Monday, February 24

Kale and Leek Latkes

A coworker brought an entire crate of home grown kale to work last week and judging by the excitement you would think it was either Christmas day or that our entire department got a pay raise!

We began discussing what we would do with our kale - kale chips, smoothies etc. and I decided that as I've done each of those things dozens of times I would try to find a "unique" way to prepare it. A way that both Dave and my coworkers would enjoy so I could bring them samples.

On the same day I happened to get my produce delivery which included leeks and a potato and combining the three yielded the below. I can say I've never before had kale prepared this way... or a "hashbrown" with so many nutritional benefits:)

Ingredients: (makes 6) 
5 cups, tightly packed, grated potatoes (I used the shredding disc on my food processor)
2 large leeks, halved lengthwise, cleaned and sliced very thin
1/2 pound kale, stemmed, washed, dried and finely chopped or cut in thin slivers* (about 3 cups, tightly packed)
1 teaspoon baking powder
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, lightly toasted and coarsely ground
1/4 cup chopped chives
1/4 cup all-purpose flour or cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
About 1/4 cup canola, grape seed or rice bran oil

In a large bowl mix together the potatoes, leeks, kale, baking powder, salt and pepper, cumin, chives, and flour or cornstarch. Add the eggs stir together.
Begin heating a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of the oil and when it is hot, take a heaped tablespoon of the mixture in one hand and, using both hands, squeeze all the moisture out of the mixture, then place in the pan. Press down with the back of the spatula to flatten. Repeat with more spoonfuls, being careful not to crowd the pan. Cook on one side until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Slide the spatula underneath and flip the latkes over. Cook on the other side until golden brown, another 2 to 3 minutes. Place on a drying rack to cool slightly.

* A quick and easy way to cut whole kale leaves into "slivers" is to slice lengthwise on each side of the thick stem to remove it. Then, stacking several leaves on top of each, other roll the leaves into a "burrito" and slice the burrito thinly. When the leaves unfurl you will have long slivers that you can cut one or several more times for shorter slivers. (This also works great for mint and basil leaves!)

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