Saturday, March 14, 2009

Experiments with Kale - Don't Try This At Home

I skim a lot of different blogs each week. One that caught my eye this past week was Big Red Kitchen. They had an interesting article on making Kale Salt and Vinegar Chips.

I LOVE salt and vinegar chips. They are the number one selling flavor of chip (or to be accurate crisp) in the U.K. I don't eat them very often because I'm trying to lose weight, but I do miss them. So when I stumbled upon this chip recipe I was intrigued.

I'm not particularly fond of kale. I do like it in my Kale, Tofu and Chickpea dish, but generally Kale seems to me to be less of a food and more of a garnish. It's the wilted green curly leaf that fruit gets placed on. It's a food groupie - hanging around with the rest of the band hoping that it can become cool by association.

Could this Salt and Vinegar Kale Chip change my opinion? Time to get cooking.

1. First get some fresh kale and cut out the midrib in every one and rip it into pieces about an 1 1/2 long.

2. Put them in your salad spinner and spin dry (see below GRIN)

3. Whisk together 3 tablespoons of Olive oil and 1 Tablespoon cider vinegar.

4. Dress the kale with this, getting your hands in to get it really coated and glistening.

5. The recipe then says to put the kale back in the Salad spinner and spin as much oil as possible off them so that they will crisp up well in the oven - but what do you do if, like me, you don't own a salad spinner?

You google 'Improvised Salad Spinner' and see what you can find :)

In this case a website says to line a plastic grocery bag with paper towels (taken from that draw in the kitchen that is overflowing with them!). Then put the leaves inside.

Then twirl the bag round and around and voila! Dry leaves!

(My poor cellphone didn't know where to focus)

6. Spread the dry leaves out on a cookie sheet coated with parchment paper (I used my silpats instead) and sprinkle with salt.

7. Bake in the oven at 400F for 12 minutes until they have crisped up.

8. When they are crisp, take them out of the oven and when they are cool keep them in an airtight container.

As easy as that!!!!

The big question is of course HOW DO THEY TASTE?

Well, I may have over salted a little! They taste like what I imagine fried seaweed would taste like. If the color sea green had a taste, this would be it. Not really something I can imagine having bowls of at my next game night.

The other thing I didn't expect is how fragile they are - they crumble at the gentlest touch, so they are a non-cooperative finger food. You grab one and it crumbles to pieces usually somewhere between hand and mouth.

So, if the idea of the taste of fried seaweed appeals then cook up a batch, otherwise DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!

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