Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sautéed Kale

Fresh kale is great food with a little more work than some other vegetables. Here's what you do:

Buy a bunch.  When you get home, cut the bottoms of the stems and stick the stems in a glass of water. Or two.  Leave them on the counter so they can pretend to be a house plant and remind you they want to be cooked.

For two people, take the leaves that will fit in one glass of water.

Fold each leaf so the spine faces out, and cut most of the stem away from the leaves. (I know the stems can be eaten, but haven't tried any suggestions I've seen,)

Stack several leaves together and roll them up like a cigar. Slice across the cigar to make ribbons. Repeat until it's all ribbons.

In a frying pan or dutch oven, heat a little oil.

When it shimmers, add as much kale as the pan will hold.  (If there's a bunch left, cook make it two batches.  If there are just a few leaves left, add them when the first set shrink.)

Push the leaves down into the oil a bit, then stir and flip and stir and flip until it all looks bright green.  Add some water, about enough to spread across the bottom of the pan.

Lower the heat, add a lid, and check after 10 minutes.  Check pulling a bit out, blowing on it, and chewing it. When you like it, it's ready.  Remove from the heat, drain, and eat.

Fancier options: 1) When you're heating the oil, add some minced garlic and wait until it smells great before adding the kale. 2. When the kale is done, squeeze some lemon on top.  3.  Do both.

Simpler option: Try any of the above with spinach, because it doesn't need the stems cut off.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Lentils and ground lambporkturkeybeef

8 cups water
1 pound lentils, rinsed, drained

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoons ground cumin,
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 garlic cloves minced

1 pound ground lamb or pork or turkey or beef
1/2 onion, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Cook lentils in water for about 20 minutes, testing for doneness by biting a few.  There should be more crunch left than in a lentil soup.

While the lentils are cooking,  combine the next five ingredients, whisk together until they merge nicely, and set aside.

Add the other olive oil to a frying pan and heat.  Add onions and cook five minutes, stirring occasionally, until they're getting soft.

Add the meat to the onion brown, breaking it up and stirring and flipping until it's all brown and in small pieces.  (If there's a lot of fat in the pan, run hot water into the sink, use a colander to drain the meat with the water still running, leave the water running, and flip the meat and onions back into the pan.)  Add the remaining four spices to the meat, stirring rapidly to spread it around and paying attention to whether you're smelling the spices as they heat.  Move the meat into a small bowl.

When the lentils are done, drain into a colander and move to a large bowl.  Mix well with the oil-vinegar-spices you set aside.

Serve bowls of the lentils with a smaller amount of the meat nestled on top.

This recipe uses altered quantities, less salt, and different meat than the original I found at Epicurious.