Wednesday, September 30, 2009
What the kale?
We get produce from a CSA farm. Kretschmann Farm has been delivering produce throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania for over 30 years. As I understand it, they have the biggest CSA subscription population between New York and Chicago.
One blessing/curse for CSA delivery customers is that we don't choose what appears in our crate each week. Whatever is in season and whatever crop has flourished shows up. This surprise factor and the sheer abundance of our crate mean that we sometimes waste food that we get because we either have too much or can't figure out what to do with that which we get. When CSA customers describe this problem, they inevitably say, "you know, what am I going to do with _____" and that blank virtually always gets filled with one item: kale. Kale doesn't sound funnier than rhubarb or rutabaga, so people must use kale because it's both abundant and hard to use. It's polarizing - many people don't like it at all while a few sing its praises.
Well, we had a bunch of kale, and we got this wacky recipe for Kale Chips. I am here to tell you: THIS IS WHAT YOU SHOULD DO WITH YOUR KALE. The preparation couldn't be easier, and the result is flavorful and fun to eat.
After patting dry, remove thick stems from 1 bunch of kale and cut into 1" pieces. Whisk together, 1 tsp salt, 1 ½ tsp. garlic powder, 1/8 tsp. cayenne, 2 tbs. cider vinegar, 3 tbs. olive oil. Toss kale with mixture and bake on oiled cookie sheet. @ 350 8 min. then turn and bake another 7 min. until crispy. (Oil alone can be used to toss if you’re not into spicy)
They pack a flavor kick, and this technique probably won't transform your kale enough to turn your kids into kaleophiles. The next time I make them, I'll probably alter the recipe only by decreasing the cayenne to a pinch. These can be balanced nicely with a mild cheese. We happened to eat them with macaroni and cheese, and they'd make a great "what is this?" garnish on that dish.