In the five weeks since last I posted, the Earth has continued to revolve, the sun has risen and set many times, the seasons have turned, and nothing has really changed.
Except that in my little slice of the planet, many things have changed. The funny thing about change is, even if you plan for it and know it will eventually happen, you are still punched in the gut when it actually does. The changes here at Green and Lean have been both expected and unexpected, happy and sad, welcome and unwelcome. It has been a crazy mix of emotional highs and lows.
Through all this, I have become so acutely aware of my tendency to connect with people through food. Whether it's remembering epic meals cooked years ago or making new memories by testing a recipe, great food seems to be what I use to build relationships with like-minded foodies.
So, in an effort to repair my relationship with you like-minded foodie readers of G&L, I'm offering you a Smoked Cheddar and Kale Dutch Baby as an apology for my extended absence. A Dutch Baby is also called an oven pancake or skillet pancake. It's like a heavier version of a giant popover, often served sweet with powdered sugar and lemon juice. This version is savory with lots of healthy dark leafy greens but also plenty of butter and cheese to keep it rich and indulgent.
I brought home many great things from the Midtown Farmer's Market on Saturday (the last one of the year), including a huge bunch of dark green Tuscan kale and a brick of Wisconsin Smoky Cheddar. They paired wonderfully in this simple dinner. The original recipe had Ham and Swiss instead of the kale and cheddar, but I think Spinach and Goat Cheese or Mushroom and Gruyere sound awesome also.
Dutch Babies usually puff up dramatically in the oven but mine didn't, for some reason. Maybe I put in too much kale or my oven was too hot. It doesn't really matter because the end result, while maybe not as photogenic as other Dutch Babies, tasted great.
Smoked Cheddar and Kale Dutch Baby, adapted from Lund's and Byerly's Real Food magazine
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
4 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
3/4 cup grated smoked cheddar cheese (or cheese of your choice)
3/4 cup sauteed kale and shallot (or other veggie or meat of your choice)
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, have ready a 10 inch round baking dish with tall sides. A pie dish would work perfectly, but I used my new cast iron skillet, a birthday present from mom and dad.
In a large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, and mustard. Whisk in flour and salt and mix until just blended. Fold in 1/2 cup each cheese and kale. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Put butter and oil in skillet or baking dish and place in oven for 5 minutes to heat pan and melt butter. Remove and pour batter into hot pan. Bake 25 minutes.
Remove pan carefully from oven and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup each cheese and kale. Return to oven for 5 minutes to melt cheese and brown edges of pancake. Serve hot.
ONE YEAR AGO: Buffalo Tofu Sandwich
TWO YEARS AGO: Oven Fried Fish 'n Chips
THREE YEARS AGO: Olive Oil Granola