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Old 10-27-2018, 09:19 PM   #1
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Kale question

Every time I eat restaurant prepared kale it always tasted really good. When i try to do the same at home, it is always bitter.

over the past week + Ive had kale at 3 different restaurants and no bitterness at all. All were simply prepared ( Im guessing garlic, olive oil, a little soy sauce). Not sure of the kale was sautéed , pre boiled or steamed.
In all cases it was cut or almost copped to relatively small pieces.
In one case, shiitake mushrooms were added to the mix.

Is there a specific variety , or cooking technique that makes it less bitter?

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Old 10-27-2018, 10:47 PM   #2
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Don't know the answer for you Larry, as I only use kale in Zuppa Toscana soup and I love it in that application, well cooked.
I once ordered what I thought sounded like a great salad made with kale and it was so terrible I couldn't eat it. I boxed it up and brought it home for the Souschef because he'll eat most anything, but it went in the trash.
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Old 10-28-2018, 12:03 AM   #3
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Larry, I make Braised Kale most times as a side dish and it's never bitter, tough or cooked to death. I prefer my veg el dente if you will, a crisp-tender. I start a large pan off with olive oil over med-high heat, add garlic and next chopped Kale (any variety available), tossing it in the oil and garlic to coat. I also add a good grate or five of fresh Nutmeg to all of my "Greens". Then in goes a good broth, vegetable for you or Chicken for me... stir stir stir, cover and simmer slowly until the desired doneness is reached (not long).
IMHO, it comes out delicious and neither DH nor I had eaten Kale prior to us moving here to the mainland, now, we eat it all the time.
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Old 10-28-2018, 12:26 AM   #4
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Here is what I do with kale.

1. I see it in the store.

2. I walk past it.

Works great!

CD
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Old 10-28-2018, 12:31 AM   #5
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I’m no fan of kale either, except in Italian soups, like Kayelle. I’ve noticed, though, that there are a lot of kale varieties. Could it be that the restaurants where you had kale and enjoyed it use a different variety of the leaf? Or baby kale?
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Old 10-28-2018, 01:24 AM   #6
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Good point Joel. I also see there are various types of kale. The kind I use in soup is quite hardy compared to others that look to be more tender.
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Old 10-28-2018, 02:36 AM   #7
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We've tried two of the three main types of kale, curly and black (although I like the name Dinosaur Kale better). I made curly the same way that K-Girl made her kale...and I hope the garbage can liked it that way. We didn't. I also cooked the dinosaur kale in a similar manner. It was OK, nothing worth writing home about. Like Kayelle, I have found that kale works as a green in soup, though. Then again, all greens are good for you in some way or another. I can't see spending way more money on trendy kale than I would for spinach, Swiss chard, or romaine lettuce.
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Old 10-28-2018, 04:13 AM   #8
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Well, Im glad Im not alone here.
Im just baffled that a simple green is giving me so much trouble
As a vegetarian, Im almost embarrassed having to ask this about a simple green I mean, of anyone, I should be the go to person about this, but its just not happening.

If I didnt have it multiple times and liked it each time, I wouldn't have even posted. But clearly Im doing something wrong.

I have put it in soups, not as a main ingredient, but as an additional veggie, and I do like it cause its one of those veggies that hold up in the cooking process. And if not too much, its not overpowering and works well.

But as a side dish of primarily kale, thats where I run into the issue. Maybe Ill try baby kale. Should be more tender, and maybe thats the answer to my question.

Ive also tried multiple varieties, many different ways. Ive even grown it a few times.

I felt like a cow when I was eating it, because I was chewing and chewing and chewing, and it took me forever to break it down , but i actually kinda liked that, in some bizarre way , it was kinda fun.
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Old 10-28-2018, 04:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cooking Goddess View Post
We've tried two of the three main types of kale, curly and black (although I like the name Dinosaur Kale better). I made curly the same way that K-Girl made her kale...and I hope the garbage can liked it that way. We didn't. I also cooked the dinosaur kale in a similar manner. It was OK, nothing worth writing home about. Like Kayelle, I have found that kale works as a green in soup, though. Then again, all greens are good for you in some way or another. I can't see spending way more money on trendy kale than I would for spinach, Swiss chard, or romaine lettuce.
I couldn't sleep, so I got up and had a TastyKake Butterscotch Krimpet and milk... the milk just went in my mouth and out my nose.

There are leafy greens other than kale, that taste good and are good for you, so why has kale become the holy grail of leafy greens?

CD
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Old 10-28-2018, 04:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caseydog View Post
I couldn't sleep, so I got up and had a TastyKake Butterscotch Krimpet and milk... the milk just went in my mouth and out my nose.

There are leafy greens other than kale, that taste good and are good for you, so why has kale become the holy grail of leafy greens?

CD
I was going to say, its 4:30am here and you're behind a few hours, what are yo doing up ?? I guess the Kale Spirits were channeling you.

I'm in agreement. Especially being vegetarian, Im willing to try any veggie. Why kale has become so popular ( from a taste point of view) is beyond me. There are many others that are easier and more predictable to cook, and more universal in their uses, for me, kale doesnt really bring all that much to the party. But, as I mentioned, I have had it several times where it tasted above average ( or at least edible). Honestly, I had the same issue with Broccoli Rabe. I had it twice in restaurants , and it was brilliant. I bought it, cooked it at home, Im not claiming to be the best, most experienced chef. Im not even professionally trained, but Ive been doing it long enough that I can hold my own, and I just couldn't replicate what I had in the restaurant. Its one thing to be a little off. Sure, maybe I missed identifying an ingredient or two, but heck, it shouldn't be inedible. I'm thinking maybe they used broccolini instead of broccoli rabe. Ive had that in the restaurants, basically just thinner, more leggy , not as compact florets version of broccoli. To me, almost like broccoli flavor, with an asparagus kind of consistency ( the stems). But as far as Im concerned, broccoli rabe is the devil vegetable
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