Thursday, November 08, 2012

Oui, Chef: Creamed Kale

Sometimes you need to eat healthy.  Lots of fruit and vegetables and green tea and organic free-range eggs and the like.  And sometimes you need a big bowl of something horribly bad for you, preferably including cream and butter.  And sometimes you luck out and get both in the same bowl.

I'm a big fan of creamed spinach, but I wasn't so sure about using kale instead.  I mean, it's nothing against kale.  I pretty much haven't met a vegetable I didn't like.  Except lima beans.  But I digress.  I love all vegetables, so I would totally eat a bowl of kale.  But it just didn't sound right upstaging spinach.  Except it WAS right.  Kale makes a fabulous bowl of creaminess, especially since it keeps a little bit of its crunch.  So it's not all goo.  You can actually identify that you are eating a vegetable.  And that definitely relieves the conscience.  At least slightly.

Creamed Kale
From Oui, Chef blog

2 bunches Lacinato kale, washed, dried, stemmed, and cut into ribbons
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium yellow onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Fill a large bowl with ice water (an ice bath) and set it aside.

Set a large stock pot full of salted water to boil over high heat.  Add the kale ribbons to the boiling water and blanch until slightly tender, about 3 to 4 minutes.  Scoop the kale from the water and toss it into the ice bath to stop the cooking and set the color.  Let cool, then drain the kale in a large colander.  Squeeze any excess water out of the kale and set it aside.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add the minced onion.  Cook until translucent, then add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook another 2 minutes.  Add the kale and the cream and turn the heat to medium-high.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cream thickens to a sauce-like consistency, about 5 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

Makes 4 servings

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