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. 34 C. fresh orange juice
  5. 12 C. white wine
  6. 3 T. olive oil
  7. 12 t. min­er­al or sea salt
  8. black pep­per
  9. 12 salt-free organ­ic bouil­lon cube


  1. Put orange juice in small saucepan and boil, reduc­ing by 12.
  2. Meanwhile, remove the spines from the kale leaves and rough­ly slice into 12 in slices.
  3. Peel, crush and chop gar­lic. Thinly slice the chile.
  4. Put 2 T. oil in a heavy-bot­tomed large sauté 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 jalapeño 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 14 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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