I grew up with a jar for bacon grease beside the stove. Sometimes it was a Mason Jar, sometimes an aluminum pot with a strainer or sometimes just a bowl, but we always had bacon grease to use as seasoning and as an oil with which to fry. When we got married, I continued that tradition much to my wife Nancy’s concern. Her folks came from the north. They used Crisco, while cooking with bacon grease is a southern thing. To this day, I keep a jar beside the stovetop. Last week I used some bacon fat drippings for some of the best kale I’ve ever had.
Kale is a good vegetable. It’s high in all those vitamins and things they say you need for good health and it tastes pretty good. Not great, just pretty good. But when you pan fry a mess of kale, it is special.
It’s easy. Here’s how.
Needing some sort of green vegetable for dinner one night, I selected a bunch of kale at the produce section.
I washed the kale in the kitchen sink, then cut off all the stalks at the bottom. I rinsed the kale again and let it dry on some paper towels.
In a large skillet, I melted 2 tablespoons of bacon grease and added about a teaspoon of olive oil. I wanted just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. When the pan was nice and hot, I added the kale a leaf at a time, tossing constantly. I also added some kosher salt and coarse black pepper. The kale wilted quickly and when it had changed from a bright green to a dark green, I turned the heat to low and covered for about 2/3 minutes.
This is a dish you need to serve immediately since it cools quickly.
If you have some bacon grease, try this recipe. If not, forget the kale and cook something else.
Pan Fried Kale
1 bunch fresh kale
2 T bacon grease
1 t olive oil
Coarse black pepper