Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

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Making Do

In an effort to reign in spending and reduce the amount we waste, I've been trying to do a better job of eating what we already have instead of buying new comestibles or going out. Sometimes, though, what we have is not in optimal condition. For example, we had some TJ's greens that, while not hopelessly slimy, were well on their way to lassitude.

In the summer I'd put them out for the tortoises. At this time of year, though, I would once have simply tossed them out. I mean, who wants uncrisp lettuce? But then it struck me. Why not treat the greens the same way that I'd treat "real" greens of the Southern sort?

I washed them off, sorted out the leaves that were too far gone, and heated them in a non-stick pan until they were reduced to a heap of limpness. Then I got out the cast-iron pan and started heating it on low. I then tossed in a cut-up onion and two turkey andouille sausages sliced into rounds, waited until the edges of the onion pieces started to brown, added a little olive oil and a couple frozen Israeli garlic cubes -- also from TJ's -- and simmered the mixture until the onion pieces started to separate into transparent scallops.

At this point, I poured in a little white wine to deglaze the pan, then let most of the liquid evaporate before adding the greens. While the cast-iron pan continued simmering, I used the non-stick pan to fry up some sunny-side up eggs. When the yolks were firm enough on top to permit me to transfer the eggs to my plate without having the still runny interior spill out, I scooped the greens-sausage-and-onion mixture out of the cast-iron pan and slid the eggs on top.

The result was much better than I'd expected. And I was expecting the dish to be pretty good based on smell alone. The greens had enough residual bitterness to taste like "real" greens. The andouille and onions were the perfect flavor partners. And the yolks, once punctured, seeped into the bed of dark pseudo-Southern goodness with aplomb. Total cost? About $5. But when you figure that I would have thrown the greens out otherwise, it feels like a bigger savings.
Tags: everyday, food, how-to, recipe

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