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.

Flavorbliss Lazy Mainland Style Laulau

 

laulau

I’m always homesick. Coming from Hawaii, I always miss the beaches, the people, the Aloha spirit, and the food. Since I’m on the mainland, I have always tried to make the local Hawaiian food myself to kill the food craving and homesickness. Trying out different kind of recipes.

I gathered this recipe from 3 different recipes. And so far, below is what I got and I have been happy with it. I have made it numerous times. Everyone loves it. It is the “lazy” shortcut kind, and mainland style because some ingredients you can’t even find them here, such as the taro and ti leaves. But, I found that, the banana leaves makes up for the ti leaves, and the canned spinach makes up for the taro leaves.

SO, it’s a lu’au!, and it’s ono! 🙂

Dried banana leaves
Cooking string/ twine
Cod or butter fish (optional- I normally don’t put any fish)
1 big slice of pork belly (I use this instead of fish), cut up into 1 inch cubes
Sea salt or kosher salt
2 cans (or more) of Del Monte spinach (I ALWAYS use Del Monte brand- to me, it has taste and smell like taro leaves)
1 lb pork butt, cut up or cubed

Season pork butt with salt. Give about 3-4 big pinches on each bundle (explanation below). If you use fish, also cut up the fish, or pork belly and season with salt. When you are done, prepare the banana leaves. Once you clean and dry up the leaves and they become soft, cut about 10- 12 inch in length. You want to make sure that at the end, you can wrap those pork like a bundle or a present. Place the cut up pork at the bottom, then the fish or pork belly, and season with salt on top. When they are done, place a handful of spinach on top of them then wrap your leaves into a bundle and secure it with the string on all fours sides. Make sure it is all tie up and secured.

Your choice of using steamer or crockpot, make sure you place the seam on the bottom to avoid the leaves from opening up. If you use crockpot, set it on low for 6-8 hours. I always put about 1/2 cup of water before I turn the crockpot on, so the laulau are moist and not too salty. If you use steamer, pile them in steamer, with metal strainer underneath so they don’t touch the water. You will be steaming for a while, at least for about 4 hours. Keep on checking though, especially for water level. You don’t want your laulau to burn. They will smell bad.

Easy and simple, right? That is why I called it “lazy”! Good luck.

Easy Pleasy Chicken Cordon Bleu For Two

I was in the mood for something rather fancy, but something that won’t break my savings. I wasn’t in the mood of eating out either since we just went grocery shopping few days ago. So, I was thinking about easy and fancy at the same time…

This was inspired by my grandmother’s recipe. I remember she used to make special deboned stuffed chicken with liver pate, and we always loved it.

I saw in the fridge that we still have one of those liver and cheese cold cut, and turkey cold cut. I’m thinking fancy, but using what I already have at hands, and healthier, maybe? Using the turkey instead of ham? Why not?!

This what I came out with:

2 chicken breast
Garlic salt to season
Garlic powder to season, and to mix with the flour
Paprika to season, and to mix with the flour
2 slices Liver and cheese cold cut (Oscar Myers have it)
2 slices Manchego or swiss cheese (I bought slices from local grocer that has slices of Manchego)
2 slices ham or turkey (I used turkey)
1/4 cup flour
2 tbs and 2 tsp dry white wine
1/4 chicken bullion
2 tbs butter to fry the chicken (I used Smart Balance)
1 packet of hollandaise sauce (or you can make your own sauce using flour and milk)- I sticked with easy

Pound the chicken breasts with tenderizer as flat as you can. If the breasts are too thick, cut a slit or pocket in the middle. Season the breasts with garlic salt and paprika evenly. Place the filling- liver and cheese, turkey, and cheese slices in the pocket or lay them flat on the chicken breasts so you can roll them. Use toothpicks to hold the roll or to close the pocket.

Mix the flour with paprika and garlic powder. Coast the rolled chicken breasts with the flour mix.

In the medium high heat, melt the butter in a sauce pan. Brown chicken breasts on all sides. When they are brown, pour the wine and put in chicken bullion. Make sure that the chicken bullion dissolves. Reduce heat and cover. Let it simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the packet of hollandaise sauce mix in separate sauce pan. When it is done, keep it in a low heat until the chicken is done.

Plate the chicken breasts. If you like, pour a little juice on top on each (I did it), then pour the hollandaise sauce on top. Then, serve them whole or in slices (fancier ;))! ENJOY!!!

Ps. My husband and I love them!!