Monday, December 23, 2013

Creamed Greens With Shallots - Yum!

It's HERE!  It's officially crunch time.  Today is Festivus ( you know, for the rest of us) and tomorrow is Christmas Eve.  Do you celebrate on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day or both?  I mean presents, you know. We usually do presents on Christmas Eve so our children can do "Santa" on Christmas morning with their children.  We will have dinner tomorrow evening at our daughter's home.  She is preparing traditional Lebanese food and I am so excited.  If you have never eaten Lebanese food, it's so good. Christmas dinner will be at our house on Christmas Day.  Our youngest son is bringing several friends who could not go home for Christmas.  It should be pandemonium and so much fun.

On Thanksgiving, I tried a Martha Stewart recipe for creamed greens that was simply spectacular!  It was a major hit so we will be having it again on Christmas Day by request.  Do you like greens?  You know, turnip greens, kale, collard greens, mustard greens, spinach?

Growing up there was always a controversy in our house.  My dad loved turnip greens and my mom didn't.  Mom liked spinach and dad didn't.  We were just confused.  No kid can understand why anyone would like greens of any kind.  Seriously?  Yuck.

Things change when you get older - hopefully.  I happen to love greens of all kinds, especially with some vinegar added and some hot sauce, braised with some bacon, ham, or fatback.  Yummmmm!

Kale seems to be the new food darling right now and it is so good for you - full of antioxidants and nutrients.  The only thing with kale is it is kind of chewy if not cut in really small pieces before cooking.  Other greens wilt down a little more and are easier to chew.  The upside is all greens are full of iron and vitamin B12 which are hard to get in most other foods.  We benefit from eating as many greens as we can, unless you are on medications to thin your blood.  Then  you should consult your doctor.

Here is what you need to make this recipe:

2 large bunches turnip greens
1 large bunch kale
1 large bunch collard greens
6 TBSP butter
2 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced (1 TBSP)
2 TBSP AP flour (I substituted 1 TBSP cornstarch for gluten free)
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
pinch of nutmeg
pinch red pepper flakes
3/4 cup dry white wine or chicken stock
coarse salt

First, remove the stems from the collard greens and kale.  Chop the leaves into bite sized pieces.
Heat a large saute pan over high heat (I used my electric skillet to saute the greens).  Add kale, collard, and turnip greens, 1 tsp salt and wine or chicken stock.  Cover and cook until greens wilt, about 2 minutes turning occasionally. (You will start with a huge mound of greens and will end up with what looks like a small amount.  Don't be alarmed.)   Reduce to medium and cook, turning greens until almost tender - about 15 minutes.  I used long tongs to turn the greens.  Remove cover and transfer greens to a bowl.

Add 4 TBSP butter to pan, melt on high heat.  Add shallots and garlic.  Saute until softened, about 3 minutes.  Return greens to saute pan.  Remove from heat.

Melt remaining 2 TBSP butter in a saucepan over medium high heat.  Add flour (or cornstarch) and whisk to incorporate.  Add milk and cream, slowly whisking until sauce thickens slightly and coats back of a spoon - about 2 minutes.  Add nutmeg and red pepper flakes.  Season with salt.

Stir sauce into greens and cook over medium heat until warmed through.

If not serving immediately, cool completely then refrigerate.  Reheat over low heat before serving. Transfer to a bowl and serve.  Double Delicious is all I can say.

A minor Christmas miracle occurred today.  I actually have all my Christmas gifts wrapped before Christmas Eve for the first time EVER!  Miracles do happen every day.  Now, it's time to begin preparations for Christmas dinner.  

We are having Cornish Game Hens and roast beef for the carnivores and spinach stuffed manicotti for the vegetarians.  Sides are yet to be decided.  I know there will be creamed greens and wild rice.  Desserts are always a toss up.  Have you set your menu yet?

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you one and all.  Thanks for reading my blog and I will return after Christmas.  Let the fun begin.

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

It came upon a midnight clear,
That glorious song, of old
Of angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold.