Paleo Quick Coq Au Vin

4 11 2009

Oui. I know what you are thinking.  You are thinking, what kind of silly French dish is this?  Coq au vin?  Really? 

The original French concoction was a way for provincial French wives to make use of an old rooster and took a long time to prepare.

My version is quick and easy and best of all, fits into the paleo diet.

Note, I personally do not eat mushrooms.  I leave them out when I make this, but I will put them in the recipe for those of you who do enjoy them.

So, let’s get to the food!

Ingredients:

4 chicken breasts

5-6 strips of thick cut bacon

Package frozen pearl onions (thawed)

2-3 carrots

Container of cremini or button mushrooms

¼ cup of almond flour

2 tbs of tomato paste

1 ½ tsp dried thyme

1 tsp sea salt

½ tsp black pepper

3-4 cloves garlic minced

Red wine of choice

Directions:

  1. Cut chicken into bite-sized chunks and put in a zip top with almond flour.  Shake to coat.
  2. Peel carrots and cut into ¼ inch slices.  Set aside.
  3. If you choose to partake of the mushrooms, wash them and cut them into quarters.  Set aside.
  4. Cut bacon into half inch strips (these little chunks of bacon are refered to as “lardons” by the French) Put into large skillet or stew pot over medium heat.  Brown.
  5. Remove bacon.
  6. Add onions and carrots and cook until they start to caramelize (get brown and release their sugars), about 5-10 minutes.  Remove the onions.
  7. If you are a mushroom eater, now is the time to add them and brown them.  Pull them out and set them aside.
  8. Add chicken to the pot.  Brown.  Pull chicken out.
  9. Put garlic and tomato paste in the pot along with the rest of the almond flour from the chicken.  Cook for a couple of minutes (be careful not to burn the garlic)
  10. Add in a little wine and scrape up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. (This is known as de-glazing)
  11. Add in half to three quarters of the bottle of wine.  Add in spices, carrots, chicken, onions, and mushrooms. Cook for 10-15 minutes until the broth starts to thicken.
  12. Sprinkle bacon over the top and serve hot.

I like to serve this over spaghetti squash or zucchini that has been sliced into strips and sautéed until soft in olive oil and garlic. 

coqauvin





Paleo Coconut Shrimp

1 11 2009

Ingredients:

12-15 shrimp

1 egg

½ tsp salt

½ tsp paprika

½ tsp garlic powder

½ cup almond flour

¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

3 tbs coconut oil

 

Directions:

Peel and de-vein shrimp.  Run under cool water and then pat dry with paper towels.

Beat egg with spices.

Combine coconut and almond flour on a plate or shallow dish.

Set up dredging station.  Working from left to right, put shrimp, eggs, flour mix and a plate.

dipping_station

Use your left hand as the “wet” hand and your right as the “dry.”  Pick up shrimp with left hand, drop in egg and pick up with left hand and drop in flour.  Use right hand to toss flour over shrimp, then pick up and gently shake off excess crumbs.  Lay on plate to set for 10 minutes.

Put oil in pan and heat to medium high heat.

Once all shrimp have been dredged and have set, put in hot pan and cook for about 2-3 minutes and then flip and cook another 2-3 minutes.  Remove shrimp to a clean plate and let sit for 5 minutes to make sure crust sticks to shrimp.

coconutshrimp





Chicken With 40 Cloves of Garlic

20 10 2009

I know what you’re thinking.  40 cloves of garlic?!?!?!!  I know that vampires have been the in thing lately, but isn’t this a little TOO much insurance?  Won’t my breath demolish anyone I meet for a week after eating this? 

Never fear.  The garlic cooks down in this slow cooker dish, so it is no longer potent and overwhelming. 

Ingredients:

3 lbs of chicken (this could be a whole butchered chicken, a chicken you butcher yourself, breasts only, etc.)

5 heads of garlic (yes, the ENTIRE head)

1 lb bacon

white wine or chicken broth

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp dried thyme

 

Directions:

Cut bacon into inch wide chunks.  Brown in a pan.  Set bacon aside.  Put about 1 tbs of the bacon grease in the bottom of the crock pot.

Separate out all the cloves of garlic from the heads.  Smash them with the flat side of your Chinese cleaver to easily remove the paper.  Put all cloves in the bottom of the crock pot.

Pour in either white wine or chicken stock to barely cover the garlic.  (Note, if you use stock, I would also add in 2 tbs of lemon juice to help brighten up the flavor)

Sprinkle salt, pepper, and thyme over the garlic. 

Put chicken on top of the garlic.  Put bacon on top of chicken

Place a layer of Aluminum foil over the crock pot and THEN the lid.  This will keep the steam from escaping and you from running out of liquid.

If you cook at low, this should take about 7-8 hours.

If you cook at high, this should take about 4 hours.

Once done, pull out chicken and bacon and set aside.  Pour liquid and garlic into a blender (or use your stick blender) to puree into a delicious sauce.  Pour over chicken and serve!





Paleo Fried Chicken Fingers

15 10 2009

I’m a good Southern girl.  We know comfort foods.  Usually when someone thinks of a Southern meal, it’s fried chicken with mashed potatoes.  I thought, why not?  It was my challenge to make it paleo.

I’ll separate it into three recipes so that you can mix and match with different proteins and sides.

Ingredients:

2 large chicken breasts

½ cup of almond flour

2 eggs

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

½ tsp dried thyme

3 tbs olive oil

 Directions:

Cut chicken into long strips.  Make sure that they are equally thick.  You may need to use the flat part of the knife to pound some of the fatter pieces down a bit.

 cut_chicken

Put the chicken pieces in a zip top plastic bag with spices.  Shake to coat. 

 season_chicken

Dredge in almond flour, then eggs, then flour again. 

 coat_chicken

chicken_eggwash

chicken_dredge

Lay on a plate to set up for 10 minutes.  This will make sure the crust really sticks to the chicken. 

Pour olive oil in the bottom of a skillet.  Heat to medium high heat.  Add chicken and cook for about 3-5 minutes per side, turn only once.  Tongs work the best for turning the chicken.

cook_chicken

Enjoy with mashed cauliflower and collard greens!

chicken_dinner





Lamb Stew

11 10 2009

Remember that 5 lb lamb I got the other day and used half to make the Morrocan spiced lamb?  Well, I’m thawing out the other half to make a delicious lamb stew.   (I’ve found it helps in grocery shopping for the week if you have meals that share ingredients. You don’t have to make them back-to-back for variety’s sake, but it saves on the grocery bill.)

On to the stew!

Ingredients:

2 1/2 lbs bonless lamb leg

1 medium onion diced

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 stalks celery chopped

3 cloves garlic

2 tbs tomato paste

2 cups beef broth

2 cups red wine

3 tbs olive oil

3 tbs almond flour

2 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

bay leaf

 

How to assemble:

You ever notice how on cooking shows, they just throw things in the pot from these neatly pre-chopped piles?  Well, it’s much easier at assembly time, if you take a little time up front to chop up all your veggies and meats so that when it’s time, you aren’t running back and forth to the cutting board.

So, start by peeling the carrots and chopping up them, the onion, and the celery.  Put into a big bowl along with 3 cloves of garlic that you mince up.

Then cut the lamb into bite sized chunks.

Pour olive oil in the bottom of a large pot.  Heat up on medium high heat.  Brown the lamb in batches.  Nothing containing liquid will brown properly if crowded in a pan — this goes for meats, poulty, and mushrooms.  So work in batches and brown the lamb.  Don’t worry about cooking it through at this point.  Once browned, pull out of the pan and put on a plate. 

Next, add the veggies and garlic to the pot and let them cook for 5 minutes.  Add the tomato paste and almond flour and then cook another couple of minutes.  Add the wine and scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  (This is called de-glazing, for those non-chefs out there who want to impress their friends.)  Then add the beef broth and the lamb chunks. 

Leave uncovered and let the liquid cook down (again, cooking term here would be “reduce”) for about 30 minutes. 

Turn off the heat and let the stew settle for about 10-15 minutes so that you don’t burn yourself.

Fish out the bay leaves.  If you can’t find them, you can do what my mom did when we were kids and tell everyone dining on the lamb that whoever finds the bay leaf gets to make a wish.

I would serve over smashed cauliflower.

lambstew





Moroccan Spiced Lamb

7 10 2009
A few notes to start.

Costco has boneless leg of lamb for a really good price. It takes a little butchering to remove the silver skin (which just ends up tough and chewy if you don’t remove it, but isn’t too hard to take off). To remove the silver skin, take a small knife and slide between the silver skin and meat and then angle the blade upwards and slide along the meat. If you get a 5 lb lamb leg, remove the silver skin and then cut it in half and freeze half to use later.

This recipe is really spicy. Just a warning for those who aren’t a fan of spice.

Cut about 2 1/2 lbs of lamb into chunks. Put in a gallon ziploc.

Add to the ziploc:

1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbs cumin
2 tsp turmeric *
1 1/2 tsp corriander *
(* can sub in 1 tbs curry powder if you want it less potent)
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice

Shake to combine and let rest for 5 minutes or so.

Put a large skillet on medium high heat and add 3-4 tbs coconut oil. Once it is hot, brown the lamb chunks.

Add 2 diced medium onions and 3-4 cloves of minced garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes.

Take 8 oz of pitted dates (1 cup) and cut into thirds. Add to lamb mixture along with 2 cups of chicken broth (get the natural kind or make it yourself). Cover and cook for 10-12 minutes until dates plump and lamb is tender.

To finish, toast about a half a cup of pine nuts and toss on top. (Optional)

PA050259

I serve with:

1 large butternut squash that I peeled, removed the seeds, cubed and boiled. Then I drained the water and smashed it like potatoes and sprinkled a little cinnamon.





My Infamous Paleo Chili

7 10 2009
I make a huge pot of chili and eat it for a few days (or freeze some in quart ziplocs to thaw out as fast food. Chili is my favorite. It’s a great comfort food and this one is popular with the guys as it is very meaty.

2 lbs lean ground beef (I look for 90/10)
1 large steak cut into chunks (or stew meat, whatever you prefer)
1 large can crushed tomatoes (look for the one where the only ingredient is tomatoes)
1 can diced tomatoes and chilis (again, look for natural here)
1 small can tomatillo salsa (in the Mexican food aisle, look for natural ingredients in this…I think the brand starts with an E)
large onion diced
1/8 cup almond flour (this is optional for thickening, omit if you have a nut allergy)
about 2 cups of beef broth
3 cloves garlic minced or about
2 tsp garlic powder1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbs ground cumin
3-4 tbs chili powder
olive oil

Put about 2 tbs olive oil in a pan and get it screaming hot. Sear the chunks of steak in batches (don’t crowd or it won’t brown). It doesn’t have to be cooked at this point, just brown and pull it out. Add a little more oil if needed and add diced onion to kind of brown a bit. Add the beef stock and let it cook until it is reduced by half (this gives a really meaty base). Add in ground beef and almond flour. Stir until it browns a bit. Add garlic, spices, tomatoes, and steak chunks. Simmer on low heat for a couple of hours. It gets better the longer it cooks.

I serve with diced red onion on top. It’s good without it too.