Kale or Swiss Chard Fries

Kale Fries

 

 

Kale what? Kale fries. Yes, I battered and fried up some kale stems, and they were delicious. So yes, Kale Fries!

I usually relegate the stems from all my greens to the compost bin, but in this instance I went for something a little bit different. The stem of greens such as chard, kale and collard greens are edible, but they do take a little longer than the leaves to get tender. Which is why we often discard the stems.

Kale Fries

Look how beautifully gorgeous and colorful the stems of chard and kale are? Yes, they will add lots of nutrients to your compost, but they can also add lots of nutrients to your dinner!

I developed this recipe for Cut ‘N’ Clean Greens, so please head over to their website for the full recipe for Kale Fries.

It will be so worth it. If you are serving kale or chard with dinner, consider these Kale Fries your appetizer. Nothing goes to waste, and your guests think you are a genius for serving those lovely tempura vegetables!

Kale Fries

 

Kale and Bacon Baked Risotto

Kale and Bacon Baked Risotto

 

 

I really enjoy risotto. But I do not make it because I just do not have the time and patience needed to stand and stir for 45 minutes while the arborio rice absorbs the stock. Nope, not this gal.

But luckily, you can make a baked risotto that tastes really, really good. I admit, a baked risotto will never be as creamy as a properly made stove top risotto, but I can let go of some of that creaminess for not having to stir and stir and stir. And then stir some more.

Kale and Bacon Baked Risotto

 

 

I do admit you do have to stir a bit while making this recipe, but I promise it will not be 45 minutes. Unless something goes terribly wrong. Seriously.

Be sure to use arborio rice, or a rice that is labeled specifically for risotto.

I used a bag of Tuscan Kale from Cut ‘N’ Clean Greens, but you can substitute with a large bunch of kale. Just remove the stems and cut it into strips.

Kale and Bacon Baked Risotto

 

Kale and Bacon Risotto

Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 small onion, small dice
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 bag (10 ounce) Tuscan Kale
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 4 cups hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3-4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 350° F.

  2. In a large oven proof pot over medium heat, cook the bacon until the fat is rendered. 

  3. Add the onion, stirring occasionally,  cook 4-5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.

  4. Add the salt, thyme, red pepper and kale. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the kale is wilted.

  5. Add the rice, stirring to mix it into the vegetable mixture.

  6. Add the hot stock, stir to mix well, cover and place in the hot oven.

  7. Bake the risotto for 30, then remove from the oven.

  8. Carefully, stir in the cold butter, a few pieces at a time, until all the butter is incorporated.

  9. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

I used a bag of Tuscan Kale from Cut 'N' Clean Greens, which was already prepped for me. You can substitute with a large bunch of kale, stems removed and cut into strips.

Butter & Scotch Hot Toddy Caramel Corn

 

Butter & Scotch Hot Toddy Caramel Corn

 

This is a sponsored post from Abrams Books and the Abrams Dinner Party. 

 

Last week I did a very informal poll in a video I made for Instagram about this great new cookbook called Butter & Scotch, named for the actual Brooklyn bar and bakery. I asked my viewers which recipe they would like to see on my blog and gave them three choices.

The overwhelming choice was for this Hot Toddy Caramel Corn, made with a good shot of bourbon!

That is what this book and the establishment is Brooklyn is all about. Delicious baked goods and really fantastic cocktails, both meant to be eaten and drank together! Forget salty bar foods, this is all about balancing a sweet dessert with a cocktail that may also be sweet or bitter or both!

This book covers the bases, from pie dough to frosting to cakes and beyond. On the cocktail side, there are recipes for simple syrups and shrubs for making drinks that are out of this world.

I grew up drinking Hot Toddys when I was sick, and to this day I make them when my throat is sore and my nose is stuffy. But now I can make Hot Toddy Caramel Corn, and enjoy it while I sip my liquid Hot Toddy.

Whether I’m sick or not.

Hot Toddy Caramel Corn

Servings 14 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup clover honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoon bourbon
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 14 cups popped popcorn

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325° F. Grease two rimmed metal baking sheets and set aside.

  2. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat the sugar, butter and honey over medium-high, stirring until they are well incorporated. Cook the caramel until you smell the caramelized sugar and see it turn a light amber/beige color.

  3. Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the baking soda, then whisk in the bourbon, salt, lemon zest and cinnamon. (be careful, the caramel will release a lot of steam, so guard your hands.)

  4. When all the ingredients are incorporated, fold in the popcorn using a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon. Keep folding, pulling caramel up from the bottom and over the popcorn, until it is well coated.

  5. Spread the popcorn out on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, pulling it out every 5 minutes to fold and toss to better coat the popcorn with caramel.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely (this takes about 20 minutes) then serve or seal in airtight bags.

  6. The caramel corn will last up to 5 weeks when kept in an air-tight bag away from humidity.

Full Disclosure: This is a sponsored post from Abrams Books and the Abrams Dinner Party.  I may receive compensation in the form of monetary compensation or product compensation in exchange for my review. I believe in reviewing only products that fit my brand and will be beneficial to my readers. All the opinions are my own.

Monster Bites

Monster Bites

 

 

Halloween is becoming my favorite holiday. No giant meal to prepare, no pressure to buy just the right present and you can dress up any which way you want. And you get candy too. What’s not to love?

These crisped rice Monster Bites are what you should really love though.  Easy to make, kid friendly and so much fun to pop in your mouth. In fact, these are so kid friendly, my 9 year old kid did all the decorating. I mean food styling.

Monster Bites

 

 

These bite sized treats are perfect for a Halloween party buffet, or for taking to the office to share. Since they are only a couple bites, you can’t feel guilty eating one. Seriously, how many calories can be in a bite or two? And they’ll make you smile while eating them, so that will surely burn a few calories.

Monster Bites

 

Monster Bites

Servings 45 pieces

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 bag (10 ounces) mini marshmallows
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 cups crisped rice cereal
  • green food coloring
  • candy eyeballs
  • Halloween sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Spray a mini muffin pan with non stick cooking spray.

  2. In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and marshmallows, stirring frequently.

  3. When the marshmallows are melted, stir in the vanilla and cereal. Turn off the heat, but leave the pan on the stove to keep warm.

  4. Drop in the food coloring until the desired color is reached.

  5. Using buttered fingers, press the cereal into the mini muffin pan. When the pan is full pop the bites out onto a silicone mat or parchment paper lined sheet pan. Repeat until all the monster bites are formed.

  6. Decorate the monster bites with the candy eyeballs and sprinkles as desired.

  7. Keep in an airtight container.

Recipe Notes

Candy eyeballs and Halloween sprinkles can be found at grocery stores, specialty stores and Amazon.com.

Monster Bites

Spiced Chestnut Soup

Spiced Chestnut Soup

 

 

Fall is here and certain flavors are starting to be used in everything from coffee to dish soap. Yes, I am speaking about the omnipresent Pumpkin Spice. It is everywhere.

But it is not here. Nope. Not happening on this blog.

But I know Fall is about so many other flavors.

Like chestnuts.

I love chestnuts. When I lived in NYC and the chestnut roasters would set up on the street corner, the smell would entice me like no other. Except the smell of those sugared cashews and almonds, which would bring me to my knees. But, I digress.

Chestnuts are available now already steamed and peeled, packed in jars and vacuum sealed bags. It could not be easier to use chestnuts in your everyday life, not just for that Thanksgiving stuffing. I buy them all the time, but you haven’t seen a lot of recipes using chestnuts because I tend to eat them straight out of the container. By the time I come up with a recipe to try, I have already eaten them all! sigh. . .

Chestnuts are generally a seasonal item. but if you buy the jarred or vacuum sealed bags they will last for many months. Stock up when you see them. That way, when you want to make this soup in the Spring, you are ready!

 

Spiced Chestnut Soup

 

Spiced Chestnut Soup

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 cups

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 13 ounces steamed and peeled chestnuts roughly chopped
  • 4 cups chicken stock preferably homemade or low sodium
  • 2 cups water

Instructions

  1. In a soup pot over low heat, melt the butter.

  2. Add the onion, salt, thyme, paprika, ginger, cinnamon and allspice. Cook 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened.

  3. Add the chestnuts, stirring to coat them with the spice mixture.

  4. Add the stock and water, raise the heat to high.

  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

  6. Simmer the soup for 30 minutes.

  7. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. If you do not have an immersion blender, carefully transfer the hot soup to a blender or food processor, and puree until smooth. 

  8. Adjust the seasoning as needed and serve immediately.