Creamed Kale with Crispy Shallots

Creamed Kale with Crispy Shallots

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Servings: 6 to 8

If you are a fan of creamed spinach, there is no way you won’t fall head over heels for this dish from award-winning chef Bobby Flay. The same luscious flavours are all in play; the creamy sauce is spiked with onion, garlic and a touch of nutmeg. Changing the leafy green from spinach to kale is a seemingly small substitute with a big impact. Like spinach, kale is packed with nutrients, but unlike spinach, it doesn’t melt into the sauce; its texture is sturdier and retains its body when cooked. Crispy shallots bring another layer of texture along with their mild onion flavour.

Ingredients:

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 lb. (1.5 kg) kale, stems and ribs removed, leaves coarsely chopped
  • 3 1/2 cups (28 fl. oz./875 ml) milk, or more if needed
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish
  • 1 Spanish onion, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

For the crispy shallots:

  • 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) canola oil
  • 1 cup (5 oz./155 g) all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 6 large shallots, sliced into thin rings

Directions:

  • Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter a baking dish with about a 3-quart (3-l) capacity.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the kale and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain in a colander, rinse with cold water and drain well again. Place the kale in clean kitchen towels or paper towels and squeeze out the excess liquid. Put the kale in a large bowl.
  • In a medium saucepan over low heat, bring the milk to a simmer.
  • In another medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk in the flour and cook until smooth and light blond in colour, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the warm milk, increase the heat to high and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened and the flour taste has cooked out, about 5 minutes. If the mixture becomes too thick, add a little more milk.
  • Strain the sauce over the kale. Add the nutmeg, season with salt and pepper, and stir gently to combine. Scrape the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Bake until light golden brown on top and just warmed through, about 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, make the crispy shallots: In a medium saucepan, heat the oil until it reaches 360°F (182°C) on a deep-frying thermometer.
  • Put the flour on a large plate and season with salt and pepper. Working in batches, dredge the shallots in the flour. Transfer them to a large slotted spoon or spider and tap off the excess flour. Fry the shallots in batches, stirring a few times, until light golden brown and crisp, 30 to 45 seconds. Using the slotted spoon, transfer them to a paper towel–lined plate and season with salt and pepper.
  • Remove the creamed kale from the oven and top with the crispy shallots. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 6 to 8.
  • Adapted from Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain Cookbook by Bobby Flay (Clarkson Potter, 2011)

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