Reinventing the wheel is fun, I really enjoy creating new versions of an old classic in my kitchen laboratory. Has it been done before? Maybe. But for me, it’s new, it came out of my imagination and this is how all great things were born!
Oh my, I’m getting a little carried away. Most new creations occur for me because of this- I hate when food goes to waste, it gets under my skin and I feel horribly guilty and terrible every single time I have to throw food in the compost (hey, at least its going back to the earth). This repugnance to wastefulness all started when I travelled to India and saw just how little people live off, and oh how those living in poverty cherish even the smallest morsel. Arriving back to Canada, broke ass and needing a job asap I worked in a high end restaurant as a server (though my heart is in the kitchen). The amount of food left on plates destined for a fate in the trash can (of course, no compost) it was really gut wrenching. Though probably illegal, I would have my own little doggy back which I would take home,ahem, for my dog. I didn’t last very long and after this embraced cooking over serving, with my trusty compost bucket always at my side.
The moral of the story.
The kale in the fridge was getting past its prime and my brain wanted to make curry for dinner. Don’t get me wrong I love kale…sometimes…but I didn’t want any leafyness in the curry, I wanted smooth and creamy luxuriousness sans leaf. Palak Paneer is one of my favourite indian dishes, if you aren’t familiar, paneer is a type of indian cottage cheese and its cooked with curried creamed spinach, the texture and satisfaction this dish brings makes it a beloved classic. This creamy kale and chicken curry basically emulates the texture of palak paneer but instead of paneer chunks I’ve used chicken. If you’re fully paleo you can omit the heavy cream and cream cheese and opt for coconut cream, the result isn’t quite as rich but deliciousness nonetheless.
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 Tbs bacon fat or coconut oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbs garam masala
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 bunch of kale, roughly chopped (remove the stems for a smoother sauce)
- ¼ C cream cheese
- ¼ C heavy cream OR omit dairy for ½ C coconut cream
- ½ tsp sea salt
- In a large skillet melt fat and add onion, ginger and garlic to simmer, when onions are translucent add cumin seeds and garam masala, let this cook together for a few minutes on med.
- Add the chicken to the skillet and cover for a few minutes.
- Put a pot of water on with a steamer preferably for the kale. Steam until just tender but still bright green, about 3 minutes.
- Puree the steamed kale in a blender or food processor with the cream or coconut cream.
- Add to the skillet and stir in cream cheese until melted if your using it.
- Salt and enjoy alone or with basmati rice, coriander and plain yogurt.
And remember kids, don’t let your eyes be bigger than your belly, tee hee.
I don’t know, am I alone in this? Does wasting food grate your nerves like it does mine? I know those of us with kiddos are probably frustrated about this. What do yo think?