This should really say “Utica greens” because these are more of an imitation of the real thing.
Over the past several weeks I’ve just taken a hard face plant into adulthood and this blogging business got away from me.
First. After 5+ years, the GS decided that my chicken cutlets were up to his Italian standards and asked me to marry him.
He said my broccoli rabe still needs some work.
I got home from teaching my classes at the gym on a Friday night, and as usual was tired, disgustingly sweaty, and ravenous. He said his French professor had emailed him about a BYOB pop-up dinner on campus at Loyola, and did I want to go? He had already filled a growler with IPA.
Key words to my heart: dinner, Loyola, and BYOB.
I said yes, took a quick shower and we headed up to campus. We were walking on the quad toward the student center and he said “So, there’s no pop-up dinner. And this growler is full of water.”
My first reaction was anger because I was pretty damn hungry at this point and didn’t appreciate the delay of food to my face.
But then he got down on one knee and proposed so that was pretty great. And had made dinner reservations somewhere other than Loyola. And I drank some water from the growler in the car.
After dinner he suggested we stop at a bar nearby for another drink. When we got there, my sister and brother-in-law, his sister and her boyfriend, and four of our Loyola friends were there to surprise me! Then I started crying and it was embarrassing. But lovely.
So now we’re in the midst of wedding planning (June 2018!) and also decided if we’re going to get married we might as well buy a house so we did that, too.
I’m very excited to cook lots and lots of delicious things in my new kitchen once things are finalized there, but for now I made these imitation Utica greens about a month ago and I think it’s time to share.
8-10 cups greens*
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 cup chopped bacon, pancetta, or proscuitto
1/2 sweet onion, diced
2 cherry peppers, chopped
1 cup bread crumbs
*When I made them the first time, I couldn’t find escarole so I used collard greens. Collards don’t cook down quite as much so overall the texture was different from what I’ve had up in Syracuse. Over the weekend I made them again with escarole and it was much closer to the real thing.
Saute your bacon or pancetta until cooked through. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon, and cook the onion in the bacon fat until translucent. Add the cherry peppers. The first time I made it I found fresh ones and just roughly removed most of the seeds. If you can’t find fresh you can buy the jarred kind.
Add the greens and the chicken stock and cover the pot.
Stir occasionally until the greens have wilted down completely, then add your bacon or pancetta back in. In a separate pan, toast the breadcrumbs. I like to add a little olive oil to the pan so that they stick together a little bit.
If you’re serving right away, you can just mix the bread crumbs and some parmesan cheese into the greens and serve. If you’re making it ahead, I recommend putting the greens into a serving dish, topping with the bread crumbs and cheese, and then baking it at 350 until it’s heated through (15-20 minutes).
Serve! I didn’t take any pictures of the ones I made this weekend at camp with escarole, but I thought they were pretty good. Just be aware that escarole cooks down a LOT. I bought three big bunches and ended up with a relatively small amount so if you’re cooking for a crowd buy out the escarole.
Nothing like adding bacon, breadcrumbs, and cheese to some healthy greens. #weddingdiet?