Friday, January 11, 2013

baked crispy kale chips

I don't know why it's taken me so long to make kale chips. Really, though. I came home from my New York vacation vowing to get back to Paleo.

The first thing I did was open my fridge to find a bunch of kale I had bought right before I left. It looked good still, so I decided that I should just use it right away. I knew I wanted to make kale chips, but I have very little experience working with kale. So, obviously I turned to Google to give me some answers.

I stumbled upon a Food Network recipe by Melissa d'Arabian. It looked promising.. 5 star rating, lots of reviews, and look at that.. it has "Crispy" right there in the title. Bingo.

Crispy Kale Chips
Recipe courtesy of Melissa d'Arabian via The Food Network

1 head kale, washed and thoroughly dried
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt, for sprinkling

1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F
2. Remove the ribs from the kale and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces. (Just break up with your hands)
3. Lay onto a baking sheet and toss with olive oil and salt.
4. Bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through, about 20 minutes.

After glancing the recipe, I came across a few things: 1) Apparently you only need 3 ingredients-- kale, olive oil, and salt; 2) this is byfar the shortest recipe I've seen on the Food Network site; 3) the estimated 25 minutes for prep time is outrageous.
I'm a nonconformist, so I mostly only use actual measurements when I really can't afford to screw up a meal or when I'm baking (because I get really upset when I waste flour, butter, and sugar). I'm not even sure how much kale I actually had. I just washed, dried, very lightly dressed with olive oil, and sprinkled with a pinch of salt. General rule of thumb-- it's always better to under dress and under season, then add more if necessary. More is never more, people. Once you over do it, there's no going back. So, this is how my kale looked after adding the olive oil and salt:
I set all my kale onto my baking sheet, drizzled a little olive oil, tossed with my hands. The right amount of olive oil is probably what you consider to be not enough. There is no excess olive oil dripping off the leaves and onto the pan. The sprinkling of salt came at the end. I read from the reviews that it can taste very salty. So again, go with less.

As instructed, I popped my baking sheet of kale into a preheated 275 degree F oven and used 20 minutes as a marker (still flipping in between). After the 20 minutes, most of the kale was crispy but I added a few more minutes to give some of the less crispy ones more time. This is what it looked like out of the oven:
You can see the kale shrinks quite a bit. I advise buying a few bunches of kale if you intend on sharing. I'm not sure if the picture does these crispy kale chips any justice. They really do come out crispy and better than I could have imagined. If you are looking for an easy, tasty way to use kale, this is it!!
I had these kale chips with a fried egg, a couple pieces of bacon, and apple slices. Delish.

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