Sourcing fresh crab takes this dish to the next level, but for the sake of convenience canned crab is perfectly good.
Crab, while low in saturated fat is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, cholesterol and a good source of vitamin C, riboflavin, niacin, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and sodium, and a very good source of protein, vitamin B12, zinc, copper and selenium; crab is low risk for mercury.
On the flip-side, avocado is very low in cholesterol and sodium but a good source of monounsaturated fat, fibre, vitamin C, vitamin K and folate. Perfect partners.
Let's go ...
Halve, stone and peel an avocado. Cut into cubes and scatter into bowls - half an avocado per person is sufficient.
Slice up some salad ingredients and scatter into the bowls. The combinations are literally endless.
For colour and complimentary flavours I went with some radishes and spring onions, both of which are absolutely seasonal at present, giving deep red and green shards with sharp, fiery flavours to reposte off the soft avocado and sweet crab.
Open and drain a can of crab meat, shred up the fibres with your fingers and for a flavoursome punch, mince a chilli and disperse through the meat. Scatter into the bowls.
Garnish with some fresh herbs - coriander, chervil or chives would be perfect. Perhaps dust with paprika or cayenne pepper. Certainly, place a slice of lime or lemon alongside.
What makes absolutely everything better? An egg! So, I topped ours with a good glob of probiotic yoghurt mixed with lemon juice and half a boiled egg dusted with paprika.
Prior to paleo I always cooked my brisket in beer, as per the Belgian method. Since moving over to ancestral eating, this is one habit I have persisted in - I mean, just how many processes does a grain have to go through to be neutered? Malted, fermented and then cooked.
Anyway, this time was without the beer ... and ... it worked out okay.
At some point in the morning of the day you want to eat this, just brown off the brisket in a skillet and set aside.
Soften some onions in the skillet and toss into a lidded ovenproof dish as the base. Your slow cooker or Dutch oven would do perfectly well.
Chop a good few garlic cloves and toss them into the dish.
Sauté off a few lamb kidneys, cored, although that doesn't really matter too much for the long cook time. Toss into the dish.
Finally, collect all the juices and flavours from the skillet with a little water and a few mushrooms - I adore chestnut mushrooms for the deep, earthy flavour. Too into the dish.
Season with some ground black pepper and a good helping of sea salt. I use Maldon brand, which has a light flavour, not overpowering. Add a couple of bay leaves.
Make a well in the dish and settle the brisket in there.
Top up with boiling water until just the top of the brisket is sticking out - it doesn't want to float.
Lid on and into the oven at 125C for ... well ... as long as you like, really. I went for about 4 hours before removing the lid for a further hour, or so, to reduce the now flavoured liquid.
When you are ready to eat, remove the brisket from the dish and wrap in foil to keep warm.
Get some veggies steaming.
We had seasonal Jersey Royal potatoes, spring carrots, stringless beans and a few peas; all good primal chow.
We could just blend the remaining ingredients to make a seriously sumptuous sauce, but I like to retrieve the kidneys and mushrooms by sieving the juice and picking them out. This leaves just the onion in the sieve, which I push through to give the stock more body.
Wash the mushrooms and kidneys through to remove all the bits and return to the stock pot with the sieved stock, thickening with a little arrowroot. Warm through.
Serve out slices of brisket with the kidney and mushrooms alongside and your gently steamed vegetables.
full article on her website, I thought it would be a fun change to follow somebody else's method.
Here goes ...
The recipe calls for tomato paste. I enquired as to the consistency of the paste - firm, like puree; sloppy, like passata; slurry, like chopped tomatoes? Her reply put me in mind of somewhere between puree and passata, not that it really matters I suppose - once cooked in its in there for flavour. As it happens, I simply hand blended a carton of chopped tomatoes.
The recipe also calls for a box of chopped mushrooms. I went for a small can of button mushrooms, which are usually tiny and retain a firm texture. This turned out to be a good choice.
The recipe also calls for Applegate Spicy Sausages. These were not available to me, but any good spicy pork sausage will do fine. I went for venison, which were all meat and flavoured with a little red wine. Perfect for this since we'll be getting all the heat from the chipotle.
To the kitchen ...
Begin by browning off a pound of beef mince. That's ground beef if you're following from over the pond.
Meanwhile, get the sausages in a frying pan and gently cook them through. Too high a heat and the skins burn. Medium is just right.
Chop some onion, fennel, a few garlic cloves and just a little ginger. Hand blend to a paste, then quickly blend further with a carton of chopped tomatoes.
Pour over the browned mince and combine, wetting up with a good pint of beef stock.
Sprinkle over some chilli powder suitable to your tastes, a couple of teaspoons of red wine vinegar and a few dried, smoked chillies - chipotle. This will deliver the smoky flavour.
Set on an active simmer for a couple of hours and then, maybe, half an hour before serving, pour in the can of mushrooms, chop up the sausages and chuck them in.
Raise the heat and reduce.
Serve out over spaghetti squash, cauliflower rice, maybe white rice, maybe just as is in a bowl with some salsa, yoghurt and guac alongside with a few leaves of gem lettuce.
Whichever way you do it, have fun and finish up with Chilli all over your face, grinning like a good 'un!
Introduced in Sweden in 1862 by Henrik Lindström, born in Saint Petersburg and raised in a Swedish family, it was while visiting a hotel restaurant in the Swedish city of Kalmar that Lindström instructed the kitchen on how to make his special fried beef patty. From there, the recipe spread all over Sweden.
In miniature format, this beetroot patty is a delicacy that is part of the classic Swedish smörgåsbord.
To the kitchen, Chefs ...
You need some mashed potato in this, so get one cubed and boiling away. I actually used two, since I was making some potato croutons to accompany and wanted them all regularly square, so all the trimmings from two potatoes made the mash.
Don't forget to retrieve the cubes after a few minutes - we don't want these to be too soft and will be frying them off later.
If white potato is not part of your paleo diet, you could use all manner of other root vegetables but do allow all the steam to evaporate the liquid. It might also be worth adding in a teaspoon, or two, or another starch - arrowroot, manioc, yam, that kind of thing. It's the starchiness in the potato which helps bind these and give a soft middle texture.
Meanwhile, drop a pound of minced beef into a mixing bowl. That's ground beef to some. Add a small amount of pork mince, too - maybe a quarter of a pound.
Finely chop an onion and then break it down further by shredding it. Scatter into the mixing bowl.
Mince some capers. Scatter into the mixing bowl.
Mince some pickled beetroot and scatter into the mixing bowl. Three golf ball sized beets will do perfectly.
Crack a couple of large eggs and retrieve the yolks, adding into the bowl. Reserve the whites for making up a mega-egg for breakfast.
Add in some sea salt and white pepper. I added in some shredded wild garlic, too, just because.
Your mashed potato should now have softened, so just mash it down and allow the steam to take off a lot of moisture. Add to the mixing bowl.
Now we get to the fun part, which should never be done with a food processor!
Roll your sleeves up and get your hands in there, squeezing the meat through your fingers. This action will break down the meat and ensure that everything is really well mixed together.
Form a number of patties, somewhere between quarter and half pounders. You can make these flat or tall. I went for a bunch of tall patties.
Fry off over a medium heat in a little butter.
In another frying pan with some more butter or dripping, gently fry off the potato cubes to golden brown.
Ready to serve? Get a fried egg going while you plate up.
Place a patty in the middle of the plate, scattering pickled gherkin slices and the potato cubes around. Of course, you could accompany with some greens and some mashed sweet potato - that would be fantastic, too.
Slice the fried egg on top of the patty and dig in ...
I could get all regional about this and do it perfectly, but in the end, this is a simple and fun excuse to bung all the fish and shellfish you can find into a pan and pour cream over it!
Normally, this would not contain shellfish, have some more exotic ingredients like eel in there, but I love shellfish and that's a good enough reason to include them. Shellfish are packed full of great micronutrients.
So, first, get some fish - I had salmon, smoked cod and pollock; shellfish - squid, scallop and prawn. Any will do, of course.
Next, cube up a potato and a carrot. I guess any roots will do, but would advise against sweet potato since it sogs too readily. Heck! Why not ... cube a sweet potato; it'll go with the rest of the ingredients.
Get these boiling away in some fish stock since the actual stew will come together quite quickly.
Chop a load of herbs - this is a herby dish! I went for thyme, chive, wild garlic and dill.
Chop some onion, leek, regular garlic and a few green things - asparagus is the obvious one, but green beans, even peas will do fine.
To the cooking ...
Warm some beef dripping, coconut oil or some good butter in a heavy based lidded pan and get some of the shellfish cooking through until they're coloured.
Toss in the onions and leek, splash some Pastis, Vermouth, maybe Gin ... or just water in for a little steam and pop the lid on to soften the onions.
Lid off (enjoy the steam), toss in the fish and just warm through.
Sprinkle some turmeric over. Usually, use saffron for the colour, but there are good medicinal qualities to turmeric and the colour is deeper - I prefer it. Fold into the fish.
Scatter the wild garlic, chives and thyme over. Fold into the fish.
Pour over the cubes of softened vegetables with the remainder of the fish stock and toss in the asparagus.
Pour in some heavy cream. How much? Enough! This is a rustic dish and does not need measuring cups.
Warm through and serve out into wide-brimmed bowls, grinding some freshly milled black pepper and scattering a good quantity of dill over. Enjoy!
According to Wikipedia: "The original sense of the word is of a 'plug' or 'wad' used to fill a hole ... derived from Mexican Spanish 'light lunch'."
We'll keep it paleo ...
First, the fish. Use some firm white fish: cod is popular; I like pollock.
You could batter the fish and shallow fry, the batter made from egg and some kind of starch, or simply roll the fish in starch. I did the latter, simply dusting in cocoyam flour and shallow frying in beef dripping for a couple of minutes each side. Done. How easy is that?
Back up ... cocoyam flour? Yup! Any starch will do: yam, fufu, potato, cornstarch, at a push, even arrowroot. Just something to dust and to take on some colour while frying in the dripping.
Accompany with a salad, or Pico de Gallo, large pieces of tomato, cucumber, avocado, pepper and onion; some Greek-style yoghurt or sour cream, your favourite chilli sauces and a few wedges of lime.
The Taco? Easy! Gem lettuce.
Red chilli peppers, garlic, cumin, coriander and caraway ground into a paste. Rose petals can be added for a really fragrant blend.
Don your Fez! To the kitchen ...
Make up the harissa, grinding several chillies, garlic cloves and spices together with a little lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil.
Slice some lamb and place into a bowl. I used lamb neck, which has a lovely marble of fat running through which turns buttery when cooked.
Spread the paste all over the lamb, turning it several times.
Add some further aromatics - bay, star anise and cinnamon; colours - turmeric and paprika; and a good splash of white wine vinegar.
Cover and leave overnight in the fridge to marinate.
When it comes to cooking, seal off the meat in a large lidded sauté pan, pour in the remainder of the marinade and add in a good amount of water with a little arrowroot. Simmer away for a good hour.
Pre-heat your oven to 180C.
With the meat softened and half an hour from serving, add some cubes of sweet potato and red onion into the sauté pan and cook on a higher heat with the lid off to soften the potato and reduce the liquor.
Place some sweet red peppers, cored and halved into the oven for 15 minutes. Retrieve, slice and add to the sauté pan.
Place a couple of large lemon wedges and a couple of sprigs of vine tomatoes in the oven for the remaining 15 minutes.
Wilt some spinach in a frying pan with a good helping of butter.
Serve up - spinach in a ramkin, Lamb Harissa alongside garnished with fresh herbs, tomatoes over and lemon to the side with a few olives.
Aubergine (you may well know this as an Eggplant) contains anthocynanins in the deep purple skin which are beneficial anti-oxidants against cancer, aging, inflammation, and neurological diseases. Furthermore, fibre, a strong vitamin B complex and a good pack of minerals.
Mushrooms (here, I used Portabello Mushrooms), again, have a good complex of vitamin B and provide a rich source of zinc.
Let's get cooking ...
I said at the top that this is an effort-free dish. Really, it is!
Begin by browning some beef mince, ground beef, or whatever you call it in a frying pan. Meanwhile, purée a couple of shallots and some garlic, pouring into the beef.
Stir in just a little tomato purée, maybe half a teaspoon per pound of meat and transfer to an covered oven-proof dish, just covering with water and settling into a pre-heated over set to 150C.
Cook on for an hour, a couple of hours, but an hour is about right for this first stage.
During that hour, the meat will soften.
Remove from the oven and drop some slices of aubergine and mushroom in, folding into the meat. There will still be some liquid in there which will assist with the next part - both the aubergine and mushrooms will release liquid, but it will be reduced by the heat.
Return to the oven with the lid off for a further half hour, folding the ingredients again half way through.
Ready to serve?
Shred some spring greens, place in boiling water for a couple of minutes, drain and then toss in the remaining fat in your initial frying pan .You didn't wash it up, did you?
Serve out into a bowl, spring greens first, beef, aubergine & mushroom in a mound on top.
Arrange a few cubes of feta around, to offset some of the fattiness in the dish and perhaps a boiled egg alongside.
Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and a good splash of Tabasco if you want it pepped up.
Mackerel is right in season at the moment and such a gorgeous oily fish needs little more than grilling and placing with some simple, but robust flavours.
This was my lunch ...
While cooking dinner the evening before, simply fillet a mackerel. Have your Fishmonger do this if you're not a dab hand with a knife.
Lay the fillets under the grill for a few minutes until it's bubbling away in its own fat. Remove, leave to cool keeping inquisitive cats away!
Once cooled, simply flake off the flesh from the skin. Some of the skin will come with it, but it's all good! I tore the skin and chucked it all in a bowl to chill overnight in the fridge. You just want the flesh to come from any remaining bones.
In the morning, just shred some salad ingredients and toss the fish over.
I went for some shredded cos lettuce, radish, pickled chillies, pickled garlic, the fish and some spring onions over the top, accompanied by a few olives and some smeitana - Polish soured cream.
From Wiki: "Spinach has a high nutritional value and is extremely rich in antioxidants. It is a rich source of vitamin A, and especially high in lutein, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, folate, betaine, iron, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, folic acid, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids."
What a food! Let's get Mesopotamian ...
Grab a lidded oven proof dish and start to fill it.
Chopped shallots, baby courgette and wild garlic go in first.
Cube some sweet potato, chopped chillies and lay over as the next layer.
Sprinkle the spices over - turmeric, coriander, white pepper, celery salt and sea salt.
Lay some chicken on top - thighs are good. Other meat can be used - lamb. Fish, also.
Pour over chicken stock (with a little arrowroot stirred in) until the meat is just covered.
Wilt the spinach in a frying pan and then place over the very top, pushing it down into the dish.
Place in a pre-heated oven set to 180C for an hour, or so, removing the lid for a further half hour to reduce.
Serve out into a wide bowl.
Traditionally, this would be accompanied by some rice, but we've got sweet potato in there as bulk, so no need.
From Wiki, Massaman is a dish of "coconut milk, roasted peanuts or cashews, potatoes, bay leaves, cardamom pods, cinnamon, star anise, palm sugar, fish sauce, chili and tamarind sauce. Traders brought spices such as turmeric, cinnamon, star anise, cumin, cloves and nutmeg from Indonesia to the south coast of Thailand. The dish is served with rice and sometimes with pickled ginger or achat, an accompaniment made with cucumber and chili peppers macerated in vinegar".
Keeping this dish paleo and in principle with its origins, I made it with lamb - neck fillets. There are a few things to leave out there, like the sugar, perhaps replace the potato with sweet potato, or squash as I did, but really, this dish is pretty damn paleo as it goes.
Lamb neck fillet is a deep, buttery meat, somewhere between soft and tough. It is best slow-cooked or marinated, which is how we're going to do it for this dish.
To the kitchen ...
The day before (yes, this takes some preparation, but it is well worth it ... and not actually a lot of fuss), slice the neck fillets into half inch thick slices on the slant across the fat.
Place the meat into a dish and add a couple of star anise, bay, some ground coriander, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, turmeric, some garlic, chillies, ginger, a good squeeze of lemon juice, fish sauce and some tamarind in water. Cover and leave to marinate overnight. In the fridge is fine, on the kitchen top overnight and transferred to the fridge the following day, fine, too.
That's the marinade.
Oh, tamarind? Is that even paleo?
Well, I don't quite know - it is a member of the Fabaceae family, and so technically a legume, although we're just using the seed from inside. Seed? Yes, the seed. So, um ... paleo?
Well, I just don't know. Either way, tamarind has a unique sour flavour which is the absolute key to this dish. In the spirit of paleo, I did my hunger gatherer thing and collected a tub of pure tamarind extract from the local supermarket and tasted it. It didn't kill me and had a curious flavour. Being the largest and strongest in my tribe, I took the challenge! I'll eat some and see if it's okay. It was!
Is tamarind paleo-friendly? I'd love to know.
Is tamarind paleo-friendly? I'd love to know.
Back to the main feature ...
The next day, come dinner time, get it cooked up. The lamb will not need much cooking now since it has tenderised in the marinade.
Shred a couple of shallots and get them softening in some coconut oil in a lidded sauté pan.
Add the meat pieces to brown off a little.
Pour in one can of coconut milk - as pure as you can get it.
Pour in the remainder of the marinade along with a couple of kaffir leaves for a fresh zing and more garlic.
Cook on the hob for an hour on low/medium. If the liquid drops too much, just add in a little water - we want to do the reduction in the second hour.
Add in some more chillies, chopped sweet potato, squash or even small waxy potatoes and cook on for another hour by which point, the curry should be reducing and thickening.
Just prior to serving, retrieve the aromatics - the star anise, bay and kaffir leaves. Liven everything up with some chopped coriander leaves and some wild garlic.
Serve out into a bowl, accompanied by some achat, which is just cucumber macerated in vinegar - I used cider vinegar, and had some rice alongside. Garnish with fresh coriander and some almond slivers.
Very very damn tasty and absolutely bang in season right now ...
When you get a bunch of kale, you don't use it all at once. Some loses its colour and looks a little bland, still very green, but bland next to the darker leaves around it.
Stop! Don't throw it away! Make up an amuse bouche ... better still, chill it.
Chop the kale and add to some leek and wild garlic in a pan with some butter. Fry off, add water and some stock - any will do; failing stock, some bouillon.
Boil, blend, pass through a sieve, reduce and chill in the fridge.
Chilled, pour into a glass, splash of green Tabasco, Worcestershire Sauce, ice cube and slice of lemon. For a sensible indulgence, give it a shot of vodka, Russian, naturally.
But, how to keep it paleo ...
Inspired, well directly copied from Mellissa over at I Breathe ... I Eat ... sans the tahini, mine was a straight down the line cauliflower, almond flour, coconut flour, herb, spice and a couple of eggs.
Not being a weigher and measurer, I struggled a little with a real recipe.
Taking the largest quantity and working around it worked out for me. I cut off some cauliflower florets and broke them down with a hand blender. The recipe calls for a food processor, which I do not have, so I hand blended and pulled out the largest pieces which had not broken down.
I had about a cup ... great! The recipe calls for a cup. My cup was a real cup, not a "cup".
Anyway, one cup of cauli florets broken down, half a cup of almond flour, some spices - cayenne pepper, white pepper, celery salt, sea salt, cinnamon, coriander, some herbs - parsley, and a couple of eggs, hand blended with some desiccated coconut, since I had no coconut flour and ...
I let it sit for a half hour, thinking the eggs were a little too large and the mix a little wet. Maybe the nuts will soak it up.
It kind of did ...
Divided into four Chef's rings and dropped into a frying pan with some butter, set on low, I cooked the Fauxafels through - maybe 6 minutes each side and we're done. The Fauxafels went from sloppy to firmed up through this cooking.
Served out over shredded lettuce, interspaced with beef tomato slices and topped off with Greek yoghurt and mint ... gorgeous!
This method did take a lot of time. Next time I make this up, I will probably make up little balls and bake them in the oven.
My apologies for the serious depth of focus fail, but I've been leant a rather fine Nikon D90 camera from a friend and I popped a 24mm Macro lens on which opens right up to 2.8. Even at 3.2, or whatever this is, it's still very focussed.
You get the picture, though ...
Pork tenderloin and apples is classic! Here's to criminality - I used squash instead. Why? I've nothing against apples, but did have a squash that needed using - a Coquina squash. For paleo palates, it's sweet enough.
First, peel and slice the squash. Get it in the oven at about 200C and roast it. I placed the squashes in some beef dripping and turned them over after about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, brown off the pork in a skillet and cook it over for about 10 minutes.
Once the squashes have been turned over, transfer the pork to the oven for 10 minutes, then remove to rest for a further 10 minutes while the squash finishes off.
That's 40 minutes in total for the squash, after 10, start the pork, after 10 minutes of cooking the pork on the hob, transfer to the oven for another 10 minutes, remove and cook the squash on for a further 10 minutes while the pork rests.
You've a gravy to make too ...
Some chicken stock and a small, but significant amount of English cooking apple along with some garlic to stew throughout the cooking time. Sieve off. Done.
I also served some shredded cavolo nero, or black kale, which was lightly steamed.
Damn good eating!
Having thoroughly enjoyed the Wood Pigeon the night before, I cooked up a big batch with the intention of having a couple cold for lunch.
That worked out great ...
Simple shred some things you love eating and layer thinly sliced meat over.
I went for red cabbage, red onion, sweet red pepper, some shredded lettuce, pickled garlic, pickled chilli and dropped a few cockles in, along with some streaky bacon.
When it came to eat, I sloshed a good helping of chilli and garlic sauce over to wet it all up.
Something light and filling for dinner ... Woodland Chicken with Mushroom Cream Sauce, Spring Greens and Curried Cauliflower.
First, get the sauce started ...
Sauté some sliced mushrooms in butter. I like chestnut mushrooms for the strong, full, earthy flavour. Once soft, pour over some cream and set the heat down low to reduce and thicken. Just a little white pepper can often give this sauce a little more depth, but in this case I didn't.
Take a chicken breast per person, slice it through and settle it on the griddle.
Meanwhile, steam some cauliflower and spring greens.
Once the cauliflower is just al dente, toss the florets through in some butter, turmeric and cayenne pepper. We just want the bright colour and some heat; no need to make a full-on curry blend, but feel free if you want to.
Stir some chopped parsley into the cream sauce but before serving.
Assemble the dish: sliced chicken with the sauce over, spring greens and cauliflower alongside.
Seasonally shot from January to March, this was a celebration of the passing of the season for this delicious bird.
Wilt some spinach with a little butter in a skillet and keep warm.
Trim the breast off the bird, reserving the remainder of the carcass for stock, and taking care to remove all shot from the flesh.
Warm a little butter, dripping or coconut oil in a skillet and lay the breasts in to colour up a little on one side before flipping over to colour the other, warming the middle through in the process.
Wood Pigeon is best served slightly pink so plate up a mound of spinach, laying the meat over.
While the fat is still hot, whisk in a shot of whisky or red wine, emulsify and pour over the meat. Garnish with a little black truffle which is right in season, presently.