As any regular reader will have intuited, I have a deep and abiding affection for leafy greens–the darker, the better. The winter months can be rough for green lovers who live in northern climates, but hearty collard greens seem to fare well. They also hold up nicely in the refrigerator, unlike some of their more delicate relations.
The 20 or so guests were no match for the truly insane variety of taco fixings that were on offer. Homemade corn tortillas swaddled red chicken mole, grilled gulf shrimp, carnitas, chorizo, mushroom and corn rajas, pickled cow’s tongue, refried beans, Coca-Cola braised beef, and black mole goat (not pictured, because it was simmering away in the crockpot). There was a whole other table of salsas, cheese, veggies and the like.
New Year’s Day found us watching a trashy movie while dining on stuffed ham, black-eyed peas, and collard greens braised in coconut milk with some black cardamom I’d picked up at Union Market while passing through Washington, DC. I used this recipe from Serious Eats as a starting point for what turned out to be a damn tasty variation on a classic dish.
It is January 5th and I’m on a bit of a collard bender. Thursday morning, I poached an egg in some of the leftover greens before hopping a train back to NYC just ahead of a snowstorm. Friday I bundled up to check out the winter wonderland and get some more greens, which I sautéed with soy sausage. Yesterday I ate the collards braised with roasted delicata squash and red onion.
This morning I went with a hash that requires just one skillet and feeds one individual who stayed out a little too late, drank a little too much red wine, and spent more than she had intended in the live auction. (Luckily the proceeds benefit Just Food, an amazing organization that connects New Yorkers to fresh, locally grown food.)
Sweet Potato and Collard Hash
- 1 ounce slab bacon, roughly diced
- 1/2 large red onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium sweet potato, cubed
- salt and pepper
- 1 pinch chipotle powder (cayenne or even red pepper flakes would work too)
- 2 cups destemmed collard greens cut into ribbons
- Bring a large cast iron skillet up to medium-low heat and add the bacon, stirring frequently until it begins to release its fat. Add the onion and continue stirring frequently until softened.
- Add the olive oil, sweet potatoes and 1/4 cup of water. Pop a lid on top and stir occasionally until the potatoes soften. Remove the lid and stir every few minutes, allowing the potatoes to brown. (Now is a good time to get your coffee going.)
- Add salt, pepper and chipotle powder. Stir the collards in, ensuring that they are coated in oil. Pop the lid back on and let them steam for a few minutes. Finish with the lid off, allowing any excess liquid to boil off.