Blog Archive

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Kale Deliciousness

For a while I subscribed to a produce delivery service that sent me a box full of seasonal fruits and veggies all grown locally. (I recently canceled the service because we decided to use the money towards something else.) My last box included yet another bunch of green kale. Everyone knows what kale is: it is that grayish leafy green thing that cheap restaurants tuck into the side of your entree to make it look gourmet. And then there's the green/white/purple kale that landscapers use in fall/winter gardens. Most people probably think kale is gross. I'm not one of those people, but I do admit that it can get a little boring after a while during the winter months. Often it is the primary winter produce available week after week (if you're like me and you try to limit yourself to cooking with what's in-season).

Back in March I made a bean soup with greens in which you can use whatever greens you like (collards, spinach, kale, etc.). As you will recall, I raved about this soup--it was sooooooooooo good. I was thinking of other ways to use up my kale instead of making soup (I have 2 bunches of other greens in the fridge the might turn into bean soup this weekend).

So tonight I made up a batch of calzones and some twice-baked potatoes, both of which feature (or mask) the kale. Both of these items I'm planning on freezing for a quick lunch or dinner. Admittedly, I haven't tasted either dish yet but they both smelled wonderful.

For the calzones I made a batch of pizza dough in the food processor:
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 1 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 T olive oil
Pulse dry ingredients until mixed, then slowly add oil and then water through the opening in the processor lid while running. Mix until it forms a ball. Knead on the counter for a few minutes. Put in a bowl covered with a plate or plastic wrap for ~1 hour or as long as it takes you to get everything else ready. Divide into 6 or 8 pieces and roll into circles.

I used 2 pints of my Daddy's Marinara Sauce that I had canned back in the fall. Because this sauce has non-acidic ingredients in it, I make sure to boil it uncovered for 20 minutes to kill off any potential botulism. While it was boiling away I added 2 teaspoons of dry oregano and thyme, 1 teaspoon of dry basil, and packet of chili flakes from the pizza place (so maybe a teaspoon). Because I canned this sauce and didn't freeze it I didn't use any oil in the recipe. So the only fat in these calzones came from the small amounts of pepperoni or olives, the cheese, and the dough. Also, these ended up with absolutely no refined sugar in them at all (some people get cranky about using refined sugar; I don't, but it is reassuring to know that good food does exist without it).

For the kale, I just rinsed it, cut out the stems and ribs and then chopped it finely.

Then I assembeled the calzones by spreading 1/2 cup of sauce on one half, then topping it with either olives or pepperoni chunks, a wad of kale, about 1/4 cup of cheese (not seen in this picture), wiping the edges with water and sealing them with a fork.
When they came out of the oven they looked and smelled very good.
Twice baked potatoes are fabulous: you can throw whatever left over veggies or tid bits of meat into the mix that you want to use up (because anything tastes good with cheese...I added kale).

To make these potatoes, just bake the washed, pricked potatoes in a 400F oven for about an hour. Let cool for about 15 minutes so you can cut them lengthwise and scoop out most of the insides (make sure to leave just enough on the skin so the skin will hold its shape like a small boat).
Mix the scooped-out potato with a bunch of cheese, a little salt and pepper, your left over veggies and/or meat, and however much milk, cream, or half-and-half to get a creamy mixture. (Or you can skip the milk like I did since I didn't have enough on hand. They will still be good, just a little drier. I'll make sure to eat mine with a hefty dalop of plain yogurt to mitigate that.) Then load up the potato skins and bake for about 20 minutes until the are nice and browned. Let them cook, wrap in plastic or place in a freezer bag and pop them into the freezer. They only take about 3 minutes on high to reheat in the microwave. Quick and yummy!

No comments: