The story of a kitten. And kale.

jen's splash

RECIPE: Creamed kale.

Yes: This story involves a kitten. But some background first. We were cold from biking around Portland (on our own distillery tour) and, sometime this winter, a group of us stumbled into a warm noodle restaurant in Portland. Among other things, we ordered creamed kale. WHOA.

It wasn’t an ordinary vegetable all limp and covered in cheese and cream. Nope. This has salty miso (miso again!). And even alcohol.

The vermouth was for cooking? The wine? Was for drinking while we were cooking.

So to the kitten.

David and Karen were supposed to come over while we made creamed kale — the recipe from the restaurant was recently published in the paper.

But, here’s the thing. Their kitten had escaped outside. For the first time. And had been out for hours. Without a collar. They’d been driving, walking and cycling the neighborhood. Eek. My little heart hurt.

Clearly, there was no way we could have them over for dinner. So we packaged up all the ingredients and made dinner for them, in their kitchen.

Ken was actually in charge of the creamed kale. So is it cheating if I post it?

The kale, per usual, is from Ken’s garden. Where things like this are in bloom:

Actually, the shallots and garlic were from his garden, too.

The result?A hit. Rich. Welcoming. Not overly tastes-green-and-good-for-you. Amazing.

And the best part? When I was pulling this cobbler out of the oven (made with frozen berries from the summer), I heard a tiny meow outside.

And went running out back to see, indeed, the kitten had made it home. Complete with cobwebs in her whiskers.

RECIPE RATING: 5 out of 5 glasses of that red wine. And the kitten returning? Worth a million times more.

Wafu Portland’s creamed kale
Author: Jen; recipe published in The Oregonian
What follows is the recipe as printed from the Oregonian newspaper in Portland Oregon, as it was submitted from Wafu restaurant. I used low fat milk instead of cream and a different mushroom variety. But still fantastic.
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (divided)
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup shimeji mushrooms with stems, or shiitake mushroom tops
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup white miso paste
  1. Place 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. When melted, add the shallot, garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook over low heat without letting the garlic and shallots color, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the kale and continue to cook for a few more minutes until wilted.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small pan set over medium-high heat, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter. Add the mushrooms and cook until softened and cooked through, about 5 minutes. If the mushrooms become too dry, add the rest of the butter. Stir in the soy sauce, cook another minute and turn off the heat.
  3. Once the kale is wilted and soft, increase the heat to medium high, add the vermouth and cook until it’s just evaporated, about 1 minute. Add the cream and miso, stirring until completely incorporated. Reduce heat to medium and cook about 2 more minutes until the sauce reduces slightly and tightens up the around the kale. Taste for seasoning (but don’t forget the mushrooms have soy sauce). Place the kale on a warm platter and scatter the mushrooms over the top. Serve immediately.
  4. — By Trent Pierce, Wafu, Portland


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One Response to The story of a kitten. And kale.

  1. Laura Naron says:

    This blog somehow came up today, but it inspires me again to search for fresh vegetables in my area and try this great looking recipe.. So sad about Felix!
    Hope to see you when we are in Portland.

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