Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Smoky Kale and Beans

It's been windy and rainy all week, it might snow on Saturday, there are still a gazillion football games that will need a half time snack... and those are reasons enough to cook up a mess of greens. As if I needed an excuse to combine smoked turkey parts, fresh kale and white beans with garlic, jalapeño slices and a splash of red wine vinegar. Those six flavorful ingredients plus a hit of hot sauce came together into an irresistible bowl of comfort food for lunch today. A small portion would be perfect as a side dish, but we went with a large bowl apiece for a filling, one-dish meal. Tomorrow I'll add some chicken broth to the leftovers for a tasty souplike version of the recipe. 

This dish was inspired by a recent Food Network Thanksgiving special, something I had turned on as background noise to keep me company. It stayed in the background until a preparation for Southern collard greens grabbed my attention. Forget the featured turkey, cornbread dressing and sweet potato something, I craved those smoky greens! Using the Michael Symon recipe as a base, I made a few changes. We prefer kale to collard greens, and I always have some on hand, so that accounted for the first change. A jar of Mezzetta's Tamed Jalapeño Rings substituted for a fresh chili pepper. The dish needed more substance, so a can of cannellini beans joined the party. Green Tabasco sauce added a final pop. Oh, baby, those were some good greens! 

I have half a dozen other kale posts, all recipes we enjoy, but this is the first kale dish that RL has requested as a repeat. That's a good sign, those must have been some good greens!

Smoky Kale and Beans
adapted from a Michael Symon recipe 
Yield: 4 large servings

2 bunches kale, stems and center-ribs removed (I used 1 bunch each of curly kale and dinosaur kale)
Olive oil, to coat pan
1 pound smoked turkey parts (wings, thighs, or tails)
1 cup diced red onions
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or minced
Kosher salt
1 jalapeno, sliced into rings 
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 can Cannellini (white) beans, drained & rinsed

Hot sauce, such as Green Tabasco or your favorite

  1. Roughly chop the kale into 1/2-inch pieces. Wash well under cold water. Drain and set aside.
  2. Add a film of olive oil to a large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven; use medium heat and sear the turkey pieces on all sides until crisped, about 5 minutes. 
  3. Add the onions, garlic and a large pinch of salt; heat until the vegetables are softened and you can smell the garlic, about 3 minutes. 
  4. Add the rinsed kale, jalapeño rings, vinegar, sugar and 1 to 2 teaspoons salt. Cover and cook until the greens are wilted, 20 to 30 minutes. 
  5. Add the drained and rinsed beans, stir to combine and cook briefly to heat. (Add some chicken broth if you like your greens soupy.) Remove from the heat and check the seasoning, adding additional salt and vinegar to taste.
  6. Remove the turkey pieces and pull the meat off the bones, discarding any large chunks of fat. Shred some of the turkey meat and toss with the cooked greens. Add hot sauce to taste and serve.
* Next time double the amount of greens, or use larger bunches of kale, equal to roughly 2 pounds.
* Garbanzo (ceci) beans would be a good alternative to cannellini beans, providing more crunch to the dish. 

1 comment:

  1. I added some chicken broth to the leftover kale and greens for a quick lunchtime bowl of soup. Delicious!


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