Cooked greens, including cabbage, collards, kale, and chard, are consumed at New Year’s in different countries for a simple reason — their green leaves look like folded money, and are thus symbolic of economic fortune. The Danish eat stewed kale sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, the Germans consume sauerkraut (cabbage) while in the southern United States, collards are the green of choice. It’s widely believed that the more greens one eats the larger one’s fortune next year.
I received a Paula Deen calendar from my in-laws, D & T. Each month features a yummy recipe. For March, she makes Collard Green Wontons (similar to these). I thought they sounded delicious, but I didn’t want to fry them. So…I’m remixing them in puff pastry. I also wanted to make them vegetarian so I omitted the bacon.
3 T olive oil
2 – 16 ounce bags of collard greens, leaves cut into small pieces
1 T hot sauce/Tabasco
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1/2 t salt
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 T unsalted butter
1 – 8 ounce package onion and chive cream cheese + 2 ounces regular cream cheese, softened
2 packages puff pastry, cut into square pieces (about 15 pieces per sheet, roll out if necessary on a floured surface)
In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and chopped greens. Add hot sauce, red pepper flakes, garlic, and salt to the pan. Saute collards just until beginning to wilt (about 20 minutes). Stir in butter and cream cheese. Remove from heat and check seasonings.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a small bowl with water. With the tip of your finger dipped in water, moisten the edge of the square of puff pastry, and place a scant teaspoonful of the collard mixture into the center. Fold over to form a triangle and seal the edges with a fork. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until tops of pastry are golden brown.
I’ll be bringing these guys to a party later on tonight. I love a New Year’s Day party…so much different (and more my speed) than NYE. Happy 2012, folks!