Thursday, July 26, 2012

Collard Greens Roll-ups with Peach Compote



It’s peach season in the Peach State; the season runs from mid-May to August, approximately 16 weeks.  Like most locavores, I eat, cook and preserve as much as I can until they run out.

H.T. Chen and Dian Dong from Chen Dance Center in New York were here a couple of weeks ago for a residency at Alternate ROOTS to explore the possibility of working with artists in the South  and the Chinese-American community to create new work about Chinese-American immigrants. I brought Dian to the market after picking them up from airport, and she was all glee and happiness when she found some Georgia peaches.  Ahhh, but who wouldn’t be, right?  Georgia peaches are the sweetest, juiciest and most plump in the world.  Fun fact:  Peaches were first grown in China, then they spread to the western world via India and Persia, and was brought by Christopher Columbus to the new world.  It finally found its way to middle Georgia and planted on acres of land which later became Peach County.  I bet H.T. would enjoy that bit of information as much as he enjoyed the peaches.

This recipe is the combination of the best of what the Georgia soil can offer - Collard Greens, Peaches and Vidalia Onions.  You can add pecans as well if you have them.

1 bunch of collard greens
1 bunch of garlic chives
6 medium peaches, peeled, pith removed and diced
2 vidalia onions, diced
1 fuji apple, peeled, cored and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup sultanas (golden raisins)
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp + 2 Tbsp duck or bacon fat
1/2 cup of chicken broth
juice of 1 orange

Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.

Wash collard greens and cut out the thick middle stem. Roll each leaf and 
secure with a piece (or two) of chives. Set aside.

Mix the next eight (8) ingredients together
Layer half of the peaches and onion mixture in a braiser pan.
Next, lay the rolled-up collard greens
Then, layer the rest of the peaches and onion mixture on top of the collard greens.
Add the chicken stock.  
Splash the juice of one (1) orange and dot the mixture with
the rest of the fat.  
Cover the pan and braise for 40 minutes or until most of the liquid is 
absorbed and the vegetables are tender 
Serve with hot pepper sauce and enjoy!

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