Friday, June 21, 2013

Greens, Egg & Ham (Acelgas con Jamón)

acelgas con jamon Cuban greens with ham and egg
If there's a Cuban equivalent to Southern US soul food, this unpretentious but nourishing dish belongs in that category.

Acelgas con jamón is an old, traditional Cuban recipe made with chard or other leafy greens such as collards, bok choy (pak choi), turnip greens, vitamin greens, spinach, etc.,plus egg and chopped ham for additional richness and protein. Served with plain boiled rice, it becomes an inexpensive, economical meal when budgets are tight -- or you can certainly serve it as a side for chicken, meat, seafood or bean dishes.

Here is my recipe for Cuban style greens, which I just had to name Greens, Egg & Ham (please forgive me, Dr. Seuss). For the version shown in the photo, I used vitamin greens, aka vitaminna, and ham trimmings that I had saved in our freezer from a large ham roast that Greg had cooked on our smoker.

1 bunch leafy greens, approx. 1 lb
2 Tbs olive oil or bacon fat (or combination)
1/4 cup chopped ham or meaty ham trimmings
1 egg, beaten
Salt & Pepper to taste

Thoroughly wash the greens, remove tough stems and coarsely chop. Heat the oil or fat in a large, deep skillet, then add chopped greens and saute over medium heat until just wilted and tender to taste. Stir in the ham, then pour in the beaten egg and cook while stirring, until the egg is set but not too dry. Season with salt & pepper to taste. And although it probably wasn't done in old Havana, you could certainly splash on some hot sauce if you usually eat your greens that way (Tabasco Sauce is an excellent choice).

Zestfully yours,

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