My Husband is a true Southern Boy, with a hometown of Atlanta Georgia, where despite the state fruit it is hard to find a good peach. However, wonderful restaurants with delicious food do abound including my favorite, Woodfire Grill helmed by non other than Chef Kevin Gillespie of Top Chef fame. David and I had our Engagement Dinner at Woodfire, and booked a return for Gillespie’s July 4th BBQ featuring pork slow roasted for days. Just ask Gillespie who his number one fan is and he will say me, apparently in my absence another woman tried to claim the title and was politely informed otherwise. But I digress! The point is there is nothing that my husband has met he couldn’t fry to a crisp golden perfection, and when it comes to southern foods he is very discerning. So when I presented him with the smitten kitchen recipe that I was lusting for, he was skeptical of the short brine time. It was delicious! (You do it every time Deb). Though we agreed the brine could do with a 1/8 C reduction in salt and an additional 2 tbsp of paprika for added flavor depth. Otherwise I wouldn’t change a thing and encourage you to make it tonight!
A personal heart warming note was when we sat down to the delicious meal and my husband noted that this was the first evening we had to make dinner and relax since we got married. See we moved, like nutter butters, in February of my last semester of law school. Because we had to! See there was this little yellow cottage that is now ours. Our stuff came from Atlanta and the movers boxed the hubby in, where I found him 6 hours later when I came home. Over the next 2 weeks, which required ninja like movement (if you’ve seen this classic film, you get the idea) around furniture and badass Tetris skills, our little cottage finally got unpacked–stocked to the hilt, cozy and most importantly navigable. Which led to me trashing the kitchen with this full meal. 🙂
Hubby also commented that this was the first meal I made that “made sense”. The thing is, being new to and extremely enthusiastic about cooking I have made odd choices in the past. Green beans in chicken soup is his recurring nightmare. So without further ado, the wonderful sides!
Adapted from Bobby Flay.
What you need:
1 big bunch of kale, stems and leaves chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup water
Sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
2 tbsp red wine vinegar (balsamic is an excellent substitute here!)
Generous Pinch of Hot Red Pepper Flakes
What you need to do:
Heat olive oil in a large pan on medium-high heat. Err on the side of medium here, as if the heat is to high it can strip the olive oil of its wonderful flavor. Add garlic and cook till soft. Raise heat to high, add water and kale. Cover with a lid (I like a glass lid, so you can eye the kale as it cooks) and toss to combine and coat. Cook covered for 5 mins. Remove cover, add Hot Pepper Flakes, and continue to cook until liquid disappears. Season with salt, pepper and vinegar…and YUMMMMMMMM.
Also carmelized cauliflower by way of the lovely Orangette, topped with shredded parmesan cheese. And more smitten kitchen love with mustard potatoes. I spiked with a 1/2 tsp of horseradish and extra cracked mustard seeds from this store, whose shelves bend with all the exotic spices they have you feel like you are in a Shakespearean Apothecary. Because some like it hot, or haven’t you heard? 😉
Best Accompaniment: Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis on Vinyl.
It felt like home.