This recipe was inspired by one that I saw as I was perusing Plate Magazine. I had in mind to make a few stuffed cabbage leaves, but then I happened upon this one using collard green leaves. The recipe was quite intriguing. The recipe used 48 collard green leaves stuffed with gold rice and shrimp, served with a Creole Sauce. 48 leaves is a tad much for a family of four, so I gave this recipe my own personal spin and tailored it to fit my family. I decided to make a risotto instead of the gold rice and added to that a nice mixture of mushrooms, lobster, and shrimp. along with the Creole Sauce as per the original recipe. It turned out fabulous and was very pleasing to the palate.
I cleaned and deveined the shrimp, removed the lobster tail meat from the shell and seasoned both with a little Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning, Old Bay Seasoning, and freshly cracked black pepper and put those aside until needed. I also washed the collard green leaves. I used 7. I began by sautéing about 1/2 cup each of chopped onion, bell pepper, and celery in 3 Tbsp of melted butter until the vegetables began to get tender and with some translucency in the onion. In a separate pot, I had the chicken stock on gentle heat–just enough to warm it through good, not simmer– 8 cups (16 oz.) of chicken stock.
Next was the addition of 3 Tbsp minced garlic and one bay leaf. I stirred this as the garlic released its fragrant bouquet. I used my wooden spoon to gently press the bay leaf against the bottom of the pan as I stirred it about, to assist in releasing its essence. When you fully get the aroma from the garlic, its time to move on to the next step.
To this went in the first of 8 cups (16 oz.) of chicken stock. You can easily use vegetable stock, chicken broth, or plain water. I find the former two imparts better flavor. Stirring, let the rice absorb the broth, then add the next cup, continuing in this fashion until all 8 cups have been added.
Generally you want the risotto to be nice and creamy, but I need a slightly firmer texture this time around to hold better when wrapping in the collard green leaves. Salt and pepper to taste at this point.
Continued until all seven leaves were filled. At this point the Creole sauce can be added on top and baked with the stuffed leaves. However, I chose to serve the sauce separately. Cover the dish with foil and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes.
The recipe that inspired this dish can be found in the link below. I may try it per the recipe one day, but I can tell you this–my household was greatly pleased with the outcome.