Green Vegetables –

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Let us speak of green vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, green beans and the like.

Generally, Americans just boil the things, usually from a frozen state. Not really the best way. I am a mostly fan of the French way of cooking the things, although I will admit to liking Southern style green beans that have been slow simmered with pieces of hog jowl. Very tasty with some good yellow cornbread for mopping up the pot likker.

You can kick the French politically, but their cooking deserves its high reputation.

In the French way of cooking, vegetables are blanched, not boiled to death. For fresh veggies, that means drop the veggies in rapidly boiling salted water. Bring back to a boil and boil for 6 minutes. Drain and immediately cool with fresh water to stop the cooking. At this point they are only about half cooked. By blanching and cooling we have preserved the fresh color and taste.

We can do the same thing with frozen vegetables by allowing them to thaw to room temperature and then blanching them for 3 minutes.

After the vegetables are blanched drain them thoroughly and place them into a well buttered casserole dish of whatever is the appropriate size. Cook them in a 350°F oven for about 20 minutes.

There are several good variations that can be done. First, after about 10 minutes in the oven remove, cover the bottom with grated cheese, put the veggies back in and cover the top with grated or shredded cheese. Raise the oven to 400°F and give it another 15 minutes or so.

Second, after 10 minutes or so, add boiling heavy cream to the dish and cook for another 10 minutes.

Third, combine any of the above with any kind of braised nuts that you like at the beginning and cook with the veggies.

Fourth, rough chop after blanching, warm in a skillet to evaporate all the water, then simmer in heavy cream, salt and pepper. After about 10 minutes of simmering it should be done and tender. Add some butter off heat and sprinkle with any garnish such as parsley or mint or whatever you like. Correct the seasoning to taste.

{Herself Sez: I have a love-hate relationship with veggies. The Ol’ Curmudgeon gets stressed about it from time to time. I need to keep some frozen collards, and spinach (creamed and souffle) and turnip greens around. I love broccoli – IF it has lemon juice or hollandaise sauce or a nice cheese sauce. I adore turnip greens with cornbread and potlikker (gee, ya think I’m Southern?). Brussels sprouts? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Green beans? We like them best “overcooked” with a cube of hog jowl in them, but we refrain. I often use “Bacos” but they just don’t give the same flavor. Hog Jowl gives the best flavor – even better than raw bacon. SIGH! Green veggies? I’ll eat them, occasionally!}

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One Response to “Green Vegetables –”

  1. The Sagebrush Gazette Says:

    Funny you should mention collards and pot likker. I’ve got a little over 100 feet of Georgia Collards growing in my back garden. Always makes for fresh collards around our house. And broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and spinach… mmm!

    Most of the summer cultivars are finished for the season, but fresh turnips and winter crops are coming in. If the freeze isn’t too hard this year, I should have some crops to survive over winter.

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