Dinner at the Ranch

Roast potatoes and orange-braised kale

Photo of Roast potatoes and orange-braised kale

It doesn’t take long to discern that this dish gets a lot of play here. Guess it’s a testament to our northern European roots. The kale we grow of course, but the potatoes are grown on the Mainland. We’ve never tried to grow them here, we’ve just heard it’s difficult/impossible.

The kale, moringa, veg sausage, and chilies braising in the orange juice

And that might just likely be true at our altitude–upland Maui once famously grew them back in the whaling days. Won a lot of business from Honolulu with them because the sailors preferred them to Oahu’s taro.

I want to try getting the potatoes going in a barrel; the trick will be keeping the soil cool. Not a summer project.

We have done this dish with local sweet potatoes–it would easily be a locavore dish, although we use Mainland ingredients such as butter, cheese, the field roast. I say enjoy it while we can!

Recipe: Orange-braised kale

Summary: Laciniato kale is seared, then braised in white wine and orange juice


  1. 1 large bunch cavallo nero or dinosaur kale
  2. 1 aji dulce chile
  3. 4 cloves garlic
  4. 3/4 C. fresh orange juice
  5. 1/2 C. white wine
  6. 3 T. olive oil
  7. 1/2 t. mineral or sea salt
  8. black pepper
  9. 1/2 salt-free organic bouillon cube


  1. Put orange juice in small saucepan and boil, reducing by 1/2.
  2. Meanwhile, remove the spines from the kale leaves and roughly slice into 1/2 in slices.
  3. Peel, crush and chop garlic. Thinly slice the chile.
  4. Put 2 T. oil in a heavy-bottomed large saute pan and turn the heat all the way up on your hottest burner. Add the chile and a generous grind of the pepper.
  5. When the oil is almost smoking hot, put in the kale, and using tongs, quickly move the kale around to sear and coat with oil. After a minute or so, some browning of the kale should be happening.
  6. Make a space in the middle of the kale and place the garlic in a little heap in the middle.
  7. Put the remaining oil on the garlic and let sizzle until browning begins to occur. Dash in the white wine and deglaze, scraping up the fond as the wine boils.
  8. When the alcohol smell is gone (less than a minute) add the orange juice, salt and bouillon cube. Continue to stir and deglaze while the liquid bubbles.
  9. When the juices thicken and coat the greens, it’s done.


Aji dulce chile is a mildly hot chile closely related to and tasting like the very hot habanero. You can substitute with jalapeno or serrano, but use less. This is not really meant to be a spicy dish.

In the absence of fresh squeezed orange juice, you can substitute balsamic vinegar, but change the proportions to 1 cup white wine and 1/4 cup balsamic. You may need to add a little sweetener like agave syrup to balance the acidity.

In this meal, we add 4oz. chopped vegetarian sausage to make a hearty topping for roast potatoes. Meat sausage or bacon would also work well.

Cooking time (duration): 20

Diet type: Vegan

Diet (other): Reduced fat, Reduced carbohydrate, Gluten free

Number of servings (yield): 2

Author: Roland Barker

Published April 13, 2011

The chicken coop glowing in the moonlight

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