Citrus Collards with Raisins

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I’ve been meaning to try the recipes from Anna Lappé and Bryant Terry’s Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen for a while now, but I just didn’t get it together until this weekend. The citrus collards with raisins looked like one of the easiest “winter” recipes, so here’s a condensed version of what I did after Mrs. Beatrice came back from Whole Foods with two big bunches of collard greens:

While you’ve got three quarts of water boiling, separate the greens from the stems and then cut them into a manageable size. (I went for halves, which were a bit too large, so I’ll go smaller next time.) When the water’s boiling, put the collards in and let them cook for about 8-10 minutes. Drain them, then plunge them into a bowl of cold water immediately, and drain them again.

Then you’ve got some olive oil in a medium sauté pan on medium heat, to which you’re going to add two cloves of minced garlic. 30 seconds later, toss in the collards and the raisins from two little red SunMaid boxes, and a bit of salt. Cook for three minutes, stirring all the while. Pour in 1/3 cup of orange juice, stir for another 15 seconds, and you’re done.

This turned out really well, although as I said I’d probably cut the collards a bit smaller next time. And Mrs. Beatrice, who was dubious about the orange juice at first, wound up liking it, but we agreed that the next time we make this dish we might throw in some crumbled bacon as well.

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1 February 2009 | cooking |

My Stir-Fry Corn with Chile Peppers Recipe

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When I announced on my Twitter feed yesterday afternoon that, because both Mrs. Beatrice and I have colds, I would be making my stir-fry corn with chile, I got a couple responses—enough to make me think it would be worthwhile to share the recipe with you, especially since I originally got it from Beyond the Great Wall, a travelogue and cookbook by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. (Actually, I found the recipe in the book after spotting a variant of the dish on the China episode of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations and saying, “That sounds good; I wonder if I can find a recipe close enough.”) So here’s my quick, slightly modified version of this dish:

Put on a wok on high heat; when it’s ready, add a tablespoon of peanut (or canola) oil. Toss in about two or three cloves of minced garlic; stir it quickly and then add about 1/2 pound of pork loin, which you’ve cut into 1-inch by 1-inch chunks, and some freshly ground Szechuan black pepper. Give it a few minutes, then add some thinly sliced pepper. [The recipe calls for cayenne, but we end up using serranos because they've been easier to find. You don't want to go much milder than that, or I don't, anyway. I've also substituted chicken breast for the pork loin, and it's okay, but the pork's better.] Add a bit of salt, and keep cooking until the meat’s changed color all over.

Then add corn—in the summer, we like to cut it straight off three cobs, but in a pinch one bag of frozen kernels ought to do the trick. Salt it a little further and then cook it all for another 3-4 minutes.

We find this is enough for the two of us, but I eat big portions, so you could probably get a meal for three, maybe four people from the recipe as described above. And, as I said, it’s a great dish to make when you have a cold—I’m breathing more freely than I have at any point in the last 48 hours.

10 January 2009 | cooking |

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