Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Moving on up


I’ve graduated from grad school, I’ve moved cities and into a new apartment. My life is about to get drastically different and crazy enough it still hasn’t really set in yet. The most exciting aspect of all this is that I will FINALLY be able to cook, and blog and go out to the local farmers market for fresh homegrown produce. I’m hoping to grow some of my own stuff, join a community garden and re-do my entire foodie/recipe website.

I’ve taken some time off from the whole cooking thing but now I am hoping to jump right back in where I left off.  Especially in terms of what I am cooking and eating. I definitely noticed a change since I’ve stopped eating as healthy as I used to. I’ve decided to give myself one more week to get settled into my new place before getting back into the swing of things (Dare I say vegan?). Until then, I have a delightful buttery-cheesy recipe to share.

My mom graciously helped me move over the weekend and the entire time (a span of 3 days) we kept planning to make this amazing scalloped kale and potato dish. Well, moving can be quite exhausting so each day we would keep putting it off because last thing anyone wants to do after moving is cook. Finally on the night everything was moved in and organized we made this dish and boy was it worth it. We decided to make a double batch so that we could each have plenty of leftovers for the rest of the week. (pictures to come soon)

Scalloped Kale and Potatoes  (1 batch – double the recipe if you want 2 batches)

1 bunch organic kale
4 sweet potatoes
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
11/2 cups (two bags) grated swiss cheese
6 TBS cold unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)
pepper & salt
1/14 cups soy milk

Rinse kale appropriately and shake off excess water. Remove the leaves and put them in a medium pot. It may seem like a lot of kale at first, but just stuff it in the pot. Throw in ½ cup of water and cook on low until the kale is wilted (apprx. 7 minutes). Put the wilted kale in a strainer and let cool. Squeeze out the extra water and then roughly chop the kale to a desired size. While the kale is wilting, slice the potatoes; you want them to be pretty thin. If you have a mandolin – you’re life just got easier.

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Butter a 10x10 pan – we used those aluminum pans you can buy at the store for $2, I think it was 9X12 - cover the entire bottom of the pan with potato slices. Next layer on the kale, garlic, cheese and then the pieces of butter then Top with more potato slices, cheese, butter, salt & pepper. Pour in the milk slowly and lightly shake the dish to make sure the milk covers a good portion of the pan.  Bake that cheesy goodness for 50 minutes or until the top looks brown and crispy.

Be careful because once you start eating this dish, it’s really hard to stop.

Even though mom and I made double batches we somehow managed to have leftover potatoes. We knew we didn’t want to waste them so we ended up eating homemade potato chips that night too.

Homemade Potato Chips

Thinly sliced potatoes
Olive oil
Sea Salt & lots of pepper

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat the potato slices with the olive oil, salt and pepper. I recommend making sure all the slices you are cooking at one time are of consistent thickness; this prevents some cooking more than others. Place each slice on a cookie sheet (covered with foil to prevent extra cleaning). Toss them in the oven for 10 minutes, rotate the sheet and cook for 10 more minutes. Flip the chips and cook for 5 more minutes. Depending on how crispy and brown you want your chips, and how thick the slices are, you may want to cook for longer. 

Although this sounds like a painful process – it’s well worth it. I even made a batch of chips that didn’t have any salt and pepper on them. Just plain ol’ roasted potatoes, so good! The hard part is how to store them. I made sure they cooled and put them in a plastic container, but the next day they were a little less crispy than they were the night before. If anyone has the secret to storing homemade chips please share.

These were great because lately I’ve been super sensitive to salt. I don’t use it very often and the food we buy is usually coated in it. If I buy chips, even Triscuits, I am often disappointed because I just can’t handle the saltiness. These homemade chips are my perfect replacement – and they are great with hummus!

1 comment:

Cynthia Benavides said...

Great blog, Brittany. I used to cook fresh food every day. No canned, frozen or processed for me. I would love to get back in to it. I always felt great and stayed thin. And I didn't need no stinking pharmaceuticals!
There is a reason for all that salt, you know...to hide the fact you are not eating real food. It is good to be salt sensitive. :)