Our happy hour last week was Skillet in all of its gluttonous bacon- jam-burger-and-poutine-glory. Have you been? If not, here’s your chance to sample Skillet’s greatest hits – bacon jam burger, poutine, kale Caesar and fried chicken – in one sitting. All their classics are now offered in smaller portions during happy hour.
Or maybe you’re not the barhopping type. Well, we have some Skillet recipes to try at home – its kale Caesar, arguably Seattle’s most famous kale dish and its spin on the poutine. Enjoy.
(Recipes courtesy of Jon Severson who oversees the Skillet in Ballard and Capitol Hill)
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Kale Caesar Salad
Most other greens can’t stand up to the rich and creamy Caesar dressing, but kale just shines through. In turn the dressing helps quiet the bitter kale taste, which can be too strong on its own.
For the croutons:
4 cups day old bread (preferably brioche) cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
For the Caesar dressing:
2 small cloves of garlic, smashed
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper
For the salad:
1 pound lacinato kale, stems and center ribs removed and leaves cut into long, thin ribbons (chiffonade)
8 each boquerones or plain anchovy fillets
To prepare the croutons, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes with the olive oil, pepper, and salt until well coated. Spread the bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until they’re golden brown. Allow them to cool and set aside.
To prepare the Caesar dressing, in a large bowl mash garlic cloves into a paste with salt. Add the anchovy paste, lemon zest, and juice, mustard, Worcestershire, mayonnaise, parmesan cheese and pepper and combine.
To assemble the salad, toss the kale with 1 cup of the dressing. Divide the salad among 4 plates, piling it so it stands tall. Top with parmesan cheese, scatter croutons over the top and crisscross 2 boquerones on the top of each salad.
First of all, this is not classic Canadian poutine, which uses cheese curds. This is America—we did it our way.
1 to 2 cups Poutine Gravy (see recipe)
1 batch Skillet Fries (see recipe)
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 cup grated Grana Padano Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
½ cup mixed chopped dill, Italian flat leaf parsley and sage
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Reheat 1 to 2 cups of gravy, depending on how saucy you want your poutine. Using tongs transfer a freshly cooked batch of Skillet fries to a large bowl and add the gravy, cheese and herbs. Lightly toss, taking care not to break up the fries. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper and distribute evenly among 4 plates or bowls.
Makes about 3 cups
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
½ cup diced yellow onion
2 tablespoons dice carrot
2 tablespoons diced celery
1/3 teaspoon tomato paste
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 ¾ cups beef stock
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3/8 teaspoon chopped fresh garlic
3/8 teaspoon salt
3/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
In a dutch oven or stock pot, melt butter over medium-heat. Cook the onion, carrot and celery until well caramelized, colored good and brown. Add the tomato paste, then flour, and sauté them together for a minute or two, making a roux. Add the beef stock, Worcestershire, and garlic, and simmer for 35 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, sage and rosemary, and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Puree the gravy with an immersion blender (a food processor or blender will also work). Taste the seasonings and adjust if necessary.
Makes 4 servings
4 large russet potatoes (NW grown)
2 quarts canola oil
Wash the potatoes and cut them, with the peels still on, into fries about ¼ thick. Soak them overnight in a large bowl or container of water. The next morning, drain them well in a colander, then spread them on a cloth or paper towel—lined pan. Allow them fully dry. You don’t want any moisture on them, lest you spatter hot oil when you start to fry them.
Preheat the canola oil in a large dutch oven to 300 degrees F, as measured by a deep-fry thermometer. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fries to the oil. If you fry them in batches, make sure the oil comes back up to temperature between batches. Fry them for 8-10 minutes, or until they’re lightly golden. Remove them with a slotted spoon and lay them out on a sheet tray to dry. (They’re actually even better if refrigerate them for a day or two at this step, but it’s not absolutely necessary. If you want to prep extra batches and freeze them, do so at this stage.)
When the fries are dry and you’re ready to serve them, heat the oil in the dutch oven again, this time to 350 degrees F. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fries to the oil and fry for 3 to 5 minutes, or until they’re golden.