Collard Greens with Ham and Maple Syrup

Admittedly, I don’t know a whole lot about Southern soul food. I’ve lived in the North East my entire life, so my knowledge of fried chicken, grits and chicken fried steak is limited. One thing I do know, it’s delicious.

When we lived in Harlem we would sometimes go to Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread Too, a restaurant well-known for its comfort food. To be brutally honest, I didn’t think the fried chicken was very good. From what I recall it was soggy and lacking flavor. Maybe I got a bad batch, but just sayin. What I do remember is how good the collard greens were. I had never had them before and was blown away by the salty, porky, homemade flavor.

Well, I decided I wanted to try my hand at this Southern staple. Keep in mind, this is not Paula Deen’s recipe. It’s quick cooking, wholesome and utilizes on-hand ingredients (I don’t think I’ve ever actually purchased a ham hock). While I love the concept of slow-cooking, I hate the thought of boiling out all those nutrients! Collards are exceptionally good for you, full of vitamins and minerals. These only cook for a few minutes, maximizing their nutritional profile, but still having loads of flavor from the maple, ham and vinegar.

Just don’t tell Paula Deen what I said. P.S. If you haven’t watched this video of Paula Deen on ludes, please do.

Collard Greens with Ham and Maple Syrup

1 tsp. olive oil
1/4 large onion, 1/2 normal
3 slices good deli ham
2 garlic cloves
1 bunch collard
1.5 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tbsp. vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

1.) Saute onion, garlic and ham until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
2.) Meanwhile strip the collard greens of their stems and cut into strips. Soak them in a bowl of water to clean, then drain very well.
3.) Add the collards to the pot. Cook, turning frequently, for about 5-7 minutes. Add salt and pepper.
4.) Finish with the maple syrup and vinegar. Add more salt if needed.

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About sweetersalt

Salt = sodium = bad. Sweet = calories = bad. Well, isn't that just a bleak outlook. I firmly believe that without salt and without sweet we all just live in a world of lettuce. Plain lettuce. Fun? No. This blog is about life. Namely, my life. But, not that specific. I myself am simply not that interesting. I live an ordinary life, work an ordinary job and do ordinary things. But... life is all about experiencing that feeling you get when you really, really like something. If you don't feel a little warm in your heart when you walk into a farmer's market or try on a piece of beautiful clothing that fits you perfectly (that just so happens to be a great deal!) then you should probably keep on a' movin' from my little plot of internet. Sweeter salt is my metaphor for the good things in life, sprinkled over everything in moderation. Banana? Kinda boring. Banana smoothie - yum! White tank top? Yawn. Statement necklace layered over said tank - now we're talking! I live in Portland, Maine. I love cooking, eating out, riding my bike and approachable fashion. This blog does not chronicle my every waking moment. This is because you will probably not be entertained by the 10th day in a row that I eat the exact same salad for lunch. It does chronicle a healthy, active, fun-filled, colorful lifestyle, in Portland and beyond. It also covers dogs. Cute ones mostly.
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5 Responses to Collard Greens with Ham and Maple Syrup

  1. fore front says:

    my boyfriend LOVES (unnatural love) Paula Deen.
    his request last year for his bday? her mac and cheese and bacon deep fried squares. yep.

  2. marissa says:

    as a southern girl (sn, my sister calls paula her “grandma”), of course i loooove my collard greens (ham hock and all :) but, i will actually try your recipe for nutrition’s sake. also, you are probably right about the fried chicken at mamie’s i am almost disapointed when i taste “the best fried chicken ever” according to some review and it doesn’t even come close to what my grandma (the real one not p.d.) cooks up.

    Girl Meets Handbag

    Murval Paris

  3. Sarah says:

    My husband is from Louisiana and loves collard greens. I have never attempted to make them and this recipe looks so good. Thanks for sharing!!

  4. Shannon says:

    I LOVE collards. Great recipe! If you are ever in this area, I can make a great recommendation for chicken and waffles (and collard greens too of course!).

  5. Pingback: Collard Greens with Ham and Maple Syrup | Akusui Gourmet Knives

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