Braised Kale, Union Public Schools

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Main Ingredient: Vegetables
Menu Part: Side Dish
Cuisine Type: American
Serves: 25 1/2 cup servings

In preparation for the new meal regulations, Eli Huff, executive chef and culinary operations coordinator for Union Public Schools in Tulsa, Okla., has developed recipes that feature red, orange and leafy green vegetables. This recipe for braised kale is being offered as a healthy alternative to other side dishes like french fries.

"I added the Canadian bacon component almost by accident because we needed to use up our Canadian bacon," Huff says. "We added that bit of fat and saltiness back in, and I think that's what makes it sell. It's turned out to be a big hit with the kids. I'm not even a big fan of kale and I eat it."

Ingredients

¾ lb. Canadian bacon, sliced
5 lb. kale, cleaned, trimmed
¼ cup garlic, minced
¼ cup onion, minced
1 cup chicken broth, low sodium or homemade
¾ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper
1/8 cup sugar
1 tbsp. olive or vegetable oil
1 tbsp. butter

Steps

1. Preheat braising pan and add oil and butter. Sauté Canadian bacon until lightly brown. Add garlic and onion, sauté for 2 minutes.

2. Adding 5 pounds of kale at a time, stir into bacon, garlic and onion mixture. Add half the chicken broth, cover with foil and braise for 10 minutes.

3. Once cooked down, stir and add remaining kale, chicken broth and seasonings.

4. Cover with foil again and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes until kale is braised thoroughly. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Put into steamtable pans and place in warmer at 140°F until service.