Quick-Braised Collard Greens over Cornmeal Mush
Get ready to eat like a Southerner. Chock full of flavor, this could easily become a weeknight dinner full of nutritious greens, without cooking them within an inch of their lives.
In the video, I mention two sources for my favorite corn products (polenta, grits, and cornmeal).
De La Estancia Organic Polenta - a quick-cook polenta, not instant. (affiliate link: I may receive a commission for products purchased through this link)
Anson Mills Antebellum Coarse Yellow Cornmeal - a mill in South Carolina reviving Colonial Era crops and period-specific recipes (a combination of European, Native American, and African elements).
A note from Anson Mills on the history of “grits and greens:” Native Americans were the first to throw maize and greens together, and it was an inspired match—the two have been inseparable ever since. Before the Civil War, Southern cooks favored noble greens of European provenance: spinach, Swiss chard, and kale. Following the war, “ditch greens” were used in their stead. The greens in grits and greens have gone from feral to domestic, rags to riches—and back again. Ultimately, collards, brought to the lowcountry by African slaves, became the defining better half of this dish.
Why grow and mill heirloom grains? Seedsmen of the 19th century bred for flavor—not for transport, not for visual appeal, not for shelf life, not even for disease resistance. Agriculturists of the period sought to impose the maximal beneficial effect of “terroir” on their ingredients. By doing these things as well, Anson Mills will continue to reintroduce the diverse and flavorful foodways of the Carolina Rice Kitchen…we choose to extend the promise of pleasure—pleasure in the fine flavors of grains and vegetables produced with an eye to the integrity of cuisine and the integral character of farming.
Quick-Braised Greens over Cornmeal Mush
By Genevive Ko
2 bunches dark and sturdy leafy greens, like collards, kale or mustard greens (about 1 pound)
4 bacon slices
1 large red onion (about 1 pound), finely chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper
6 garlic cloves, sliced
1 teaspoon dried sage or 1 bay leaf
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon hot sauce, plus more for serving
2 (15-ounce) cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained (optional)
1 cup of hot chicken stock
3-4 tablespoons butter, separated
1/2 cup-ish coarse ground cornmeal
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
Skip to 2:53 in the video for this demo.