Monthly Archives: September 2011

Tangine Pork

I have said it before, but I love to use ‘Cooking Light” as a resource. I saw this recipe in the last issue of the magazine and had to make it. I couldn’t find Hungarian sweet paprika so I used smoked paprika. (I don’t know if this was a suitable substitute, but it tasted great) It had some of my favorite ingredients pork, saffron, cinnamon, and butternut squash. We ate this over brown rice. You can omit the rice and it would be equally good. I wish I could say I adapted this or made it my own but it is amazing the  way it is written and so I changed nothing.

Tangine Style Pork

1 pound cubed pork tenderloin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon cooking fat (I used lard)

2/3 cup chopped onion

3/4 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

1/8 teaspoon saffron threads

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 cups water

1 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth

1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick

3 cups cubed butternut squash

12 pearl onions, peeled (pearl onions were too expensive so I bought mini onions, but any large chopped onion would be good)

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Heat the fat in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add pork, and sauté for 2 minutes.

Add onion, paprika, ground cumin, red pepper, saffron, garlic and onions; sauté for 1 minute. Stir in water, chicken broth, and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Stir in butternut squash. Cook, covered, for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Remove from heat, and stir in parsley,  and lemon juice.

The lemon and parsley really compliment the meal really well. It is a hearty meal that makes a lot of food. I ended up doubling the recipe so now I have leftovers for the week. You could add beans or some root veggies to stretch the meal a bit. The color just makes me so happy. It’s a combination of the saffron and the squash. It is so orange it’s amazing.

 

**This conversation was had on my leetstreet facebook page and I thought it would be helpful to all that read here**

Tone- The Spanish paprika is the same as sweet hungarian paprika. I grew up with it and use it in everything from eggs to stews. I get the Badia brand and is readily available in most hispanic food isle. The one I use is not smoked, just pure paprika. Did you know that the US word peppers (the red, yellow and green kinds) are the same as paprika in Europe? And sweet paprika is the name of the red kind? I was super confused when I first came here looking for paprika and all I could find was peppers. Lol For years I would buy my sweet paprika spice from home, but now that I have found Goya and Badia, I buy it here 🙂

Thanks Tone!

Btw everybody go make friends with my facebook page. I promise it will be nice!

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Momma’s Stuffed Zucchini


My mom is awesome. I love her dearly and learned so much in the kitchen from her. Below is a recipe she sent me to share with you. I wish I was there to have eaten this. It sounds awesome. For the paleo kids you can use another egg or nut flour in place of the panko to make this 100% paleo.

Momma’s Stuffed Zucchini

What do you do when your neighbor comes by and so pleasantly offer you some lovely bounty from their garden?  You take it of course.  Invariably there are those freakishly large Zucchini amongst the bounty.   I am talking Squash the size of Grok’s Prehistoric Club. They were too big a vegetable even for a family of 12.  I’m talking really huge. You could tell your neighbor to go stuff it, but it’s always better if you stuff it yourself!  That’s just what I did – YUMMM MAY good stuff.

Here is what I did:

1 large zucchini (sorry should of taken a picture of it before hand)
1 LB ground beef
fresh spices from the garden – at least one handful each of the following: basil, thyme, sage & chives
1 diced sweet yellow onion
1 sweet bell pepper – diced
1 egg
1/4 C parmesan cheese
1/4 C panko crumbs (ok not paleo but needed to hold this together!)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cut large zucchini lengthwise, but not in half, more like 1 /3 off the top.
Cut off stem end & bud end.
Scrape out seeds and some of the vast interior of this behemoth squash.  Leave about 1 inch of the squash for a shell.
Toss what you scraped out in to your compost.
Mix the meat mixture above, stuff in the cavity.  Salt and pepper the top as desired.
Place on a greased cookie sheet in the oven at 350 degrees for an hour.
Check for done-ness.  Timing will vary as to size of zucchini and how much meat you have in the cavity.  I inserted a meat thermometer to verify it was done. (160 internal temp)

I also roasted the top of the zucchini I cut off at the same time I cooked my stuffed squash for eating later.  I love roasted zucchini; especially when it is well browned.  To do this I coated it sparingly with olive oil and a little salt and fresh ground pepper, placing it on a well oiled cookie sheet.
Great for a snack or meal later….

But back to the meal, slice the stuffed zucchini about 3 inches per person, I served mine with a side of quinoa & fresh garden green beans.


Sweet Potato Bake

This weekend we were invited to a paleo brunch. It was a great time hanging out with the crossfitters and enjoying some food. I’ve said it before but they are a great bunch of people! I love hanging out with them. This was my contribution to the meal. t and I bought some sweet potato tots from the store thinking they might be healthy. We didn’t look at the ingredients. They were a sugar and flour bomb! So we came up with this as paleo alternative to those delicious but bad for you treats.

Sweet Potato Bake

2 large sweet potatoes

4 eggs

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp coriander

1/2 cup of honey

1.5 cups of walnuts

1.25 cups of coconut

Shred and parboil the sweet potatoes. Keep an eye on this step. You are looking for them to just start to get soft. I over cooked mine and they didn’t keep their shredded shape and ended up more like a mash. The taste was still good just not the consistency I was looking for.

Mix 4 eggs with all the seasoning and the honey. When the shredded sweet potato is cool enough to touch add it to the eggs.

In a food processor grind the walnuts and coconut into a fine crumb.

Oil a deeper cookie sheet with the fat of your choice. I used bacon fat. Spread the sweet potatoes in. Sprinkle the crumbs on top. Bake this uncovered at 350 for 30 minutes. Cut and serve immediately so you can eat it with your fabulous friends at brunch.


Paleo Lasagna

I had my first taste of paleo lasagna the other day. It was amazing, thanks Brittany. It was everything I love about Italian food paired with my favorite squash! I knew I would be making my own paleo lasagna soon. I used fresh basil and made my own sauce. I think that the squash is a perfect compliment to this. Like Brittany said to me you don’t even miss the cheese or pasta in this dish because it is full of flavor.

Paleo Lasagna

1 package of hot Italian sausage with casings removed

1 butternut squash peeled and sliced

2 cans of diced tomatoes

1 can of tomato sauce (unflavored)

5 cloves of garlic minced

1/2 sliced yellow onion

handful of fresh basil

1 tbsp of Italian seasoning

1 tsp of oregano

1tsp of thyme

1tsp onion powder

1tsp garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a deep pot. Cook onions and garlic in the oil on medium high heat until soft. Add all cans of tomato to the garlic and onions and reduce heat to medium. Add all seasonings and fresh basil to the pot.

Crumble up sausage and add to the sauce. Reduce to low heat.

While the sauce simmers peel, remove seeds, and slice your butternut squash.

Layer half of it in the bottom of an oiled dish.

Pour half of the sauce on top of the squash. Layer more squash and pour remaining sauce over the top.

Bake at 400 uncovered for an hour. Turn broiler on at the very end to darken the top and cook off any excess liquid.

This was super good! It was well worth the effort to prepare. You might want to make two in case company comes. 😉


Salmon and Mussels

I don’t care for seafood. I didn’t grow up eating it. It’s strange, and always tastes like fish to me. T and I joke about statements like “this fish is not so fishy” because you would never say that about any other meat. “This beef tastes beefy”. T however, LOVES seafood. There isn’t a water critter that he doesn’t like. Since I don’t care for it the only time he usually eats seafood is out at a restaurant or someone’s house. This last weekend, T decided to buy and cook up a large salmon and some mussels. Here he is telling us how to make it:

“basics: a sack of mussels, about 2# or so. Half an onion chopped, stick of butter, and cilantro roughly chopped as garnish. and wine.  always wine.

Dump mussels into a colander give a good rinse and discard any that are open.


Stirring the onions and butter until they are right. looking for a nice browning of the butter and light caramel of the onions.

Dump the mussels into butter and onions with about 1/2 cup dry white wine, cover and steam until all are open.

When all are open, halve shells and discard scraps. Strain remaining liquid into a light roux then drizzle on the meat and garnish with cilantro.

This is Mark Bittman’s “Salmon roasted in butter” and it is one recipe i rarely deviate from how it was written.  Good work Mr. Bittman.

Take a nice skin on fillet of salmon, ~2-3# and liberally spice with fresh cracked salt and pepper.

In an oven safe dish brown about 1/2 stick of butter at 475 until the foam settles down then place the salmon, skin side down, in butter and roast about ten minutes turning occasionally.

The way i like to gauge the doneness of fish is by inserting a metal skewer into the meat for a moment then placing the bare skewer on my lip a time or two until the metal is warm to the touch.  This was about 10 minutes or so for this particular cut of fish.

I also make it a point to buy whatever i am going to cook the day i am going to cook it, usually on the way home to cook it.  Fresh is key.

When the meat is done, simply remove it from the pan and serve as is.  the skin is delicious but easy to separate if not to a particular taste.

So there we have it.  Fish and mussels for me, Asian style ribs for her, and zucchini for the both of us.

Not too shabby… ”
I hope you enjoy T’s fish meal!


Pork Shoulder Roast

Because school has gotten the best of me lately I have been trying to make meals that will last most of the week with minimal effort on my part. This roast was something that I prepared on Sunday with a bunch of other food. I put it in the oven before work on Monday and came home to dinner ready. It was quite simple and made a bunch of leftovers. There was still some left at the end of the week that I used for egg cups the next week.  The ingredients are simple and the prep is easy.

Pork Shoulder Roast

1 large pork roast

5 carrots cut in large chunks

3 red bell peppers (or whatever color makes you happy)

1.5  yellow onion sliced

5 cloves of garlic minced

salt and pepper to taste

I started by seasoning my roast liberally with salt and pepper. Remember that this is a huge chunk of meat so use more that you normally would. I Browned the meat side in the pan I was going to slow cook the roast in. One side had a thick layer of fat on it and wouldn’t brown at all so I stopped trying.  To the pot, I added all the vegetables. Since I was making this a day ahead,  I placed it in the refrigerator overnight.

The next morning I put the roast in the oven with a lid. I cooked at 250 all day. Place your roast with the fat side up. This will help keep the meat moist. I didn’t add any liquid to the pot. The vegetables will cook down and the juice from the meat will keep everything moist. This went in at about 7am and I came home at about 6pm. You do not have to cook this for as long as I did. But, if you too have a very long work day this is perfect to come home to. To decrease the time increase the temperature. For quicker cooking try cooking it at 400 for about 4-5 hours. Just make sure and check the internal temperature before you eat.

 

I tried to make some cracklins on the top so I turned up the broiler and really roasted the skin for the last five minutes. I didn’t have the effect I wanted. The roast was still good, the  skin just got really hard. I will one day figure out how to make cracklins and let you know the secret magic that has to happen here. We cut off slices and dished it out with the veggies and a little juice from the pot. It was very nice to have something so filling and home-cooked to come home to without any effort after a long day at work.

 


Basil Zucchini

School has been trying hard to steal my life. Lately I’ve been so tired that I don’t want to cook or blog. That is a sad day. I feel terrible that I’ve posted nothing here for so long. This weekend I have a few different recipes that I will type up so the week will have some noms in it. Today’s recipe is an easy but super tasty recipe for abundance of zucchini that is out there.

Basil Zucchini

3 zucchini diced

1 yellow bell pepper (or whatever color you fancy)

1/2 med yellow onion

3 tbsp of olive oil

a handful of basil ~2 large sprigs

salt and pepper to taste

Dice some the onion and pepper. Saute on medium high heat in olive oil until beginning to get tender.

Add the cubed zucchini and toss a few times to coat in olive oil.

Cook the Zucchini on medium high heat until almost tender. About 5 minutes. Mince some basil to add to the zucchini at the last moment before serving. Don’t cook the basil, just toss the herb in the dish at the last minute to draw out the flavors.

Then smell a fire and realize you lit your stove on fire from grease  not properly cleaned up. Calmly remove your zucchini so as not to ruin your vegetables or pan. Walk to the refrigerator and grab some baking soda. Pour copious amounts on burner until fire is extinguished. Proceed with dinner like nothing happened.

Serve with your choice of protein. T had mussels, ribs, and salmon.There will soon be a post about seafood that T cooked for this meal. Our roommate said it was good and T liked it so I will have to assume it was tasty water food. As for the vegetables, they are awesome and fresh. The simple ingredients really bring out the flavor of the fresh summer vegetable.

Sorry I’ve been gone for so long. I hope a short story about vegetables and fire will sate you while I get my hiney in gear and stock up on some posts!