Greens with Bacon Butter

Bacon Butter

Makes: 4 servings
Hands-on Time: 25 min. Total Time: 25 min.

While teaching a cooking class in Dallas, I learned a new term for bacon drippings. The very talented women in the kitchen with me called it “bacon butter.” I was instantly intrigued. Whatever you call it, it’s delicious on chard or your favorite green. Cooking the leaves briefly preserves their bright green color.

1 bunch greens (about 1 lb.)
1 Tbsp. bacon drippings
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1⁄2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1⁄4 tsp. salt

  1. Remove leaves from stems by folding the leaves lengthwise so that the stem can be easily cut off. Cut leaves crosswise into 1⁄2-inch strips, and cut stems into 3⁄4-inch pieces.
  2. Heat bacon drippings and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add stems, and sauté 4 minutes.
  3. Add chard leaves, pepper, and salt, and sauté 4 minutes. Serve immediately.

Pickled Okra and Ham Wheels

Makes about 40

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons finely diced Vidalia onion
1 (16-ounce) jar pickled okra, drained (about 18 okra pods)
1/3 pound thinly sliced ham (about 8 slices)

  1. Combine the cream cheese, chives, parsley, and onion.
  2. Trim both ends off each okra pod. On a large cutting board, lay out each slice of ham. Spread about 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture on each slice of ham, leaving a border of about 1/4 inch.
  3. On the long side of each ham slice, lay the okra pods, end to end. Depending on the size of the ham slice, 2 to 3 okra pods will be needed. Roll the ham over the okra. Cover and chill the ham rolls for 3 hours.
  4. Slice the rolls into 1-inch-thick slices and serve.