Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Kale Chips

Remember about a couple years ago, when every other blog was suddenly going on about how great kale chips are?  Well, at the time I thought "that's disgusting."  But this year I overplanted kale, and have been at a loss about what to do with it all, so the kale chips suddenly didn't sound like such a bad idea. And now that I have the method down, I think they're fantastic.  A word of warning with these, though: when they are bad, they're very, very bad.  Three ways they can go wrong: under-oiling, undercooking, and overcooking.

For the oiling, it is very important that each leaf be well-coated with oil or they won't crisp properly.  Massage the oil into both sides of each leaf.  For the over/undercooking issue, keep a close eye on them.  If they aren't totally crispy, they taste foul, but once they're crispy there is only a very small window before they achieve burned nastiness.

Now, warnings aside, they're actually quite simple to make.  Preheat your oven to 325.  Take however much kale you want, wash it well, and dry it very thoroughly.  Slice out the central rib from each leaf .  Tear the kale into bite-size (or whatever size you want, I guess) pieces and spread on a cookie sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil, then use your fingers to massage the oil into both sides of each piece.  Aim for a light but thorough coating.  Now bake for roughly 15-20 minutes, checking frequently, until crisp.  Sprinkle with a little sea salt before eating.

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