Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Kale Chips

Everyone's got a recipe for these. The only reason I'm putting it up is because, well, I haven't been experimenting lately. I've spent almost the entire summer outside and I have nothing here to show for it. Bear with me - winter is just around the corner and I'll be back in the kitchen ;-).

And I have another admission. I eat while I read. Pretty much nonstop. And now that I can't put down an entire bag of caramels, red ropes, or potato chips, these are my replacement munchies. They aren't potatoes, or concentrated butter and sugar, but they are really tasty, crispy, crunchy, and a heckuva lot cheaper than buying a bag of them at Whole Foods!!

1 bunch kale (mine weighed 1.5# including the stems)
EVOO or coconut oil
Himalayan sea salt, or fleur de sel, or kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350*F

Fill the kitchen sink with about 2" of cold water. Immerse the leaves in the water and swish them around to get all the grit, sand and bugs off. In late summer, kale around here tends to get these tiny little red bugs, and while I don't mind sharing my kale with them, I don't want to eat them.

Strip and discard the stems. Use a salad spinner to remove excess water from the leaves, working in batches. Then put the leaves on a kitchen towel and roll and scrunch the leaves to get the rest of the water off - kind of like mashing a sleeping bag into a stuffsack.

Tear the leaves into larger bite-size pieces; if the leaf wants to fold over on itself, tear it down the middle so it can't - you want one layer of leaves only on your baking sheet. Toss the leaves with about 1-1.5 TB oil, massaging the leaves to coat them with oil and make sure it's evenly distributed.

Use a sheet of parchment paper on your baking sheet to keep the kale from sticking and help it crisp up nicely. Lay the pieces out and sprinkle with a little bit of salt. Bake for 10-11 minutes, removing while the leaves are crisp and still have color. A few will be brown, it can't be helped. Bake a couple of sheets at a time to save time; you'll have about 5 sheets total to bake.

Remove immediately and use the parchment paper to pour them into a bowl.