Friday, July 27, 2012

Food obsessions

The latest foods that I have been obsessed with making have been candied almonds and kale in all forms - sautéed with garlic, mingled with lemony pasta and of course in salads.  Thought I'd share a couple simple recipes that involve very little difficultly and a lot of winging it.  The measurements listed are definitely approximate!
Candied Almonds
2 cups almonds
1/4 cup white sugar
Dash or two of cinnamon
1 Tbsp cold water
Pinch of fleur de sel
Give the almonds a quick rinse in cold water to moisten the nuts.  In a pan or pot, stir cinnamon into sugar.  Add 1 Tbsp water.  Heat on medium low heat in a small saucepan until mostly liquified.  I like to keep some of the graininess of the sugar.  Add nuts and stir until coated.  Remove from stove top and pour onto baking sheet - see photo above.  Sprinkle with fleur de sel and bake at 350F for about 20 minutes.  Check to make sure nuts are not burning and stir occasionally.  When moisture is gone, you are done!  Allow to cool and nibble away!  

Kale Salad with Toasted Almonds, Dried Cranberries and Parmigiano Reggiano
Bunch of kale (maybe 8-10 leaves to serve 4)
Extra virgin olive oil
Juice of about half a lemon
Pinch of sea salt
1 tsp honey
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup almonds, toasted and crushed
Parmigiano Reggiano, shaved
Dried cranberries (missing from photo)

Remove stalks from kale and cut leaves into bite size pieces.  In a large bowl, drizzle kale with olive oil and half of the lemon juice.  Add some salt.  Stir/toss/massage until greens are coated.  Let kale sit for a few minutes, tossing occasionally.  In the meantime, whisk together the remaining lemon juice with the honey, pepper and more olive oil.  Adjust proportions to taste.  Add this dressing to kale and toss.  Sprinkle some toasted almonds, some dried cranberries and some shaved Parmigiano Reggiano.  And chomp chomp chomp!  Instant healthy boost!  Though maybe not so much when I pair it with fried chicken...

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