Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Kale and Sausage Fry

This is a quick and easy (and very filling and satisfying) wintery dinner.

Kale and Sausage Fry
serves 4

8 small waxy-type potatoes, scrubbed clean, skins left on
olive oil
4-6 sweet or hot italian pork sausage,* whole
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled, crushed and chopped
crushed red pepper
2 lbs kale, washed, stemmed and chopped
1 cup stock (any kind) or water
salt and pepper

Pre-cook the potatoes, either for 3 minutes in the microwave, or by parboiling (whole) in plenty of water, until just barely tender. Cut into quarters and set aside.

In a large heavy bottomed frying pan, heat some olive oil and add the sausages, turning occasionally to brown them nice and dark on all sides (don't worry about cooking them all the way through right now). Remove them to a plate.

Add a little more oil to the pan if it looks dry (if you have nice pork-fatty sausages this might not be necessary, but you want a fair amount of fat in the pan, a tbsp or so) and then add the potato chunks - leave them with one of their cut sides down until it gets some golden color, then toss them around and let them brown a little more, seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove them to the plate with the sausages.

Add a little more oil to the pan, turn the heat up to high and then add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Fry briefly until the garlic becomes fragrant, and then add the chopped kale. Salt and pepper generously to taste, and toss it all around until the kale darkens and starts to wilt down. Add the cup of stock or water (eyeball it, add more if you think it needs it), add back the sausage and potatoes, stir it all up (scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan) and cover.

Let it cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, until the kale is tender and the sausages are cooked through** and the potatoes fall easily back to the pan when you pierce them with a knife and attempt to lift them. Uncover and turn the heat up to high to cook off any remaining stock or water.

Serve with a drizzle of sriracha if desired. It could also be really good with some parmigiano grated on top, or some toasted breadcrumbs for crunch.

*We had some beautiful italian sausages from our meat CSA that were quite large (no comment) and one was plenty for each of us. I've noticed that supermarket italian sausages seem to be about half the size of ours, and you might want more than one per person, depending on your appetite and the appetites of your dining companions. Of course you can use any kind of sausage here - linguica would be intense but yummy (maybe fewer than one per person in that case), Trader Joe's makes a really delicious turkey kielbasa that would be good, brats would be fun, if you like them, etc. Even veggie sausages would work, I've had a fake italian sausage that was actually quite delicious considering it lacked pork.

**I just check to see if they're done by cutting into one. Not very scientific. If you opt for a precooked sausage like linguica, kielbasa or vegetarian sausage, wait to add the sausages till the very end - just add the potatoes at this point, and cover to cook them through, then add the sausage to re-warm as you cook off the stock.

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