So about that dinner…
It took a good part of the morning, but oh it was SO worth it!
For the kale, I took half a HUGE yellow onion and diced it up, and added four huge cloves of garlic which I smashed slightly. I had my dutch oven on the stove, and put the onions and garlic in some bacon grease, a good teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and let them sweat out a bit. I then added the ham hocks and a good bit of organic chicken stock. I popped the whole thing in a 300 degree oven and let it all work together until the ham hocks were tender and the meat fell off the bone. I washed the kale in cold water, removed the tough stems and chopped it all into bite sized pieces. I am not a huge fan of my kale all going dark and yucky looking, so I took the time to saute it in batches, getting it bright green before adding it to the ham hock meat and flavored broth. Once it was all combined, I put it back in the oven (covered) along with a healthy (and I do mean healthy) slug of apple cider vinegar. It hung out there until the kale was tender (about an hour or so), and then I added one more bit of vinegar at the end. The kale really needed the acid and once it was all done, WOW. I could have made a meal of just kale alone … and I probably WILL for a lunchtime this week.
I rounded out the menu with those sugar dumpling squash, ham with cabbage, apple, and carrot, and some white beans. That is what fall eating is all about.
The squash couldn’t be easier. Whack them in half, scoop out the seeds and put them in a baking pan, cut sides up. Add about an inch of water in the pan, and into a 350 degree oven until tender. While still warm, I put a pat of butter in the cavity and then drizzled the whole thing with maple syrup. I finished it off with freshly grated nutmeg. Simply beautiful! Not as sweet as a sweet potato, but not at all starchy or bland…. especially with some freshly ground sea salt. I had four whole ones, and we ate only half of them, so I am sure these sweet darlings will see time in my lunch box this week too.
I’ll give you my cabbage and beans recipes tomorrow, but for tonight, it’s time to hit the hay… Hope your weekend was full of fall flavor.