Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Southern Comfort

Um, where have I been? I am sorry I was absent yesterday, but after the long weekend, I just had a hard time getting motivated to do anything. Plus, it was my anniversary, and our Internet was out for most of the day (but that was partly because I wasn't motivated to call Time Warner and have them reset it).
However, just when I was falling into full-blown torpidity, my farm share came through to throw down the gauntlet and knock me out of my comfort zone, shake me up and send me reeling, as it is wont to do. This week's challenge? Collard greens.
No one ever confused Southern California with "The South", but I do have a bit of a thing for soul food. All those high-fat, high-calorie dishes fall firmly into the "sometimes food" category, so I have rarely had occasion to try my hand at cooking them (although my husband is begging me to try deep-frying a turkey). But, with the collard greens and beautiful waxy potatoes in my produce bag, I started conceptualizing a "Southern Food Lite" dinner menu, with baked "fried" chicken, greens, carrot mashed potatoes, cornbread and all the fixin's. Below are the recipes I'll be using to put together my feast. I'll post pictures of the results (hopefully more appetizing than the above) ... once I've recovered from the food coma.

Baked "Fried Chicken"
from Everyday Food
Vegetable oil, for baking sheet
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon hot-pepper sauce
Salt and pepper
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (2 1/2 ounces)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 pounds chicken parts (preferably legs, thighs, and wings), rinsed and patted dry

What you do:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Generously rub a baking sheet with oil.

2. In a large bowl, stir together buttermilk, hot-pepper sauce, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. In a separate bowl, mix breadcrumbs, Parmesan, thyme, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

3. Place chicken in the buttermilk mixture, turning to coat evenly. Working with one piece at a time, remove chicken from liquid, letting excess drip back into bowl; dredge in the breadcrumb mixture, turning to coat evenly. Place coated chicken pieces on prepared baking sheet.

4. Bake until chicken is golden brown, about 35 minutes.

Southern Collard Greens
What you need:
1 bunch collard greens - rinsed, trimmed and chopped
2 smoked ham hocks
2 (10.5 ounce) cans condensed chicken broth
21 fluid ounces water
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

What you do:
Place the collard greens and ham hocks in a large pot. Mix in the chicken broth, water, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 1 hour.

Carrot Mashed Potatoes
What you need:
2 pounds boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

What to do:
1. Place potatoes and carrots in a small stockpot with enough cold water to cover; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat; simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain, and return to pot; place over low heat to dry out, 1 to 2 minutes.

2. Remove pot from heat. Pour half-and half over vegetables, and add butter; roughly mash with a wooden spoon or potato masher. Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For simply AMAZING soul food, check out Sylvia's in Harlem.