"The cheese stands alone." I always felt kinda bad for the cheese. And sometimes I feel bad for the greens too, because they too often stand alone as a side dish, a supporting act. Collard greens in particular have been pigeonholed into the token green(ish) food on our plates of barbeque pulled pork and mac n' cheese. Well, no more! Today, collards get to grab a partner, do-si-do, and star in the show.
Collard greens are thick, some might even called them tough. They're typically cooked for a long time, with some kind of fatty animal product, like bacon or ham hocks, during which they lose much of their beautiful dark green color and come out of the pot bearing more of a putrid olive shade.
When I got a bunch of collards in my CSA box last week, I vowed to give them the treatment they deserved. And I came up with this quick and tasty recipe for collard greens and chicken chorizo tacos.
Collard Greens and Chicken Chorizo Tacos
1/2 lb. humanely raised ground chicken chorizo
1 bunch (about 4 large leaves) collard greens, stems removed and medium-chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp. taco seasoning
1/4 cup tomato sauce
4 soft corn tortillas
thinly sliced scallions (green onions)
charred tomato salsa
Heat a saute pan over medium heat. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally to break up the meat. Add the garlic and the chopped collards. If the pan seems a little dry (this will depend on how much fat is in your chorizo), stream in some olive oil to allow the greens to saute without charring.
Continue to cook the collards and chorizo together until the chicken is no longer pink and the greens have wilted and turned dark green in color. Taste a piece of the greens, paying attention to how they chew: you want some texture remaining but not the raw roughness they started with. If you like how things are going here, add the taco seasoning and tomato sauce, stirring to incorporate. Cook a few more minutes over medium low heat to allow the flavors to meld.
Meanwhile, heat your tortillas over a stove flame or in the microwave wrapped in damp paper towel, then serve the tacos immediately, topping the collard and chorizo mixture with salsa, avocado, green onions, and a squeeze of lime.