I love collard greens. I love their substantial texture, and their mildly assertive taste. I like to pair them with smoky crispy things. I thought of the crust in this as being almost like bacon – crunchy and smoky with smoked paprika. The pecans added a nice crunch, and the roasted mushrooms brought their lovely savory, meaty flavor.
Here’s Fox in the Snow by Belle and Sebastian.
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 t smoked paprika
1 t salt
1/2 t cayenne
1 stick unsalted butter, frozen
In a large bowl combine the flour, cornmeal, salt and spices. Grate in the butter and mix with a fork till you have a coarse crumbly texture. Stir in ice water, about half a cup. Knead gently for about a minute till you have a soft cohesive dough. Wrap in foil and chill in the fridge for at least half an hour.
Roasted mushrooms, prepared this way.
One large bunch of collards
1 T olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 t red pepper flakes
2 t thyme
1 t rosemary, chopped
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted or roasted
1 – 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper
1 egg, beaten
Soak and wash collards. Bring a large pot of water to boil with a shake of salt in it. Cut the thick stem from the collards, chop them roughly and drop them in the water. Boil them for about twenty minutes until quite soft. Drain. You should have about two cups, cooked. When it’s cool enough to handle, squeeze some of the water out, and chop into pieces about 1 inch square.
Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, herbs, and red pepper flakes and stir and fry for under a minute. Then add the collards. Cook for a few minutes until the collards are well coated and the pan is quite dry. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl combine the collards, mushrooms, pecans and cheese. Season with salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper and then stir in all but 1 tablespoonful of the egg.
Preheat the oven to 425.
Butter and flour a cake pan. Roll out 3/4 of the dough to be about 1/4 inch thick. Press this into the cake pan, it should come up the sides and hang over slightly.
Spread the filling into the dough-lined cake pan. Roll out the remaining lump of dough to be 1/4 inch thick. Place this over the pie. Roll the edges together and press with a fork to seal. Poke the top with a fork in a few places, and brush the surface with the remaining beaten egg.
Bake for about 30 – 35, till the top is browned and crispy. Let cool for a few minutes before turning out onto a plate.
Thank you, steenbeck, for another beautiful and heartwarming story about your family – Isaac’s drawing is amazing! Unfortunately I can’t eat pies at the moment – NO PIES! – but I will partake vicariously.
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