Category Archives: recipes

how to make kale chips

I made kale chips and brought them to the New Year’s party I was at a couple of nights ago. They were very, very popular. When I had to leave after a few hours, and picked up the storage container with the last few in it, a friend of mine literally made a little “uh!” sound and grabbed for them. Kale chips are ridiculously expensive per unit weight, but also remarkably easy to make at home. Here’s how I made mine.

Start by soaking a cup of raw cashews (well, they’re not really raw, but you know what I mean) in water for an hour or two. In the meantime, prepare two bunches of Tuscan kale by carefully stripping them off their stems, washing them well, and drying them as much as can be done easily. (You could use curly kale too, and that might even be better. But the Tuscan kale strips are long and delicate!)

Then purée in a food processor until it turns into a paste:

The soaked and drained cashews
The flesh of a red bell pepper (no stem, no seeds)
The juice of a juicy lemon (and, if it’s a good lemon, some of its zest too)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
Maybe a clove of garlic
A little sprinkling of sea salt (the nutritional yeast is already plenty salty)

You’ll need to do this in two batches, most likely, so put half the cashew-pepper-nutritional yeast paste in a bowl, then put half the kale leaves in there and mush it around with your hands until the leaves are unevenly coated. LIttle clumps of the coating here and there are fine, uncoated bits are fine too. It’ll stick. Lay the leaves out on nonstick cookie sheets or baking pans, with as little overlap as possible. (I used two big cookie sheets and still could only cook half the leaves at once. If you have a bunch of nonstick cookie sheets, mazel tov.)

Put them in the oven at its lowest setting, like 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the chips after 20 minutes or so, and every 10 or 15 minutes thereafter. You’re not trying to bake them so much as to dehydrate them. When they’re starting to get pretty dry, take the pans out and flip the chips over with a spatula. When they’re really, truly all dry and crispy, they’re done. If any of them are still kind of damp, they will make all the rest chewy rather than crispy when you put them in the same container.

Let your guests fall upon them ravenously.



click whirr nuzzle

Lisa’s photos from the first Love Registry are (back) up, in attractive alphabetical form!

I made my first uppama yesterday morning, and despite a lot of last-second ingredient substitutions, it came out so well that we’d demolished the whole thing by mid-afternoon. Maybe a little too heavy on the stirring to make often, but I’m glad I did it. Here’s how I made it, adapted from Madhur Jaffrey:

Put 1/4 cup peanut or canola oil in a big heavy nonstick pan over medium heat. When it’s hot enough to pop mustard seeds, add a little asafoetida, then a teaspoon of brown mustard seeds. When they start popping, add a dried red chile and a couple of teaspoons of chana dal or yellow split peas; stir the whole thing until the peas turn reddish, which won’t be long (the mustard seeds that haven’t popped yet will stick, so keep ’em in motion so they don’t burn). Add some curry leaves, if you’ve got them, stir once, and then add three tablespoons of very finely chopped red onion. Hisssss. Fry until the onion starts to brown at the edges. Add a teaspoon each of finely grated fresh ginger and, if you like it, finely chopped fresh green chile. Stir a few seconds more and add a packed cup of green cabbage shreds and a quarter-cup of peas (frozen & defrosted is fine). Hisssss. Stir for a couple of minutes, add 3 tablespoons of water, cover it, and turn it down to low for 3 or 4 minutes.

Now comes the labor-intensive part. Have 1 3/4 cups of water boiling in a kettle. Uncover the pan, turn the heat back up to medium, and add a cup of non-instant semolina or Cream of Wheat. Stir and fry it for about five minutes, until it turns golden. Turn the heat back down to low and add 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Then, over the course of five minutes, dribble in the boiling water a little at a time, and stir it until it’s absorbed before adding the next dribble. After it’s all been absorbed, keep stirring it & breaking up lumps until the whole thing is light and fluffy–could be as much as 10 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh cilantro, stir for another minute, turn the heat off, rest your weary arm and eat.

root vegetable gratin

And, since Liz asked nicely:


Proof that gratins don’t have to include cheese. Made this for dinner last night (along with reheated soybeans ‘n’ hijiki and some collards and kale with asafoetida), and it was the undisputed champion. Adapted from Deborah Madison.

First, the béchamel. Slowly heat 2 cups milk with a couple of slices of onion, a crushed garlic clove, a couple of bay leaves, and some parsley and thyme if you’ve got them. As soon as it reaches a boil, take it off the heat. In another pot, melt 4 tablespoons butter, stir in 3 tablespoons flour, and cook for one minute. Immediately add the hot milk with stuff in it. Cook it until it’s gotten thick; transfer it to a double boiler, cover, and cook for 25 minutes.

You’re going to be doing most of the rest while the sauce is in the double boiler, so you might want to peel & cut a bit in advance. Preheat the oven to 375°. Lightly butter a 2-quart casserole or gratin dish. Peel a mediumish rutabaga, chop it into strips, and boil them in salted water for two minutes, then drain them and dump them into the casserole. Chop up a small onion finely, and fry it in a tablespoon of butter over medium heat for about 8 minutes, then into the casserole it goes. Peel and cut up a bag of carrots, three smallish turnips, and a medium-size parsnip into whatever shapes you like, and add them to the casserole too. Add salt and pepper and mix it up.

By this point, your béchamel should be ready. Squish it through a strainer onto the top of the casserole–it’ll be very thick. Sprinkle on a little more salt and pepper. Cover the whole thing with a cup of fresh bread crumbs–I just grated a loaf of day-old herb bread I’d made in the bread machine. Stick it in the oven for 45 minutes or so; it’ll become golden and bubbly, and the root vegetables will retain some of their original texture but not quite their crunchiness.