Monday, December 1, 2014

Garlicky Collards and Sausage with Jalapeno Cheddar Grits

This dish stemmed from my desire to cook something veggie packed this week. Blake had to point out that including sausage and cheddar in grits may negate some of the value of all the greens. I just call that a balanced meal. I wouldn't want to shock my body by taking all the cheese out of dinner. It's only a little cheese after all.

Southern food tops my list as an area I want to explore further as a cook. It's also an area I want to explore some time in person. I want to drive across the south and eat po boys, biscuits, grits, and BBQ. Give me all the biscuits! Until then I will settle for experimenting at home, which is half the fun of cooking anyway.

The grits in this dish are everything you want, creamy, hearty, and a little cheesy with some heat. That makes them the perfect accompaniment to the collards swimming in garlic with a bright touch of apple cider vinegar. A pretty easy dish that after about 20 minutes of prep, requires only the occasional stirring. A nice way to get a load of greens in without being too healthy. 

Garlicky collards and sausage with jalapeno cheddar grits
Collards slightly adapted from The Kitchn 

Jalapeno cheddar grits
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
2 cups milk
2 cups water
1 cup grits
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese

Garlicky collards and sausage
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 links of your favorite sausage, pre cooked and cut into 1/2" rounds
2 yellow onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 
1 teaspoon salt
2 bunches collard greens, cut into ribbons
3 cups chicken broth 
1/2 cup dry sherry (you could sub a dry white wine)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

In a medium sauce pan over medium high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the jalapeno and cook 3-4 minutes stirring occasionally. Pour in you milk and water and bring to a boil. Once boiling add grits and cook 2 minutes stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and cover with a lid. Let grits cook 40 minutes, stirring every 7 minutes or so. 

Heat tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add sausage and brown on both sides, about 3-4 minutes a side. Add onion, garlic, paprika, red pepper flakes, and salt to the pan. Cook for about five minutes, until the onion begins to soften. Add the collard greens and let wilt slightly. Pout in chicken broth, sherry, and vinegar. Stir to combine. Lower heat to low and cover with a lid. Let simmer for 30 minutes.  

Stir cheddar, salt, and pepper into grits right before eating. Serve collards over the grits. If you have leftovers, reheat the grits with a little milk to make them creamy again before eating. 

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