Thursday, September 26, 2013

Confession Time

It's confession time again.  I have to admit that I have a small problem.  I'm teetering on an addiction to. . .brace yourselves now.  Homemade kale chips.  I know, I know kale chips??  What am I some kind of nutrition zealot?  I don't think I know a single person who actually eats them.  Kind of like prunes. 

I experimented with making kale chips a few years ago, but I over-salted them, so they weren't very appealing. Kind of left a well, salty taste in my mouth so I didn't attempt it again until the other day.  Kale is great to add to soups, but eating it on its own takes a little spiffing.  It's not really a vegetable you'd want to eat raw.

I picked up some kale last week for a potato with kale & spinach soup I made, and I held some back so I could give making kale chips another shot. - And that's when my fixation began.

First of all, they're so easy to make.  All you have to do is tear the leaves from the stems (into bite-sized pieces) and toss them with extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper.  I like to use freshly ground sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Then, you spread the leaves in an even layer on a baking sheet lined with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. 

Now I know kale chips are most definitely not everyone's cup of tea.  They have a very distinct flavor and can be on the potent side, so I totally get it when people turn their noses up at them.  Hell, until recently I always thought of kale as just a garnish.  I remember waiting tables when I was in college, and getting a lecture from the restaurant manager about picking the plumpest, greenest piece of kale to garnish the plate.  I never gave much thought to doing anything else with kale besides giving a dish a little color to look pretty.

Tossed in oil, coated with salt & pepper and ready to bake!
And now. . .I'm completely fixated on these damn chips!  I can't get enough of that crunch and flavor.  It's weird, you have one, and they become like potato chips, you just can't stop eating them.  I made a tray and literally stood over the stove munching on every last chip until there was nothing left.  It took all of 5 minutes to hoover my way through the batch.

So of course, I had to make another batch the next day.  Which I managed to put in a bowl and respectably eat sitting down. (Instead of just leaning over the counter and stuffing my face)  Classy, no?

Don't think I don't have plans to procure more kale tomorrow and make yet another batch.  Because as I've mentioned, I have a slight problem.  I bet they'd be good with a little Parmigiano-Reggiano sprinkled on them, too.  I've reached a point where I put freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese on almost all savory foods I eat.  Hey, just ask Mario Batali - it's the king of cheeses.  I'm not going to argue with the master.

So, I've developed a bit of an addiction.  Better to be infatuated with constantly eating a substantially nutritious, but somewhat obscure leafy green than partaking in any number of other less than healthy pursuits, right?

Other than my new-found kale chip preoccupation, we're in full on prepare for winter mode around here.  I've been bulking up my fun winter hat collection.  Because I have to replace my flip flop hoarding with some other clothing item, apparently.  Possibly a subject for another post.  In the meantime, don't be afraid to branch out and give some kale chips a try.  It's in season all winter long!

Ta-ta for now.
Mmmmm...kale chips.

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