Tag Archives: kale

Palak Chaat

We here in DC are lucky enough to have one of the most critically acclaimed Indian restaurants in the country, right here in our city.  Rasika, is an elegant and delicious journey through various Indian regional dishes.  Their most famous and addictive menu item is Palak Chaat – a pile of fried spinach covered in yogurt, tamarind and date sauces.  The dish is equally crispy, creamy, cool, hot, tangy and sweet.  It is not unusual for a single table to get multiple orders because sharing is near impossible.  I have always wanted to replicate the dish at home but getting it right was tough.  First of all without a deep fryer, getting that spinach super crispy is near impossible.  I decided to replace the spinach with kale and roast it instead of frying it.  As good?  Probably not, but way easier and healthier.  You still get that satisfying crunchy base for all the yummy toppings.  And those toppings are key – if you can find Tamarind sauce (I have the Maggi brand seen below) its the best option.  If not, get some tamarind chutney and thin it out with water until you can drizzle it.  If you have a local Indian market this is a great item to grab.

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This could serve 4 but honestly Patrick and I have eaten all 4 servings between the two of us so go ahead and make a double batch – this version is guilt free!  I still need to go to Rasika every couple of months to get my fix of the real thing but if you don’t live in DC this is the next best thing.

Palak Chaat (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:   Rasika’s most famous dish
Special Equipment:  none

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 bunch of kale, ribs removed and torn into large pieces
  • 1/3 cup non fat greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • pinch of cumin
  • 1 plum tomato
  • 3 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 4 tablespoons tamarind sauce (or tamarind chutney thinned with water)

Heat your oven to 350 degrees with two cookie sheets inside the oven (i.e. heat the pans along with the oven.  In a large bowl combine the kale pieces with the olive oil and a sprinkling of salt.

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Massage the olive oil into the kale then spread evenly in a single layer on the baking sheets when the oven is at temperature (be careful those cookie sheets are hot!).  Bake for 12-15 minutes, tossing once in the middle of baking.

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Meanwhile combine the yogurt, lemon juice, cumin and salt and pepper.  Then seed and chop the tomato (using a spoon is the easiest way to get rid of the seeds).

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When ready to serve place the kale chips on a plater and scatter over the chopped tomato and red onion.  Drizzle over the yogurt sauce and the tamarind sauce.

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Palak Chaat

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Special Equipment:  none

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 bunch of kale, ribs removed and torn into large pieces
  • 1/3 cup non fat greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • pinch of cumin
  • 1 plum tomato
  • 3 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 4 tablespoons tamarind sauce (or tamarind chutney thinned with water)

Heat your oven to 350 degrees with two cookie sheets inside the oven (i.e. heat the pans along with the oven.  In a large bowl combine the kale pieces with the olive oil and a sprinkling of salt.  Massage the olive oil into the kale then spread evenly in a single layer on the baking sheets when the oven is at temperature (be careful those cookie sheets are hot!).  Bake for 12-15 minutes, tossing once in the middle of baking.  Meanwhile combine the yogurt, lemon juice, cumin and salt and pepper. Then seed and chop the tomato (using a spoon is the easiest way to get rid of the seeds).  When ready to serve place the kale chips on a plater and scatter over the chopped tomato and red onion.  Drizzle over the yogurt sauce and the tamarind sauce.

 

Portuguese Dinner Party

Patrick and I recently took an incredible class on Portuguese wine at our favorite local wine shop, DCanter.  Neither of us know a ton about wine, basically just what we like and don’t like, but wine classes are a great way to learn more about certain regions and what they are known for.  One you know you like certain varietals from a certain country it makes shopping a lot easier!  We love the classes at DCanter (what a cute name right??) and this one was no exception.  We stopped in Portugal over our honeymoon and drank some great wine while we were there so the class really helped us identify different labels that we like.  Of course we brought several bottles home that were part of the class (the Marcolino Sebo QP Colheita Seleccionada Red and the Quinta da Raza Grande Escolha Alvarinho white).  I decided that a dinner party was in order with Portuguese foods to match the wine.  I already had some great Portuguese olive oil on hand and Spanish chorizo sausage which is very close to the chorico that they serve in Lisbon.  I found these great almonds from a region called Douro (that also makes great wine) at Whole Foods so I was on my way to a menu!

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It was a lovely night out so we decided to do the first course out on the deck.  The chorizo thinly sliced served along with some Spanish cheeses (no luck on Portuguese cheese!) and those lovely Douro almonds.  I also marinated some green olives and set those out which went really nicely with the crisp white wine.

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Shrimp Mozambique

In addition to the cheese board I knew I wanted some seafood on the menu.  Portugal has gorgeous fish markets all over and the influence on their food from global trading is really evident.  These shrimp are the prefect example – they get their name and flavor profile from Mozambique which used to be a Portuguese colony.  This recipe is incredibly easy to make and actually comes from a restaurant in Fall River, Massachusetts where there is a huge Portuguese community.

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Portuguese Style Garlic Roasted Pork

Arguably the most famous person to come out of Fall River, MA is Emeril Lagasse.  Most people assume that he is from New Orleans but actually he is a proud son of Massachusetts.  Listen to his cooking shows and every once and a while you will hear his accent!  While he became famous for his Southern cooking, he has many family favorite Portuguese recipes that he has made very accessible.  This pork dish is unbelievably flavorful.  It takes forever to make but it’s really hands off and the smell of your house will be incredible.  Also the left overs made an amazing sandwich.  I served this along fluffy white rice.

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Sauteed Kale

Kale is ubiquitous in Portuguese cooking, especially their famous kale soup.  This quick side comes together at the last minute and is a good foil to the rich pork dish.

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Strawberry Marscapone Tart with Port Glaze

If you are having a Portuguese dinner party then you have to end it with port right?  We had a great time when we were in Lisbon trying out different ages and styles of port at their Solar do Vinho do Porto, an actual institute of port.  To serve with a nice glass of port this dessert also makes use of it in the sauce drizzled over the strawberries.  Absolutely delicious and the perfect way to end a tour of Portuguese wines and food.  Where to next??

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Mexican Beans and Greens

Beans and Greens is a super traditional Italian dish that is usually made with bitter escarole greens and creamy white cannellini beans.  I love this dish and make it often.  However, for Fiesta Friday I wanted to come up with a Mexican version.  Black beans sub in along with black kale to give this dish a more rustic touch and mezcal is thrown in for good measure.  I had lovely spring onions from the farmers market but you could use a red onion, or regular white onion no problem.  This dish comes together really quickly and can be a great vegan/vegetarian main dish served alongside quinoa or rice.  I love to have it with braised turkey tacos or grilled skirt steak.  This is a great side to make extra of so you can have it for lunch the next day – really filling and healthy with a ton of flavor.  Happy Fiesta Friday and see you all next week!

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Mexican Beans and Greens (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  a spicier, smokier version of the Italian classic
Special Equipment:  none

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bunch spring onions, chopped or 1 medium red or white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large bunch of black kale (also called dinosaur or lacinato) – leafy part ripped off the stem and sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup mezcal

In a large skillet (that has a lid) heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions, garlic (being careful not to burn the garlic) and jalapeno.  Cook for 3-5 minutes until the onions are soft.  Add in the beans and kale and toss so everything is combined.

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Add the mezcal and cover – adjust the heat until it is just simmering, usually low or medium low.  Cook for 10 minutes.  Remove the cover and season with salt and pepper.  If the liquid hasn’t all cooked off yet cook uncovered for several more minutes.

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Mexican Beans and Greens

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Special Equipment:  none

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bunch spring onions, chopped or 1 medium red or white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large bunch of black kale (also called dinosaur or lacinato)
  • 1/2 cup mezcal

In a large skillet (that has a lid) heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions, garlic (being careful not to burn the garlic) and jalapeno.  Cook for 3-5 minutes until the onions are soft.  Add in the beans and kale and toss so everything is combined.  Add the mezcal and cover – adjust the heat until it is just simmering, usually low or medium low.  Cook for 10 minutes.  Remove the cover and season with salt and pepper.  If the liquid hasn’t all cooked off yet cook uncovered for several more minutes.

 

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