For a fun Saturday night meal, have a go at nuggets with a salad and fries ...
First, you need some pink slime.
I went for turkey mince, because it is pink and because I love it! This is a lean meat. Feel free to mince some chicken breast if you like - they're your nuggets.
I used just shy of a pound of meat with some spring onions, shredded, a couple of chillies, finely minced, sea salt, white pepper and an egg yolk. Squeeze between your fists a few times to soften, then pat it out flat. Half, half again (quarters) and half again (eighths) - each eighth will make a ball just larger than a golf ball. Form meatballs and squash gently.
Dust in something starchy - I used farina, a mashed potato flour.
Fry off in some coconut oil until coloured and transfer to the oven set to 200C for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make up the salad - Caesar Salad.
Named after restaurateur Caesar Cardini, Caesar Salad is a simple affair of romaine lettuce and croutons with a sauce of parmesan cheese, egg yolk and lemon juice.
Using cubes of feta in place of croutons and embellishing with tomato, cucumber, olives and capers, we have a really sound paleo salad.
The sauce? Grate some parmesan, add an egg yolk, some lemon juice, a little cider vinegar, maybe some English mustard, sea salt, white pepper and stir it all together well. You should have an emulsion to spoon over the salad.
No such meal would be complete without fries, would it?
I appreciate that potato in the paleo diet is controversial and open to much discussion, so do this according to your dietary principles - sweet potato, rutabaga, celeriac, or any number of roots will work perfectly well here.
Fries represent a huge pack of carbohydrate and fat energy with a potentially high glycemic load ... unless they're eaten with fat. Simply put, fat slows the digestive process dramatically lowering the glycemic load. Want to know more? Check out J Stanton's article on Fat and the Glycemic Index: The Myth of Complex Carbohydrates.
What you fry your potatoes in is vitally important - saturated fats are the best! I wrote up an entire article about fries, or (skinny) chips as we call them in the UK: Chips!
Fry off your fries in dripping for a golden colour and full flavour, duck fat if you're doing it all continental.
Finally, you will need a condiment: tomato ketchup or barbecue sauce.
Easy to make - take some tomato puree and flavour with a gastrique of cider vinegar and honey, some salt and a touch of arrowroot in lemon juice. Ensure that the ingredients are thoroughly combined in a blender.
Honey? Honey is more than sweetener - natural and loaded with complex medicinal effects ranging from immunity boosters to anti-cancer and anti-microbial properties. It passes the hunger/gatherer principle. The honey I used is local (very local, like a mile or so away) from Denholme Gate Apiary.
Arrowroot? It's just a starchy thickener. Don't fret.
Don't like the idea of either? Don't put them in. Fancy Stevia instead? Well, it's a banned food in Europe, so out of my recipe, but feel free. I don't know enough about Stevia, having never tried it, but think that a chemically extracted powder is not really within the spirit of paleo. Agave syrup might well do the trick.
You could buy a primal-friendly ketchup - Tiptree brand is pretty good, organic and hand-produced. Actually, Heinz now make an organic version of their ketchup which uses tomatoes grown free from pesticides and contains no MSG or HFCS! It's a strong step in the right direction, Heinz!
Ready to eat?
Lay the warm nuggets over the salad with the fries alongside and a ramekin of condiment.
Dig in, fingers only!