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Collards?

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Bill Spohn

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Collards?

by Bill Spohn » Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:25 pm

I want to make a soup/stew that calls for kale and collard greens, but we don't seem to get collards around here.

What would you do - double the kale? Substitute something else? Chard?
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Jenise

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Re: Collards?

by Jenise » Mon Mar 06, 2017 3:39 pm

Chard would be closest. But go for bunches with the biggest/most mature leaves. (And typically the white is sturdier than the colored varieties.)
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Re: Collards?

by Mike Filigenzi » Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:06 am

I'd second Jenise on that. I would also think that if the collards are to be boiled, then the chard would only be blanched or perhaps boiled for just a minute or two. In my experience, it softens up more quickly than collards.
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Re: Collards?

by Matilda L » Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:13 am

What *is* a collard green? Does it have any other name? Collard greens aren't something we have in Oz, not by that name anyhow. We know about them because we watch tv, but beyond knowing of their existence, I don't know what they are. Any info will be valued!
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Re: Collards?

by Rahsaan » Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:48 am

I believe collards are in the kale family, and certainly tend to be firmer and sturdier than chard. Depending on when you add the greens to the stew, the chard would risk falling apart anyway. I would rather go with multiple kinds of kale (if you want variety) as opposed to chard. But, it's probably mainly an issue of taste preferences and what works best for your palate!
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Re: Collards?

by Robin Garr » Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:56 am

Chiming in late, I wouldn't use chard. Completely different textural difference and adds its own distinctive flavor. Absent collards, I'd go along with the suggestion above to use two different kinds of kale. Regular curly leaf and lacinato would be a good approach. Or just drop the collards and double the kale.

Disclaimer: I did not grow up with this kind of greens, and in fact scorned them as "country folks' food." But my wife, a farmer's daughter, has brought me to the point where I'll eat them, although not ever as my first choice. :P (We also don't cook them the old-fashioned way, boiled to death with ham grease, but either quickly wilted and simmered just until tender, or chopped or chiffonade and used as an ingredient in Indian saags, African peanut soups, etc., where I can successfully "hide" the greens under a blanket of more desirable flavors. :mrgreen:
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Re: Collards?

by Jeff Grossman » Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:43 pm

Matilda L wrote:What *is* a collard green? Does it have any other name? Collard greens aren't something we have in Oz, not by that name anyhow. We know about them because we watch tv, but beyond knowing of their existence, I don't know what they are. Any info will be valued!

Collard greens is a brassica, the cabbage family. It does not produce a head but instead a cluster of large, thick leaves. They are used in other parts of the world but are most famous in the American South, where they serve as an excuse to simmer something in pork fat. :)

Specifically and generally:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collard_greens
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brassica_oleracea

A quick Google suggests that they do not grow in Oz, though you can get seeds (at least, in Queensland) and grow them yourself.
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Bill Spohn

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Re: Collards?

by Bill Spohn » Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:51 pm

Thanks for all the info - not many members of the collard appreciation society here! We can get just about any Asian ingredient here in Vancouver, but American South, not so much.

If you are interested I want to make a recipe from a Bon Appetit in recent years.

Through the winter we try and do a weekly soup. The idea of a veg stew kills two birds with one stone - I can experiment on my eat-no-higher-animals sister.

Take a look at the recipe and see what you think.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/ ... w-51149120
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Re: Collards?

by Dale Williams » Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:14 pm

I grew up in South, but without often eating collards- my mother (born fairly poor, a striver) like Robin regarded as poor folks food. But I've eaten my share since. I'd suggest turnip greens or mustard greens (bigger the better) if available,
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Re: Collards?

by Jenise » Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:19 pm

Bill, thanks for providing the recipe. It helps, and I double-down on my recco for chard here. #1) it provides a contrast to the kale, so you have a more complex soup. But I would diverge from the recipe a little: pre-cook both separately so you can add them at different times. Send in the kale for the initial long cook, and add the chard maybe 5-6 minutes before you serve. Chard is the tenderer of the two, and if you use rainbow chard the vibrant color of the yellow, red, pink and orange veins will highly reward on presentation and the nutty flavor of the chard still remaining some of its primary flavor will be a huge plus. This compared to the kale, which will have given all to maturity, if you want to put this on a wine scale.

Btw, I precooked chard like this the other night and combined it with cooked potatoes, binding them with a béchamel. This is the first way I ever had chard, in an Italian restaurant as the combined starch-vegetable ingredient underneath my first ever osso buco when I was about 18 (I didn't grow up on greens either). Been a fan ever since.
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Re: Collards?

by Bill Spohn » Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:21 pm

Sounds great, thanks Jenise.
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Re: Collards?

by Frank Deis » Tue Mar 07, 2017 7:03 pm

My grandmother, a talented southern cook, would opt for kale cooked in the pressure cooker for meals with Smithfield ham, sweet potatoes, Parker House rolls, etc. I never liked the strong smell or the bitter taste of curly kale. I think I discovered several elements of the "poor folks" southern cooking when I was in graduate school in Charlottesville, eating out. Fell in love with grits for breakfast (my grandma never made those, but she DID cook scrapple!), and somehow got into the New Years Day habit of collard greens and black eyed peas. Spending Christmas and New Year up with my wife's family in Vermont I learned that I had to remember to buy those before traveling up north, not available in Vermont then. Even when we moved up to New Jersey in the early days it wasn't always easy to find collards or black eyed peas.

From what I understand the collards represent greenback dollar bills and the peas represent coins, by eating them one is ensuring wealth in the New Year. I just like the flavors, and I will often just cook up a pot of collards (now easily available in the produce aisles in NJ, seemingly just about year round). Even the "pot liquor" has a delicious flavor. If I had to choose I would give up collards and keep the Swiss Chard but fortunately I don't have to choose, and can enjoy both.
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Bill Spohn

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Re: Collards?

by Bill Spohn » Tue Mar 07, 2017 7:49 pm

Given that the recipe I posted is a fairly faithful take on an Italian Ribollita, I wonder where they came up with collards in the first place. I looked up some Italian recipes and kale seems to feature - lacinato kale, which also goes by the names dinosaur kale and cavolo nero (and its English translation, "black kale")

. Giada uses frozen spinach (not a fan, prefer eating spinach raw) . Some Italian recipes include Savoy cabbage - I'd be inclined to do that.

Will have to do some experimentation.
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Jenise

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Re: Collards?

by Jenise » Wed Mar 08, 2017 4:19 am

Bill Spohn wrote:Given that the recipe I posted is a fairly faithful take on an Italian Ribollita, I wonder where they came up with collards in the first place. I looked up some Italian recipes and kale seems to feature - lacinato kale, which also goes by the names dinosaur kale and cavolo nero (and its English translation, "black kale")

. Giada uses frozen spinach (not a fan, prefer eating spinach raw) . Some Italian recipes include Savoy cabbage - I'd be inclined to do that.

Will have to do some experimentation.


Actually, note that the recipe calls for Tuscan kale which is a third name for the lacinato you mention. The addition of collards is just a smart contrast, and of course very American. And REALLY good. I love collards. Would be my choice for the dish, too.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Collards?

by Hoke » Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:14 pm

Dale Williams wrote:I grew up in South, but without often eating collards- my mother (born fairly poor, a striver) like Robin regarded as poor folks food. But I've eaten my share since. I'd suggest turnip greens or mustard greens (bigger the better) if available,


Dale, I grew up in the South and we ate 'poor folk's food' because...well, we were poor. :)

Collards, mustard, and turnip (both greens and root) were staples in our household. I loved the greens. And yes, mostly they were simmered in varied pork by-products, or dolloped with the can of "drippings" kept on the back of the stove.

Nowadays, the only time I eat collards is when I occasionally see them on restaurant menus. They usually aren't very satisfying. The one exception is when I'm back in the South or Southwest and I do a BBQ indulgence. If they have collards and/or fried okra, I load up!

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