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Food for Thought

2014 June 11
by Mrs. FoodieLawyer

Ready for a rub-down

  • One of our favorite local restaurants has a kale salad on their menu that is hands-down one of the best salads we’ve ever eaten. Kale is amazingly healthy, but it can be pretty strong in both flavor and texture. Our attempts to recreate our favorite kale dish at home weren’t very successful, at least until we discovered the secret to delicious kale salad: massage! Turns out, if you massage the kale leaves (cut them away from the stems first) by rubbing them gently with your hands for a few minutes, the kale’s cellulose structure begins to break down and the texture and flavor will soften. You can add flavor during the massage by using a little olive oil, lemon juice, or even avocado. Relaxed kale is happy kale and makes a much better salad.
  • Because we are a family of two, we often cut recipes in half when they are intended to serve four or more people. Because neither math nor memorization are among my strong skills, I usually need a little help when it comes to converting ingredient amounts. This kitchen conversion guide is extremely handy for a cook like me. For example, measuring spoon sets don’t include a spoon for half a tablespoon. But according to the conversion guide, 1 tablespoon equals 3 teaspoons, therefore 1/2 tablespoon equals 1 1/2 teaspoons. Genius! The guide includes conversions for just about every unit of measure used in cooking (at least all the ones I know of) and links them together for cross-converting (technical term). It’s also a really cool graphic that would look great framed and hung on a wall in the kitchen as useful art.
  • We’re generally not very adventurous when it comes to odd-food-pairing experiments, but this list of unexpected flavor combinations that (supposedly) work really well is interesting. We’ll have to take their word for it on some of them though. Salmon + licorice? No and no. Oysters + watermelon makes a little more sense, as does butternut squash + lime. If you’ve tried any of these or know of any other bizarre food combinations that actually taste good, feel free to share!
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