December 26, 2011

Creamed Kale

Creamed Kale

Wuv.  Twue Wuv.

There are things in my life that will always be true loves, no matter how old I get much I grow up.  Sterling silver jewelry.  Elmo.  Nutella.  Shih-Tzus, just to name a few.  And now, I can honestly say that I *love* kale.  There I said it.  I am a smitten kitten with kale and I don’t care if the entire homeroom class knows about it.

One of my other not-going-anywhere-anytime-soon loves is creamed anything.  Well, almost anything.  Not creamed lima beans. But that’s the fault of the lima beans and not the creamed-ness.   Lima beans simply are not happening in my world. Ever.  Period.  Really. I mean it.

Creamed kale on the other hand is a completely different story.  It’s a heartier dish than creamed spinach which I like for the cooler months.  And it’s such a versatile dish.  You can eat it as a side with your favorite steak.  You can stuff a chicken breast with it.  You can use it as the filling for manicotti (recipe to come!) or lasagna. For an awesome brunch, you can use it as the basis for an Eggs Florentine-style dish.   You can ask it to prom.  Well, okay, not really but it’s sure to be voted Class Favorite in your house, just like it is in mine. 

For my healthified version, I skipped the cream and used 2%milk but if you’re feeling a little skinny lately, g’head and use some cream.

Creamed Kale
Serves 3 

2 pounds kale, center stalk removed, and coarsely torn into pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk, warmed
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg (about 4 swipes across a grater)
¼ grated parmesan cheese

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the kale and cook until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.  Drain and squeeze out all excess water.   Rough chop the kale and set aside.

Heat the butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat.  Add the shallots and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the shallots and cook for 3-4 minutes, just to remove the raw flour taste.  The mixture should stay a very light/tan color and should not be allowed to darken in color. Whisk in the warm milk and cook until thickened. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Add kale to cream sauce and cook until flavors meld, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add in the parmesan cheese.  Taste and adjust salt and pepper as desired.

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