Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Greens & Cornbread

I know, I know, it's supposed to be "beans and cornbread", at least in the words of Louis Jordan, but that's not what I made for dinner last night.

Actually, I had started writing a lengthy screed about the pure FML-ness of Monday - but after 4 paragraphs, I was thoroughly sick of it, so I imagine all of you would be too.

So I went home and made dinner, and made cornbread to go with the turnip greens and beet greens I had in the basement fridge - one of the FML events of Monday was having to deal repeatedly with Sears' automated system to confirm that my new refrigerator will not be delivered until July 7th - although, briefly, after Sears' first phone call at 7:30 a.m., from a real human! it looked like maybe it would come today, July 1. So another week plus of running up & down between Mark's fridge on the 2nd floor to my auxiliary fridge in the basement, to accumulate all ingredients for food prep, and even just to put a slug of milk in my morning coffee. The basement fridge tends to freeze things - the leaf tips of the turnip greens were a little whithered. I just added bacon, and all was well:

Greens with bacon
1 large bunch of turnip greens
Greens from one bunch of beets - see below for what to do with the beets
3 scallions or spring onions
4 strips of bacon (I used round cottage bacon, from Willow Creek, which is very lean - I thought it was the same part of the pig as pancetta, but some Google searches tell me that pancetta is belly, and cottage bacon is shoulder - I guess the British differentiation: "streaky" for strips of fat streaked bacon from the belly; bacon for everything else, is the most clear.
1 TBLS olive oil, if your bacon is lean

Bring a large pot of water to the boil, and salt it. Pull the stems off the greens and rinse them. Plunge the greens into the water, separately, just until wilted. Drain, and cool while you cook the bacon. Cut the bacon into bits, and cook in the same pot - after you pour out the greens water, set it back on the warm, but turned off burner on the stove to dry, to reduce spattering. Cook the bacon till it is somewhat browned, adding the olive oil if the bacon does not give off much fat of its own. Slice the onions thinly and throw them in. Squeeze out the greens, chop them and dump them into the pot, too. Stir to coat everything with oil. Season with salt and pepper and eat with cornbread.

Pickled beets and eggs
1 bunch of beets (I had 7 smallish beets)
3 - 6 eggs

Trim the beets, and rinse them. Cook by your favorite method - boil, roast, steam - since I was making cornbread, and had the oven on, and it was a cool day, I roasted. Cool them enough to slip the skins off. Place the peeled beets in a jar or bowl, and add 4 - 5 TBLS sugar, 1/3 cup cidar vinegar, 2 teaspoons of salt, and enough hot water to cover - about another 1/3 cup. Hard boil the eggs, peel them, and drop them into the jar, too. Swirl the liquid around to make sure the sugar is dissolved, cover, and refrigerate. If you use a bolw, you can cover the beets and eggs with a plate that is slightly less in diameter than the bowl, to hold them down in the pickling brine.

You can vary this by using interesting vinegars, and/or adding spices like whole cloves, cinnamon stick, allspice -

Some suggested ways to eat the beets and eggs are to make yourself a salad plate with sliced beets and sliced purple egg around a small dab of mayonaise (full fat recommended). Or make deviled eggs with the purple eggs, and garnish with the beets.

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