Bustin’ a Move With Jamaican Jerk Kale Chips

photo: Matthew Wexler

For me, in the battle of savory versus sweet, a bag of chips will trump a pint of ice cream any day. But a recent annual check-up revealed a cholesterol level inching toward the danger zone. While I like to think that I have a sophisticated palette, I’m not beyond polishing off an order of chicken wings during an episode of Dancing with the Stars. (It’s either that or jump out of my 3rd floor window in sheer sequined horror.)

So in an effort to kick off a healthy start to the holidays, I’ve been baking kale chips at home. Kale chips satisfy my savory cravings and are an incredible source of vitamins A, C and K—ack! Vitamin K? This underdog vitamin is important for blood-clotting and bone strength. Two important things for when I’m dancing around my apartment to the monotone musings of Brooke Burke.

Now, we’ve had our fair share of problems mastering kale chips here on ES, so please pay attention.

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Cioppino: Comfort Food Lite

It is May. I realize for many of us that means the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and we can all stroll around in sandals. Lest we forget, though, I reside in Seattle, the land of darkness and gloom. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of reasons to love the Pacific Northwest: crisp, clean air, gorgeous views of the mountains and water, athletic and intelligent citizens, lovely green trees everywhere, I can pretend I’m on Twin Peaks, etc… but I’m not gonna front. The fact that it’s officially spring and we are still dealing with rainy, gray 40-something degree days can get very depressing.

To be fair, bummer weather means more time I “get” to spend inside. While everyone else is dancing around on sun-drenched beaches, savoring tropical fruits and sipping on Mai Tais (maybe?! I don’t know what you exotic strangers do in your warm climates!) I have ample opportunities to play around in the kitchen. Last week my friend Kasey and I wanted to cook something soothing to counteract the lame rainy day, but I was sick of heavy, wintry comfort food. We decided to take the best of both worlds – warm and cozy, yet light and healthy – and threw together the perfect cioppino.

 

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Feed Us Back: Comments of the Week

kale chip fail

– Reaching back to an old Friday Fuck Up, erisgrrrl confirms that cooking kale chips is easier said than done:

I have tried to make kale chips twice and both times it was fail city! They looks so easy and tasty! I have no idea what I did wrong but it was no good! So, I totally feel your pain!

Why is this so hard? Some tips please? Anyone?

– In another oldie-but-goodie, real live French-Canadian Jean-Guy Bourque approves of our NYC Tour de Poutine:

I am a French-Canadian who left Montreal for a 6 month visit to the USA 42 years ago, and I’m still here in New Jersey…I am very happy to see that you can finally get a taste of Montreal here in the NYC area! Bravo! What I really hope for is for “smoked meat” to also catch on here…You’ll forget about NY style pastrami once you’ve tried Montreal’s smoked meat! Also the Montreal style of BBQ chicken that you get at places like Chalet BBQ, Benny’s or St Hubert BBQ…

Consider us on board the smoked meat bandwagon!

– Finally, star ES commenter erica offers up some more ideas for what to cook with lentils:

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Feed Us Back: Comments of the Week

tomatosalad

Matthew weighs in on the surprisingly difficult debate about how to make kale chips:

As a private chef, I’ve been cooking for some vegan yogis lately, and they freak over kale. 350 degrees, SINGLE LAYER in the pan, 10-11 min. Totally dry leaves before you start, just a little bit of oil, salt & pepper and you should be good to go. That is, if you ever want to try it again.

-While VeggieBoss is kind enough to share some secrets of dal:

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Friday Fuck Up:This Tastes NOTHING Like a Chip

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Clearly I was shaken up. Last week I welcomed the news of two engagements of very dear friends. The term “dear friends” is quite obnoxious, I know, but these are like super good friends, well, couples, and I am so excited. That must be the only excuse for this fuck up. Because unlike most other times I open up my oven to face a disaster, I actually followed a recipe.

My friend Hickey, of one of the engaged couples, came to DC from her home in Pennsylvania and I gladly made us dinner. I wasn’t actually sure what to put together but basically I stuffed a lot of crap inside this huge pumpkin-shaped eggplant. It was an elaborate, multi-step experience and while the inside concoction of corn, tomatoes, blended eggplant, ricotta and I forget what else was surely tasty, the outer shell of the eggplant did not cook fully and basically served the function of a ceramic bowl, which is of course not the point of baking food in something edible in the first place.

But that wasn’t even the worst part. Shit, the crappy Cook’s champagne wasn’t even the worst. T’was the kale.

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Slow and Low Isn’t Always Preferred

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For real, I’m not just trying to pimp out 100 Ways to Use a Tomato. I also am a tomato lover and need ideas on what to do with all of the tomatoes laying claim to my kitchen. Because I am a virtual worker I also have time to cook during the day, or at least be watchful of items while they are cooking.

This means I can finally soak and cook beans and not rely on cans. I can cook down tomatoes for a thick sauce. And while we’re on tomatoes, I can roast tomatoes in a low, slow oven. (And please give me suggestions for other dishes I can cook all day.)

I spied my inspiration in the third row, second column of the 100 tomatoes post: a parade of shriveled, red splotches.

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