Michelle Branch may be best known as a Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, but she's also a foodie at heart who's passionate about cooking and baking. In an effort to explore those culinary interests, Michelle is hosting the new online cooking show, Cook Taste Eat, part of the CookTasteEat.com online food resource.
Just a few weeks before we'll start preparing our Thanksgiving feasts, Michelle stops by What's Trending to us how to make her special kale salad with candied pecans- a healthy Thanksgiving option.
"We really want people to not be afraid to make restaurant quality meals at home," Michelle says of the Cook Taste Eat website, which has recipe lists but is also very hands-on, video-based, and interactive.
Our own DIY segment is full of good-for-you foods, personal anecdotes, sexual innuendos, references to the Naked Chef, and, of course, news of Michelle's upcoming third solo album -- due in Spring 2013!
Michelle also took the time to perform her original song, "For Dear Life," live in the studio.
Still distracted by that delicious food? Try making it on your own! Here's the full recipe:
For candied pecans:
1 egg white
½ cup powdered sugar
3 cups pecans
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
For marinated kale:
¼ cup Banyuls vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
2 tablepsoons honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced shallots
¾ cup olive oil
1 pound kale leaves, preferably Tuscan kale, cut into 1/8-inch thick slices
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Whisk egg white with the cayenne in a medium sized bowl. Add enough powdered sugar to create a thick glaze, one that is pourable but thick. Sprinkle in salt. In order to achieve this consistency, a bit more powdered sugar might need to be added Toss pecans in bowl and coat with mixture.
2. On a baking sheet lined with wax paper, spread coated pecans and place in oven set to 300°F degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until very fragrant. Check every 5 minutes and rotate the pan as some ovens have hot spots that will cause uneven cooking. Let cool. Store in an air-tight container until ready to use.
3. In a small bowl, combine the mustard, honey, shallots and vinegar. Whisk in the oil. Add salt and continue whisking.
4. Place kale leaves in a large bowl and season with pepper. Drizzle vinaigrette, just enough to lightly coat kale, along the sides of the bowl. Store any excess vinaigrette in the refrigerator for future use. Stir to combine. Let kale marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
5. When ready to serve, chop pecans and place approximately 1/2 cup to 1 cup of chopped pecans on top of dressed kale salad. Store and reserve extra candied pecans for future use.