I was raised with steamed greens…spinach, chard, nettles, beet greens and, fresh and wonderful as they may have been, I always felt there was something that might make them even tastier. Enter bacon fat and Jack Daniels, and the odd cracklin’, and listen to those taste buds sing!
several bunches of collard greens
bacon fat or olive oil
hot chipotle pepper flakes
Jack Daniels to taste
cracklin’s to garnish (optional)
Wash and de-stem collards. Heat fat and sweat slivered garlic. Chop collards into half-inch ribbons and add to the hot skillet (a wok works well here too). Add salt, pepper, pepper flakes and wilt slightly. Add a couple of splashes of vinegar and evaporate slightly. Add broth (enough to keep from going dry, but not enough to turn soupy; water can be used here if you don’t have broth, but the broth will give your dish more depth), cover, and simmer until desired tenderness is reached (less time will turn out chewy collards which some may prefer; more time will turn out collards that melt in your mouth). Add a splash or two of Jack Daniels (pour yourself some too!), and simmer a moment longer.
Serve atop grits or alongside pork chops or as a garnish for soupbeans, or in a bowl with the potlikker for a one-pot-dish with some cornbread on the side. Crispy sautéed cracklin’s to top off the bowl will take you over the top!