Delicious ways to celebrate Kwanzaa
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Winter greens are both delectable and versatile, easily added to stews, pasta sauces, soups, and stir-fries. You can go simple—sautéed with olive oil and sea salt—or turn it up a notch with spicy peppers or smoky bacon.

One particularly good accompaniment to your Kwanzaa table is these Southern-style collard greens.


Southern-style collard greens

2 to 4 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion; roughly chopped
3 to 4 garlic cloves; minced
1/2 tsp. smoked Spanish paprika
Crushed red pepper; to taste (not too much, a pinch should be enough)
Salt and fresh black pepper; to taste
(Optional) 3 slices of Turkey bacon; roughly chopped
1 to 2 smoked turkey parts; with skin and bones, roughly chopped
2 to 4 lbs. fresh Collard Greens; rinsed and and cleaned at least 3 times, stems removed and discarded; leaves torn into large or small pieces (size of leaves is a personal preference)*
32 oz. chicken stock; low-sodium (more or less, enough to barely cover the greens)
1 to 3 dried chili peppers; to taste
1 to 4 tbsp. sugar (amount varies, depending on the natural sweetness of the collard greens)
1/4 cup red chili vinegar (more or less, for the amount varies according to personal taste)
(Optional) A dash of Red balsamic vinegar

1. In a large pot over medium heat, warm olive oil. If using bacon, cook until brown and crisp. Remove bacon from the pot and set aside. In the same pot, saute onions until translucent for about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika, salt, and black pepper. Stir for 30 seconds. Add the smoked turkey (including the bone) and stir until the meat is warm. Add a little chicken stock if the ingredients are dry.

2. Mix in a few handfuls collard greens until the pot is full. When the collards have cooked down, continue adding more until the pot is about a third full. Add the chicken stock, red chili vinegar, red balsamic vinegar, sugar, dried chili pepper, and the turkey bacon. Add more salt and pepper. Cover and bring greens to a boil.

3. Reduce the heat until the greens are simmering. Cook for at least one and half hours. Midway through cooking the greens, taste to adjust the seasonings and vinegar.

4. Ladle Southern-Style Collard Greens into individual bowls or plates and serve with cornbread on the side. Place red chili vinegar on the side to allow guests to drizzle more onto their greens.

Courtesy of Sanura Weathers/Kwanzaa Culinarians

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