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healthy greens and basic spoonbread


jess mebane
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Do you find that the recent trend towards healthy greens is successful? I love them, but am wary of trying a recipe that only takes about 30-45 mins and includes red wine, for instance. And do you prefer one sort of greens or do you mix?

I have also tried to make spoonbread and never have I come close to the ethereal, light dish my grandmother made. I have produced a fair approximation of plaster of paris and sheetrock compound. Is there any hope?

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Hi Jess,

The real key to cutting the cooking time of greens is to buy young, tender greens with small leaves. Greens with big, mature leaves are, well, tough cookies, and have to be cooked longer.

Hurray for healthy greens! I eat greens everyday, usually cooked in a generous cup of water brought to a boil with lots of chopped garlic, chile peppers, and perhaps a pinch of ginger or turmeric or crushed coriander seeds, and maybe a cap or two of cider vinegar or soy sauce. The old traditional pork seasoning is on hold.

Sometimes when I have guests and make the dish, I use chicken broth instead of water to make the cooking broth. Or even throw in a smoked turkey wing or ham hock for flavor. Truthfully, I don't think wine or herbs add much to greens. I love their own natural herbaceous taste.

I usually cook a pot of greens in 30 to 40 minutes; never virtually all night like in the old days. But I like them with a little "bite."

As for spoonbread, I found if you separate the eggs and beat the egg whites until soft but firm peaks form, then fold into the batter, you end up with a little, souffle-like texture. Try it.

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