigerator. They should keep for a long time and actually get better as the juices settle in.

My dad would prepare his plate and sprinkle lots of hot sauce on his collards. I like them that way sometimes. Give it a try.

No comments:

Post a Comment