Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Braised Greens with Scallops

Last night, after I engaged in the orgy at Whole Foods—What else would you call a bustling mass of people getting sucked in by the food porn and buying more than they can afford?—I got busy in my kitchen and made myself a yummy fall dinner.

In this season, more than any other, I'm a pro at combining vegetables and fruit into single dishes. My acorn squash soup had apples hidden in it. The meal I made last night contained raisins and a pear. It also had yummy bacon (an essential, in my mind, when cooking bitter greens) and pecans. This meal was so full of good flavors that, instead of eating at my desk while watching TV, I actually sat at the kitchen table and ate my dinner wiht a glass of wine and background music. (Have I mentioned I love fall?)

Braised Greens (with scallops)
(Serves 2)

The braised greens are a great fall/winter side dish on their own and would work well pork, chicken or other meats. I had them with scallops that I seasoned with salt and pepper and seared in a non-stick pan with a little EVOO. Just be careful not to over cook them!

1/4 lb bacon (use uncut bacon or thick slices)
1/2 ea red onion (chopped)
3/4 lb mixed braising greens* (washed and roughly
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup raisins (normal or golden)
1/4 cup pecans (roughly chopped)
1 ea pear (diced in 1/2" pieces - Do this while the greens are cooking so that it doesn't brown from sitting around too long.) salt to taste fresh ground nutmeg to taste (optional)

1. Cut the bacon into 1/2" pieces (if sliced) or into 1/4" dice (if using unsliced slab bacon). Place this in a high-sided saute pan over med-low heat and allow the fat to render, stirring occassionally.
2. Add the red onion and stir occassionally until it softens.
3. Add the chopped greens and stir to coat with the rendered fat. Then add the chicken stock and cover to trap the steam.
4. When the greens are wilted, but not mushy (3-5 minutes on heat), add the raisins and pecans and stir them in. Leave the lid off at this point to allow moisture to escape. (You aren't making a soup...) 5. When the greens are just about ready to eat, add the diced pear and stir in so that it just begins to soften. (If you want your pear softer, cut the pieces smaller or add them earlier.) Add the ground nutmeg at this time if using.
6. Make a final adjustment to the seasoning (i.e.
salt) and serve.

* I purchased mine from an open bin at Whole Foods. If this isn't available, use a combination of radicchio, chard, beet greens, kale, turnip greens, mustard, collard greens or any other tough leaf.

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