Wednesday, August 19, 2015

braised kale

Years ago I achieved what I thought was impossible: getting Mike to eat (and enjoy) kale. Turns out calling it a chip and seasoning it well does wonders.

Well, you all know me to be up for a challenge so once I tackled that, the next impossible feat seemed to be to get him to eat it in any other form. Then a salad worked, again if dressed and seasoned properly. Too easy. I decided I was going to braise this stuff and see where it took me.

I am a strong believer in certain ingredients making a dish instantly better. Butter. Salt. Goat cheese. But garlic is on another level. Its in my blood. The smell of garlic sautéing on the stovetop in a bit of olive oil transports me back to my parents' kitchen on Sunday mornings. Its heavenly smell overtakes my nostrils and makes my mouth water. So yeah, you could say I love garlic.

However, add this to the list of ingredients Mike hates (for those keeping track: its any fish, onions, mushrooms, sour cream and cream cheese in addition to garlic. He also isn’t a fan of tomatoes. Where did I find this one?!?)

fun fact: this dish was the side last night to salmon. Which MIKE ATE. I am as shocked as anyone. Recipe to be posted, obviously.

My thought process for this kale was to prepare it similarly to how my mom makes broccoli rabe: garlic and oil, a bit of red pepper flakes so it is infused with flavor and nearly melts in your mouth. I thought, maybe leave the garlic whole so I can pick it out after I infuse the flavor into the oil…

Find the recipe below and let me know what you guys think…about the recipe, how else I can force feed my boyfriend kale or just opinions on his picky eating habits.

braised kale
1 head of kale, chopped into bite sized pieces, or a bag of pre-chopped (I like lasciano kale which is a dark, Tuscan style leaf, or a curly leaf, but use whatever you can find/have)
3 garlic cloves, left whole and smashed (technique below) or minced finely for the garlic lovers in your life
salt, pepper and red pepper flakes for seasoning, about a sprinkle of each
about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
2/3 cup of water
  • pre-heat oven to 375
  • heat an oven safe pan on medium heat with half the olive oil
  • add the garlic and lower to low-medium heat and let sauté. Watch it carefully, stirring in the pan so it doesn’t burn
  • add kale and remaining olive oil (you want it to be slightly coated but not doused) and stir around
  • season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste (I use a small dash of red pepper to avoid too much heat)
  • let cook on the stove for about 5 more minutes, turning every so often, then add the water, cover with an oven safe lid and transfer to the oven
  • let cook for 30-45 minutes, until leaves are tender to your liking (some people like a bit of a bite, I like them to melt in my mouth)
  • if garlic cloves were left whole, remove before serving (unless whole roasted garlic cloves are your thing, then go for it!)

garlic smashing: If you don't know this trick, it will change your life!

Take your unpeeled garlic cloves, and one at a time, press them under the flat side of your knife and smash down with the heel of your palm. This will help them peel so easily, and also smash them a bit to release their fragrance and flavor.

You can see a demo in my #instacookingvideo

What do you guys want to see next? Any advice or tips that would be helpful? Comment away!

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