Sunday, October 18, 2009

You Can't Eat Just One

Meatloaf and leafy greens may not sound like a tasty meal to some people, but I beg to differ. When the meatloaf is juicy and flavorful and the kale is as crisp as a potato chip it’s a standout meal.

I first started making crispy kale after watching Jacques Pepin prepare it on his TV show Fast Food My Way. He admitted that he stole it from another chef, so I’ll detail how I make it at home, too. It’s so good that Trevor and I will eat one whole bunch of kale between the two of us in one sitting. And usually we’re lucky to get any on our plates, because we start eating it as soon as it’s out of the oven! And luckily Persephone Farms always has lots of kale for us to take home and enjoy.

For the meatloaf, I played around with what we had in the fridge. I gave it a Southern feel by adding BBQ sauce and finely chopped greens. And some mashed potatoes on the side rounded everything out nicely. For this meal we used Persephone onions, kale and potatoes.

Crispy Kale

Serves 2 to 3. Really dry kale is the key to making it crispy. Also, this is one of the few dishes in which I use table salt instead of Kosher. Kosher salt crystals are just too big and don’t disperse well. The use of the cookie rack helps air get under the kale as it’s baking.

1 bunch curly leaf kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped into bite-size pieces
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
table salt

Preheat your oven to 225˚ F.

Thoroughly wash the kale and then dry it in a salad spinner. You may need to do this in two batches. Pat off any excess water with a towel. Place kale in a large bowl. Sprinkle olive oil over the kale and toss well with your hands, ensuring each piece is coated with oil.

Place a cookie rack over a rimmed baking sheet. (Prepare two racks and two sheets, if you have them. Otherwise work in batches.) Spread kale in a single layer over the rack(s). Don’t over crowd, or the kale will not get crisp. Lightly sprinkle salt over kale. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until kale is crisp. Check it when you start to smell it, it may be done sooner depending on your oven. Crispy kale is best eaten immediately!

Southern-Style Meatloaf

Serves 2 to 3. Adding vegetables stretches out the meat and adds flavor and moisture to the meatloaf. I didn’t really write down the exact measurements as I was making this meatloaf. But meatloaf is pretty forgiving and these estimates should work.

1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup dinosaur kale or collard green, finely chopped
1 pound ground beef, preferably grass-fed
1/8 cup BBQ sauce, such as Sweet Baby Ray’s
Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 egg
1/8 cup dried breadcrumbs
scant 1/8 cup water
olive oil, optional

Preheat your oven to 375˚ F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

Spray a small skillet with cooking spray and sauté onion and kale over medium heat until soft, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

In large bowl combine, ground beef, BBQ sauce, salt, pepper, egg, breadcrumbs, water, onions and kale with your hands until just mixed. (Don’t over mix or the meat can get tough.) Shape meat mixture into a small loaf shape and place on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with olive oil if desired.

Bake for 25 minutes or until thoroughly cooked, but still moist. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Denise, I am completely loving this blog! I have been trying to fall in love with Kale for a while now, without much luck, but this sounds delicious! I will try it tomorrow night. Your blog is definitely helping with the "what to make for dinner" doldrums, Thanks! xoxo Sandy Bissell