Thursday, August 14, 2014

Sukuma Wiki from The Ancestral Table

My last recipe review before I do my full cookbook summary review from Russ Crandall's The Ancestral Table is Sukuma Wiki.  There is a version of this recipe on his blog The Domestic Man, but it is slightly different from the cookbook version.  I chose this based upon what I had in my refrigerator ready to cook.  I had ground beef ready and all but one of the spices in my pantry.  

I completely messed up my meal planning this week, so I actually made this in the morning post workout before work.  I was glad to see the pictures I took weren't all shaky from the workout (lots of assisted pull ups were involved).  I quickly gathered my ingredients and started to prep them. 

First, I chopped up the onion.  It seemed like a good place to start.  Next, I de-stemmed, washed and spinned the collard greens before rolling them up to slice them into 1 inch strips per the recipe instructions.  I divided the collards up roughly into two rolls for slicing.  

While the olive oil heated in my pan, I chopped the garlic.  Once the oil was heated, I added the onion to the pan and set a timer for 4 minutes.  

While watching the onions soften, I chopped up the jalapeƱo being careful not to touch anything so that I wouldn't find my eyes burning at some point later in the day (which accounts for the lack of pictures).  I actually diced my pepper fairly finely as I thought I'd like that texture better in my final dish.  I could tell from the aroma of the pepper that I had selected a hot one.  

When the timer went off, I added the chopped garlic to the pan, and quickly measured out the required spices.  There is something nice about smelling cinnamon in the morning even if no gooey pastry is involved.  After having made this, I'd recommend measuring the spices before you start cooking at all or at least get the spices all gathered together in one place like I did.  You will not have time for spice hunting while cooking.  

Next, I added the meat and seasonings to the pan and cooked the meat until it was nearly done. It was at this moment I realized I hadn't quartered my tomatoes.  I realize now that the tomatoes Russ used, at least in the web version of the recipe, were more more spherical than mine and I could have likely just halved mine, but I quartered them anyway.  I finished slicing in the nick of time to add them and the collards to the pan.  

I stirred and allowed the collards to wilt before adding some lemon juice.  

Here's my plate (or breakfast in this instance).  

Accessibility & Cost of Ingredients:  You should be able to find everything you need at your "big box" grocery store fairly inexpensively.  

Preparation & Cooking Time:  I didn't divide my time as I was trying to get this done as quickly as possible so I wouldn't be late to work.  Russ's stated preparation time was 10 minutes and cooking time 20 minutes.  My total time was just 2 seconds shy of 30 minutes - just within the stated total time.  So, if you do more preparation before you start cooking which will make things less hectic, you' may go a few minutes over the 30 minutes, but not much.

Clean Up:  Everything except my pan went into the dishwasher.  

The Paleo Review:  Thumbs Up!  If you're looking for a kicked up skillet meal, Russ has provided it. The predominant flavor for me was the fennel.  I liked the texture the collards add to the dish.  I wish I had something more creative to say, but this was simply yummy.  

Do you have a go to skillet meal?