Thursday, March 29, 2012

Kale Chips

I had read in a couple of different places that baked kale tastes like potato chips. Sounds untrue, right? I like proving people wrong, so I decided to try my hand at baked kale chips.

First you get a bunch of kale and chop it up. You can give it a rough chop because it cooks down significantly. Put the chopped kale in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. I think you kind of have to eyeball the olive oil. I'd start with a tablespoon and see if you need anymore after you are done tossing the kale around a bit. You want every piece to have a bit of oil on it, but you don't want them saturated in oil. For the salt, I used sea salt, which was a mistake. The kale turned out too salty. I'd use a teaspoon and taste a leaf raw. If you can't taste salt, sprinkle the bowl a little more. For the pepper, I used generous amounts of black and cayenne because I like things spicy. As I say, pep to taste.

Once it's all tossed, spread it out on a baking sheet and pop into a 275 degree oven. The kale will cook quickly, so keep your eye on it. I'd also maybe take it out as it cooks down and spread it out so it all cooks evenly.

When it's done, this is how it looks:

I was surprised at how crispy it got. I was worried it would end up being soggy. As for how it tasted...

Kirby was just begging me for a bite.

I'm the weak link, so I threw him a piece. Here he is chewing it. My camera missed the part where he spit it out and ran away.

Surprisingly, the kale chips do taste a lot like potato chips. Although, it was no substitute for chips and I'm pretty sure they would have been awful dipped in Bermuda Onion chip dip. However, it was a decent snack. I think they are better served as a side dish for dinner than as a snack.

A couple of chef's notes. One, don't burn the kale. I usually like things burnt (popcorn, toast, chips, campfire potatoes) so I was thinking that I'd like the burnt kale. The burnt kale pieces, however, become bitter which doesn't taste so great. Two, I think that squeezing fresh lemon would have given the chips a better flavor or even adding some lemon zest. After eating a couple, I started feeling very meh about the whole thing and lemons would give it that added flavor boost.

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