A week or so ago Cake Woman gave me a bag of baby spinach to eat. Needless to say, I was unable to consume a large enough quantity of sammiches and salads to use up a bag of raw spinach. Not wanting it to go to waste, I decided to cook it up, greens-style. It turned out okay for something that I literally just threw into a pan and ate, so the last time that I went to the store I decided that I should get some greens for realZ and try to do it up southern-style. Cake Woman has banned pork, so I didn’t pick up any swine knuckles or other waste meat to simmer down, but a bucket of garlic, some green onions, and a New Mexico (Anaheim, Hatch, whatevs) pepper rounded out the fixins’.
Here, let me supply you with a recipe as I made it:
1 bunch collard greens as you might find at the grocery store
1 bunch spinach about the same size
1 long green pepper
1 bunch little green onions
1/4 cup minced garlic out of the jar
1 tablespoon or so of oil
Seed the pepper and dice it. Trim the onions and cut them into tiny coins. If you’re using a regular onion, dice it. I ended up with about half a cup of onions, and about the same amount of pepper bits.
Wash the greens well. Pull the leaves off of the collard green stems. You might do the same for the spinach greens. The stems make the food bitter, and spinach needs all the help it can get. Tear the greens into little pieces. Tearing keeps the cell structure of the greens intact, whereas chopping them does not. I already had plenty of dirty dishes, so I didn’t want to get another knife dirty. Wash the greens again and spin them or shake them off. I had about two or three quarts of loose greens after that.
Heat the oil in the pan for a spell, then put the pepper, onions, and garlic into the oil. I don’t know if this is sweating, sauteing, or just frying, but you do it on medium heat for a few minutes.
Put all the greens into your pan. You should have a big ass pan for this. At this point I put the lid on and did a dance in the kitchen. The greens will start to shrink in the pan. Soon they will be small and richly green (thusly the name). I cooked them until Cake Woman started yelling at me about how bad the apartment smelled. I think that they were done, since they were very tender, but since they were still somewhat bitter, I think that they could have cooked longer.
That was it. I plated and had a bowl of black eyed peas alongside because I love beans like babies love breast milk. Next time I would probably halve the amounts of garlic, onion, and pepper, or make twice as much greens. Not that there will be a next time any time soon, since when Cake Woman came back from the gym she shook me and shouted “the apartment smells like ass! It smells like white trash on welfare live in this house!”
Actually, when Cake Woman talks it is all in caps, like Owen Meany: “THE APARTMENT SMELLS LIKE ASS! IT SMELLS LIKE WHITE TRASH ON WELFARE LIVE IN THIS HOUSE!”
A little more internet research gave me a few more ideas that will languish in my brain until Cake Woman takes a vacation someplace again. Then I will probably try simmering them with some random piece of beef or chicken.
RIght now I have leftover cheap steak, black eyed peas, and salty rice waiting for me in the fridge. That, plus apple juice, is a meal fit for a trailer.
Hot dog, watch me eat a hot dog.