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Grilled Cheese for a Hangover

Kale with bacon makes the perfect filling for a grilled cheese sandwich on "one of those mornings."

The Art of Living According to Joe Beef: A Cookbook of Sorts is easily one of the most widely-recognised cookbooks of the last year. It won an IACP award, was nominated for a James Beard Book Award, and won the carefully-judged and competitive Piglet tournament. I cook from its recipes a couple times a month and hear people talk about it just as much. And when they do the recipe that comes up all the time is the Kale for a Hangover.

That’s an ingenious idea and title for a recipe–no matter how jaded and cynical we collectively become, the hangover cure is the one magic bean we’ll all buy–but there is a bit of a problem. I’ve made the recipe half a dozen times and even though it’s just kale, bacon, onion, and flavour there’s no way I could manage it with a cranial thundercloud. A pot, a frying pan, four detailed steps, and probably at least 25 minutes is just too much.

The recipe is delicious, goes well with any number of meat dishes (fish and fowl as well), and it’s got that rugged, but healthy cachet that earns a spot on dinner party menus. And there, folks, is the real solution. Next time you think a hangover might be a possibility make the recipe with whatever else you’re serving and save about a quarter cup (per person) of the finished product for the next day. Or cut out the dinner-party middle-man and make a double-batch for a week’s worth of convenient dinners, healthy-seeming lunches, and the occasional bloody-caesar-assisted breakfast.

Kale for a Hangover mixed with mozzarella and a bit of mustard to cut the fat.

Kale for a Hangover mixed with mozzarella and a bit of mustard to cut the fat.

The key, obviously, to making slightly-sweet, bacon-studded kale palatable on “one of those mornings” is to add melted cheese and some toasted bread.

Kale Grilled Cheese for a Hangover

The bacon-sauteed kale recipe comes from The Art of Living According to Joe Beef: A Cookbook of Sorts.

Leftovers from this kale recipe mixed with melting mozzarella and a bit of bracing mustard is a hangover cure that I could face making. The Kale for a Hangover is kale that has been parboiled, chopped finely, and sauteed with bacon and aromatics. For more exact directions I strongly suggest you go out and buy the book.

Yield: one sandwich

  • 1/4 cup Kale for a Hangover
  • 1 tsp grainy mustard
  • 50 g mid-range mozzarella, shredded
  • 2 slices seedy, whole-grain bread
  • 1 knob unsalted butter
  • Set a cast iron pan over medium heat. Drop in a knob of butter to melt while you assemble the sandwich.
  • It’s especially true in a filled sandwich like this, that grated cheese shows its superiority over sliced. By mixing the kale and cheese together it gets the chance to melt and act as a sort of mortar. Spread the mustard on the other slice of bread.
  • When the butter is melted and foamed, transfer the sandwich to the pan (I usually start with mustard-covered slice up so that the cheese is closer to the heat for longer) and lower the heat to medium-low. With a pot lid that is slightly too small for the pan press down on the sandwich and leave the lid in place so that it traps some, but not all of the steam.
  • After about three or four minutes check to see how well browned the bottom piece of bread is and if you’re satisfied flip the sandwich. Repeat the process with the lid and continue to cook for another three minutes or so.
  • Serve with small sour pickles, or even better, stomach-calming pickled ginger.

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One Comment

  1. Ayngelina says:

    Never thought to add kale but it makes so much sense!

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