Crazy for Kale: Perfect Kale Chips for Pizza [Language NSFW]

I used to despise kale.

Really and truly. I wanted my salad bare and simple, to the point where romaine lettuce seemed like a brazen life choice.

But that was then, and kale is very much now. And not just for me… kale seems to be popping up everywhere—as a power elixir, snack food, bath salts and yes, even on pizza. We have a popular place in Atlanta’s Inman Park called Kale Me Crazy, serving up all sorts of kale-yumminess, including shots of extract, elaborate salads and the like. As Sarah Rosenberg can attest, we heart that joint a lot.

We put kale chips on our “Fun Tina” pizza last year and it was one of my faves of all time. Have a look at that here. She was pretty to look at, too.

the finished "Fun Tina"

the finished “Fun Tina”

Not everyone is convinced that kale is the Second Food Coming; for all fads, remember, there are contrarians. Just ask the Vulgar Chef what he thinks.

Well then. Amidst the noise I’m trying to keep a level head about kale since I’m always the skeptic when it comes to fads. (Writes the guy who still buys $18 Levi’s at Target.)

Anyhoo, kale—despite it’s sometimes annoying hype—makes an already spiffy pizza all the more grand. Here’s my guide on how you can turn your kale in to luscious, ready-to-nomnom bites of goodness.

(I made up the part about bath salts—but you totally believed me there for a second.)

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Ingredients

head of kale
1/4 cup of EVOO
squeeze of lemon
dried garlic (optional)
kosher salt & pepper

Directions

• preheat the oven to 300˚
• wash the kale well. break away all leafy-green pieces from the stem and place in a stainless steel bowl. dry the kale well and then rip the pieces to the desired size. (remember, the greens reduce in the oven.) compost or discard the stems.

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• in a measuring cup, put the olive oil and lemon together with desired pinches of salt and pepper (optional). mix well.
• pour mixture over the kale, one pour at a time, and use your hands to toss. this may be a bit icky to some, but it’s the best way to get the pieces all covered.

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• since heads of kale vary, keep this in mind: you don’t want to go too heavy on your liquid. so, add just enough to cover whatever amount of kale you have. give the pieces a final lashing of kosher salt and pepper. mix one last time.

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• spread pieces out on a baking sheet or a slotted pan cover (shown). bake 10 minutes and turn the pan once; bake for another 15 minutes, but check back to see if it’s done sooner (ovens vary). be patient… cooking at a lower temperature means they’ll be just right after they cool.

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I dare you not to eat half of the chips before they cool. Enjoy! Please post here if you make this at home.

#QuotableMondays: Conflict Kitchen & Promoting Cultural Understanding

Can an food outlet actually double as an art project? In the case of Conflict Kitchen, yes. And it’s generated some important political conversations along with it.

The restaurant, located in Pittsburgh, serves up cuisine from countries with which the United States is in a state of conflict. That includes places like North Korea, Cuba and Iran, among others.

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all photos courtesy of Conflict Kitchen’s website

 

Here’s a piece I caught on BBC News that first got me thinking:

“Our goal is to create a larger discourse with the countries we’re in conflict with,” says Conflict Kitchen co-director Jon Rubin.

But it’s the post on their website that qualifies as Pizza for Good’s #QuotableMonday entry. A major kerfuffle erupted when CK passed out fliers with a recent Palestinian-food offering; some objected to the content being excessively pro-Palestinian. As a result, Heinz bowed to outside pressure and pulled funding.

“Promoting understanding is at the core of Conflict Kitchen’s mission. We have demonstrated this in the past by presenting the food, culture, and viewpoints of Iranians, Afghans, Cubans, North Koreans, and Venezuelans. We believe that presenting the viewpoints of Palestinians promotes understanding of Palestinians.

Protecting freedom of expression from the influence of biased media and powerful political and lobbying groups is essential for the cultural and political health of a democratic society. We are extremely upset that one of Pittsburgh’s most important arts and culture funders would disavow their grant to us when seemingly pressured by strong outside forces.”

No matter what your viewpoint is on this, it’s always important for all sides to keep talking. And that’s exactly what Conflict Kitchen is engendering. Bravo.

all photos courtesy of Conflict Kitchen's website

all photos courtesy of Conflict Kitchen’s website

San Diego Recap: Flying Flour & $520 for the Humane Society

Yes, we made a complete mess of the Sun-St. Michael’s kitchen, and it became a rockin’ restaurant for the evening. But it was a HUGE success, I’m proud to say. We had roughly 25 in attendance and made $520 in unfettered funds for the San Diego Humane Society.

Wayne, in his infinite wisdom, asked guests to submit images of pets, both living and passed on, and we created a video montage for the party:

Our pizzas turned out spectacularly well, too—with summer favorite CFWB as well as a few new tasty morsels:

QR: "Wild Card: Red Pepper Coulis"

QR: “Wild Card: Red Pepper Coulis”

QR: "San Diego Alligator Pear"

QR: “San Diego Alligator Pear”

QR: "Georgia Peach"

QR: “Georgia Peach”

I put on my video hat to get Wayne talking about the “Squash Blossom”—an equal parts beautiful and tasty white pizza. Have a look:

Most of all, thanks to all who attended and special thanks to Wayne, Ed and Zach for hosting us and allowing us to litter the floor with flour. There’s already talk of 2nd Annual party next fall! Until then, cheers…

Buy the book here, and make sure to follow me on Instagram for insider pics, recipe ideas and more.

PS: watch for one more San Diego mini doc about the entire event, with more pizza pics and cutaways. 😉

 

Travel & Leisure’s Call For #howisummer Photos

 

Although I object to using “summer” as a verb at all times, Travel & Leisure is running a spiffy social-media campaign to get users to tag their Instagrams with #howisummer. some of the entries are pretty neat—and, with partner Food & Wine magazine, it’s food-specific (although many of the images tagged are not of food, which is weird).

Travel & Leisure's tweet from today #howissummer

Travel & Leisure’s tweet from today #howisummer

 

I just tagged a few images from our San Diego Pizza for Good party (see below). And I’ll update this post if it gets featured! Make sure to watch our Instagram feed in the sidebar for more Food Porn pics that will hopefully inspire you for summer eats.

 

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I made fried goat cheese for a salad topping the day before our PFG party.

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Wayne created the most delicious caprese salad (with garden-grown tomatoes) I’ve ever tasted.

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this was the basis of the CFWB pizza—made for the PFG party in San Diego.

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the Squash Blossom pizza came out of a conversation we had a few nights before the San Diego party. turned out to be a yummy (and beautiful) white pizza.

Meantime, get to tagging on Instagram so you can get your foodie pics up in lights.

"New York Delhi" - the finished product

‘New York Delhi’ – The Best Naan Pizza You’ll Ever Taste

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A few friends recently visited Tabla, a new Indian restaurant in Midtown Atlanta, and reported having naan with cheese on it. Naturally, a lightbulb went off over my head!

The result is “New York Delhi”—an easy, non-yeast, pizza version of classic Indian bread. After hitting the Google for some easy-peasy naan recipes, I settled on one from Veg Recipes of India, created by a great husband-and-wife team of bloggers. They go in to great detail on how to make stove-top naan without yeast. Follow that recipe to the letter, but use this combination of topping ingredients (about 1 tbsp of each – use onion seeds if you can find them):

– dried, chopped garlic
– caraway seed
– poppy seed
– taragon
– onion powder
– pinch of kosher salt

Directions:

– after following the recipe above, and while the dough is rising, mix all ingredients in a chef bowl well. do a taste to make sure the flavor balance is to your liking.
– after the dough has risen (again, see recipe for more) cut, roll and flatten equal-sized pieces.
– spread mixture evenly on top of the dough
– for more on how this is done, see the below video.
– cook on a griddle or skillet, on medium heat, for about 5 minutes on each side. as your cooking the second side, add toppings until melted.
– cut with a pizza cutter in to bite-sized nibbles.

Hope you enjoy. The Brownies were in town visiting me last week, and we shot the video recipe – hope it helps. Thanks to Rachel for filming, and Spensavory for being my most-excellent sous chef.

Make fresh. buy local. raise money. #GoodRising

BUY NOW (click on any image):

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Pizza for Good (available at Agate Digital, Amazon, iTunes or B&N) is a video-enhanced eBook chronicling the themed, gourmet-pizza party that sparked a non-profit movement – and how you can do the same in your local communities. Pizza for Good is an inspiring and entertaining cookbook, memoir, and philanthropic guide to building local community through America’s favorite food. Will Pollock, the founder of the charitable artists’ collaborative ARTvision and an Atlanta-based writer, has created 20 unique recipes for specialty pizzas that emphasize locally sourced ingredients and come with a heaping amount of helpful kitchen tips. But Pizza for Good is also a funny, moving, and thought-provoking series of stories about Will’s personal experience in creating a philanthropic arts organization and his community-building efforts as achieved through pizza. His aim is to not only give readers brand new ways to think about their favorite food, but to offer straightforward advice on how they can start their own “Pizza for Good” events for the causes that mean the most to them.

“Pizza for Good” Launch Party Photos

Stranger hugs. Joe Biden traffic. Vibrator jokes. Raffle-prize winners. Oh yeah, we also had a book to launch, too.

Thanks to all who attended the “Pizza for Good” book-release party at Baraonda Caffe – right in the heart of midtown Atlanta. We had a great turn-out despite traffic grinding to a halt during a visit by Vice President Biden. We rolled with the punches, as you’ll see below.

Special thanks to our host, Baraonda, as well as all party volunteers and special guests. We kicked off the book in style and hopefully sent folks away with some great memories.

Are you hosting your own “PFG” fund-raising party? Tell us on Facebook and Twitter and add #GoodRising to your post.

PFG is on sale now! Click here to buy from the Agate Digital website – use promo code “ROUND” for 50% off.