Kale and potato "leftovers curry"

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Kale and potato "leftovers curry"

Postby Robin Garr » Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:21 pm

Kale and potato "leftovers curry"

Here's a trick I often play when I want to make something interesting for dinner but don't have any specific ideas kicking around inside my head trying to get out:

1. Check the refrigerator to see what we've got, particularly leftovers in boxes or tubs and produce rapidly approaching its "sell-by date."

2. Go to Chef Google and key in "Dishes using (a), (b) and (c)."

Then - and here is where being a fast reader helps out - quickly read the summary lines for the first 10 or 20 hits, discarding those that don't seem interesting. Give a little less weight to the "corporate" Websites and a little extra love to individual sites that appear to be labors of love from good cooks.

That's how it was tonight when I found (a) a big tub of leftover cooked, chopped kale in its cooking liquid, and (b) more potatoes than seemed reasonable, all still good but a few showing signs of incipient softening.

So okay, Google, what you got?

First up were a bunch of colcannon-type dishes, mashed potatoes and pureed greens whipped together, and a gratin that looked a little too much like work. I could do that, but wait! What's this!? Kale and potato curry? Don't mind if I do! I glanced at the recipe, but frankly, when I do this kind of thing I'm more often simply looking for a theme to riff on, and now I had mine.

Off we went. First, peel two medium baking potatoes (I would have used waxy boilers if I had them), and simmer in salted water for 5 minutes or so or until crisp-tender but not over-done. Drain, shock with cold water to stop cooking, and set aside.

Then, throw in a bunch of chopped onions (one large one) in coconut oil. Add a good ration of minced garlic and ginger (3-4 garlic cloves and a peeled one-inch length of fresh ginger) with red pepper flakes, black pepper and a little salt. Get 'em good and brown, then add 1/2 teaspoon each of cumin, turmeric and Madras curry powder and about 1/2 cup of leftover coconut milk, 1/2 cup diced tomatoes, a shot of soy sauce and a squirt of lemon juice. Bring up to a simmer, then stir in the leftover kale and finally the potatoes. Gently mix, simmer briefly and serve. I might have garnished it with some leftover cilantro leaves but decided I was tired of working and ready for eating. It was fine.
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Re: Kale and potato "leftovers curry"

Postby Karen/NoCA » Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:26 pm

That's a fun way to do it Robin. Bon Appetit Magazine wesite offers a search by ingredients, as does All Recipes. I like the Bon Appetit site because you are not dealing with Googles myriad of corporte offerings. Theirs goes right to their own recipes with your exact ingredient request. Sure is a handy tool and one I have used often. My guess is there a lots of foodie web sites you can do that with. I've done it with Barefoot Contessa and Pioneer Women, too.
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Re: Kale and potato "leftovers curry"

Postby Robin Garr » Mon Jan 06, 2014 5:21 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote:That's a fun way to do it Robin. Bon Appetit Magazine wesite offers a search by ingredients, as does All Recipes. I like the Bon Appetit site because you are not dealing with Googles myriad of corporte offerings. Theirs goes right to their own recipes with your exact ingredient request. Sure is a handy tool and one I have used often. My guess is there a lots of foodie web sites you can do that with. I've done it with Barefoot Contessa and Pioneer Women, too.

I hear ya, Karen, and for streamlining you are absolutely right! I love the vast diversity of doing an all-web search, though, and as a fast reader and intuitive type, I'm good at skimming through the corporate sites at high speed in search of something more interesting. Particularly ethnic sites hosted by people from the ethnic tradition. Ideally in English or a language where I can at least struggle through food vocabulary, although Google Translate can help a lot, too. (Perfect translation may not be an absolutely requirement anyway, since I'm usually looking more for an idea that sets my imagination working rather than a precise recipe.)
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Re: Kale and potato "leftovers curry"

Postby Frank Deis » Mon Jan 06, 2014 7:39 pm

Robin, your way of searching is exactly like mine, and having eaten a lot of Indian food I can imagine I might come up with a similar solution.

The problem with scattershot Googling is that often I don't pay attention to the specific source I've discovered, only the recipe, and sometimes not realizing where the recipe came from can be A Bad Thing!
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Re: Kale and potato "leftovers curry"

Postby Robin Garr » Mon Jan 06, 2014 8:48 pm

Frank Deis wrote:... sometimes not realizing where the recipe came from can be A Bad Thing!

Specifics? I'm curious, Frank, and respect your thought, but given the way I use it - just grabbing a general idea and then riffing on it to make it my own - it's hard for me to see what I'd lose, other than ethnic authenticity, which would be important to me in a restaurant, maybe, but not so much at home where I'm just trying to make something interesting and good.
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Re: Kale and potato "leftovers curry"

Postby Paul Winalski » Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:51 am

Robin,

Some of my most treasured recipes came about by searching the Internet wisdom on a recipe for X.

I typically find several variations on that particular recipe. As one would expect--there are always a variety of much-loved family recipes for X. From which I can pick and choose the best aspects to produce my own favorite recipe for X.

I'm loving your "curry" riffs on various themes. Keep it up!

-Paul W.
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