I love a good potluck (and what potluck isn't good?!), so when my co-worker asked if I wanted to join in, I was a huge YES. The theme: Soul Food.
Hmmm....what do I know about soul food?
1. It's southern -- I lived in the south for a total of 14 years, but I won't mention that my mother took her Pennsylvania Dutch cooking down there. Hmmm...the most southern I got was learning to put mayo on my egg sandwich. That and Bessinger's BBQ sauce (the BEST mustard-based sauce int he world).
2. It's comfort food -- My soul food would probably be pork and sauerkraut and mashed potatoes.
Others were bringing fried chicken, cornbread, beans and rice. Then it came to me. Fried Okra or Collard Greens. I didn't have okra (nor would I know how to make it), but I did have Swiss Chard in the garden. That would do, so I harvested all I had, which was a huge arm full and set to work washing and de-veining it. I looked up several traditional collard green recipes and made my own. It was a hit with my co-workers!
Soulful Swiss Chard
2 bunches Swiss Chard, washed with stems and veins removed
6 slices bacon and its grease
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 bell pepper (red is pretty)
1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
2 splashes balsalmic vinegar
Seasoned salt (I use Emeril's Essence)
Red Pepper flakes or ground to taste
Wash and remove stems of Swiss chard and de-vein. Take a small stack of the chard leaves and roll them. Slice them 1/2 inch thick and chop a little. Fry up bacon till crisp. Remove bacon, set aside and crumble when cool. In bacon grease, saute onion and bell pepper. Set those aside. In bacon grease, add vinegar, seasonings, and saute chard in it for 4-5 minutes. Add bacon, onions, bell peppers. Stir well. Serve. (serves 8-10)