Sunday, February 21, 2010

Kale with Kielbasa

The Dutch have a very solid and varied repertoire of winter dishes: solid in the sense that they all consist of the culinary trinity (meat, vegetables and potatoes) and varied because well....because there is scarcely a thing the Dutch don't add to their famous "stamppot". Literally meaning 'stomped pot", stamppot is a dish that consists of boiled potatoes mashed with either a raw or cooked vegetable. The meat is either served on top, on the side or cut into small pieces and mixed in. If the choice of protein generates any type of pan juice or jus, it will be served in a small hollow made on top of the mashed potato dish, the so-called "kuiltje jus" (kinda like a pothole in the road but different).

Those that know me well will be surprised to see that I served up mashed potatoes with kale, a dish simply called "boerenkool". There are few things in the food world that I don't care for, and one of them is boerenkool. Or was, should I say. Somehow the American kale is not half as bitter as the Dutch one is, so after preparing this dish with Michiel for Idaho's Melting Pot, I was pleasantly surprised, enough even to go home and cook it for myself two days later.

Kale is a dark-leaf vegetable that will add plenty of nutrition to your diet: it is riddled with vitamins and minerals and contributes plenty of protein. The butter and the kielbasa....not so much.

Kale with kielbasa
3 bunches of kale (or 1 lb)
6 large potatoes
3 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup of milk, warmed
1 smoked kielbasa
Salt

Cut the leaves off the stems and slice the leaves into narrow strips. Peel the potatoes, quarter them and place them in a Dutch oven. Add water to barely cover the potatoes, then put the kale on top, add the kielbasa. Cover the pot with a lid and bring to a boil. Boil on a low flame for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are done. Remove the kielbasa, pour off any cooking liquid that may remain and mash the vegetables with a fork or a potato masher. Add the butter and the milk and stir the whole into a creamy consistency. Slice the kielbasa and place it on top of the stamppot. Serve with mustard if desired.


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