Monday, January 11, 2010
I am greens-phobic. Not the salad kind of greens; it's those sturdy, bitter, winter greens that give me the willies. In fact, I've never cooked them, because just looking at those woody stems and ginormous leaves makes me nervous.
But I've seen several recipes this winter for Kale Chips. As in, torn leaves of kale, baked and salted, transformed into crackly and crunchy morsels not completely unlike REAL chips.
A veggie that resembles junk food? Inconceivable!
And there are even actual pictures on the Internet from food bloggers, showing small children devouring these crispy green bits of goodness. Now if kids in Pull-Ups can pony up and eat kale, I certainly can, right?
I decided to put on my big-girl underpants and not fear the kale. I actually made it to the register without returning my leafy bundle to the veggie aisle. I brought it home. I washed it. I spun it dry--because every recipe I've seen is quite *stern* about the fact that the kale must be bone dry or else it won't turn out.
I followed the basic method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Drizzle the kale with one tablespoon of olive oil and toss well to coat. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing the leaves out so they don't touch. Sprinkle kale with 1 teaspoon seasoned salt and a few grinds of pepper.
Pop the kale into the oven and roast for 7 to 15 minutes, watching VERY carefully. The recipes I read were also very *stern* in their warnings not to let the kale brown, which it will do any time between minute 7 and minute 15, depending on how hot your oven runs. Who are these Stalins of Kale? They are very bossy.
But, if the kale browns, it becomes bitter, so you really have to babysit this sucker starting at minute 7. When brittle and crackly but NOT brown, remove from oven, plate and eat.
Verdict: What the Hell is this recipe about? I was a good little rule follower, down to the letter. My kale was dry and it was not brown and it was--Garrrgggllllll! Nasty! Despite my diligence, the kale chips still tasted kind of bitter and, frankly, like crispy grass.
None of us liked it. Well, Miss M. can't say for certain because she took one look at those things and said, "I not eating that."
Sorry Kale. I guess for us, it just wasn't meant to be.