Thursday, February 28, 2013

Curried Collards

We eat a lot of greens in my kitchen, from kale, chards, to collards, so I'm always trying to think of new and interesting ways to cook them. My latest experiment was spicy curried collard greens - here's how I did it:

Large bunch collard greens
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small ginger root, minced
Red chili pepper to taste
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2+ tbsp. curry powder
1 tbsp. Thai red curry paste
1/2 can light coconut milk
Sriracha to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

1.) Wash and drain collard greens, stripping leaves from the stems.
2.) Heat olive oil in a large pan and add minced garlic, ginger and red chili to taste - can be dried red pepper flakes or fresh Asian chili pepper (jarred), or both.
3.) Add collard greens to the pan and toss with garlic, ginger and chili to distribute around evenly. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for a few minutes.
4.) Add water to the pan - just enough to cover about half of the greens but not completely. Cover and simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes or until the collards have gone from pale to bright green. (Braise the greens, essentially. Vegetable or chicken broth could be used in place of water for added flavor.)
5.) When the greens have simmered to change color, remove the lid and turn up the heat to boil off some of the excess liquid. Add the diced onion, curry powder, and Thai curry paste, stirring with a wooden spoon to spread/cook the spices. (I added the onion here rather than at the beginning so they retain some texture: in the end they should be translucent but not mush.)
6.) Reduce the heat to low and add a dash of Sriracha (or in my case five) and light coconut milk to finish, stirring so the curry sauce is even throughout. Serve hot, over coconut jasmine rice if desired.
*Note: for protein, adding crispy tofu on top of the curried greens would be great.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Superbowl Snacks

A couple of my favorite Superbowl Sunday snacks:

Chili cheese fries: using homemade baked sweet potato fries for more fiber and nutrients, and my Dad's classic chili recipe - okay with a few of my touches. I can't help but experiment.

Spinach and artichoke dip: when made fresh and baked until warm and bubbly in the oven, this vegetarian-friendly dip is easily as delicious as the various meat dishes (and I appreciate good hot wings.) Serve with veggies and pita chips.

Pigs in blankets: for a kid-friendly item, nothing beats the simple Crescent roll-hot dog-cheddar cheese combination. They're quick and easy - it takes about a minute to assemble a tray - and let's be honest, whether serving to five- or twenty-five-year olds, they get demolished.