the Un-Potato Chip

Since I got back from Little Cayman – the ending of a terrific holiday season – I went on this no-white-carb, hardly any other carb, eating plan.  It’s been surprisingly  drama free, which is why I did not expect the weekend’s  potato chip fit.  It came out of nowhere and surprised me with its intensity.  I had to have them.  I started to get into the car, to drive to the gas station and buy just a small bag, maybe two small bags, because if I ate one and it didn’ satisfy me, I’d eat another because I’d not had any chips for so long and obviously my body was telling me to get them.  I justified it every way I could think of and then I stopped.

What I did instead was make kale chips.   They satisfied my urge for oily, salty, crispness.  I have no idea if they’re good, they keep me from eating potato chips. I will not assign any holy status to kale and its healthfulness; I make these purely to stay the hell away from potato chips.

I will never make them with parmesan, cinnamon, ancho chile powder, barbecue rub, cocoa, Essence of Emeril, Old Bay, or garlic salt.  I will never make anyone eat them nor will I say that I eat them for any other reason than this:  they keep me the HELL away from potato chips.  For now.

Kale Chips the way I do ‘em.

  • One bunch of kale*
  • Some olive oil – maybe 2 tablespoons.
  • Kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 250.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

By knife or with your hands, remove the tough stems from the kale and put them in the compost.  Wash and dry the Kale leaves.  Dry them completely, a salad spinner helps but nothing works like using cloth or paper towels to blot out all the moisture.  They need to be dry, as in dry, not dry-ish.

In a large bowl, drizzle the kale with the olive oil and then with clean hands, rub the oil on the leaves.   None of this drizzle’n’toss stuff.  We’re not making a salad, we’re making chips.  The leaves should not be drenched, but there should be no oil-free spots.

Spread the oiled kale in a single layer on the baking sheet, sprinkle with salt, and put into the oven for, oh, 30 minutes.  The kale will go from bright to dark green. If you test one of the leaves, it will be very crisp while still holding its curly-kale’ness.  Store at room temperature.

(*My son the organic farmer brought me organic dinosaur kale today, and the pesticide lecture was free of charge.  I prefer the curly stuff, pictured here.)