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SOUTHERN RECIPES
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Awesome Collard Greens

Collard greens are a very nutritious and inexpensive treat. When I was growing up, my grandmother would buy about 50 cents worth of collard seeds and this would grow enough collard greens to feed us for the entire year. That 50 cents worth of seeds would produce hundreds of collard plants in our North Carolina backyard garden.

  • 2 - 3 medium smoked ham hocks
    or 2 pounds smoked pork neck bones

  • 5 pounds of collards or several large bunches
    (If you can't get them fresh, frozen will do.

  • 2 teaspoon of salt

My favorite way to cook collard greens is very simple. I take 2 or 3 smoked ham hocks and put them in a large (6 quart) pot of water. Bring the water to a rolling boil and let it 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 techniques. You want the ham hocks to be falling apart before you add the collard greens.

Take the collard greens and separate the leaves (if fresh) . 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 slicking 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. Add you salt, cover and cook for thirty minutes on medium heat. Stir every few minutes to distribute the smoked meat taste evenly. Taste to confirm they are the tenderness you prefer. Serve with your favorite meat dish such as chitterlings. Eat the ham hocks or neck bones right along with the collards.

If you used frozen collards, simply pour them - frozen - right from the package to the pot.

If you use smoked neck bones, they usually don't take as long to cook as ham hocks.

People in my neck of the woods usually sprinkle lots of hot sauce on their collards. I like them that way. Give it a try.

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

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