Saturday, June 22, 2013

Sausage Kale Bread Bake

When I cook I find myself imagining two realities ( neither the present). I start by making a supper. It is nutritious, fun and delicious and even as I cook on a whim I feel confident of my decisions and I explain what I am doing and why to my audience (I’m cutting the crust off of this fresh loaf of bread, and this is how I hold my hand so I can keep it still and guide the knife at the same time, and we are taking off the crust not because it isn’t good but because the crust will block the soft porous interior - soon to be in large dice -  from absorbing the seasoned egg mixture.)  But soon my vision slips into the second reality and I am teaching not on a television show but to my children, who I can’t imagine, but in my dream I know are there. 

So as I often express, apologies for the verbosity but I promise you will learn and be rewarded with a delicious, cheap and quick dinner that's a cinch to prepare, even when there isn't much in the fridge. The opportunities for substitutions are vast so use what you like, but keep it simple and use fresh, local whole foods.
To work efficiently you need to have everything ready, so turn on the oven to 350 ℉ and gather your ingredients:
  • 1/2 bunch of kale, washed, boiled in seasoned water then blanched 
  • 1 onion, any kind you want, cut in half then sliced thinly
  • 1 sausage.  I used the Deli Sausage at Sanagan’s Meat Locker but the flavour options are endless and you could even add some bacon because why not. Vegetarians: I would crumble seasoned tofu into the egg mixture rather than a veggie sausage as they often are not healthy at all.
  • 5 eggs, cracked into a bowl, whisked and then seasoned (if you season the egg first then whisking makes it rubbery).  I added some barbecue sauce to this wet mixture, as well as about a 1/4 cut of chicken stock but you could use anything with equal viscosity: tomato sauce, milk, beef stock, apple sauce thinned out with worcester, et cetera.
  • 1 loaf of crusty bread, crust removed and the interior diced
  • Sriracha, or any hot sauce you like
  1. Heat up a medium sized frying pan, add a splash of oil, then push the sausage out of the casing and into the pan. Add the onions and sauté together, with a little maple syrup if you have some. Add the bread and continue onto the next step as it warms up and marinates. 
  2. Line the bottom of a shallow baking dish with a thin layer of hot sauce. Using the back of a large spoon is best for spreading out the sauce. 
  3. Squeeze the kale of excess moisture so the eggs don’t curdle and chop it into one inch strips, then pack into a single layer above the hot sauce in the baking dish. 
  4. Taste the bread mixture and season accordingly. Pour it into the baking dish but do not pack it down (this is so that when we pour in the eggs, the mixture can dissipate into each layer, and down to the kale)
  5. Pour in the eggs, then push down the bread with the back of that large spoon of yours. As the spoon sinks into the bread, you will notice some of the egg mixture sinks onto the spoon; drag the soon backwards slowly and tilt it so that you can glaze the surface.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 ℉ and don’t burn your tongue when you try to scarf it down scalding hot.  :)  This recipe makes about 4 servings if it is served with a side salad 

It costs only about ( eggs: 5, 4/12 = 30cents/egg x 5 = ) $1.50 + (kale $2/bunch) $1 + (bread) $3 + (sausage) $2 + (onion, hot sauce, maple syrup, chicken stock) $1 = $7.50 / 4 =  Less than $2 per person! 

Why so healthy? 

  • it’s made from scratch, with love
  • it uses whole foods - only the hot sauce is packaged
  • the sausage is made locally, using locally sourced meat that is hormone and antibiotic free
  • the bread can be whole wheat or unbleached, which ups it’s nutrition
  • eggs are a great source of protein (6g/serving! ) 
  • kale is super high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibre 

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