Thursday, April 23, 2009

Taste and Create #4: One little Corner of the World.

I was paired with Katie of One Little Corner of the World. Katie has a very nice blog where she seems to focus on making awesome family meals for her kiddos. I have no kiddos, and I cook for myself... but luckily her blog is chock full of things I can use! Heck yes! I was debating on making wings because she has a "quest for the perfect wing" going. Actually, I am going to try her marinate and grill method this weekend! I ordered my organic chicken wings today! I have a mini-quest going on right now regarding primal cooking. I am trying to get into cheaper and more creative cuts/parts of meat. She has a tongue post that got me thinking "I should really try to make some tongue". I mean if her kids liked it, I should too right? I'm no stranger to strange foods (need I remind you about eating ants and guinea pigs?) but I think the tongue shall wait for another day.
What I decided on was the Montauk Seafood Salad she featured by Ina Garten. She made some tasty additions and changes that I followed and was very happy with! The seafood salad is simply cooked seafood (shrimp, mussels and scallops) in a sauce, zested up with some celery and parsley.
Here is the recipe, with my changes:
Montauk Seafood Salad
1 16-oz bag mixed seafood (from Trader Joes) featuring calamari, shrimp and scallops.
1 shallot, minced
2 T olive oil
2 T avocado oil
1/2 t thyme leaves
1 t minced garlic
2 lemons, zested and juiced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 T white wine vinegar
6 oz fresh mushrooms, quartered
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup medium-diced celery
handful chopped fresh parsley
1. Heat oils over medium heat and add shallot. Saute for about 2 min. Add garlic and thyme. Saute for 1 min.
2. Add lemon zest and juice, mustard and vinegar. Stir and add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Add seafood mix and mushrooms, cover. Cook for about 3 mins. Stir and cook for about 3 more mins or until seafood is cooked through.
4. remove the seafood and mushrooms to a dish. Add celery and parsley.
5. The seafood and mushrooms will have released a bit of liquid. Turn heat up to med-high and reduce sauce for a few mins, until about half its original volume. This took about 5 mins for me b/c I used a good, heavy, wide pan.
6. Add sauce over salad, mix and eat!
The salad all finished. Yum yum. All mine.
Look at all that yummy seafood. Just look at it!
Wait... whats this? Mr. Octo-souvenir-magnet man is coming to claim vengeance for his cousins.. the squid who became the calamari. He really is just a power hungry little guy, he wasted to be king of the seafood trifecta. Made a crown out of his cousins. Hmpf. You win this time, sir.

The salad was so light and refreshing... I will definitely be making it again. I could simply add some more veggies and this would become the ultimate primal meal!

Thank you Katie!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Spring, she do officially be here. Kitchen cure time.

Some pretty Spring pictures to get us started.
Dianthus, one of my fave flowers.
My tootsies in the hammock.
Flowery tree.
My "cake" for my bday (24th). Nilla wafer/pudding/banana trifle thing. YUM.
Now onto the Kitchen Cure! This is a 6 week kitchen clean up! I dont know if I reall need it but I might pick up some good tips. Week 1 Assignment: Clean out fridge and pantry. Well... I already did this a couple weeks ago. Look how on top of things I am!
"Before" fridge. Notice all the cool stuff in there.



After in the freezer.

Pantry... believe me, this looks great.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Crock pot pulled pork, ya'll.

This is a simple and mostly primal non-recipe. It was super easy. Ready?

Crock Pot Pulled Pork
~3 lb pork roast (I get mine from a local farm- no grains in this hog! Organic too.)
1 bottle low carb BBQ sauce (only 3 g carbs per serving!)
Some stock (ham stock if you have it), I used chicken.
2 T Liquid smoke
2 Bay leaves
1 T Cumin
1 T Paprika

1. Put roast in crock pot. Add 1/3 cup BBQ sauce over roast. Add liquid smoke, bay, cumin, paprika and stock to cover roast halfway. Add salt if you like it. I added a little beer too, well... because I could! Play around with it!
2. Set on low for about 6-8 hours. Remove roast and let cool until comfortable to handle. Drain liquid from crock pot, reserving about 1/2 cup.
3. Cut into palm sized chunks, and commence pulling apart with your hands! FUN!
4. Put pork back into crock pot, set on high. Add reserved liquid and enough BBQ sauce to make yummy. I used about 3/4 cup. Add salt and pepper to taste. I added a little liquid smoke too, just to give it a little more smoky flavor. Let heat for about 20 minutes or until hot.
5. Done! Active cooking time: 20 mins!

1 bag coleslaw mix
1/4 cup mayo
1/2 cup yogurt (I used homemade strained yogurt)
1 T vinegar
1 t lemon juice
salt and pepper

Mix. Eat.

Journey to the south, via paper map. Dont forget the tea, with stevia.

Looks so good!

The best chocolate chip cookies ever!

Cookies. With chocolate chips in them. Chewy ones. Moist ones. CHEWY ONES!!! I have never been a big fan of cookies myself, but I make a mean cookie (with chocolate chips in it) so why not? I only ate 2 of these... theeeeen I ate 2 more in doughs worth while I was making them. Doh! I eat around the chips. I don't much like chocolate, so the dough is in dangerous territory... while the little chippies can just stroll along without the fear of the Tara-monsters jaws. I have a purpose. You shall see. Lets just dive right in, shall we?
Simplicity itself.
Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever
2 1/4 c all purpose flour
1 t salt (i use a little extra b/c salt + choc = yum)
1/2 t baking soda (I use Aluminum free)
1 c butter, melted
3/4 c dark brown sugar
1/4 c white sugar
2 T corn syrup
1 egg
1 egg yolk
seeds from 1 vanilla bean, or 1 t extract
few drops almond extract
1 1/2 c semisweet chocolate chips
1. Mix melted butter, egg, egg yolk, corn syrup and sugars. Add vanilla and almond extract.
2. Add salt and soda. Add flour in ~1/2 cup increments until well combined.
3. Add chocolate chips.
4. Put dough in refrigerator for at least 2 hours until firm, or overnight.
5. When dough has firmed up, preheat oven to 325F.
6. Spoon dough out onto cookie sheet while dough is cold. You want about 2 tablespoon dollops, spread about 3 inches apart. You can round them out if you like, but I just chucked them onto the pan. I lined my cookie sheet with a silpat, but I would recommend using minimal grease or spray to reduce spreading.
7. Bake for 13-15 mins, or until they look aaaaaalmost done.
8. Let cool for 5 minutes on pan, then slide off onto cooling rack. Be careful with them!
9. Try at least one while still warm and melty.
10. Yum.
Chocolate and vanilla. Homemade vanilla= 3 beans and some Ciroc vodka to cover. Wait 3 months. Enjoy.
Tower of cookies.
This is what a sunrise should look like.
Look at that. Just look at it!
These chippies survived the Tara-monster's jaws. The first time.
Oh sweet chewy delightfulness.
Cookies an (raw) milk.
There are no words. Well, "om nom nom" might sum it up quite nicely.
Tara-monster's jaws!!! Oh, did I mention I made these for my Orthodontist and his awesome crew? They rock. I'm getting the tooth jewelry off tomorrow so they deserve a treat for dealing with me. They shall get all the cookies I made (minus 2 I ate and 2 the roomie ate).

Go make these. Now! Let me know what you thing of them!

Have a wonderful week.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Spring Catch-up.

Well this blog entry seems to be all side dishes. AND all Primal-friendly! Just wanted to get some pics out there so I could clear some files. Nothing crazy today...

Veggie stir fry. Zucchini, oyster mushroom, cabbage, carrot, broccoli stem, snap pea, celery. Add a little garlic, ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil.
Yum. Rabbit with tomato, onion, cream and parsley.
Zucchini and tomatoes with a little seasonings.
Asparagus and shallots with fennel pollen and a little lemon.
Sauteed veggies with lemongrass.
BLT salad with avocado. Dressing is yogurt, cream and some Mrs Dash table blend. It was quick.
I loooove me some bacon.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Primal dinner.

So I am still doing the primal thing. Its easier as time goes. I DID cheat for my Bday, but... uh, that's my Bday! I have been pretty good about the diet so I am not too concerned. Surprisingly, it was easy to get back to it after cheating for 2 dinners and 2 desserts. Like, no cravings. Cool! Still need to get a workout plan going.

Anyway here is what I made for dinner the other night: Mexican grilled smelts, grilled leeks, grilled portabellas, roasted peppers and tomatoes and a little avocado and lime. All with chimichurri aka the best stuff on Earth!!!

Smelts are just small fish. That's all. I ate the bones and stuff b/c well... they aren't super bone-like. Just chew really well, or pick around them. I marinated them in a salt free Mexican spice blend I picked up at the health food store. then just grilled them.

Chimichurri is a sauce that originated from Argentina. I made a little change to mine and added a couple grilled tomatillos. Because I like them. And I can.

Chimichurri recipe by me
Large handful parsley
Large handful cilantro
2 grilled tomatillos
3 cloves garlic
1/4 c EVOO
Juice of 1 lime
3 T red wine vinegar (or enough to make it saucy... consistency AND appeal, haha)
Salt and pepper
Chili powder to taste

1. Put parsley, cilantro, tomatillos, garlic, oil and lime juice in food processor. Process.
2. Add vinegar until you get a thick sauce.
3. Add salt and pepper to taste, and however much chili powder you desire. For me, it was like... 1ug. I'm a wimp.
4. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. If it lasts that long.

I put this on EVERYTHING. Even my eggs in the morning. Its so tasty.

Close up of mushrooms, avo and lime.
Blurry pic of peppers and tomato.
Chimichurri... guarded by dinosaurs! Rawr!

Vanilla everywhere!

I got 1 lb of Vanilla! Woot! I am splitting it with a friend. Fun fun:
Going to make extract.
And cakes.
And custards.
And Ice cream.
I love you, vanilla.

Taste & Create #3: Ruths Kitchen Experiments.

Well its time for another Taste and Create! Its something I have done a couple times and I plan to keep it up. Its a really fun and a very cool way to see what people in other parts of the country/world are cooking! This month I was paired with Ruth from Ruth's Kitchen Experiments. The girl has some cool recipes and it was very difficult trying to force myself away from making the Lemon and Blackcurrant Cake or the Victoria Sandwich Cake (with LOTS of IMBC) or these Mince Pies (I know its not Christmas time anymore but they look sooo good)! I decided to make something meat based because, unfortunately, the cakes and pastry don't really match with my primal diet. I chose Aloha Chicken. It looked interesting and used some flavors I would never put together so I tried it.

I am happy I got to this because I had the FLU!!! Listen, I always say I never get sick and then BAM... the flu. Started feeling bad Friday (Mar 20) then was pasted in bed Sat, Sun, Mon and Tue with a 103F fever and sleeping 20 hours a day. Wed it was 102F. Thu, Fri and Sat I was super tired but no fever. By Monday (9 days later) I was back to normal. I dont think I have ever had the flu. It was horrible. I thought my head was going to explode and went to the doc to make sure I didnt have meningitis... or mono. All better now though, just in time for my Bday!

Aloha Chicken
650g Chicken breast (or 3 chicken breasts)
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup pineapple juice (I used pineapple tidbits)
2 tbsp dark brown soft sugar

1. Mix all ingredients. Place chicken in bag and pour mixture over.
2. Marinade in fridge overnight.
3. Place in a 9x13 baking dish and place into a 400F oven.
4. Bake for about 40 mins.
5. Enjoy! I served it wih some pineapple, onion, pepper and tomato kebobs.

Verdict: I really liked it, but I would leave the cinnamon out next time! I decreased it a little, but it still gave a flavor that wasnt super compatible with the Hawaiian flavor.

Thanks Ruth!!!