The best part of a dinner party is being a guest. And sure, being a host darting in and out of the kitchen is great and all, but wouldn’t you rather be out mingling and enjoying a glass of something? Food writer and recipe developer Meredith Steele takes the grunt work out of entertaining with her new book, a collection of recipes designed to keep you at the party. Creamed Parmesan collard greens, anyone?
My nanny, whom I called RoRo, was more of a family member than anything and was at every holiday gathering when I was a kid. She was known for her cooking, especially her amazing and deeply soulful collard greens. They were so good, in fact, that she grew tired of people asking for the recipe. Every time I make any type of collard greens, I can only hope to make them as good as she did.
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 bunches collard greens, sliced into 2-inch pieces
- 5 slices bacon
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, grated
- 1/2 tablespoon thyme leaves
For the collards
Bring a large pot of water to boil and add salt. Boil collard greens for 5 minutes until tender but still bright green. Strain collard greens from water and immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water.
In a large 12-inch (30-cm) sauté pan, cook bacon over medium-high heat until golden and crisp, about 4 minutes a side. Remove bacon to a paper towel–lined plate.
Reduce heat to medium and add garlic and shallots; sauté for 2 minutes until fragrant. Add flour, whisk to incorporate and cook for another 2 minutes. While whisking, add chicken stock, milk, cheese and thyme. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low.
Add collard greens and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the greens are tender and the sauce has thickened. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. Crumble the bacon and place on top of the greens. Serve.
Can be made up to a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator (store the crumbled bacon in an airtight container in the refrigerator separately). When ready to serve, reheat on the stove until warmed through and recrisp the bacon in a warm oven before placing on top of the collard greens.