Search This Blog

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Steamed collard leaves stuffed with wild rice, garbanzos and caramelized onions and kabocha

Collard greens are amazing! Usually they are cooked for hours on end until they are mushy and tasteless, devoid of all nutrition and texture and then flavored with some dead pig parts. Yeah, great way to destroy an amazing green vegetable. There are countless ways to prepare collards. One thing i lke about them is how hearty they are how they can be steamed or blanched slightly and then laid out, filled with various kinds of delightful culinary treasures, rolled up, steamed and sauced to create an infinite amount of culinary orgasmic delights.
Here is one idea.

First you will need a bunch of collard leaves. In Northern California, they are locally harvested 12 months a year.  Assume 2 leaves per person if a main course or 1 leaf per person for an appetizer or small plate.
Since you are using organic collards, you need to wash them carefully as the undersides of the leaves are where bugs like to make their hang and lay eggs and do what bugs do. Easy to simply clean any off that lingered from the nearby farm.
Blanch your leaves in boiling water where you add 1/4 tsp baking soda. Simply drop the leaf in and immediately remove it and let drain. Do NOT boil them. Do NOT cook them. Simply drop the leaf in and immediately remove it. Forget the cell phone ringing or the awful christmas music that may have just appeared for no reason in your space.

Now for fillings
wild rice
i use a rice cooker for all my grains and put 1 1/2 cups wild rice into the cooker and added water to the 2 line. Then added a dash of sea salt and cooked it on the white rice setting. perfecto every time!

Soak 1 cup garbanzos over night. In the morning drain, rinse and place them in 3 cups water and bring to boil. Cover, simmer and cook for 45 minutes. If you have old beans it will take longer. Or use a presssure cooker and cook for 10 minutes. Life is better with pressure cookers!

After beans are cooked, drain them, well.

Caramelized onions and kabocha
1 onion diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small kabocha, chopped. (never peel kabocha as it tastes awesome)
i carrot, chopped
2 tsp oregano
1 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp sea salt
3 tbsp olive oil
2 lemons, juiced

In cast iron skillet bring oil to temperature and add onions and salt. Stir well and sautee for 8 minutes stirring frequently. Add rest of ingredients except lemon juice. Cook for 7 minutes, stirring frequently. Add lemon, remove from heat.

Now for the package itself
Lay out your leaves on dry surfaces, spine side down. Gently smash the spine down if it is strong.
Place a small amount of wild rice on one end of your leaf. Add some beans and some of the onion/kabocha mixture. Do not overfill or it will be too difficult to keep closed.
Roll it up like you would a burrito or a nice spliff.

Repeat till all your leaves are filled. You should have enough mixture for about 15 leaves.

Place leaves in 3 tiers of bamboo steamers. Steam for 15 minutes.
From steamer, immediately place on plate. These can be sauced with a chanterelle sauce and/or a tahini/dill and many many other possibilities.

No comments:

Post a Comment