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My first mess o' greens

I made my first mess o' greens on Thursday, new years day. Of course I made the obligatory black eyed peas to go with them.

I followed the recipe on the package of greens I bought, and I think they turned out pretty darned good. Sooo If you've never made a mess o' greens I hope this encourages you try it sometime.

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Gathered all the goodies I needed.

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The spices are turmeric, paprika, celery seed, garlic powder, onion powder, brown sugar, thyme and hot pepper vinegar. I didn't know at the time that the hot pepper vinegar referred to in the recipe is Trappey's. I have this on hand all the time. Not knowing this I used Tabasco instead which I've heard is an acceptable substitute. I didn't have any onion powder on hand so I ground up some dried onion flakes in a mortar and used that.

Let's get cookin'

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I started the ham stock in the pot I cooked the black eyed peas in. There was some potliquor from the beans so I left that in the pot. I figured the little extra flavor couldn't hurt. Into the pot went a ham bone, some ham scraps, a chunk of ham and 6 cups of water. The recipe calls for a ham hock.

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In goes the garlic powder, onion powder, brown sugar and thyme,

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turmeric, paprika and celery seed. Simmer away.

While the ham stock is simmering away,

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chop up an onion and 3 cloves of garlic.

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Cook the onion 5-6 minutes then add the garlic and cook another few minutes.

Once the onion is ready,

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add to the ham stock.

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Then add in your mess o' greens,

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and stir them in real good.

Cook those babies a good long while and Taaa..Daaaa.

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A mess o' greens.

It has a little bit of heat and spiciness to it. This might be my first, but it's sure not my last mess o' greens .

Here's the recipe for you. The recipe calls for boiling, I didn't. I kept it at a high simmer or what some might call a low, very low, boil.

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Southern Collard Greens


6 cups Water
1  smoked ham hock; split in half if possible
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric; optional
1/8 teaspoon celery seed
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 tablespoon hot pepper vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
1  onion (medium); roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic; chopped
1 12 oz pkg collard greens
8 ounces turnips, peeled; cut into quarters

Bring water, ham hock, sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, turmeric, celery seed, thyme and hot pepper vinegar to a boil in a stockpot. Cover, reduce heat to low and boil gently for 45 minutes, turning ham hock halfway through (it will not be covered by the water).

Meanwhile, in a skillet heat olive oil and sauté onion for 5-6 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another minute. Remove from heat and set aside.

At the 45 minute mark on the ham broth, remove ham hock and set it aside to cool (it interfears with stirring in the pot from this point on). Add onion mixture and collards to the boiling ham broth (add another cup of water if the liquid looks too meager for the collards), stir collards down into boiling liquid, cover, reduce heat to low and boil gently for 25 minutes. Add turnip pieces, making sure they are submerged in the broth, cover, and boil gently for another 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, when ham hock is cool enough to handle, chop it with a big knife
and remove pockets of meat, adding the meat back inot the pot.

Notes:  pkg of Cut N' Clean Greens

Yield: 3-4 servings

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