Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Trying to Stay a Little Healthy: Kale Chips

Potato chips are a food group unto themselves in our household.  Ridged, wavy, hand-cooked, kettle-cooked, Hawaiian, barbecue (usually known as bar-b-q) and fried with the skins on.  I especially love a combination of russet and blue potato with sweet potato chips.

But I’m trying… trying to limit my chip intake.  And I’ve discovered kale chips are a nice alternative.  First, they are actually roasted, not fried, so they are super easy to make at home.  Second, well, they are kale, which is packed with vitamins K, A and C plus iron, calcium, vitamin B6 and fiber – all the things I and, I suspect, you need this time of year.

I’ve never really excelled at cooking kale.  My mother often sautés it with tomato sauce and pepperoni, like her mother used to make, or parboiled potatoes.  But there is a real leatheriness to both of these dishes.  Kale chips, on the other hand, are like air… slightly nutty, crispy, almost-bitter air.  Plus they look gorgeously dark in a white or red bowl.  Somewhere between bottle green and obsidian black.

This recipe comes from Bon Appetit magazine and differs from other recipes I’ve read in its low cooking temperature.

12 large Tuscan kale leaves, rinsed, dried, cut lengthwise in half, center ribs and stems removed
1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 250°F.  Toss kale with oil in large bowl.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Arrange leaves in single layer on 2 large baking sheets.  Bake until crisp, about 30 minutes for flat leaves and up to 33 minutes for wrinkled leaves.  Transfer leaves to rack to cool.

I follow the recipe as written except I let the kale leaves break into their natural ruffles, so they are bite-size like actual chips.  I use one tablespoon of oil per 6 leaves of kale.  Also, I have no idea how to fit all that kale in one bowl, so I toss it in two batches.  I’m pretty generous with the salt and pepper.

Now, I must stress that kale chips are great alternatives to steamed or sautéed kale or deep-fried potatoes but in no way capture the lovely, greasy decadence that is eating a bag of potato chips!  So don’t try and fool anyone.  But snack to your heart's content.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.