Who would have thought the home of Scarlett O’Hara would give us the best-tasting collard greens ever . . . courtesy of a Mexican restaurant?
I shamefully admitted in my book that I don’t like sweet tea, and now, I’m going to disappoint y’all Southerners even more. Collard greens haven’t always been my favorite thing. A little bitter, a little too much bacon/pork needed to soften the taste (if there is such a thing as too much bacon or pork). Even a bit of a slimy texture, it all added up to me literally passing the greens around the table to the next person.
Rachel raved about a this new recipe for greens and after a very long time, finally got me to taste them, and she was right! (always trust a good cook from the start). The recipe is from one of our favorite Atlanta restaurants, Taqueria del Sol. Chef and co-owner Eddie Hernandez came up with this new twist on an old favorite, and I’m a greens convert now. I hate to say Hernandez does greens better than my grandmother, but . . .
The original recipe is for Turnip Greens, but I used Collards, because I found a giant bag of them pre-washed and chopped at the store. I live in a small town with limited ingredients available, and even though I searched in our largest chain market, was unable to find the chile de arbol. (yet another reason not to move here. We are chile depraved — ha. I meant, “deprived” but maybe we’re both!). I did what I usually do, which is to make it up as I went along. I used a dash of chile powder, because it said “chile” on the label. Then I used a shake of paprika, since it’s red, like a chile, and then a shake or two of red pepper, since it’s hot like a chile. I think I did okay, because these collards turned out to be delicious but not too spicy at all.
If you are in the Atlanta area (for a football game, perhaps?) check out one of the locations of Taqueria del Sol. You’ll love their unique take on Mexican/Southern cuisine.
Here’s the full recipe from Epicurious:
- 1 (1-pound) bag or 1 pound cleaned, cooked and chopped turnip greens
- 4 tablespoons margarine
- 2/3 cup chopped onions
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 2-3 teaspoons ground chile de arbol
- 1 1/4 cups diced tomatoes
- 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- In a very large pot, cover greens with 1 inch water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until just tender, about 45 minutes. Drain well. In a large pot, melt margarine. Add onions, garlic and chile de arbol and saute until onions are softened. Add tomatoes and cook 5 minutes. Add cooked turnip greens and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add salt to taste.