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New Orleans Meets Calabria

Last week I bought a bag of Southern Greens Blend at Trader Joes. It contained Mustard, Turnip, Collards & Spinach. There was a recipe on the back that involved Andouille. With some fresh hot cornbread, I thought it would be nice to have a old fashioned Southern meal.

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When I got home, I discovered that we had used the Andouille I thought I had in the freezer, and I didn't have any cornmeal either. So I stuck the bag in the fridge and fixed Pasta Puttanesca for dinner instead.

This morning I realized that the greens were going to go bad if I didn't use them, so I began to improvise.

I substituted mild Italian sausage (heavy on the fennel) for the Andouille. And I sliced up some polenta instead of making cornbread. The recipe called for chicken broth, but I had an open box of vegetable stock in the fridge I wanted to use up. Plus, to brighten the flavor of the greens I thought a little lemon would be a good addition.

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I didn't have a single fresh lemon, so I used some limoncello. What the heck, the alcohol would cook off anyway, right?

First I softened some chopped red onion and garlic in olive oil. Then added chunks of Italian sausage to brown.

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Then I added the full bag of greens, Two cups vegetable broth, and 1/8 cup limoncello.

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I let it cook down enough to be able to toss it without throwing greens all over the stove. After tossing the ingredients, I continued to let it simmer on low for another 30 minutes or so.

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While the greens were cooking, I sliced the polenta, fried it in a little butter and olive oil with a touch of salt and pepper. Then drained the polenta slices on paper towels and transfered them to a parchment lined cookie sheet. I stuck them under the broiler until they were slightly brown, turned them and sprinkled with finely grated pecorino romano cheese before broiling again.

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We enjoyed the combination of bitter southern greens, sweet Italian sausage and polenta with a glass of A Mano. A very satisfying and unusual fusion of flavors from the deep south of my two favorite countries!

Comments (2)

I love all those substitutions - what an evolution of a meal!

Brenda:

YUM!
YUM!
YUM!
...and the plate is stunning! I suppose you have a whole stack of 'em in your kitchen?
Niiiiice, Deborah.

LOL, Brenda. Actually I have service for 24 of those dishes. BUT, only because I bought them at a closeout sale at Garden Ridge.

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