Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Kale chips

I used to think that some people just knew how to cook and some didn't. I didn't realize how much of a trial and error process it is until well before I even started this blog. And I find it hilarious that people sometimes think I'm some sort of expert chef because I write recipes up to share with people on the internet. I've been asked all sorts of random questions that I just go to the almight Google for, I'm really no Rachel Ray.  I've had my share of jack-ups, these kale chips being one of those that I can't, for the life of me, master!

Mallory made a batch and brought them over one evening we were hanging at the pool, and they were phenom! Main Man even tore through the rest of the bag when he got home, and that's not really something I expected as he's always making fun of me for "weird" substitutions like this...."That green stuff is never going to taste like potato chips, Abby....never."  Look who saddled up on the skinny train and mowed through a bag of green chips, bud!

But I I said, Mallory made these and I wanted to duplicate them...badly. I tried 3 times. I failed 3 times. And I'm done trying. My parents didn't raise a quitter, but they didn't raise a dummy either. Repeating the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity...and I'm on the brink of it. Maybe it's my oven? Maybe the kind of olive oil? Whatever it is, I'm not doing something right and this is the simplest recipe in the universe. So if anyone has any tips for me...please, for the love of food, help a blogger out!

I started with a head of kale, washed and chopped into "chip" sized pieces in a bowl. I drizzled a little olive oil in there, and covered the leaves with garlic powder (although the chips didn't work, the flavor was amazeballs).

Lay them out on a greased pan and bake at 275 degrees until they crisp up, about 20 minutes. Seems simple, right?

Exhibit 1: burnt kale chips. Although these resemble what I would expect to see when the recipe is called "crispy kale chips". They would disintegrate into ashes in your mouth when they touched your tongue. Lovely. This is what happens when you weed the garden while waiting for something to cook...lesson learned.

I didn't take pics of the next 2 attempts. They didn't burn, thankfully. But they wouldn't get crispy. The second batch I baked for an hour! I kept flipping, kept flipping, kept flipping....soggy. Probably too much olive oil? Third batch had the same problem with less olive oil so I'm not sure what the dealio was with that.

I guess I'm destined to pay Mallory to make kale chips for me for the rest of my life, unless someone (anyone?!) can give me some tips on what I did me, people! Please and thank you :)

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  1. My mom has this contraption that squeezes the water out of lettuce after you wash it. Maybe you need to wait for it to completely dry and use less OO ?

    1. That's a good idea, I just blotted it dry before adding the EVOO...maybe I will give this a 4th try!??! lol

  2. Don't bake them, make them in a dehydrator! I burned them in the oven too, now I only dehydrate them. I have super cheap dehydrator my dad got me from Goodwill. I wash, shake dry and then dry with paper towels, pull off the stems, break into bite size pieces, and drizzle with oil in a bowl. Then add flavorings! My favorites are Cajun seasoning, or sesame oil + salt + red pepper, or salt + Nutritional Yeast. Only takes 1-3 hours in my dehyrator.

    1. OH!!!! How did I not think to use my dehydrator?? You may have just saved me....thanks a ton!

    2. P.S. Cajun seasoning sounds yummy!

    3. Double check if your Cajun Seasoning has salt...I was pretty sure mine didn't and also added a bunch of kosher salt. Too salty! By my 4 yo nephew loved that batch, little salt addict!

  3. I want to try these! Thanks for the tips...

  4. Maybe this quantity of oil?

    1 head kale, washed and thoroughly dried
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    Sea salt, for sprinkling
    Maybe this quantity of oil?

    Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.

    Remove the ribs from the kale and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Lay on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil and salt. Bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through, about 20 minutes. Serve as finger food.

  5. I wash mine and let air dry. Then before I tear into small pieces I drizzle the olive oil (I don't think it matters what kind, I use Kirkland Brand) over all of it and massage it into each leaf really good. I then tear into smaller pieces and lay in a single layer on a cookie sheet. My recipe says to cook at 350 for 5-10 minutes. I watch mine, and just prior to the edges turning brown I take it out. I don't flip mine over either, they are done so fast at the higher temp. I have to hid them...or I wouldn't get any at all!

  6. I don't use olive oil I use Pam!! Spray it on the cookie sheet and then on top of the kale and only cook for about 12 minutes. The other thing I do is at the last minute or 2 of cooking I add shaved Parmasean cheese!! It is delish!!!!

  7. All great tips! Thanks a ton for all the suggestions!