Pull out a big heavy stew pot and get some greens going on the back of your stove for wonderful mid-week eating à la Brittany Luse, cultural critic and host of It’s Been A Minute from NPR. Serve on top of Brittany’s Weekend Grits.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 small yellow onion, diced
Red pepper flakes to taste
Seasoned salt, to taste, (Lawry’s or Slap Ya Mama or Goya Adobo)
Freshly- ground black pepper, to taste
4-5 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed
1 Tablespoon Liquid Smoke
3- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock, more as needed to cover the greens
2 pounds, washed and trimmed collard greens
Apple Cider Vinegar, to taste
Honey, to taste
Heat the olive oil and butter in the bottom of a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. When the butter is foamy, add the yellow onion, reduce the heat to medium, and saute until translucent, for about 5-7 minutes. Add a couple of pinches of red pepper flakes, seasoned salt, freshly cracked ground pepper, and the crushed cloves of garlic, and cook another minute, warming/ blooming your spices in the pot, taking care not to burn.
Add a tablespoon of liquid smoke and the stock and bring to a low simmer. We’re trying to lock in this pot liquor, so make sure you taste it to find an initial balance of savory and smoke. Simmer for 5 - 10 minutes.
Add the collard greens and cook another 2-3 minutes, stirring the greens to make sure every leaf has hit the heat and the aromatics and the collard leaves have gotten all mixy-mixt! You want the leaves to start to settle and wilt a bit. Cover and cook until The greens are tender, about 45 minutes, but start checking in on them around 40 Minutes to make final seasoning adjustments. I find that this is the point that the greens have lost their bitterness, and now you need to think about the balance of flavor. This is the moment when I’ll start to add splashes of apple cider vinegar or a kiss of honey to balance things out. Balance out the seasoning, and cook them till they look like Christmas dinner, about 5 more minutes.
Serve over grits, with scallions, tomatoes, and white vinegar as garnish, and Frank’s Red Hot sauce for added punch
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