Monday, October 27, 2014

Kale Chips

Yes, kale chips.  I admit, I am LATE to the kale chips party.  Like, so late, they've already turned on the lights and someone has started cleaning up.   But, whatever!  Kale chips are nutritious, salty-savory, crunchy, and low in calories, and I'm so glad I finally figured out how to make them, because I've been going through at least a batch per week.  If I had more storage space, I'd probably make a double-batch every week, but well ... those big containers do occupy some prime kitchen counter retail!

When I say "finally figured out how to make them," I'm clueing you in that it was an extensive learning process for something so simple.  The original recipe I followed for kale chips called for baking the chips at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes; sometimes this worked out okay, sometimes this turned into an epic fail.  Some kale bits would still be wilted and soft, while others were beginning to burn around the edges.  (Imagine me making a sad face here.)

Taking a lesson from Lorna Sass's recipe for "Granola, Revisited," I decided the "low and slow" approach might, indeed, be the best way to make kale chips.  I was right!  A 200 degree oven and lots of patience yielded a consistently crispy chip with nary a hint of burned edges.  A perfect Sunday afternoon project for days when you are otherwise hanging out around the house, cooking, cleaning, couching, whatever.

Enjoy.  As far as I'm concerned, better late than never, right?

Kale Chips
3 servings 

1 bunch curly green kale (I do prefer dino kale for most recipes, but not this one.  I make kale chips only with green kale, because I love how the curly leaves grab hold of the seasonings so well!)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Wash and dry the kale well.  Stem the kale and tear into bite-sized pieces.  (Another reason I love green kale for this recipe is because it tends to grow in lobes that are perfect kale-chip sized pieces.  Easy to tear up!)  Toss the kale with the oil, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and salt, until the oil and seasonings are evenly distributed.  (I find it's easiest for me to do this with my hands.)
3. Divide the kale evenly between two large baking sheets lined with parchment paper.  Bake for about an hour and 20 minutes, turning and rotating the sheets about every twenty minutes or so, shaking the pans.  Check and make sure the chips are completely dry and crisp before removing them from the oven.
4. Cool the chips completely, then store in an airtight container.  Try very hard not to eat the entire batch in one sitting. 

What recipes have you recently discovered that "everyone" has been making for ages?