27/11/2014

Sausage Casserole ... and Breakfast

Weekly experiment with legumes, here, green lentils ...

Sausage Casserole ... and Breakfast

Toulouse sausages, high meat content and little else in there ... as they should be. Combine with a few simple ingredients and a couple of store cupboard staples and you've got a great dinner!

Okay, so legumes are not primal but there is a spectrum here, a spectrum, folks. Not all legumes are made evil ... I mean equal. Some, down this end of the spectrum, like lentils are actually fine; red kidney beans down the other end, form a cross with your fingers, primal folks, they're still evil.

Anyway ...

Sausage Casserole

Skillet on, goose fat in, sausages browned off over a low heat and chucked into a lidded Pyrex dish.

In the remaining fat, soften a shredded onion and soak up the lovely fat with some shredded mushrooms. Pour over the sausages in the Pyrex.

Slice a red pepper and a green pepper. Add to the Pyrex.

Pour over a carton of chopped tomatoes.

Pour over a carton of green lentils.

Add three or four cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced, sea salt and black pepper.

Stir together and commit to the oven at 170C (350F) for a good hour, then remove the lid and let it reduce for another 30 minutes, or so.

Serve out when it's how you like it.

... and leftovers?

Breakfast

What do you do with leftovers? Bulk out with something fresh, here some courgette and asparagus, and stick and egg on top. Instant breakfast.

Sausage Casserole ... and Breakfast

Salmon Bikesmad

All pretty self-explanatory, really ...

Salmon Bikesmad

Cubed roots par-boiled and fried off in butter with some spring onions.

Salmon pan-fried in butter.

Asparagus dropped in boiling water for 60 seconds.

Dill and soured cream sauce.

Pickles and a poached egg.

Dinner is served ...

24/11/2014

Mackerel Fillet Salad

Did I say how much I like mackerel? Lunch ...

Mackerel Fillet Salad

23/11/2014

Chicken Chasseur

Classic French cuisine ...

Chicken Chasseur

Just the word "cuisine" can bring people out in a sweat when they're faced with that notion and put in front of a stove. Couple that with "French" and those people will be running for the door.

But, relax ...

Just because it's French Cuisine doesn't mean it's especially complicated; quite the contrary, in fact, given how rural France is and how much of their cuisine is simple rustic fair elevated to daft levels of culinary highs by Chefs who really should just come down to earth a little.

Chicken Chasseur is about as rustic as you can get. Cooked over an open fire, this is Hunter's Chicken, Pollo a la Cacciatore or whatever you want to call it in whatever language.

Chicken Chasseur

Chicken - Thighs, for me: 5 of them
Mushrooms - Portobello in my dinner: 3 large
Tomato - Keep it simple: carton of chopped tomatoes
Tomato Purée
Onion - 1 Medium
Garlic - 3-4 Cloves
Herbs & Spices - Thyme & Ground Coriander
Seasoning - Sea Salt & Black Pepper
Fat - Your favourite paleo fat or Lardons of Bacon

Cut up the chicken pieces into large chunks, or if you have meat on the bone just keep it as-is, so full thigh, full wing, whatever.

Take a large lidded skillet and a little of your favourite paleo fat or if you actually prepared for this, bacon lardons and seal the meat. Medium heat ... don't be nuking this thing!

Toss in a shredded onion and fry off until soft.

Add in sliced mushrooms to soak up all the lovely fat. Garlic, too, sliced.

Pour in a carton of chopped tomatoes and beef up with a little tomato purée.

In with the dried herbs, spices and seasoning.

Top up with water, bring to the boil, lid on and settle over a low heat for a couple of hours to cook through, soften, tenderise and reduce.

Ready to eat?

Just cook off the last of the liquid with the lid off while you boil some potatoes or rice, or cook through some rice noodles. Something starchy, anyway.

I went with lovely creamy mashed potatoes. Mash.

Plate up and gobble down hungrily and hopefully a little messily ...

Grilled Mackerel & Stir Fry Vegetables

Got a load of veggies to use up? Shred the lot and stir-fry 'em ...

Grilled Mackerel & Stir Fry Vegetables

Now you need some protein.

Ha! Fish! Mackerel! I love mackerel ...

Fish

Gut your fish and fillet, v-boning to remove the middle bone set and slash the skin.

Fry off in a skillet with a little butter, skin side down until crispy then flip over, turn the heat off and let the flesh cook through in the residual heat.

Meanwhile ...

Stir-Fry Vegetables

I don't need to tell you how to do this, do I?

Suffice to say, shred whatever you want and toss it through with a little fat in a skillet or wok.

Serve

Serve out, vegetable down, fish on top, lemon or lime wedge alongside, perhaps an avocado? This was my breakfast, so I did just that ... and forgot the boiled egg.

20/11/2014

Grilled Jerk Mackerel & Vegetable Rice

Leftover are great! Instant dinner ...

Grilled Jerk Mackerel & Vegetable Rice

I have some pre-cooked rice in the fridge (resistant starch, and all that) and some leftover cubed vegetables from some meal, or other. Protein? I have a fish! It's a mackerel ... lovely soft, fatty flesh.

What to do, then?

Well, I could spice up the vegetable rice with some chilli, or do it the other way around and jerk my fish. Let's do that ...

Jerk Seasoning

Simple stuff, this, and good to make in a batch.

You need Scotch Bonnet peppers, fresh thyme, spring onions, sunflower oil, black pepper and sea salt.

Blend the lot together. The bulk comes from the spring onions and the Scotch Bonnet pepper, fragrance from the thyme and a good saltiness, so over-salt, from the sea salt, wetness from the oil and the black pepper adds another depth of hotness (hotness, not heat) to it.

But, sunflower oil? Well, yes. I know, there's the omega-6 thing what with all that linoleic acid but as Mark points out in his Is it Primal? post, not all sunflower oil is bad. Grab yourself a cold-pressed example "which preserves vitamin E and reduces oxidation" that is a "high-oleic/high-stearic oil".

... and relax.

The quantities are up to you, but I would advise you start out just blending the Scotch Bonnet pepper together with some spring onions and then start to add the oil, then the thyme, then salt and pepper. You'll build up a sense of how YOU want your jerk seasoning as you go.

Fish

Take your fish, gut is and lay it flat on a board.

Slash the skin both sides, gently so as not to go through the bone and massage some jerk seasoning into the slashes.

Under the grill for 5-7 minutes each side, just to make the skin bubble and you're done.

Vegetable Rice

Combine your pre-cooked rice and leftover vegetables, chopped up, in a skillet with a little (that is a little, since our fish is fatty) of your favourite paleo fat. All together now, "goose fat, for me" ... and cook through.

Serve

Serve out, vegetable rice down, fish on top ... perhaps with a little soured cream alongside.

Breakfast

I still had some rice and vegetables left, so did much the same for breakfast but served with a pickled herring ...

Grilled Jerk Mackerel & Vegetable Rice

Dead simple! Two great meals for the price of one concept.

18/11/2014

Fast & Furious! Turkey & Mushroom Stroganoff

I've shown you this a good number of times in various guises, but it's worth showing again ...

Fast & Furious! Turkey & Mushroom Stroganoff

... and to emphasise just how fast a good meal can be made using this recipe.

Turkey & Mushroom Stroganoff

Clock is ticking ...

Skillet on, coconut oil in, sliced turkey meat in.

Maybe a minute or so later, shredded onion in, sliced mushrooms in, garlic powder, black pepper and a little sea salt.

Rice noodles in boiled water ... 60 seconds. Retrieve and add to the skillet.

Cream and chopped herbs, dill in this case for a nice Russo-Scandic feel, toss together and turn out into a bowl.

Shredded spring onions to garnish.

Done! Four minutes? How quickly can you make it?

17/11/2014

Steamed Cod & Hot Tomato Sauce

Relaxing start of the week dinner ...

Steamed Cod & Hot Tomato Sauce

Monday dinners can be tough, what with so much to do when you get home from work after the weekend ... not least, cooking dinner.

When you have 10 minutes, or so, you can make up the sauce and just let it simmer on a very low heat until you're ready to cook the rest ...

Hot Tomato Sauce

Carton Chopped Tomatoes (400g)
Half Small Onion
Garlic Cloves (3-4)
Chilli Flakes
Olive Oil
Sea Salt & Black Pepper

Heat up some olive oil in a skillet. Olive oil does not tolerate high heat well, and one of the forgotten skills in Italian cooking is to keep the heat moderate or low and take your time. I repeat: take your time. Relax into the sauce.

Finely chop half an onion and soften in the warmed oil.

Lightly blend the chopped tomatoes so that you have almost a passata, but still with some structure. Pour into the skillet.

Slice the garlic cloves and add. I don't like to add garlic to the oil and onions since it can burn. I much prefer to add garlic later.

Sprinkle over some chilli flakes, add some sea salt and black pepper, reduce the heat and let it simmer ... it will be perfectly happy until you're ready to cook the rest of the dish and will improve with that time. Relax!

Steamed Cod

Cod Loin

Our cats eat fish. They love their fish! I get all the tail ends and offcuts from our local Chippy and all I need to do it remove the really big bones and steam the rest.

So, steamer on, I might as well steam some fish for us humans, too ...

I have a lovely loin of cod, thick, big flakes, gorgeous. Steamed, perhaps 10 minutes.

Salsa

Olive Oil
Lemon Juice
Spring Onions
Capers
Green Olives
Dried Oregano
Sea Salt & Black Pepper

Fish on sauce is a bit dull to the eye, so I made up a quick salsa of olive oil, lemon juice, shredded spring onions, capers, sliced green olives, dried oregano, sea salt and black pepper.

Serve

Sauce down first and gently lay the fish over, salsa over the top.

The fish falls apart in huge flakes, picking up the sauce and gaining an extra pique of interest with the salsa. This truly was a gorgeous meal!

16/11/2014

Beef Medallions & Root Cubes

Quick and easy Sunday dinner ...

Beef Medallions & Root Cubes

Cube up a load of root vegetables: carrot, swede, celeriac & potato. Steam.

Slice some mushrooms and place in a skillet. Pour in cream, a good teaspoon of green peppercorns and a touch of white pepper and celery salt. Gently heat through. If the sauce becomes too reduced, just add water.

After about 10 minutes, warm up a large skillet with some butter for the beef.

Cut the medallions into inch thick slices and lay in the large skillet to colour up. Flip over after about 3 minutes, same again on the other side. Reduce the heat and go for 5 minutes each side on the lower heat. The meat should be cooked through, but not "well done".

Serve up, roots down first, laying the (rested) meat over the top and spoon the sauce over.

15/11/2014

Spicy Chicken & Mushroom over Roasted Marrow

It's a bit of a use-up meal ...

Spicy Chicken & Mushroom over Roasted Marrow

Take a marrow, or at least a good length of, cut in half lengthways, remove the seeds and commit to the oven at 180C for about an hour. Optionally, drizzle some olive oil over.

When the marrow is about done, shred an onion and some chicken breast.

In a large skillet, melt a little coconut oil, pop the onions in with some flavours: sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika and ground coriander.

Once the onions are cooked through, add in the chicken and quickly cook through before adding in sliced mushrooms and chopped fresh coriander.

Serve out with the marrow down first, chicken and mushroom over, garnished with some pine nuts and a good drizzle of yogurt and lemon juice. I also sprinkled some sumac over.

... for a random bunch of ingredients, just cooked through and put together, it worked very well; testament to the chorus of the ancestral chef: "cook real food and put it together".

13/11/2014

Turkey Mince Sliders with Celeriac Remoulade

Turkey Mince Sliders with Celeriac Remoulade

... just a simple meal, quick to make and great to eat!

Turkey Mince Sliders

1lb Turkey Mince
Lemon Rind
Chilli
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
Ground Coriander

Coconut Oil to fry

Mix the lot together, divide into 8ths and make meatballs, pressing down gently once you pop them into the skillet for frying.

Coconut oil in the skillet for frying.

Fry off on a higher heat for 2-3 minutes each side, lower the heat and cook on for maybe 5 minutes each side.

Meanwhile ...

Celeriac Remoulade

Celeriac
Egg Yolks (1 per Person)
Olive Oil
Lemon Juice
Cider Vinegar
Sea Salt
White Pepper
Poppy Seeds

Slice the celeriac into thin slices and shred into long matchsticks.

Blanch in boiled water.

Make up the remoulade by whisking the egg yolks, drizzle of olive oil, splash of cider vinegar, juice of half a lemon, no need to be exact ... together with sea salt, white pepper and poppy seeds.

Drain the celeriac and combine with the remoulade which will cook through in the residual heat.

Serve

Mound up some of the celeriac remoulade in the middle of the plate and surround with the sliders over some salad if you like - I went with shredded lettuce and tomato slices.