Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My big, fat Greek Collard Greens

You know what's really good for you? Collard greens.
You know what's really boring? Collard greens.
You know what's really yummy? Those Greek stuffed grape leaf things...what are they called?
Oh yeah, dolma! I love those things!

I actually thought this one up all by myself; I'm so proud. Greek meets The South. After I thought it up and wondered if it would work, I found this annoying woman actually had sort of the same idea, but after watching her recipe - I like mine tons better.

The leaves are just de-ribbed collards that I submerged in a big pot of boiling water, salt, lemon juice and vinegar. After they had boiled for a few minutes I fished them out and put them in an ice bath.

The filling:
* Cooked brown rice. Medium grain would have been better, but I had long grain.
* Shredded chicken. I used the breasts for pounded lemon chicken last night, so this was the leftover parts; legs, thighs and wings just cooked in the crock pot for a few hours with some water until the meat was falling off the bone - about 3 hours.
* splash of lemon juice
* finely chopped walnuts. Pine nuts would have been better, but I had walnuts.
* a bit of garlic
* mint
* hint of allspice

Spoonful of filling in each leaf, rolled them out tight, then put them in a covered pan and heated them up with some chicken broth and lemon juice. Everything was already cooked, so I probably could have skipped this, but I had left the rice just a bit on the crunchy side, and I was waiting on another dish to finish, so what the heck.

Only thing I will do differently next time is to use lamb (the chicken was great, I just love lamb), and cook the collards a little bit more. I know I'm going to piss off some Greeks by saying this, but I actually liked the collards better than grape leaves; they had no hint of the 'slimy' texture I sometimes encounter with pickled grape leaves.

They were awesome, and this recipe is a winner.

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