Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sautéed Kale with Cumin and Smoked Paprika / Chou frisé sauté au cumin et paprika fumée

Sauteed Kale with Cumin and smoked paprika

Now I have a confession to make. Until recently, the only reason I was buying kale was that somehow it made me feel healthier. Kale was my morning run, the responsible, and sometimes boring, part of me; my pretext for eating more of that mocha ice cream. Other than that, I thought Kale tasted bitter. It was OK, but nothing like my favorites: spinach and Swiss chards. And I’m not even talking about Mohammed’s opinion on the subject. The man rolls his eyes every time I reach for that Frizzy looking green at the market. I think that our aversion with Kale had something to do with my lack of confidence and ideas when cooking this intimidating green.

My mother often tells me this story about the woman who taught her how to turn any kind of greens into an exciting dish. This woman, her name was Ghazielle, which literally translates to little Gazelle. Ghazielle was by no mean petite. She was 6 feet tall, had strong shoulders, a suntanned face, from working in the fields all her childhood, and beautiful, dark kohl eyes. When she wasn’t looking after my younger brother, Ghazielle would sometimes make fresh bread for us. Bending over the gassa* (a large earth ware where you knead bread and make couscous) she would push and fold the dough back and forth until elastic and smooth. Her bread was, and still is, the best homemade bread I’ve ever had. It’s rustic, imperfect in appearance, humble, chewy and so flavorful.

Spring Aromas

One fine morning, Ghazielle came into the kitchen to find my mother serving Sautéed khobiz with garlic. Puzzled by the sad look of the greens, she asked her if this is how she normally serves khobiz, to which my mother says yes. After some giggles from both of them, and a confused and hungry look from us, Ghazielle placed the skillet back on the stove and started sweating some onions, along with spices and herbs, and tossed the greens into the spicy mixture. My mother still recalls how it tasted: moist, earthy, complex yet simple and delicious.

Last weekend, while little angels were napping and tiny tomato plants were being planted, I gave kales a makeover, a Mediterranean meets Algerian makeover, and it was good, surprisingly good. Besides chopping the kale and rinsing it multiple times, the recipe doesn’t take long to put together. Onions are sautéed until happy and translucent, to which you add an herb, garlic and spices mixture. Finely chopped kale are added to mingle with the other ingredients and cooked until silky and tender. Plain yogurt is added at the end to add tanginess and freshness to these greens known for being fairly dry, but bitter and boring they were no more.

Sautéed Kale with Cumin and Smoked Paprika

Recipe: serves 4
- 1 bunch Kale (about 1 pound/500g)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup/250ml parsley sprigs, tightly packed
- 1/2 cup/ 125ml fresh coriander, tightly packed
- 1 tsp freshly ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp plain yogurt
- Salt, black pepper
- lemon wedges
- Oil cured black olives

Strip the kale leaves off their stems and cut away the tough midribs of any large leaves. Chop finely and wash in plenty of water. Drain well.

Chop and pound the parsley, coriander, garlic and 1/4 tsp salt to a paste in a mortar or a food processor.

Heat a large sauté pan and add olive oil and the chopped onion. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the herb paste. Cook 2 minutes stirring and without burning, then add the kale, cumin and smoked paprika, stir to combine, and cover the pan. Cook for 15 minutes, or until the greens are tender. When they are tender, remove the lid and allow any excess water to evaporate. Turn off the heat and stir in the yogurt.

Serve with bread, cured black olives, or any of your favorite olives, and wedges of lemon to squeeze to taste.

B'ssahatkoum! (To your health!)

Sauteed Kale with Cumin and smoked paprika

Chou frisé sauté au cumin et paprika fumée

Recette: Pour 4 personnes
- 1 bouquet de chou frise (500g) ou autre herbe de votre choix comme roquette, épinard...etc.
- 2 cs d'huile d'olive extra vierge
- 1 oignon moyen, haché
- 2 gousses d'ail
- Environ un verre de persil frais
- Environ 1/2 verre de coriandre fraiche
- 1 cc de cumin fraichement moulu
- 1/4 cc de paprika fumée
- 1 cs de yaourt nature
- Sel, Poivre noir
- Des quartiers de citron
- Des olives noires

Retirer les tiges du chou frisé et couper les feuilles finement. Laver abondamment dans de l'eau et bien égoutter.

Hacher le persil, coriandre, ail et /14 cc de sel dans un robot ménager

Faites chauffer l'huile d'olive dans une poêle. Ajouter l'oignon haché et cuire jusqu'à ce qu'il devienne transparent, environ 5 minutes. Ajouter le mélange d'herbes. Cuire pendant 2 minutes tout en remuant et en évitant de le bruler, puis ajouter le chou frisé, le cumin et la paprika fumée, mélanger puis couvrir la poêle. Cuire pendant 15 minutes, ou jusqu'à ce que le chou frisé soit cuit. Quand ce dernier est cuit et tendre, retirer le couvercle et faite réduire l'excès de liquide. Retirer du feu et ajouter le yaourt tout en remuant.

Servir accompagné de pain, d'olives noires et des quartiers de citrons.

B'ssahatkoum! (A votre santé


SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I love kale .... even though it's good for me ! So I must try it cooked like this , it sounds delicious .

mima said...

coucou !!! enfin une apparition !! et toute en couleurs...C'est frais,c'est léger,c'est de saison.
Tu nous fais revivre des moments qui nous semblaient loin...mais non,la brave Ghezièlle a bien partagé notre vie,le temps de nous donner quelques astuces, de mettre sa touche personnelle, çà a le mérite d'ètre raconté et tu fais bien de nous le rappeler...
biz !!

J.W. said...

Lovely writing and photos! It is good to have you back!

What is that dish with the asparagus on the bottom right corner of the grouping I wonder?

Mom said...

Good to see you back at the key board, my friend.

Warda said...

- Smit, this is truly my favorite way of cooking kale so far.

- Mima, oui tu as raison! C'est de ces rencontres qu'on apprends des choses. Bisous. A+

- J.W, thank you! I'm glad to back as well. I missed being here. The dish with the asparagus is a tagine with green peas, asparagus, meatballs (Kefta) and poached eggs on top. Really delicious and in season.

- Mom, thank you Cindy! It feels good. Hugs.

CathrineCupcake said...

You are back! I have looked forward to see your new recipes:)

We Are Not Martha said...

Kale makes me feel healthy too! But luckily I also love it! And I'm a fan of anything with cumin, so that sounds wonderful :)


Brooke said...

Definately going to try this recipe - I have never been big into kale but apparently it's SUPER healthy so hopefully this gets me hooked.

BTW - your "Weeknight Potatoes" recipe was a huge hit in our house - I have posted the recipe and a little blurb about your lovely blog on my blog today. Hope that's ok! They were too good not to share:)

Mary Miller-Duke said...

Thanks for this recipe! I've only ever had kale in restaurants and just assumed it was difficult to cook. Hopefully I can make this recipe and not have to eat out to have kale!

Vote for Starry Night by #33 in the Ultimate Sprinkle Contest (link via name).

Saffron said...

Ohhhh, please give us the pea and asparagus tagine recipe!! It sounds wonderful.

And I agree with Brooke's comment on your Weeknight Potatoes, above. They are special enough for celebration meals. I served them with an Easter-Passover meal I made. Scrumptious!

Warda said...

- Cathrine, thank you!It feels good to be back.

- We are not Martha, hope you'll like it.

- Brooke, you're so sweet! So happy to hear that you and your guests enjoyed the potatoes. Thank you!

- Mary, oh please, don't be intimidated. It is very easy to cook and can hardly be messed up. Actually with kale, compared to other greens, I find that cooking it longer makes it even more silky. Give it a try!

- Saffron, I'll post about the tagine someday. And thank you for giving my potatoes a try.

amanda said...

Thank you for this tasty recipe! I tried it last week with a mix of russian kale and collard greens from our CSA and it was delicious--a whole new set of flavors than I usually use with greens.

dalila said...

slt,ça ma l'air bien bon merci,bizzz

Cheryl Taylor said...

Hello Warda, I am so happy you are back! I have missed your food stories and beautiful photos. They always make me smile (and hungry).
p.s. Can you please post the recipe for S'fendj you talked about last fall?

R said...

You have a beautiful blog Warda. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful stories and recipes :)

Joydeep said...

I am definitely going to try this looks yummy and delicious.

Warda said...

- Cheryl, I'll do my best at posting it soon. Thanks for reminding me about it.

- R, thank you for stopping by!

- Joydeep, hope you'll like it.

melodie1974 said...

Mon Dieu! C'était tellement bon! Je ne pourrai plus jamais manger du chou frisé autrement... J'ai mélangé chou frisé, bette à carde et épinards. Et je n'avais pas de citron, alors j'ai ajouté du sumac pour ajouter un petit goût acide. Merveilleux. Je me demande si ce serait bon sur un pita, avec feta, passé sous le grill...

Merci !

Hanaâ said...

That looks delicious. It reminds me of one of my favorite dishes: Bouqoula. Never thought of making Bouqoula with Kale :o) Thanks for sharing!

This is my first visit to you blog (I was looking for a Msemmen recipe) :o) Interesting that you don't use yeast. Some people do, and some don't.

Warda said...

- Hanaa, welcome! I don't know if using yeast would make any difference. Now you got me intrigued ;-)

Warda said...

- Hanaa, welcome! I don't know if using yeast would make any difference. Now you got me intrigued ;-)

Unknown said...

Bonjour Warda,
C'est Sawsen d'Oran, j'ai découvert votre blog récemment, et je dois vous avouer que c'est un vrai régal. Je suis toute émue Bent Bladi tbarkl'Allah 3leik. J'attends impatiemment vos prochaines recettes.
Mes amitiés ma chère! Bisous..

Mariyam said...

This is the good blog with good images and good details. Please keep on posting the more stuff. I will like to hear more from you.

Warda said...

- Sawsen, bienvenue! et merci pour ce gentil message. J'espere poster une nouvelle recette tre prochainement... embrasse bien fort Wahran de ma part.

miloandnutella said...

I like kale and have been looking for a new preparation. Merci!

Michigan Food Blog said...

great to meet another michigander. I speak a bit of french myself. :) looks delish btw

Jenn said...

I keep thinking about learning how to cook (I adore baking and usually want to eat all my calories in cookie and chocolate form). Dinner in our house is usually a side dish.
This food looks fantastic.
I am also a SE Mich gal. Warda, do you have any local restaurant recommendations?

amdy said...

great blog, keep on posting please

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

At last kale is in season here again and I can make this tomorrow !
I've been looking forward to it since you posted it .

zaina said...

Warda please come back! We know you're so busy with your sweet petites, but we miss you!

Kris said...

Your photos are just wonderful and this dish sounds so good! I am always looking for new dishes that use smoked paprika. We always have it on potatoes, but I never thought of it on Kale...

Michigan Food Blog said...

everything tastes better with lemons. love kale!

Rebecca said...

This sounds wonderful--the photos are beautiful and you always have such a beautiful way of telling the back story, thank you!