Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Kale & blue cheese mash

It's another Mystery Box Madness week at I Heart Cooking Clubs, where, from a notional box of ten ingredients, you have to choose three and make a dish using them from one of the twelve featured writers. Which sounds like it needs a Venn diagram to explain, but I hope it makes sense. Anyway, this month's ingredients were Salmon (fresh, smoked or canned), Green Peas (dried, fresh, frozen or canned), Hazelnuts, Eggplant, Parmesan Cheese, Kale, Apples (any color/kind), Blue Cheese, Rosemary, Bread Rolls/Buns.

I ended up surprising myself and choosing kale as one of the ingredients. There are few dishes where I have enjoyed kale - mostly cooked long and slow with cured pork products - and the ridiculous kale health bandwagon has annoyed me so much I have pretty much avoided it on principle. I have never had a kale chip and I don't mind if I never do.

But Nigel Slater's mash with blue cheese and cavolo nero is pretty much the opposite of a worthy raw vegan kale smoothie. It's a little early in the year for cavolo nero, and that is a type of kale I really don't enjoy unless cooked very slowly, so I opted for tender baby kale leaves instead. His method makes the mashed potato, then tops with butter-sautéed cavolo nero which is then bathed in melted butter infused with rosemary (challenge ingredient number two) and blue cheese (challenge ingredient number three). I didn't do it that way. Instead, while the potatoes were draining, I sizzled the rosemary in the butter, added the potatoes back to the pan, mashed them with the rosemary butter, then folded in the raw kale and chunks of blue cheese. The baby kale leaves were tender enough to wilt in the heat of the potatoes and not need extra cooking.

My other embellishment was some of my garlic. I wrapped the whole head in foil and put it on the barbecue alongside the chicken we had with the mash. Then I squeezed out the luscious cloves on top of the potatoes, and added a little extra butter, champ-style.

It was an excellent accompaniment to the smoky chicken, but, in the way of potatoes, they really suck up the seasoning. I could have doubled the amount of rosemary and blue cheese and it wouldn't have been too much. And I think the addition of garlic is a must.

10 comments:

Zosia said...

I think this dish would convince just about anyone to try kale. I like the changes you made to it, especially the addition of roasted garlic. (And I agree with you about Claudia Roden!)

Deb in Hawaii said...

See--now why didn't I just throw Nigel's direction to the winds and mash it all together as I felt the urge to do?! And, why didn't I roast up some garlic to top it with?! Your version looks amazing. I am glad we were MBM 'twins' this round--I am definitely stealing the roasted garlic trick for the next time. ;-)

Joyce Rachel Lee-Bates said...

Looks good!

grace said...

don't tell anyone, but i hate kale. what i love, though, is the way you handled to rosemary! delicious!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Zosia - I certainly simplified things!

Deb - roast garlic is always good

Joyce - thank you!

Grace - there isn't *much* to love about kale, is there?

flour.ish.en said...

Really like the way you bring all these ingredients, especially the garlic and rosemary, together into one delicious dish!

Kim said...

Yes, I couldn't agree more. Skip extra steps and mix it all in together! I would do the same. Also, I hear you. I always have to beef up the seasoning in my potato dishes. More salt, more cheese, more garlic (always more garlic). Love this dish - almost made it for myself:)

Looks delicious!

kitchen flavours said...

Looks delicious! And yes, definitely more garlic for me too!

TeaLady said...

I like your method much better. I bet it added a lot more flavor.

tamarindandthyme said...

Sigh...that garlic!!

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