Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Kale Surprise

It was a celebration weekend and I enjoyed cooking up a few treats: another prawn curry but this time with finely-diced courgette added; duck breast with homemade hoi-sin sauce; cherry muffin pie (not homemade) with baked figs and ice-cream; button mushrooms in with garlic butter and parsley. Cava, of course: Codorniu, which is probably our favourite. Come Monday morning we were feeling a bit mentally deflated and physically inflated. But it was worth it.

One of the staples we have as a regular curry-meal accompaniment is 'kale paneer'. Yes, just like sag paneer but with kale used in place of spinach. I think the 'sag' bit can actually be any kind of greens, so kale works just fine. Paneer/panir is a kind of simple young cheese, which my sister says is quite easy to make. We tend to use whatever cheese comes to hand - the stringier the better - then add some cream.

Kale gets a bad rap and some people consider it only good for animal feed. Well, I'm an animal and I like it just fine. If your kale plants survived the winter (and deer attacks) you may still get some lovely tender leaves before it starts to bolt. At this time of year 15 minutes of boiling (as opposed to about 45 minutes pre-frost) will render it down into tasty and nutritious yellow-green mulch ready for the addition of cheese, chorizo, bacon or whatever else you think might work.

There were two curlews and a heron on Gastrobeach this morning but they've fled as the rain moves in. Curious how seabirds seem to dislike the rain so much.

It's dreich outside but the place is really starting to green-up and that looks bright even in this dim light. Obsessed with greens today, I am. I wonder how it would be with cheese?

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