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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Pork Carnitas with Cauliflower Tortillas

Let me just start by saying this recipe is in no way my own, but rather an amalgamation of multiple brilliant minds. I began searching for the perfect pork carnitas recipe long ago, and I found it in the depths of a paleo forum from 2011, published by a contributer named Priscilla. I live in constant fear that this post or this thread in general will disappear and I'll lose the original recipe, so I've decided to give it a second home here on my blog. This recipe in combination with the cauliflower tortillas from Slim Palate makes for one hell of a fantastic meal.


*Serves 2 with LOTS of leftover pork*

Ingredients:
3 lb Pork Shoulder
1 Tbsp Coarse Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Corriander
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Oregano
1/8-1/2 tsp Cayenne (depending on how spicy you like them!)
1 tsp Garlic Powder
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1/2 cup Chicken Broth (no added salt)
1 Orange
2 Limes
1 medium Yellow Onion
1 Clove Garlic, minced
Guacamole (recipe here, minus the bacon and + fresh cilantro)
Cauliflower Tortillas (recipe makes 6; best if pre-prepared to the point right before pan frying, then fried fresh when pork is ready to serve)
Fresh Cilantro and Lime Slices for garnish

Directions: 

In a large mixing bowl, combine all seasoning. Cut the pork shoulder into large chunks (about 2" by 2", so you should end up with about 6 chunks depending on shape). Mix the pork chunks in the seasoning bowl, coating as evenly as possible. In a large pot, melt the coconut oil and briefly sear the pork chunks on all sides. Remove the pork from the pot and place into a crock pot. Chop the onion into strips or small chunks and add to the drippings in the pot, cooking until translucent. While these are cooking, squeeze the juice out of the orange and limes. Add the garlic and continue to cook for one more minute, then pour in the chicken broth, orange juice, and lime juice. Stir well. Allow to simmer for 3-4 minutes, then pour into crock pot on top of the pork. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. About halfway through, pull the pork apart with forks, then resume cooking on low. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. When the pork is done in the crock pot, pour the pork along will all juices into a large pyrex pan and cook in the oven until the juice is mostly absorbed and the pork appears crispy on top (30-45 minutes). While the pork is cooking (toward the end), pan-fry the tortillas and prepare the guacamole. Plate the tortillas and coat with a thin layer of guacamole. Layer each with pork (a few forkfulls provide enough for each tortilla; you want to be able to fold it!). Add a few sprigs of fresh cilantro and a slice or two of lime for garnish and serve.





Monday, August 12, 2013

Pan-Seared Scallops and Peaches with Cauliflower Sweet Potato Puree

I wouldn't normally post two recipes in one day, but this was too good not to share with the world immediately. Michael and I have been dreaming of one day opening our own paleo restaurant, and this was one of our imaginary dish ideas. Because this dish requires that multiple things be cooked at once (and because he cooks scallops like a master chef), I had Michael cook the scallops while I cooked the peaches. If you have someone to help you, take advantage of it.


*Serves 2*

Ingredients:
8 Large sea scallops
1/2 Small head cauliflower
1 Small sweet potato, peeled
1 Large peach
2 Tbsp Chopped fresh basil
3 Tbsp Unsalted butter
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 tsp Lemon juice 
2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
1/8 tsp Nutmeg
1/8 tsp Cinnamon
Coarse salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Chop the sweet potato and cauliflower and boil in a large pot of water for approximately fifteen minutes (until tender). While those boil, set the scallops out on a plate and pat dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper and allow to sit and warm to room temperature. Drain the water from the cauliflower and sweet potatoes and place them into a food processor along with the nutmeg, cinnamon, basil, salt, and two tablespoons of the butter. Blend thoroughly and set aside, keeping covered. Cut the peach in half and remove the pit, then slice into small wedges. In a pan on medium heat, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and add the peach slices. At the same time in a separate pan, heat the olive oil to its smoke point and place the scallops in the pan. Let them sit for three minutes without touching or moving them; do not be afraid of burning! Flip the scallops and allow the other side to brown for three minutes. Flip the peaches after this and allow to brown slightly. After the three minutes, add lemon juice to the scallop pan and remove from heat. Plate the puree and place four scallops in a row on top of it. Place peach slices between each of the scallops on top of the puree. Return the scallop pan to the heat and deglaze with the balsamic vinegar, stirring continuously until it thickens slightly. Drizzle the balsamic reduction over the scallops with a spoon and serve.




Bacon Egg Salad Avocados

Growing up, my mom's egg salad sandwiches were always one of my favorite foods. They were easy to make, filling, and totally delicious. Minus bread, egg salad can still be awesome...especially when combined with bacon and stuffed into an avocado.


*Serves 2*

Ingredients:
2 Avocados
4 Hard-boiled eggs
2 Tbsp Onions, diced
2 Tbsp Coconut milk or Heavy cream
3 strips Bacon
1 pinch Stevia
1/4 tsp Paprika
Coarse salt to taste

Directions:
Cook the bacon in a pan on medium heat until crispy. Set aside. Cut the avocados in half and scoop out the centers so that the hole from the pit is expanded. Slice a small portion off of the rounded bottom of each avocado so that they sit level on a plate. Chop the hard boiled eggs and combine well in a bowl with the coconut milk or cream, onions, stevia, paprika, and salt. Crumble the bacon and mix in thoroughly. Spoon the mixture into the avocado halves and season with a pinch of paprika.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Shirataki Carbonara

I know, I know...I'm a bit obsessed with Miracle Noodles recently. All of these recipes can be made without them if you don't want to fill your diet with pure soluble fiber.


 
 
 

*Serves 2 with leftovers*

Ingredients:
2 Boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 packages Shirataki noodles (my personal favorite being Miracle Noodles)
4 strips Bacon (preferably nitrate/nitrite and sugar free)
1  8oz package Fresh mushrooms, sliced (button or baby bella work well)
1 Tbsp Unsalted butter
1/2 cup Heavy cream
1/2 cup Coconut milk (plain unsweetened)
1/3 cup Grated parmesan cheese
2 Egg yolks
1/4 cup Chicken broth
1/4 tsp Parsley
Garlic powder
Coarse salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Boil shirataki noodles according to package directions and set aside. In a large pan, cook the bacon until almost crispy. Set aside on a plate and pour most of the bacon fat into a reserve container to refrigerate for use in other recipes (you'll thank me later). Add the butter to the pan and allow to lightly brown. Tenderize and season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and cut each in half so that you have four small pieces of chicken, then add them to the pan. Allow to brown on one side while preparing the sauce (paragraph below). After 7-10 minutes, flip the chicken and allow to brown on the other side. Once browned, set aside with the bacon pieces, leaving the pan on medium heat for the mushrooms.

In a separate small pot or saucepan, combine the cream and coconut milk on medium heat. Once it begins to simmer, remove from heat and whisk in the parmesan. Place the egg yolks into a separate bowl and slowly whisk in a small amount of the cream and cheese mixture. Slowly add the contents of this bowl back into the saucepan with the rest of the mixture, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low. Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of garlic powder. Once the sauce begins to simmer, remove from heat to thicken.

Add the mushrooms to the chicken breast pan and deglaze the pan with chicken broth. Once the mushrooms are cooked through, add the shirataki noodles, parsley, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and mix thoroughly. Pour most of the sauce on top of the noodles and crumble the pieces of bacon on top. Toss until well-blended and continue to cook on low heat for three minutes, stirring frequently. Portion the noodle mixture into two serving bowls and place two pieces of chicken on top of each. Drizzle with remaining sauce.




Sunday, June 9, 2013

Balsamic Chicken Caprese with Shirataki Noodles

If this dish looks familiar, that's because it is. Last year, I posted my "balsamic chicken" recipe. This year, after discovering the sheer joy of shiritaki noodles, I've made it better.


*Serves 2*

Ingredients:
2 Skinless chicken breasts
3 packs Angel hair or fettuccine shiritaki noodles (I use Miracle Noodles and highly recommend them!)
1 cup Vidalia onion, chopped
1 8oz Ball fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes
2 Medium vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
2/3 cup Balsamic vinegar
1/8 tsp Stevia
1 tsp Basil
1/4 tsp Garlic powder
Coarse salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Boil the shiritaki noodles according to package directions and set aside. In a large pan or wok, heat the olive oil and add onions. Stir occasionally until the onions become clear and have started to brown slightly. Season the chicken breasts with some of the garlic powder, salt, and pepper and add to the pan, allowing to brown on one side before flipping (approximately 3 minutes). Once both sides have cooked for 3-4 minutes, turn the heat up and add half of the balsamic vinegar. After thirty seconds, flip the chicken. After an additional thirty seconds, reduce the heat to medium-low. Set aside the chicken breasts on a plate. To the pan, add the shiritaki noodles, stevia, basil, the remaining balsamic vinegar, and any additional desired garlic powder, salt, or pepper, mixing well with the onions and balsamic until the noodles are completely coated. Allow to simmer on for 7-10 minutes (until most of the liquid has been absorbed). Plate the noodles and toss in the uncooked tomatoes and mozzarella. Top with the chickem breasts and any remaining balsamic reduction.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Cedar Grilled Salmon

There is only one primary ingredient in this dish, and you're looking at it. What's so great about a hunk of salmon? Well, my friend, you're about to find out.


*Serves 1 hungry Heather or 2 normal human beings*

Ingredients:

1 large Wild Salmon filet
1/2 Lemon
1/2 Lime
1/4 tsp Dill
1/4 tsp Garlic powder
1/8 tsp Pepper
1/4 tsp Cyprus black flake salt (#4)
1/4 tsp Viking smoked oak salt (#51)
(You can find both of these specialty salts and many more at The Spice Lab...totally worth it.)


You will also need:
 
1 cedar grilling plank (These are available at several chain grocers, usually in packs of two.)
1 charcoal grill, loaded with briquettes

Directions:

Soak the cedar plank for one hour prior to grilling. Thirty minutes into the soaking, fire up the grill and allow to sit until coals are glowing red (should be right at the end of that soaking hour). Pat the salmon filet dry and season with all dry ingredients evenly across its surface. Squeeze a small amount of lemon and lime juice all over the filet. Place the filet on the plank with the skin side on the wood, then place the plank onto the center of the grill. For a thick salmon filet like the one pictured above, leave on the grill (covered) for fifteen minutes. Remove fish from the plank carefully and enjoy your homemade delicacy!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Rosemary Pork Chops with Sautéed Kale

With my Primal success story being published today, my blog's pageviews increased tenfold...I suppose I should give you all something to look at. Time for a new recipe?


*Serves 2*

Ingredients:

2 Boneless ¾ inch thick pork chops
5-6 Kale leaves, de-stemmed and shredded
1/4 cup Tapioca flour
1 Tbsp Ghee (or butter)
1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup Chicken broth
2 Tbsp Tamari or coconut aminos
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Dried rosemary
1 tsp Garlic powder
1/4 tsp Powdered ginger
1/4 tsp Smoked paprika
1/8 tsp Red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp Stevia
Coarse salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat the ghee (or butter) in a pan on medium heat. In a shallow dish, combine all dried ingredients aside from stevia. Season the pork with salt and pepper, then dredge the pork in the dry ingredient mixture and place in the pan, cooking for 3-5 minutes on each side until golden brown. (Be sure to only lightly coat the pork, since tapioca flour turns to goo if used for full-on breading.) Remove the pork chops from the pan and set aside. Turn the heat up on the pan slightly and add the cider vinegar, stirring for thirty seconds to work in pan drippings. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in 1/4 cup of the chicken broth, the tamari, mustard, and stevia. Return the pork chops to the pan, allowing them to simmer for a minute or two on each side until the mixture has reduced. Add small amounts of the remaining chicken broth to keep the mixture from becoming too thick as you cook the pork to your desired temperature. Plate the pork, then pour any remaining chicken broth in the pan along with the kale, stirring until well-coated and wilted. Serve alongside the pork.