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Excuse me fellow southerners... I'd like tasty greens w/o ham hocks!

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I remember the days when my mom would put the leftover ham bone in her pot of greens!


These days, I just cook them a long time (2-3 hours) and add a small amount of sugar to take the bitterness out. They really don't taste any different to me from the ones cooked with meat.

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I read the link. So it seems the point of the ham hocks is to take out bitterness?


We are really novice cooks around here. My dh tried to cook collards once when my mother was visiting for a week, after I had my daughter.


He stayed up all night cooking them, the night before she arrived. The next day when he got home from work she said, "I cleaned the fridge, and threw out that pot of sour greens."


He was mortified. My mother said "Sorry... I didn't know... It smelled like old vinegar soup so I tossed it." :lol:

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2 to 3 hours sounds way too long to me! but then again, I usually cut out the thickest stems and toss them to my poultry flock who love them.

My favorite way to prepare greens is to get a thick bottomed stainless skillet warmed with a couple of tablespoons of oil in it. Olive oil is fine since I'll be keeping it low for a while. Then I put about half a chopped onion in there per bunch of greens (a store bunch - but I grow my own mustard too) and let it saute for at least five minutes. while that's cooking, I roll up the greens and finish chopping them usually having already washed and ridding them of stems. after the onion is getting translucent, I'll put the greens in and toss them with some tongs. Then add water (or broth) abut half way up the height of the greens. Raise the heat and let them boil a bit then turn it down, put a cover on it and set my timer. for chard, just five minutes, kale, maybe 20, collards I will cook up to about 40 minutes, maybe 50. that's it. I don't like these all mushy. If I have ham or bacon or smoked turkey I'll toss that in after the onion has cooked a bit and before the greens go in. I eat them with a little lemon juice and salt on or some hot sauce and salt.

...I'm a northerner by the way...

here are possible variations:


also, garlic is good instead of onion just watch it and keep it very low so it doesn't burn. it won't saute as long as onion.

Edited by Jill
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I just cooked a huge pot of greens yesterday, and used only a teaspoon or so of oil to get my onion a little sauteed. Here is what I did:


Briefly sauteed 3/4 of a large sweet onion. Added 3 bunches of cleaned, trimmed collard greens, about 4 cups of water, 2 chicken bullion cubes, a TBSP or two of vinegar, and a good sprinkling of sugar. Oh, I also threw in a turnip peeled and cut, because I love turnips in my greens. Simmer all.


After they were tender (about 45 min-1hr), I added a little salt, but not much. The boullion really flavored the greens nicely.


These were really really good and very easy! My boys finished them off for a snack yesterday.

Edited by Sunshyne
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Okay, now that does sound easy. I think I can do that. I was unaware that you sautee onions first for greens.


I wrote this all down. Thanks!


Oh...and I'll tell dh not to put so much vinegar this time!:001_smile:


You most likely don't have to sautee the onion. I just do because I always have. I bet it would be just as good to toss it in with the greens. :)

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I cook greens much like what has been described below. Wash, stem and chop the greens. Sautee onion and/or garlic in olive oil (believe it or not, for kale I often use coconut oil), then add in the still wet greens. Toss greens in the oil just enough to coat with oil and cook them down just a little, then add water (generally only about 2 cups per large pot. I don't always add bouillon, but it does add to the flavor. I increase the salt if I don't use bouillon. Cook to the tenderness of your liking. Add red pepper flakes, lemon juice and additional salt and pepper at the end, to taste. I've never added sugar to my greens, but I think part of the reason for that is that I'm usually fortunate to be able to cook local greens purchased at the farmers'market, so they aren't bitter to begin with . We amend with vinegar at the table, not while cooking. My Dad, who was a ham hock kinda guy ;) even enjoyed greens cooked this way.

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