We're still enjoying our bragging rights from last week's win at the Collards & Cornbread Cook-Off in downtown Americus. Most of the thanks goes to our primo vegetable cook, Kenneth (KC) Christmas, so we thought we'd share his secrets, as well as the prize recipe.
KC has over 40 years of experience in professional cooking, as has worked in a variety of restaurants in the Americus and Atlanta areas. They include such local old favorites as the Rib and Loin and the Lighthouse Restaurant to well-known chains like Red Lobster, Chili's, Applebee's, Rio Bravo, and Shoney's.
The secret to KC's cooking expertise: trial and error. "I do realize that people have different taste in spices," he recently explained. To find the best combination of ingredients to please the widest tastes, KC relies on a "team of testers" at PWC. As you might imagine, the line of volunteers is long! In the week leading to the collards competition, KC tried out different variations before the winning recipe was selected by staff and peers.
And now the moment that we've all been waiting for – the unveiling of the winning recipe:
A CHAMPION'S RECIPE
2 bunches collards from Perry Wellness Center
½ cup chopped onions
2 tsp. garlic
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. white sugar
1 cup chopped ham hock
1/3 cup bacon drippings
2 tsp. salt
Cook ham hocks some 20 minutes and add bacon drippings, greens, and other ingredients and let cook about 2 hours.