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Old 20-10-2003, 03:08 AM
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Default Turnip Greens and Turnip Roots From the Deep South a la Nita

Turnip Greens and Turnip Roots
From the Deep South a la Nita

Nita's Note: Part of the following may not apply, especially if you are
using packaged or frozen turnip greens from the grocery store.

First, you should cut off the roots (if any) where the root joins the
green of the turnip. Put the roots aside (see my recipes for these below).
Then go through the greens, holding the leaf in one hand, with the other
hand, pull away the tough stem part of the turnip green as much as you can
and discard the stem. Now plunge the greens into a basin or big pot of
clean, cold water. I like to use a clean double sink, large pot, or large
colander and use running water to rinse the greens and remove any grit. I
take my hands and push the greens up and down in the sink to help clean
the greens in the same way one might wash lingerie. I can then move the
greens to the other side of the sink, draining the one I just used and
repeat the procedure. Turnip greens need to be washed with cold water a
minimum of 3 times -- four is better --as they are often gritty.

During at least one of the washes, you need to cover the greens with cold
water and add about 2 Tablespoons table salt, stir it in to dissolve it,
and let the greens soak 10 minutes or so. Then rinse them again
thoroughly. My husband's dear 90 year old aunt taught me this trick. She
said any little tiny insects will die in the salt water and drop off the
greens. Now you can bag your greens in gallon Ziploc bags until you are
ready to cook them, OR, you can continue with the cooking process. IF
there are roots from the turnips, trim and peel them and cut them in small
pieces. If you come across any that are woody looking, throw them out. You
can either cook the roots with the greens or if you have a good bit, you
can cook them separately.

Now that your greens are clean and ready to cook (with or without the
roots -- we like them with!), tear them in pieces or cut them up a bit.
Then you will be ready to put them on to cook. I save "drippings" from
cooking bacon and add 2 Tablespoons of this to my pot before adding the
greens, PLUS, we have a microwave, and we buy 1 or 2 smoked pork knuckles
or 1/4 lb. "salt pork" to cook ours with. I put either of these in a bowl,
add 2 or 3 Tablespoons water, cover the dish with waxed paper and
microwave it on HIGH for 3 or 4 minutes. Then I put this in the pot with
my greens. If you don't have a microwave, you can put the meat in a small
boiler, cover it with water and let it cook 15 or 20 minutes. Then it goes
in the pot with the greens -- at the beginning of the cooking.

You will need a 4 to 6 quart pot or Dutch oven to cook your greens in
depending on how many you are cooking. Put the pot on with the bacon
drippings in it and add the greens/roots. Turn the burner on medium high
heat and cover the pot with a lid. Your greens will be damp from washing
them. Let the greens "wilt" for a few minutes BUT keep them stirred so
they won't burn. Add the meat you have prepared (with its water). Add
about 2 cups water. Put the lid on the pot. Let that all get hot. Add
about 2 more cups water. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt, plus 2
Tablespoons granulated sugar (if you are cooking roots and they are
bitter, you may need more sugar.) Also add 1 Knorr Chicken Bouillon Cube
or 2 of brand of your choice. Let the greens boil slowly until they are
VERY tender, stirring occasionally. The greens will greatly reduce in
volume and change color to DARK green. They need to cook about 1 hour. Add
water as needed. Taste greens and adjust the seasoning as needed. When
ready to serve, place greens in a bowl and chop them well. Serve with
plenty of cornbread. The "liquor" in the pot we Southerners call "Pot
Licker" and we cherish it! It is great in a bowl with crumbled cornbread
in it. Offer apple cider vinegar and or pepper sauce (vinegar over hot or
mild peppers) with the greens -- to be sprinkled on as desired.

Turnip Roots Memphis Style A La Nita

Peel*, wash, chop and boil about a quart of turnip roots in a small amount
of water with about 1 teaspoon salt and 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
added. Add a Knorr Chicken Bouillon cube (or other brand -- we like
Knorr), if desired.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.. When roots are very tender, drain
thoroughly and mash them like creamed potatoes. Drain off excess water, if
any. Dissolve 2 Tablespoons flour in 1/4 cup heavy cream or Half & Half.
Add, stirring in well. Taste and check seasoning. Add more sugar if roots
are bitter.

Add 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese. Add 1 egg, beaten, if desired. Mix
together well. Pour into casserole dish. Sprinkle with more grated cheese,
if desired. Top with crumbled Cheese Ritz, Unseasoned bread crumbs or
Saltine Crackers, crumbled fine. Add a few pats of butter on top or spray
with butter spray (not too much). Bake for 20 or 25 minutes at 350 till
hot through and the topping is crispy and lightly browned.


Nita Holleman

This works for lots of vegetables. Scrub the turnip roots, drop them in
enough boiling water to cover them for a few minutes until you can stick a
fork part of the way in them. Remove them. Drain. Place in cold water
until you can handle them. Peel and chop, discarding peeling. Then proceed
as above. Nita

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