Chips and beer, chips and beer, chips and beer. Well maybe just chips, but still, they would be brilliant with beer. Also, if you have never had Chimay… what is there to even say about it… a spring evening with friends, an autumn afternoon in a beer garden, a winter’s night curled up with a good book… Belgian, rich, a little bit fruity, and just simply amazing.
However, if you are a perpetual ‘gimme a pint of America-land Light’ kind of person, while the chips will still go down a treat it may be best to back away and leave the Chimay to those of us who enjoy flavour with our beer. Can you tell I’m in a mood tonight? Yeah, sorry, don’t take it personally I don’t mean you [or you, or you] but you over there… eh, maybe take it a little bit personally. Kidding! Let me buy you a beer…
Ok, so I am making chips out of greens. Greens that are really good for you. ~Warning, nutrition educational facts approaching~ Kale has very high levels of beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C and calcium – plus all those green veggie cancer fighting nutrients and antioxidants [thanks Wikipedia].
But even with all that nutritional stuff they are good – like eat a whole head of kale one chip at a time good. And simple – like 5 mins prep simple. Now on to the introductions, this here is Kale – also known as Curly Kale:
This here is Kale’s cousin – also known as Cavolo Nero or Tuscan Cabbage or Black Kale or Dinosaur Kale – I’ve even seen it called Russian Kale here in Australia:
Curly Kale makes better chips. Cavalo Nero will work [and to be honest I like the flavour and crunch a bit better] but since the leaves are flat they tend to stick to the tray and get really brown rather than brilliant green.
I’ve found Kale to be seasonal and more prevalent in late summer, so if you can get you hands on it try this. Then try a Chimay and report back!
5 packed cups organic Curly Kale, torn into bite size pieces* – you will get at least 5 cups from a single bunch.
1 Tbsp good olive oil
2 tsp nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 tsp sea salt flakes
pinch cayenne pepper [optional]
Method in under 100:
Divide torn leaves across 2 trays, coat with oil, sprinkle with seasonings. Bake for 10 mins at 180C [350F] – stirring once. Remove from oven and allow oven to cool for a bit. Place back in mostly cooled down oven to dry out entirely. Eat.
Preheat oven to 180C [350F]. Wash and dry kale [I use a salad spinner thingy to get the water off]. Divide torn leaves across 2 cookie sheets – that is about 2 1/2 packed cups on each tray. No need to line trays.
Drizzle half of the oil on each tray of leaves and scrunch with your hands to coat them evenly with a thin layer. Spread into a single layer. Important things: Do not add more oil, it will not end well – 1/2 Tbsp is plenty for 2 1/2 cups of kale; Don’t be afraid of scrunching the leaves until they are evenly coated – you are baking them after all, a bit of scrunching is fine.
Combine dry seasonings in a small dish. Sprinkle half the mixture over each tray. Toss gently if necessary.
Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, stirring half way through. I have asbestos fingers from years of waiting tables so I just move them around with my hand, you can use a large spoon or tongs, just don’t crush them. Again, this step is quite important – you want all the leaves to get crispy and none to get burnt.
Remove from oven, toss again and allow to cool. At this point they are probably just fine to eat… I however like them really crispy and want them to keep well for a few days. Sooo, I wait for the oven to cool down a bit after it’s been turned off – 10 or 15 mins maybe? Then pop the trays back in and let them sit until the oven is completely cool. There is just enough heat to finish crisping up any rogue chips, but not enough to burn them. Tricky.
Makes about 3-ish cups of chips. If necessary store in an airtight container for a few days.
- The easiest way to remove the leaves from the core is to gently pull your fingers along the stalk from base to top – the leaves will tear right off, when the stalk breaks it is probably thin enough to eat.