Friday Night Lights

Just keeping with the football theme here. In our house, when dinner does not proceed according to plan, we punt. Perhaps an ingredient is missing, has gone bad, or wasn’t quite what was expected. Maybe the Practical Cook just wants to get through the meal without convincing everyone to try something new.

Whatever the reasons are, they are most likely valid ones. The only invalid response is just throwing in the dish towel and walking out of the kitchen forever. No, you must fight back! Drop the phone, do not call for a pizza. It’s time to punt.

On Friday, the meal plan called for a one-skillet meal using sausage, tomatoes, greens, and gnocchi. The tomatoes were still frozen, I didn’t feel like cutting up the sausage, and I was not 100% convinced that the greens that were supposed to be turnip in origin actually hailed from a turnip plant (they had some very collardy characteristics).

Here’s what we served instead:

Sausage, greens, and pierogie

Sausage, greens, and pierogie

The smoked sausage (CSA) took a bath in some beer and then a quick sizzle in the skillet, and the mystery greens (their turnip provenance became more apparent as they cooked) paired with green onions (CSA), garlic, and red pepper flakes for a quick saute. The pierogie arrived courtesy of Mrs. T from the freezer (one day I will commit to making my own, but Friday was not that day) and just boiled.

It was all served with a good quality mustard and homemade applesauce. Good condiments can elevate a simple meal.

Look for more punting in upcoming posts–it happens as often as I stay on plan. Thank you for the feedback, and do continue to share your suggestions for posts and punt ideas.


Quick and Easy Mystery Greens

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb greens, washed and stemmed (collards, kale, turnip, mustard, beet greens will all work)
3-6 green onions (scallions), or sub 1/2 onion of your choice
3 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of red pepper flakes, to taste
salt and pepper

1. Heat the olive oil in a medium to large sized skillet over medium-high heat.

2. While the oil is heating, take the washed and stemmed greens and either A) tear them into bite-sized pieces or B) stack several on top of each other, roll them up like a cheese roll/pinwheel, and slice them thin, about 1/4 inch wide. (Basically a chiffonade.) Smaller cooks faster and that’s what you want here.

3. When the oil is hot but not smoking, saute the onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes for 1 minute or until softened and fragrant. Lower the heat if you start to burn something.

4. Toss in the greens, add a dash of salt and pepper, mix with onion mixture to blend, and cover, stirring frequently. Cook for ~10 minutes or to your preferred level of chew. Add a splash of water if you prefer a softer green or are feeding someone without all of their teeth (from youth, not old age in my house).

5. Serve warm. Vinegar optional. I don’t find greens fixed this way require additional seasoning.


Filed under Punt!, Recipes

3 responses to “Friday Night Lights

  1. This is one of my stand-by dinners. I always have a package of sausage in the fridge and a pile of greens. The next day I can add broth and noodles or rice and have a soup.

    • The Practical Cook

      Great idea! The Practical Cook’s family has never left a morsel of sausage behind, so leftovers haven’t been an issue. However, we do enjoy a dish we call Pork Noodle Soup that sounds similar. Will share in an upcoming post!

  2. Pingback: Make a Meal from My Freezer: Reader Challenge! | The Practical Cook

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