Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Southern-Style Collards and Ham Hocks

Today is Mardi Gras, the last day of unabashed revelry before the 40 long days and nights of Lent begin. To celebrate, here is a good old Southern dish and the perfect Southern drink, a Sazerac. 

And a Mardi Gras manicure...

Yes, those are an attempt at tits on my thumbs. When I showed Santina my Mardi Gras manicure, she was disappointed at the lack of boobs, so I added some to my thumbs. It was her idea to put one on each thumb to form a rack when they are together. They kind of look more like scary eyes, but they make me laugh, so I am happy with them. Longest caption ever.

Eat up, drink up, and get out there, show your titties, and win some beads. 

1 large ham hock
4 lbs collard greens
2 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper
Apple cider vinegar
Hot sauce

1.  Place the ham hock in a large pot.  Cover with water plus about an inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the meat is falling apart, about 1 hour. Add more water as the water boils away.

2.  Meanwhile, clean the greens and strip them from the stalk. I actually like the stalk, so I leave some of it on, but definitely get rid of any stalk that is large and tough. Roll several leaves together and cut into ~1 inch strips. Do this for all the leaves.

3.  When your ham hocks become tender add the collards, sugar, and a healthy dose of vinegar (I added about a cup) to the pot. Add collards to the pot until the pot is full. Most likely all of the collards will not fit. Allow the collards to cook down and continue adding until all of your greens fit in the pot. Cover and simmer for about 1 hour, until collards are tender. Stir your collards often and keep sufficient water level to all the collards to simmer. About halfway through cooking add salt and pepper to taste.

4.  Serve with a couple dashes of hot sauce, corn bread, and a sazerac (recipe below). I did not make corn bread, and I really wish I had.  Next time.

The Sazerac is one of my all time favorite drinks, but I don't make it all the often. I am terrified that if I make them too often, I will get sick of them. I limit myself to one or two a week, max.

1 cube sugar
1 1/2 ounces Rye Whiskey
1/4 ounce Absinthe
3 dashes Peychaud's bitters
Lemon peel

1. Pack an Old-Fashioned glass with ice.

2. In a second Old-Fashioned glass place the sugar cube and add the bitters to it, then crush the sugar cube.

3. Add the whiskey to the second glass containing the bitters and sugar.

4. Empty the ice from the first glass and coat the glass with the Absinthe, then discard the remaining Absinthe.

5. Empty the whiskey/bitters/sugar mixture from the second glass into the first glass. Rub the lemon peel around the rim of the glass, and place on the edge of the glass, but do not put lemon peel into the drink. (My lemon peel fell in my glass. It should know better than that.)

As a last word, here is Santina with an example of a way to show your titties that will win you no beads.

Bon appetit.

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