In the south, our veggies are simple, inexpensive & so much fun to update. So, here's what we created. A simple yet elegant side dish that is my version of creamed spinach. What's great about this side vs creamed spinach is, the texture of the mustard greens remains crunchy & holds up better when the liquid is added, than the spinach does. Which lends to the feeling, that this is a much heartier & certainly healthier compliment to any southern meal.
For those that might never had tasted mustard greens before, they are similar to arugula, in that they have a peppery background. I love arugula so this was a natural transition for me. Mustard greens are also packed full of vitamins & minerals so you can feel good about eating them. Next we are doing a Pesto with them, can't wait. This was a huge hit at our last family dinner so I am looking forward to you sharing it with your family too. Enjoy!!
1 (1lb) bag mustard greens (took a short cut, cutting up the leaves adds an extra step)
2 tablespoons duck fat or bacon grease
2 small garlic cloves, grated (or 1 large)
1/2 cup half & half (or whole milk)
2 oz cream cheese, cubed
1 cup monterey jack cheese
couple grates of nutmeg
dash cayenne (optional)
salt & pepper to taste (suggestion: 1 1/2 tsp salt & 1/2 tsp white pepper)
In a 5 1/2 qt dutch oven or similar, bring to boil, slightly salted water. Add mustard greens & blanch for 2 minutes. Drain & place in a water bath (bowl that is filled with ice & cold water), let them sit in the bath til cool, approximately 2-3 minutes. Drain & pat dry (opt) most of the water will cook off in the skillet.
Meanwhile, in a skillet, over medium heat, melt fat and add garlic, cook for 1 minute. Add greens, half & half, both cheeses, nutmeg, cayenne (opt) & salt & pepper. Stir everything together, til it begins to thicken.
Makes about 6 servings