Eating better food for less and other tales from a no-moneymoon

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Layers of Fun, and Collards

I've got certain tv-watching habits that fill a need. Hoarders? Inspires me to clean. Martha? Keeps me crafty. (Yes, I worship at the Church of Martha.)

And then there's my pal Guy Fieri. You heard me. Guy, the Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives dude. With the hair. He provides me with the emotional face-stuffing I no longer participate in. Now I do it virtually. I watch him do my over-eating for me. I hope he feels good about it.

Aside from his total worship of very indulgent comfort food, triple-D dude gets line chefs to fess up their signature recipes. And while I'm sticking with my healthier eating ways (there have been results afterall...but more on that when I'm feeling brave), I've been thinking a lot about how so many of their recipes boil down to a ton of ingredients roasted/cooked and then blended into sauces with layers of flavors.

Which brings me, magically, back to collards. Yep, got more of them from the CSA. And in the past I've had some nice success in keeping them simple. But why not build them into something more, something with layers, both literal and figurative.

With some leftover tortillas, home-made chorizo from the freezer (part of a freezer swap that's mid-stream), and some lovely red peppers, I thought I'd make dinner a mash up: Portuguese Chorizo and Kale soup meets veggie pizza.

Next time, I'll add cheese to hold things together, but this was crunchy, salty and smoky, filling and full of collard-goodness. Guy might have done the "hunch" to fit it all in to one big bite. We used a fork.

Chorizo, Collard and Pepper "Pizza"

1 red pepper
6 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
olive oil
1/2 pound chicken chorizo
6-7 collard leaves
3 tortillas

Heat oven to 420F. Rinse off red pepper and place on baking sheet. Roast for 25 minutes or until the skin is wrinkly and brown in spots. Remove from oven and steam in paper bag. I never have a paper bag so I create a little pocket by folding over parchment paper. In fact, if I'm feeling bold I toast on parchment and then carefully fold it over. (Watch those fingers!) When it is cool enough to touch, peel of skin and scrape away stem and seeds.

Place the red pepper in a mini Cuisinart along with 2 cloves garlic, 2 Tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper and 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar. Blend until very smooth. Add more olive oil if you need to.

On a baking sheet lined with foil (for easy clean up) drizzle a little olive oil. Slide your tortillas in the oil on both sides to be lightly coated. Bake on the sheet for 10 minutes at 320F. You don't want them to burn, but you do want them to get a little stiff. Pull them out and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a medium saute pan, heat some more olive oil and throw in chopped collards. Mince 4 cloves garlic and place on top of collards. Let it wilt and then stir around until collard are softer but still a nice bright color. Remove and set aside.

In the same pan add the chorizo. I had homemade loose chorizo that I made with ground chicken, but any uncooked chorizo would work. Crumble with a fork as it begins to cook. You'll also pick up some bits of collard, which is fine. Cook fully.

Now, time to layer. Spread the red pepper sauce on the tortilla, then the collards, then the chorizo with a little more pepper sauce on top. Into the oven for 10-15 minutes and you've got some big flavors, high fiber and lots of leftovers in one meal.

1 comment:

  1. Just found your blog today and have really enjoyed reading it. I feel the same way abotu TV and used to watch episodes of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives while running on the treadmill at home - the show was the perfect length and the combo of feeling satisfied from Guy's chowing down vs the fact that I had no intention of eating anything like that which would undo my treadmilling efforts it became a comforting routine.

    Thanks for the blog. We love to cook and often give ourselves similar 'iron chef' style challenges. This month we'll be working to get our food budget under control. I know it's possible, especially with the great recipes you've shared.

    Just wanted to say Thanks!