Put Some South in Your Mouth

Guess who made collard greens for the first time on Saturday?

I had to consult the great Paula Deen when it came to cooking these bad boys.  The random produce mix that I got last week from the organic co-op was the only reason I had collard greens to begin with.  You would think that being born and raised in the south that I would naturally know how to prepare such leafy greens. No such luck, I’m afraid.

Here’s a little secret, Florida kind of skips the south.  We have too many transplants/retirees/snow birds to really claim to be true southerners.  Sure, there are some parts of the state that are definitely deep in the heart of Sweet Tea Country but, on the whole, Florida is pretty much not The South.

We don’t have accents either.

But I digress…

Paula’s recipe is here but I will paste a copy on my blog for you to peruse.


  • 1/2 pound smoked meat (ham hocks, smoked turkey wings, or smoked neck bones)
  • 1 tablespoon House seasoning, recipe follows
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt
  • 1 tablespoon hot red pepper sauce
  • 1 large bunch collard greens
  • 1 tablespoon butter


In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil and add smoked meat, house seasoning, seasoned salt and hot sauce. Reduce hat to medium and cook for 1 hour. Wash the collard greens thoroughly. Remove the stems that run down the center by holding the leaf in your left hand and stripping the leaf down with your right hand. The tender young leaves in the heart of the collards don’t need to be stripped. Stack 6 to 8 leaves on top of one another, roll up, and slice into 1/2 to 1-ince thick slices. Place greens in pot with meat and add butter. Cook for 45 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. When done taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve with favorite dish as a side.

House Seasoning:

  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

I’ll just say that I did not use any of the recipe’s suggested meats.  I would not even know where to begin to look for a smoked ham hock (what part of the ham is the hock anyway?) to purchase…  I used some cut up smoked ham steaks.  They worked out just fine.

Also, I did not realize that it took 2 hours to make collard greens.  They are kind of a tough leaf so it makes sense that they would need a long time to boil.

I will testify that the collard greens turned out to be really good and well worth the wait!  They have a deep green color when cooked that reminded me of grape leaves.  The texture reminded me of grape leaves too.

I’m looking forward to seeing what new and interesting produce will end up in my co-op box this week.  I just hope the coordinator is nicer to me this time…