Definitely will be seeking out Black Kale in the future! This stuff is wonderful! We love steamed kale to begin with, but this variation is tender and almost sweet.
Other items on the plate are mushrooms, miniature sweet peppers, a portion of New York Strip Steak, and some specialty rice (see next paragraphs).
Yes, the rice looks pretty ordinary, but it was an astonishingly successful chapter in my never-ending quest for a variety of nutritious and fun things to eat.
This particular day, I was cooking up 2# of Italian sausage to have as “stock” in my freezer. NOLA Boy loves him his sausage – no matter what kind – so I keep a supply of Italian and breakfast sausage already cooked and at the ready to add as seems appropriate to enhance his portion of a dish.
So, when the sausages were all cooked, I poured out most of the accumulated grease, and added about an additional half a cup of hot water into the pan, and let it do its own thing (with the fire off!) for about ten or so minutes.
This boiled away most of the fluid while loosening all of the good parts of the sausage that had held tenaciously to the bottom of the pan. These bits were now adrift and ready to incorporate themselves into my fantasy rice experiment.
At this point, I added a bit of avocado oil so there would definitely be no burning, and sprinkled in a cup and a half of dry long-grained rice, and stirred the grains around quite a bit to encourage them to make friends with the sausage bits.
Meanwhile I was bringing to a boil a quart or so of water in an electric kettle. I find it less damaging to my carefully selected Calphalon pans if I do not pour cold water in on top of hot ingredients.
I added another half a cup of water to the pan and stirred everything together for a minute or so – until all the bits definitely were up off the bottom of the pan and making friends with the rice. At that point, I added the rest of the water (about 2.5+ additional cups, depending on how much has disappeared in the deglazing processes), and stirred it around a bit.
After I was sure the bottom of the pan had yielded all of its goodies, and that the pan was hot enough for the rice to luxuriate for a while without burning or sticking, I turned off the fire completely. The Calphalon pans are very heavy – like cast iron, only with a bit more modernization with the non-stick coating.
I have had these pans for three years, and that coating has not budged. These are my every day pans, and I cook every day, so they get a good amount of use. The handles are all metal, so can go in the oven, but I have not had the occasion to do that. The handles do not become overly hot in the usual shorter-term use on the stove top.
Clearly, I love these pans!
But back to the rice . . . if you are satisfied that the rice has begun to absorb the water and cook with the amount of heat it has had so far, turn down the burner to either very, very low, or simply turn it off and check later to see how it is going.
If there is one thing I have learned the hard way about cooking is that it is probably never a bad idea to turn OFF a burner when in doubt. Almost any pan will hold heat for quite a while, and you can always turn it back ON in a flash to produce heat once again.
The opposite effect – leaving the burner turned on, even if on LOW – can produce a sticky mass on the bottom of the pan when you are least expecting it. Housewifery and motherhood being what it is, the propensity to become distracted at times can spell doom on one’s kitchen output on occasion.
My saucepans are non-coated stainless steel, and I have yet to burn anything in them in over a decade of use by using the above heat control method. If the burner is OFF, the food tends to remove itself from the bottom of the pan as it cools, even if it has made every effort to thwart your best intentions.
The food and the pan will stay hot for longer than you think, so even if the food becomes less hot than you prefer, you can always turn the burner back on for a bit, and keep a watch on it until it is at serving temperature again.
Under temperature is more easily remedied than over temperature !!!