Em’s been trying to get me to try baking kale “chips” for years, and I just couldn’t imagine that they would taste good. As it turns out, the taste is kind of inconsequential: it’s the crisp and the salt that you’re after. I finally tasted a commercial brand and was kind of horrified by how bloody expensive they are, so I decided to attempt it myself. They turned out perfectly, but only because I read every procedure on the internet for achieving the exact crispiness and I watched them like a hawk…and kept putting them back in the over for a little more crisping. As it turns out, the best method I found was to bake them for fifteen minutes and then turn the oven off and let them crisp up a bit more (but not bake).
I don’t think this method would work with an electric oven, however, because the “chips” would continue to bake as the element cooled off. Fortunately, I have a gas oven, so it worked like a charm. They are so crispy and salty that I’ve eaten at least a bunch of kale all by myself (since J deemed them “not to his taste”).
My original motivation was to create a better product at a fraction of the price of the $8.00 commercial kale chips. And I was so damn pleased with myself….until I asked James what he paid for the kale–$3.00 bucks a bunch, and I used two bunches. Not such a huge difference as it turns out. Next time, I’ll be sure to buy kale when it’s on sale!
I’m going to try this recipe from CajunChefRyan next because it contains no oil and no salt