Collard Greens

Juanita's Collard Greens

1 case of collard greens
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic salt
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper seeds
2 pounds of bacon
3 cups chopped onion

Pick over the greens to make sure the leaves are nice and fresh. Cut excess stems off and roll up several leaves together and cut through the rolls making narrow strips. Repeat until all the greens are cut. Soak the greens in cold water and wash and rinse them until the bottom of the sink is free of dirt and grit. This may require as many as four rinses. There is nothing worse then biting into a plate of gritty greens.

While the greens are draining, cut the bacon into small pieces and fry in a skillet until nice and crispy. Remove the bacon from the skillet and add the 4 cups of chopped onions to the bacon fat and sauté the onions until they become transparent.

Place the greens in a large kettle, add the seasonings, bacon and sautéed onions. Add a quart of water to start. Cook over a medium heat covered. Make sure to check often to make sure the water does not cook out. Add just enough water to keep from scorching the greens. If the greens are all under water that is way too much water. You need to take half of that amount out. We don’t want to have to drain the liquid off the greens, because then you are losing the entire flavor. You want the water to cook down and not be thrown out. Fresh collards take some time to cook, maybe as long as two hours or so, depending on the age of the greens. Some times sugar or baking soda can be added to sweeten them a little. I raise my own collards and I don’t harvest them until after a killing frost. That makes them nice and tender, and helps to sweeten them. At the restaurant, I would mix cabbage with the collards and that was a favorite with my family and dinner guests.

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