My father and grandfather, both no longer here, loved nothing better than a serious steak dinner at their favorite steakhouse, Peter Luger’s, in New York City. If there was something to celebrate, an out-of-town guest to impress or the desire to indulge an extravagant comfort-food craving, there was one clear choice.
Ordering was easy: a starter of thickly sliced tomatoes and onions with the house dressing, which was also the house steak sauce (think of Worcestershire sauce disguised as a thick dressing), and possibly a wedge salad with bacon and blue cheese. To follow, there was a T-bone steak, sliced but with the bone served up for nibbling, with fried potatoes and creamed spinach. And after belts had been loosened, perhaps a piece of key lime pie.
I think that for most of us, to like creamed spinach is to love creamed spinach. You have to go all in if you go at all. And I love creamed spinach.
But because envelopes need the occasional pushing, I recently decided to cream up some kale in memory of my dad and grandpa. I know that in some circles kale is considered the king of the greens, and in others it’s considered “over.” I don’t belong to either camp, but I do love how baby kale works in recipes. It has similar nutritional perks to spinach, and holds up to heat with more presence. It isn’t as tough as fully grown kale.
So I tried creaming it, with a generous amount of cream and Parmesan.
This begs to be served up next to a roast chicken, a piece of seared or roasted fish, or, in the most perfect of all worlds, a juicy T-bone steak.
Creamed Kale with Parmesan
- 1 pound kale
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Trim the tough middle rib from the leaves of kale, and roughly chop the leaves. Rinse them in a colander. Add them to the boiling water and boil for 5 minutes, until the kale is fairly tender. Drain in the colander, rinse with cold water, then use your hands to squeeze the kale and dry as you can.
- Place the cream in the pot you used to cook the kale. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, and then lower the heat to medium and continue to simmer until reduced by about half, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and the red pepper flakes. Add the blanched kale and simmer, stirring often, until the cream sauce is further reduced and coats the kale, about 3 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan until the cheese is melted and everything is well blended.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and serve hot.
The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.
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