Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Nod to Health and Flavor: Curried Garbanzos and Parsnips with Kale Chips

Gasping for breath from drowning in the sea of cookie exchange leftovers, unyielding towers of homemade candy, and jars full of homemade miscellaneous, it is important to envision leafy greens, protein-packed legumes, and tasty fresh winter vegetables dancing in our heads. I don’t know about you, but after making giant batches of cookies and gift baskets full of holiday goodies, I was brought back very quickly to my need for actual food. We find ourselves deep into the first month of 2013 and I still find myself tripping over unnecessary excess from the end of last year... I digress in my frustration (and clandestine joy).

This bring us to my love affair with kale, especially in kale-chip form. I’m not talking about those $6.00 tiny plastic containers of 5-6 leaves of kale that were dry-baked and sprinkled with some unknown “flavor” substance. I’m talking about ripping up the leafy stalk myself, distributing it on a baking sheet, drizzling it with olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt, and tossing until all of the leaves get their fair share, then crisping it in the oven until it reaches its most wonderous form: that light, airy, completely gratifying crisp of a kale chip. It’s what I have deemed the whole-mouth crisp.

In my nerd-spells researching avant garde food and molecular gastronomy, specifically the works of Ferran Adrià, mouthfeel is of the utmost importance when you are aiming for real surprise and awe. Kale chips did that for me. They don’t shard or splinter off of the stalk, rather their leaves shatter as if they were lace into infinitely smaller crisps, crunching until the last particle has sung its song…and the flavor packs a wonderful punch along with all of the vitamins that the holiday diet of white sugar and cream were absorbing.
Take that Tostitos!

Paired with an impromptu curry comprised of parsnips, yellow peppers, garbanzos (cooked in bulk and reserved in the freezer for future use), onions and garlic, this meal was completed with the oh, so lovely kale chip. So fire up the stove, gather your winter veggies, and let’s get on with some merry-making for your health!
Curried Garbanzos and Parsnips with Kale Chips
Serves 4
 1 C Garbanzos (aka chickpeas), cooked
1 Parsnip, peeled and chopped. Remove any woody parts
1 Bell pepper, chopped
1 Onion, chopped
5 Cloves of garlic, sliced
Olive oil
Curry powder
Chili powder (Chimayo chili is my preferred)
Prep all of your vegetables and heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions first, this helps to distribute the flavor in the oil. Then you can add the bell peppers and parsnips and cook for a few minutes until they start to soften. Next add the garlic and sauté everything together until fragrant. Add your spices to the sauté and adjust for taste.

The last ingredients are the garbanzos, and I just stirred them in, put a lid on the pan and reduced the heat to low so that the garbanzos would heat but not get mushy. If you need to add oil, don’t be afraid! The flavors will distribute themselves and this can wait on the stove until your kale chips are ready.

Kale chips are super easy. Just heat the oven to 375º and tear up some kale leaves, removing most of the tough stalk (reserve for vegetable stock later) and drizzle evenly with olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Agitate the pan every 10 minutes or so until it reaches your desired crispness. I think mine usually takes 25 minutes for my ideal crisp.

Serve the curry topped with the kale chips and prepare yourself for a flavor explosion with a textural surprise. Your body will thank you!

1 comment:

  1. Today I ate at Tito Paco! He made Caldo Verde from Portugal and it was with the same Kale! My Father bought two big kales at the vegetable garden the other day! They were bigger as Daniel! I promise I am not kidding! :) I wish I could try this meal! Sounds amazing! <3 ! LOVE YOU BABE