When it comes to kale, there are two camps: love and hate. Amos Watts, the mouthpiece of this week's Chef and Tell interview, loves the leafy green. "Greens of any kind are another one of my favorite ingredients," he says. "I grew up eating a lot of greens which may have something to do with it." Kale, he adds, is "great braised, sauteed, or, in the case of this recipe, creamed." If you have an aversion to kale, however, you can substitute spinach, which, promises Watts, is "equally excellent."
Creamed kale Serves six
1 quart heavy cream 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 onion, peeled and diced 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped 5 sprigs fresh thyme 4 bunches curly or Tuscan kale, large stems removed and rinsed 1 cup mascarpone cheese 2 tablespoons butter 1/2 cup saltine crackers, crushed and toasted in 1 tablespoon of butter until browned Salt and pepper to taste
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1. Add oi to a large saute pan, and sweat onions until translucent. Add garlic cloves and heavy cream and simmer for 15 minutes. Puree in a blender. 2. Return the mixture to the pan. Add thyme and simmer until reduced by half. 3. Strain the mixture through a fine strainer or chinoise. 4. Boil kale in a large pot of salted water until soft but still green (about 8 to 10 minutes). 5. Once kale is soft, remove from boiling water and quickly cool in an ice water bath. Squeeze as much excess water out of it as you can. 6. Finely chop kale very fine and set aside. 7 Mix cream, kale, mascarpone, and 1 tablespoon butter together and simmer until thick and creamy.
Place in six small bowls and top with toasted cracker crumbs.