My parents have lived in the same house for 28 years. I have spent nearly every Christmas morning in that living room. I recall being deterred from peeking over the stairs when my sister and I woke up as to not see the gifts that Santa didn't wrap. One year there was a foam-top surfboard and another a swivel desk chair. Yes, I always peeked. I had to! My mom would start the heater, coffee, and holiday tunes, and get the camera ready so my sister and I could prance downstairs in our coordinating pajama sets. I still can't keep track of the names of people I have worked with for three years, but I have vivid, sweet memories of Christmas with my family. Selective, I suppose.
Last year I made cinnamon rolls for the family and they turned out great - tender, extra pecan filling, cream cheese glaze - I'd declared them a new tradition. I don't get baking right most times, but the stars had aligned just long enough for that breakfast treat. This year there is request for waffles and eggs, which would make that cinnamon roll "tradition" short lived. The eggs, despite the pastry decision, need to be something besides the ordinary. I came across this kale recipe with suspicion as I generally prefer my vegetables on the raw or al dente side. Cooking the greens for 30 minutes?!? That sounds so... brown. But Suzanne Goin has an impressive handful of very successful restaurants and cookbooks so it's likely not prudent to question the recipe against the basis of my raw kale salad habit. You just follow the directions and realize doing things someone else's way is often times the fresh perspective you needed. I may have heightened senses at the moment, but sizzling rosemary, garlic and onions have never smelled so incredible. I could have stood over the pan and finished it, just myself, the fork and that glorious kale. I saved a handful for omelette filling and I believe it will be the perfect thing to dress up holiday morning eggs. Even on its own as a side this would be great, and I would assume it's enough for four if they aren't quite as greedy with their greens.
Wishing you and yours a sweet holiday.
SLOW-COOKED KALE OMELETTES / Makes 4
I use a 10'' non-stick for a one-person omelette. I think you could make a frittata in a 12'' if you weren't up for making individual omelettes. You want a really hearty sized bunch of kale as it shrinks down significantly after the blanch. Too little and you'll only wish you had more, too much and there won't be enough room in the pan for it to fully crisp up on the edges. You'll want to weigh the bundle to get this just right and use your largest pan either way.
- 1 heaping pound kale, ribs removed
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste
- 1 dried chile de arbol, broken into pieces OR 1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
- 1 cup sliced yellow onion (about half a whole onion)
- 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp. ghee (or more olive oil)
- fresh ground pepper
- 8 extra-large eggs
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 6 ounces soft goat cheese
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the kale for 1 1/2 minutes, drain, let it cool, and squeeze out excess water. Chop it up and set aside.
In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the rosemary sprigs and chile and cook for one minute. Reduce the heat to low, add the onion and salt, cook for two minutes, and then add in the garlic slices and stir. Cook for about 8 minutes until the onions are soft and starting to brown.
Turn the heat to medium-low, add the kale and ghee or oil, stir to coat. Cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the kale is almost black and charred at the edges. Remove the rosemary sprigs and chile de arbol, if using. Pepper flakes stay. Sprinkle some fresh ground pepper, taste for salt, and set aside.
Heat a 10'' pan over medium-low heat with a small pat of butter or ghee at the bottom. For each omelette, beat 2 extra-large eggs with a Tbsp. of milk. Add the eggs to the pan and let them cook for about a minute and a half. Use a spatula to lift up one corner of the eggs, tilt the pan, and let the liquid egg on top, run underneath. When the top is still soft but the omelette mostly set, put a few spoonfuls of the kale down the center and a generous sprinkle of goat cheese on top. Gently fold the omelette into thirds, like an envelope, and slide it onto a plate. Repeat with remaining omelettes.
* For the frittata, preheat the oven to 425'. Warm the kale in a 12'' skillet over low heat. Whisk the eggs and milk in a bowl and pour them on top of the kale. Cook on the stove for about 4 minutes. Crumble the cheese on top and finish it in the oven for another 6-10 minutes until you shake the pan (careful, hot handle) and the center looks just a tad jiggly. It will set as it cools.
Serve with a handful of fresh greens on top and some crusty toast.