Easy Southern Style “Healthier” Collard Greens

collard green

If anyone ever asked what I have learned about food in the Southwest is BBQ and collard greens. Truthfully,  I have never heard of collard green before I came to Texas (excuse my ignorance), and when I got here, I hesitated to even try it.  I remember trying collard greens in one of the many Southern food places  in Central Texas, and it was okay. I think I even bought the canned one from the nearby grocery store one day.  Surprisingly, later on, I decided to buy the frozen one.

I didn’t know how to cook it for a while until my friend said to juice it. Weird, I thought. But, I went ahead anyway to see what I could juice it with, hence, I was looking the recipe for it. Then, I found this recipe. As usual, I modified it to fit my taste palette and what I had in my pantry. It came out pretty good. Next time, I would try using crock pot to simmer the greens. Hmm.. yum!

Oh, the recipe doesn’t come with the recipe of pork chop as in the picture that accompanied my dinner (sorry!). It was a simple pork chop with a store-bought bread crumbs with cheese mix if you are wondering.  🙂

What you need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 slices maple flavor turkey bacon (“healthier”) or  if you use regular turkey bacon, add about 1 tsp of brown sugar.
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt according to your taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 can of chicken broth (about 2 cups)
  • a pinch or two red pepper flakes
  • 1 medium size package of frozen collard greens (“easy”) OR 1 pound fresh collard greens, cut big pieces

1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic until fragrant, then put in the chopped onion until translucent.  Add in bacon, and cook well. Remove mixture of bacon, garlic, and onion from pan. Add collard greens, and fry until soft. Or if you are using fresh ones, until they start to wilt.

2. Pour in chicken broth, and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes, or until greens are tender.

Now, I won’t be hesitant to try collard greens again. In fact, after this recipe, I like it! Enjoy.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

071 spaghetti carbonara

Nowadays, I find it hard to find spaghetti with carbonara sauce in the menu in an Italian restaurant. Carbonara sauce is one of my favorite pasta sauces! And, when I do find it in a restaurant, it is unlikely as good as I expect it to be. Maybe because it is made from raw eggs and people are afraid to consume it at a restaurant? I’m not sure. But, I sure do miss it from time to time.

So, since there were a lot of leftover ham from New Year dinner, I decided to make spaghetti carbonara sauce. I found this very good recipe online, and of course, being me, I had to modify it to my liking. Everybody loved it!! No leftover this time. Shucks!! 🙂 That’s ok, besides, carbonara sauce is not good if you heat it up because of the eggs in the sauce will be cooked and it would not only look weird but it will taste weird as well. So, serve the sauce immediately when it is still warm.

This recipe serves 8 people:

1 pound spaghetti
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 lb of ham, chopped (I used smoked ham)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pinch salt and black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)

In a large pot of boiling salted water, put some salt in it if you like. Cook spaghetti pasta until al dente. Drain well. Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and set aside.

Meanwhile in a large skillet, add minced garlic and saute it until fragrant. Add chopped onion, and cook over medium heat until onion is translucent.  Then put in the chopped ham until slightly crisp. Saute for about 2 minutes then add wine if desired; cook one more minute.

Add cooked and drained spaghetti into the mixture. Toss to coat and heat through in a medium high heat, adding more olive oil if it seems dry or is sticking together. Add beaten eggs and cook, tossing constantly with tongs or large fork until eggs are barely set. Remove from heat. You don’t want the eggs to cook. Quickly add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and toss again. Add salt and pepper to taste (remember that ham and parmesan cheese are salty).

Serve immediately with chopped parsley sprinkled on top.

Enjoy! I hope you like it as I do!

Pasta Carbonara

Lately, I’ve rarely seen the carbonara sauce is being offered at Italian Restaurants as one of the options on their menu. I started to wonder why… maybe it uses raw eggs in it? But, not really… the eggs are practically cooked due to the heat from the hot pasta when you toss them into the sauce right after you cook the pasta. Or, another way, you can heat the sauce up a little, but have to be careful not to cook the eggs.

Carbonara sauce is one of the pasta sauces I love. I just wish that people still sell them. This past week, I made it. I haven’t made it in such a long time. I hope you would like it too. I think it’s better than oil sauce. It has a creamy taste and texture… and with bacon, pancetta, or salami mixed in them.. I can’t resist!

For this recipe, I used salami, but you can use whatever you want! This is what you need to make 2 servings:

4 eggs, beaten
1 cup of heavy/ whipping cream, or if you want it light, you can use half and half. BUT, the sauce will be kind of runny since half and half is much lighter than cream.
12 big slices of salami, cut into small pieces
salt and pepper to taste
About 1 lb. of pasta (I used spaghetti)
1 cup of parmesan cheese
1 tbp oregano
2 cloves of garlic, minced

Cook the pasta according to the instruction on the package. Meanwhile, put salami in a pan for about 3 minutes or until it looks crispy, then put in garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for 30 second. Remove the salami and garlic. Drain with paper towel.

When pasta is done. Drain. Meanwhile, prepare beaten eggs in a bowl and mix well with the cream or half and half. Whisk quickly until eggs are thicken. Season with salt and pepper.

Toss in salami in the hot pasta followed by the egg mixture. You can put the pasta back on the heat, BUT stir quickly, so the eggs won’t be cooked like scramble eggs. Mix in cheese, stir. Add oregano.

Serve!

Let me know how it turns out!