…is something I never have to say again. I did it!
I know. I know. For those of you that can make kale chips with your eyes closed, this seems ridiculous. Well, guess what? Making kale chips with your eyes closed is dangerous!
All joking aside, I’ve tried and failed to make kale chips in the past and was always embarrassed. Silvia even posted a recipe to make kale chips last December (which is what inspired my first failed attempt) But I got over it and tried again. Boy, am I glad that I did!
I had an abundance of kale in my CSA box this week and thought, “Ok. Kale is amazingly nutritious. Even though I failed miserably at this last time, I’m going to try again.” Then, I let the kale sit in my fridge, taunting me for 4 days. Finally, I took the plunge yesterday.
Admittedly, I’ve only tried to make kale chips twice in the past. But I failed so miserably that it was easier to say that I couldn’t do it than fail again. (Are you picking up on the perfectionist tendencies yet?) The earlier problem was that I never seemed to distribute the olive oil evenly enough. Some pieces of kale were smothered, while others were dry. Once they hit the oven, I wasn’t able to find the perfect about of time to burn off the oil from those that were smothered before completely destroying the dry ones. Eventually I would end up shaking the pan around to try and spread out the oil like fake flecks of snow in a glass globe. I would reset the timer at five minute intervals until I lost all patience and gave up. I hope my daughters weren’t watching this epic display of perseverance.
Yesterday, I tried again. I set my oven at 375 (since it typically requires 25 MORE degrees than the recipe calls for), cleaned off the kale and patted it COMPLETELY dry with a paper towel. I used a large baking sheet and covered it with wax paper. I spread out the kale evenly across the pan and reached for the extra virgin olive oil. Hand shaking, I started like I had before, slowly….slowly pouring out tiny droplets of oil across the leafy greens. One minute and 17 tiny drops of oil later, I was verging on the same failed path as before. I even picked up the pan and shook it. Mostly in frustration. Then, it hit me. Use the olive oil sprayer! I got a great one from Bed Bath and Beyond years ago and it is exactly what was missing from success. Since I only put olive oil in the sprayer (as a replacement for non-stick spray, like PAM) it was a great tool to evenly distribute olive oil across the kale without pooling the oil in only one location.
As I sprayed the leaves, they began turning a deeper shade of green. It had to be a good sign.
Once I was satisfied that each leaf had been covered with a light mist of oil, I put the pan in the oven for 18 minutes, slightly more than the recipe called for, out of fear that it wouldn’t be enough like the last time. The timer went off a short time later and I pulled out the pan with oven mitts. With the pan safely on the stovetop, I reached out and touched the first leaf. It felt crispy and perfect. Slightly brown on the edges. I did it!
Next step, figure out how to make enough so that we don’t eat the whole pan in one sitting. Can you say delicious??!!