Braised collard greens on polenta cakes

  • For the polenta cakes
  • 1L reduced salt vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 0.5 tsp freshly ground white pepper, plus more to taste
  • 0.5 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 100g instant polenta
  • 60g shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Flour, for dredging
  • 65ml olive oil
  • For the greens
  • 1L smoked of the turkey stock, recipe follows
  • 1 large bunch collard greens, stemmed and chopped
  • 2 tsp cider vinegar
  • For the turkey stock
  • 1kg smoked turkey wings
  • 1 large onion, chopped into 2.5cm pieces
  • 1 large carrot, sliced into 1cm pieces
  • 1 rib celery, sliced into 2.5cm pieces
  • 10 black peppercorns, ground
  • 1 tbsp hot red pepper sauce

Serves: 40 hors d'oeuvres

For the polenta cakes:
1) Butter a half-sheet pan (about 30 by 44cm), line it with parchment paper, and butter the parchment paper. Set aside.

2) Bring the vegetable stock, salt, white pepper and cayenne to a boil in a medium saucepan over a high heat. With the stock boiling gradually pour in the polenta, while whisking constantly. After the polenta is incorporated, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook, stirring constantly, until the polenta is thick, about 5 minutes. Add the cheese and stir until melted.

3) Spread the polenta in an even layer about 1cm thick over the prepared pan and refrigerate until set and firm, at least 1 hour.

4) Turn the piece of polenta out onto a clean cutting board. Using a 3cm round or square cutter, cut the sheet into small cakes. Pour the flour onto a plate and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Dredge the cakes in the seasoned flour.

5) Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and fry the cakes, in batches, until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.

For the greens:
1) Bring the smoked turkey stock to a boil in a medium saucepan over a high heat. Add the greens and adjust the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender and liquid has evaporated, about 1 hour. Remove from the heat and add the cider vinegar.

2) Top each polenta cake with some of the braised greens and serve.

Smoked turkey stock:
1) Bring 3.3L of water to a boil in a large pot. Add all the ingredients, reduce the heat, and simmer for 1 hour. Strain the broth into a large bowl or plastic container.

2) If not using the stock immediately, fill the sink up with ice water to come about halfway up the sides of the container. Nestle the broth in the cold bath and stir it periodically to cool it down. Cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

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