Sunday, March 11, 2012
My New Favorite After School Snack: Kale-Romano Popcorn
It's hard to remember when you listen to everything going on in the media, but teachers are people too.
No, I'm not going to go on some sort of tirade about the state of the American education system, teacher preparation programs, teacher evaluations, and compensation; the Common Core Standards, high-stakes assessments, inclusion, special education, and English Language Learners.
And believe me, I have a lot to say.
That's really not the purpose of this blog though...The purpose of this blog is food. And my real point is: teachers need after school snacks too.
When you eat breakfast at 6, have lunch at 11 (if you're lucky), and get out of work at 3:30 (but you probably stay for an extra hour or so, or bring an hour or so of work home with you, or both), you need something healthy to get you through until dinner.
Some days, it's a quick apple or rice cake with peanut butter before going for a run. Some days it's cheese and crackers and a glass of wine. Some days (often Fridays) it's a beer (or two) and some unhealthy fried food smothered in cheese with my fellow teachers. But pretty often lately, it's this popcorn.
You really can't beat home popped popcorn. But add kale and cheese? It will make you forget the terrible names that kid called you (it's not actually about you, it's about the fact that the study skills class you teach takes the place of art once a week--brilliant, admin, just brilliant) and give you the energy to grade lesson plans from your grad students until it's time to go play bridge (oh my God. When did you turn into June Cleaver--but without the clean kitchen?).
It's almost like homemade Veggie Booty, but not quite. It does have the perfect balance of salt, whole grain, and fat that I crave after a long day at school. It's basically kale chips crumbled over popcorn. I've tried a few different ways of making the kale stick to the popcorn. Most gourmet popcorn recipes recommend tossing the popcorn with the butter and spices then baking. That's a bit too much work for an after school snack. But mixing the kale with the melted butter and then tossing worked quite well. You can also just sprinkle the kale over the top. It works just fine.
This post has been submitted to the Hearth & Soul Blog Hop.
3 medium sized kale leaves, tough center ribs removed
1/4 c unpopped popcorn
1 T melted butter
1 clove garlic, chopped
freshly ground black pepper
1 T grated Romano cheese
Preheat the oven to 375. Place the kale on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Roast for 5-10 minutes, or until the kale is crisp. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Heat a tablespoon or so of oil (less works fine) in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the popcorn. Cover. Shake the pan a bit every couple minutes. Soon you'll hear the first kernel pop. Shake the pan frequently until you hear the popping slow to 10 seconds between pops. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, mix together the butter, garlic, black pepper and Romano. Crumble the kale into this mixture. Add the popcorn. Toss until coated. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and more pepper. Serve.
Serves 1-2 (depending on how early lunch is...)