Tag Archives: kale

On Movement

Last weekend was one of movement. No, not by me. Quite the contrary.

A dear friend of mine left the city. While another moved into the neighborhood (or, close enough at any rate, being two blocks south and only a few more west). Me? I stayed put owing to some serious jet lag exacerbated by substantial flight delays. There’s a laundry list of things that I should have done. A week later, and it’s no smaller. I was going to write it out—then, thought the better of it, as it would be overwhelming to me and boring to you, and that seemed unfair to us both. That’s the kind of woman I am.

I am, apparently, also one who makes things more difficult for myself—if you know me personally, this is no surprise.
What I’m getting at is that I had a nice ending to this very post planned. I was going to tell you that there’s was pot of stew currently bubbling away on my stove and how although it wasn’t quite the season, I was justified since Spring continues to play hide-and-seek. It’s grey out this morning, and I still feel slightly justified in all of this, and I think would be enough to help me make the transition to getting back to work and getting things done. Only, it’s not true. And, it’s lazy writing.

It all comes back to the shoulds, as in, I should have told you about this soup ages ago—when I first made it, and it was weather appropriate and making a connection to my daily life would not have been forced. Never mind that, oddly, soup is one of my ultimate comfort foods and I think nothing of eating it in the height of summer, with the AC on full blast.

The truth? I made this soup because I had the ingredients on hand for something else that I should have made. Getting to things in a timely matter doesn’t seem to be my strong suit currently. I’ll get there. Until then, here’s a recipe for kale and chorizo soup, which is perfect for a day like this one, when there are so many shoulds that you should be doing that the process of doing any seems insurmountable. I’m thinking about making another batch now.

Kale and Chorizo Soup
Recipe adapted from Emeril Lagasse

2 TBS olive oil
1 pound chorizo, cut into 1/2 slices
1 cup chopped onions
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 large white potatoes, peeled and diced
3 quarts of chicken stock
4 cups kale, rinsed, stemmed, and cut into 1-inch strips
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Pinch of crushed red pepper

In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the chorizo and onions. Saute the mixture for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and potatoes and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the stock and kale and bring the liquid up to a boil. Stir in the bay leaves, thyme and crushed red pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are fork tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and skim off any fat.


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Catching up

Remember that breakfast I mentioned a few days back? The one with the biscuits?

Well, there was something else on the plate that I want to tell you about, too: Sautéed Kale.

It doesn’t sound impressive, but I’ll say this: when the friend that you’re visiting works at a farm stand, it’s a safe bet that all of the food that she serves you is going to be delicious, and that the vegetables in particular will be outstanding. When that friend’s career is based in cooking and food, take note.

In other words, long after I had finished the last of the biscuits that Peggy sent me home with, I was still thinking about the kale that accompanied them. It was unbelievably flavorful, and still light. Impressive, given that one of the two ingredients was thick cut bacon. This is my favorite kind of recipe—quick, simple and, most importantly, just plain good.

Needless to say, I’ll be making a trip to the Greenmarket this weekend in search of kale and heritage pork to make another batch.

See, occasionally, my cravings are virtuous.

Sautéed Kale

1 rasher thick cut bacon, diced
1 bunch kale, rinsed and drained
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat a pan over a medium flame. When you cannot hold your hand over the flame for more than ten seconds, it’s ready to use.

Add the bacon to the pan and reduce the heat slightly. Cook, allowing the fat to render out and the bacon to be crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside, allowing it to drain on paper towels.

Add the kale to the pan, sautéing approximately five minutes, until the greens have completely wilted.

Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with the reserved bacon.

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For the Cold Days

Admittedly kale isn’t an easy sell.

In fact, I almost didn’t include a picture of the finished product here. Scroll down and you won’t need me to explain why. It’s certainly not glamorous to say the least.

But—stay with me here—I think of kale as an unsung hero. Hearty and earthy in flavor, I crave it, particularly as the days get colder.

This preparation is one of my favorites. The slow braising allows the flavors develop and becoming richer with the introduction of the stocks. The acid of the lemon juice serves as a nice counter balance, making the flavor really pop.

It’s just the thing for a cold winter’s day.

Braised Kale
Recipe adapted from Emeril Lagasse

1 TBS olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 TBS minced garlic
8 cups kale (stemmed and torn)
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 tsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a skillet over a high flame for at least a minute. Add the onions, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes and saute for 2 minutes.

Add the garlic, kale, and stock to the pan and cook for 8-10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add the lemon juice and stir. Remove from the heat and serve.

Serves four as a side

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