The original recipe pegged these as Southern egg rolls, but they’re really more like Southern stuffed grape leaves. Sturdy collards stand in for the traditional Greek wrappers, and garlicky cheese grits take the place of rice.
Yield: Makes 12 rolls
- 6 large fresh collard green leaves, rinsed well
- 1 cup low-fat milk
- 1 cup low-sodium nonfat chicken broth
- 1/2 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits (do not use instant)
- 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded 50 percent reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, such as Cabot brand
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 medium clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco or Louisiana, for serving
Fill a large saucepan with a few inches of water and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Set a steamer basket over the saucepan.
Cut out the center rib of each collard leaf, creating two long halves. Place them in the steamer basket; cover and cook until the greens are tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat; lay them on a work surface and cool them completely. Reserve the steam-basket setup; you will use it again to steam the collard rolls.
Combine the milk and broth in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil, then gradually stir in the grits. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the grits have thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese, butter, garlic, salt and pepper until the cheese has melted. Let stand uncovered for 15 minutes, until the mixture has cooled to room temperature and is fairly firm.
Place one steamed collard leaf half on a cutting board, with the stem end nearest you. Spoon a scant 3 tablespoons of grits an inch or so above the stem end, then fold the stem end over the filling. Fold both long sides toward the center to enclose the grits, then roll tightly away from you to form a cigar-shaped bundle. Repeat with the remaining collard leaf halves and grits.
Heat the saucepan water over medium heat so the water is at a low boil. Place the bundles in the steamer basket in a single layer; cover and steam until thoroughly heated through, 5 minutes. The bundles should feel soft inside.
Let cool for at least 5 minutes before serving, with hot pepper sauce on the side.
Adapted from "Southern Living 1001 Ways to Cook Southern" (Oxmoor House, 2010).
Tested by Joe Yonan.
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