Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Greens and Beans, the Musical Dish...

Like most grandmas, mine just cooks from the heart and knows exactly what to do as she goes along. Trivial matters such as amounts, timing, etc. matter not because grandmothers just use their 6th sense, the good cookin' one, which makes delicious meals as natural as breathing to them. My grandmother makes a different kind of greens than I do, so the last time I was home I tried to pin her down for the recipe. Here are the notes I took:

Once I got home I looked at this piece of paper, realized it was nonsense, and a subsequent call ensued. Here is my adaptation of her greens recipe, based on what I think she said and what Jesus told me to do. (See Just Barely's Cooking with the Lord)

Grammy's Greens and Beans

Here's What You're Gonna Need:
Note: All amounts are based on, well, nothing at all. Like I said, grandmothers don't work in measurable amounts. They say things like "a couple of handfuls," and "some," and "depending on what you like," and "Do you want a Werther's Original?". This is what works for me. Feel free to adapt at will.

We're going to make a lot here so we can either freeze some or share with our friends and loved ones.

3ish tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (a couple of times around the pan)
4-5 garlic cloves, smashed then finely chopped
2+ teaspoons of crushed red pepper seeds (I like my greens spicy, so I err on the side of more.)

1 onion, chopped

3-4 stalks of celery, chopped, save the leafs if you have them
1/2 head of cabbage, shredded or finely chopped

3 lbs greens, using any combination of greens you want. My favorites are chard, turnip greens, beet greens, and spinach. You can also use collard greens, kale, etc.

1-3 12 oz can of vegetable broth or chicken broth (depending on whether or not your not eating animals includes not drinking them as well), or as much as needed to reach desired consistency. Before getting Grammy's recipe, I always made my greens something you eat with a fork as a side dish. Grammy makes her greens and beans almost into a soup, which is excellent and can serve as a main course. It's up to you.

6ish 12oz cans of the musical fruit. DO NOT DRAIN. Like the greens, there are many combos that will work here. Grammy's top two picks are butter beans and kidney beans so that's how I roll, but great northern and garbonzo beans are fine as well.

And Here's What You're Gonna Do:

Saute the garlic in olive oil over medium low heat until the garlic begins to speak (in tongues is preferable, but if you don't have garlic infused with the holy spirit, making little sizzling noises is okay, too.) Add the hot pepper seeds and saute for one or two minutes longer, being careful that your garlic doesn't burn.

Add the onion and continue to saute for another two minutes, or until onions begin to soften.

Add celery, cabbage and celery leafs and give it another two to three minutes.

Add greens, a couple of handfuls at a time, the toughest kind first. Add broth as you go to help the greens to cook down before you add the next round.

Once the greens have turned bright green and have had a chance to soften, add the rest of the broth and the beans, as well as the liquid from the beans.

Simmer for at least fifteen minutes, but you can really let this stuff go on low for hours. Like Grammy says, you can't overcook it.

Enjoy! Love, Grammy and Amy
A less soupy version makes for a great side dish.

1 comment:

  1. Delicious! I used chard and roma beans.


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