Green Eggs and Kale

Kale doesn't immediately come to mind as a breakfast food, but try this -- you might like it as much as I did.

Loosely following a recipe for Boiled Kale in the Zuni Cookbook, I removed the thickest parts of the stems from my kale and cut them into ribbon pieces. I cooked it down for about 15 minutes in a saucepan and then I added a couple of roughly chopped waxy skin potatoes. Once the vegetables were almost done, I transferred them to this saute pan.

Continuing to cook, I made little pockets in the kale and potatoes and dropped in some eggs. As the eggs cooked, I spooned some of the broth on top of the eggs so that I was sure the tops would cook as well. (Somewhere along the line, I added some onion or garlic. I have to learn to write these things down!)

What you end up with is a delicious, sloppy slurpy mess. Seems just right for laid back winter breakfast to me. I served this is latte bowl, careful to make a bed of broth, kale and potatoes in the bowl, topped with the egg. I added some bacon on the top for crunch and color. It would be great with some good bread to soak up the broth.

Anyone else have a kale for breakfast recipe? I dare you.

Mollie Katzen on Kale, "a superstar"

Book of Joe on another way to poach eggs

Nice to meet ya, Granita

I bought the Zuni Cafe cookbook a few weeks ago. The first thing I made from the cook book was a delicous blood orange granita. Just fresh blood orange juice, some sugar, water and some time to freeze.

Today, I found these great step-by-step photo recipe over on Amature Gourmet. I have just one suggestion to optimize their recipe: As the Zuni cookbook suggests, rather than scraping the granita with a fork, chunk it up using two pastry scrapers. The edge is just sharp enough to crystalize the ice without smasing it down.

I just bought my pastry scraper at Cook's Companion two weeks ago, but I'm already finding a lot of uses for this tool. I use it for moving chopped vegetables from cutting board to pot, to roughly chop herbs for a marinade, to smash garlic. The ruler on the end is useful too.

Oddly, this jack-of-all-trades tool didn't make it to Martha's list of Top 22 Kitchen Tools. It would certainly make mine.

A great week for Dining In

Usually, the New York Times Wednesday food section has one recipe I'd really try, maybe two. Last week, it was Bittman's Puttanesca sauce.

In today's Times, there are three winners that I can't wait to make: Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry from Nigella, Chicken with Green Olives from Bittman and Basic Pot Roast from Eric Stirling, some cute guy who owns a camp in northern Maine. Not too plain, not too fancy, just right. As a bonus, the chickpea curry and the chicken with green olives use many of the same spices. I love it when you can spice shop once, cook twice and make dishes with an entirely different taste. Finding two different recipes that use the same spice is the best way to really learn about how a spice works and helps to make sure you have some hope of getting to the bottom of a new spice jar before the spice looses its taste.

The Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry will be a great way to use up the sweet potatoes (or are they really yams? what's the difference?) that came in my Urban Organic shipment last week, especially since I can't take those treacly marshmallow sweet potato concoctions that are so famous for Thanksgiving.

I'll be away this weekend visiting Boston, but will make the Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry and the rest of the recipes from this week's times and I'll report back here. This week's Dining In/ Dining Out is a winner!

Also this week, Nigella taught me a new word: bosky. In her description of her mushroom ragout, which I would also like to make if buying and finding mushrooms didn't feel like such an expensive pain, Nigella explains that, after the mushrooms have been on the heat for a while, "clamp on a lid and let them give off their bosky juices." I haven't found a great definition of bosky yet, but I did some Googling around and it seems to mean a deep, earthly, woodsy flavor that is still somehow light. Does anyone else have a definition for bosky?