Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Smoky Kale Chips

It's been awhile, hasn't it? I've been having a lot of fun with other people's recipes (yes, mostly America's Test Kitchen, you know me so well) and playing with my new Blendtec the husband man gave me for my 30 birthday, so I just haven't had a lot of new creations to pass on. I'll start sharing some Blendtec recipes as I work them out, especially ones that can be created with a standard blender. But for now, how about a nutritious snack to hold you over?

Since my original Kale Edition post, I've only included kale in stir-fry and soup recipes on here. I thought it would be fun to introduce you to another use, one in the form of a crispy, salty snack (my favorite kind!) Kale chips are easy to make. All you really need is oil, salt, kale, and an oven. But, like potato chips, you can get creative with the seasoning to find your favorite flavors. Here's a combination I've been especially loving at the moment, but it does require a special ingredient.

I often infuse olive oil for an extra layer of flavor in any recipe. Well, I admit I'm currently hooked on a flavored olive oil I didn't make myself. The Smoked Olive has a whole range of oils infused with smoky goodness. I'm head over heels for the most intense in the line, Santa Fe. If I'm paying for it, I want FLAVOR. This is like a marriage between local foods I love and the southwest cuisine I grew up with. And others agree; it's won awards! It adds a warmth and depth to kale chips that I find utterly addictive.

Smoky Kale Chips

1 bunch kale, ribs removed and ripped into pieces, washed and THOROUGHLY dried
1 Tbsp The Smoked Olive Santa Fe Chili Smoked Olive Oil
1 Tbsp imported balsamic vinegar (stronger flavor than domestic)
1 tsp salt, more to taste if desired

Preheat oven to 300. In a large bowl, massage kale with oil until evenly coated. Add vinegar and salt and massage again until evenly coated. Spread in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Optionally, place them on a rack set inside the baking sheet to promote greater airflow.

Bake 30-40 minutes until crisp. Start tossing the leaves and checking for doneness at 20 minutes and again every few minutes after that to avoid burning. Remove from oven and sprinkle with additional salt while hot, if desired.

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