Kale!

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by daniellemd, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. daniellemd

    daniellemd

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    I try to occasionally eat kale because of its health benefits, and I've had good experiences eating it professionally prepared at restaurants before.  However, when my new-to-cooking self tries to make it it still has a bitter taste to it like when it's cold and in its natural state (which I never acquired the taste for).  Any recommendations on how to cok or prepare kale so I can get the benefits and it's yummy??

    Thank you!
     
  2. chicagoterry

    chicagoterry

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    It is a slightly bitter green. There's no getting around that.

    One of my favorite ways to eat it is this:

    You'll need a large pot with a lid.

    Saute a large, sliced, sweet onion and a few minced cloves of garlic in some olive oil. You want the onions to carmelize, so keep the heat low and give them awhile. Don't let the garlic burn.

    Once the onion is very soft and browned, Throw in hot pepper flakes, to taste and stir until they are distributed and coated by the oil.

    Add a large bunch of kale, carefully washed and torn into pieces. Pour in about 1/2 cup of water, turn the heat up slightly and bring to a boil, then cover it and turn the heat down so the water is barely simmering. Let the kale steam until it is tender, which can take 15 minutes or so. Stir it once or twice as it cooks down to distribute the onions, garlic and pepper flakes but do so briefly, so the pot doesn't cool off too much.

    Drain when it is tender, put it back in the pot and sprinkle with balsamic vinegar to taste.

    I like it mixed with mustard greens which are more bitter and slightly hot.

    Another way to make it which is delicious is to toast it.

    Google "toasted kale" and you will find a bunch of recipes.
     
  3. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    The notion of bitterness gets such a bad rep amongst our food culture.  It's no wonder, nowadays our use of sugar and salt in all foods far exceeds what our ancestors as recently as our grandparents ever used.  The sensation of sweetness has nearly killed our appreciation for bitter foods when bitter is just as valid a taste sensation as is sweet, salty, or spicy. 

    Many people counter the taste of bitter greens by cooking them or pairing them with sweeter ingredients such as sugar and caramelized onions.  I've seen a lot of recipes for kale that braise it with bacon.

    All that said, I hate kale /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lookaround.gif
     
    mckallidon likes this.
  4. scubadoo97

    scubadoo97

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    Terry, your method is very similar to mine. Braised then hit with a touch of acid. We eat it for breakfast on occasion with a runny fried egg on top. Great stuff
     
  5. chicagoterry

    chicagoterry

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    Never tried it with an egg. That sounds good!

    Good luck weathering Isaac. My niece lives in Madeira Beach, so I always worry a little during hurricane season.
     
  6. eastshores

    eastshores

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    Something a friend showed me which was surprisingly delicious and very nice as a "snack" were oven baked kale chips. They had really nice elephant kale in their garden and used this as a different way to enjoy their kale. The prep is fairly simple. Just cut the leaves away from the stems and then tear them into pieces that are close to bite sized, a little larger doesn't hurt. Use a cookie sheet with parchment paper or even better if you have a cooling rack that is oven safe use it. Heat your oven to 350. Drizzle the kale leaves with olive oil and season with salt. Bake them until the edges are just starting to brown. The timing can be a little tricky. They should be crispy and light. When done right they are great and have that melt in your mouth effect. You can google baked kale chips, there are lots of blog posts etc. regarding them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
  7. scubadoo97

    scubadoo97

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    Thanks. Isaac is moving a little further west. We are getting a lot of rain. Not much winds, yet.

    The fat of the egg really rounds out the dish both in flavor and texture for me. Do the same thing for other greens including beet tops
     
  8. bolyard

    bolyard

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    I  have made Kale omeletes with bacon, onions, cheese, ect. Also another delicious way I like to eat it is by blanching it and shocking it and than sauting with onions and italian sausage comes out pretty good. Also try watching Iron Chef America: Battle Kale you might be able to pick up some interesting ways to prepare Kale. I saw them marinate it in buttermilk and than batter it and deep fry it!
     
  9. freerangeflock

    freerangeflock

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    Hi! Brand new to the board here :)

    I rinse and dry the kale, then use scissors to cut into large coarse pieces. Dry with paper towels to remove as much water as possible.
    Heat a DRY cast iron skillet. Once it's hot, throw in the kale and a generous pinch of coarse salt. Cook without adding water or oil, unless it begins to stick, then I'd toss in a glug of my favorite peanut or coconut oil. Stir & toss kale throughout this cooking process. Once it has cooked down sufficiently, might be 10 minutes, pile the kale in center of the skillet and kill the flame. Immediately put a chunk of good butter on the greens and a decent-size pour of balsamic or other good vinegar, and cover the pan. Let set for JUST a couple minutes before serving.
     
  10. mike9

    mike9

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    We grow a lot of Kale and my favorite solo recipe is . . . Kale Chips!!  Stem, cut and rinse your kale leaves then spin the water out and let them hang out till dry.  Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste on a baking sheet then into a 350 oven till crisp.  Wonderful!!!
     
  11. emsfluff

    emsfluff

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    Kale is a fun thing to play around with coz it holds its structure for a long time even when it gets a bit overcooked.

    At my Job on our menu we do steamed kale and silver-beet, poached eggs and field mushies, With a sweet and sour nham jim dressing. so i just heat a pan, throw in some silver beet and kale aprox one cup veg stock per serve, on with a lid for 2-3 min some salt and pepper Super Jum!
     
  12. mike9

    mike9

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    Interesting Emsfluff how thin do you slice your beets?
     
  13. butzy

    butzy

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    I only know of one way of eating kale (I know it as boerekool) and that's the traditional Dutch way.
    Mash it with potatoes and eat with jus (gravy) and rookworst (smoked sausage). And always with a bit of vinegar sprinkled on it.
    I used to like it a lot, till my dad planted too much and we were eating it twice a week or more!

    We only ate it in wintertime and only once the frost had gone over it. I don't recall any bitter taste at all, but it was said that the frost sweetened the taste/flavour.
     
  14. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    Watchu talkin about OP? Curly kale or dinosaur?  I made a dinosaur kale pesto last week that was pretty good.  Curly kale I either make kale chips, or throw it in a soup with some linguica and potatoes. 
     
  15. maryb

    maryb

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    I use it in soups a lot, potato, bacon, kale soup is great stuff.
     
  16. butzy

    butzy

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    What's the difference between dinosaur Kale and Curly Kale?

    I only know curly kale (boerenkool - literal translation is farmer's cabbage)
     
  17. the chosen chef

    the chosen chef

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    hey guys i was requesting to know what type of meals are much easier to prepare in a restaurant in ten minutes
     
  18. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    @butzy Dinosaur kale is sweeter and less fibrous.  Curly kale has the big stem in the middle and then smaller stems going out to the leaves.  Dinosaur kale only has the middle one.
     
  19. mikelm

    mikelm

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    I'm with Koukou' - I don't like kale at all... except as the kale chips that Mike9 describes.

    Wash, dry, trim stems, oil and salt and roast in a single layer on a rack in a 375* or so oven.  Lots of recipes on the net.

    I hope you'll try that, Koukou' - these are tastier, crispier and even more fun than potato chips and... God help us... they're healthy!

    Mike

    You know, I'll bet even your kid will like them!  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif
     
  20. chicagoterry

    chicagoterry

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    Butzy, 

    I tried to post a picture of dinosaur kale directly but couldn't manage to. If you google "lacinato kale" you should get a hit at the very beginning, showing you what the plant looks like. It is softer and, at least at the markets where I shop, costs at least twice as much as regular kale--which has been dirt cheap here the last couple of years. People say all the time that it is less bitter, too, but I don't find curly kale all that bitter to begin with.