My best friend cooked some kale recently for dinner and I fell in love with it. It tasted so much like mustard greens and I LOVE mustard greens. It was her first time cooking it, so there were improvements to be made, but I decided to take my own stab at it.
I went to the grocery store, bought the kale and was ready to go! I was tempted to buy a bag of pre-cut kale, because it would have been much easier to just open a bag, wash it, and pour it in the pan. But the cost was what changed my mind. Buying bundles was much cheaper. So, I got home googled a recipe for how to "sauté" kale, prepped my kale, and got going. Here are the steps I followed:
- Sauté garlic in oil until the garlic is soft
- Add 1/2 a cup of water
- Add the kale to the pot and coat the leaves
- Cover the pot and let it cook for 5 to 15 minutes (I chose to let it cook for 5 minutes because I only had a small amount of kale)
I followed all the instructions so I thought everything would work out...wrong! Wrong!! Lol. I was so busy cooking the other food and washing dishes so I wouldn't have to do it later that I got distracted. I began to smell something burning. Really? Burning?!? I check the pot of kale and it had burned so badly that it was burnt black and stuck to the bottom of the pot. IT HADN'T EVEN BEEN FIVE MINUTES YET!! I think I went wrong in two places - I used a metal pot and the heat was on a medium-high setting.
I was going to say forget it and eat my fish and rice without the kale, but I really wanted kale that night so I gave it another try. This time I used a non-stick pot and I did not take my eyes off of it. I cooked it, but it turned out really tough and very bland BUT here's what it looked like:
Don't get me wrong. It tasted okay after I added salt, but I want to be able to cook it so that when it goes from the pot to my plate, it's a complete product.
I was determined to redeem my name because I think I'm a decent cook. I was not about to let kale take me out of the cooking game. This time I tried to boil it. I thought this should be simple enough. Here are the steps I took:
- Fry bacon in the pot (for seasoning)
- Add water
- Add salt
- Add kale
Simple enough, right?! When I googled a recipe for this, the time span was the same...about 5 to 15 minutes. I tasted it at 5 minutes and it was tough. I tasted it at 15 minutes and it tasted just like it did at 5 minutes. I was so discouraged. I let it cook for 10 more minutes and it still wasn't tender. It was past time for me to eat, so I turned the stove off and called it a night. I didn't even eat the kale with my dinner. When I reheated the leftovers, it was more tender that it was the night I cooked it. However, my goal is to get it tender the very first night I cook it.
I told my mom of these fiascos and she told me to try the first way again, but cook it on a lower heat setting (and I will also use a non-stick pot).
Please, Mi-ettes, give me some pointers you might have for cooking kale (or any type of greens - collards, mustard greens, etc.). I'm very interested to hear ways that have been successful for others.