April 20, 2013
Arroz Con Pollo…without grains?! What?!
Yes, it’s true. Really, this recipe should be called Coliflor con Pollo, as it uses cauliflower instead of rice. With colorful veggies and vibrant, layered flavors, you won’t miss the grains at all. Get ready to lick your plate!
A couple of hours before you want to eat, make a marinade. In the bowl of a food processor, combine 3 cloves of garlic with the juice of 2 large oranges and 2 limes. Process until no pieces of garlic remain, about 2 minutes, then pour the liquid into a large plastic bag with some chicken legs. (I used 3 pounds, about 6 medium chicken legs.) Shake to distribute the marinade and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
When you’re ready to cook, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon of refined coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of ghee in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high.
Remove the chicken from the bag, reserving the marinade. Lightly pat the legs with a paper towel and season well with salt and pepper.
Once the fat is hot, add half of the chicken skin-side down. Cook until brown, about 4 minutes, then flip over. Continue browning for an additional 4 minutes, then transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
After all of the chicken has been browned, turn the heat down to medium and add 1 large chopped onion, 2 chopped bell peppers, and 3 minced cloves of garlic to the remaining fat. Saute until soft, about 7 to 8 minutes.
While the veggies cook, toast 1/4 teaspoon of saffron in a small skillet until fragrant, about 30 seconds. You will want to skip this step because of its simplicity, but DO NOT. The toasting helps the saffron release its wonderful flavor to its full potential. (By the way, did you know that it takes 1,000 flowers to make 1 pound of saffron?)
To the onion, pepper, and garlic, add 2 teaspoons of cumin and 1 teaspoon of salt. Let continue cooking for another 2 minutes, then add 1/4 cup white wine, 2 cups of chicken broth, 1 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes and their juices, the saffron, and two bay leaves. Stir a few times and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and return the chicken legs to the pot. Cover with a lid and simmer on the stove top for 10 minutes.
Next, transfer the lidded pot to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is completely cooked through.
Upon taking the pot out of the oven, stir in about a pound of cauliflower, riced (simply pulse cauliflower in the food processor for 10 to 15 seconds until the size of grains of cous-cous) and 3/4 cup frozen baby peas. Stir to incorporate and, with the lid on, let sit for 5 minutes.
Do they eat cauliflower in Latin American countries? I don’t know, but I do know that Coliflor con Pollo is just as delicious as Arroz con Pollo.
What ethnic dish should I try re-creating next? Leave me a comment on Facebook and let me know!
Tags: cauliflower, chicken, dairy-free, delicious, dinner, gluten-free, grain-free, healthy, Latin, paleo
April 19, 2013
When most people do an easy pork dish, they grab some chops or a tenderloin, season it with a few spices, grill or roast it, and call it a day. Done—dinner on the table.
While there’s nothing wrong with either of those dishes, they’re pretty boring, right? What if I told you there was a way to turn out a delicious, juicy product just as simply? To make both of these recipes, all you need is some pork, a big pot, and a couple of other easy-to-find ingredients. Put away your grill pan and get started.
For this first dish, a sweet braised pork, you’re going to need some pork hocks. (I got mine at my local butcher.) You could also try lamb shanks or chuck roast instead.
Heat the oven to 500 degrees and grease a large pot (I used my Le Creuset French Oven) with about 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil. Pick something that has a high smoke point, or else you’ll have fat splattered all over the place. Yuck.
Season the pork hocks with a generous amount of salt and pepper. When the oven is up to temperature, place them in the pot and slide it into the oven without the lid on. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until lightly browned, then flip to the other side. Repeat the process and take the pot out of the oven.
Turn the temperature down to 325 degrees. While the oven cools down a bit, remove the pork hocks from the pot and set aside.
Put your pot on the stove top, heat over medium, and add 1 tablespoon of ghee. (If your cut of meat was particularly fatty, skip this step.) When hot, add 1 large chopped onion and 3 small cloves of minced garlic. Sprinkle with salt and allow to cook until soft and beginning to brown, about 7 to 9 minutes.
Next, add 1/2 cup of white white and 1 teaspoon of dried thyme and allow to bubble away for about 2 minutes. If you don’t want to use wine, feel free to substitute 1/2 cup of broth or water.
Now add 1/4 cup of chopped apricots and 1/4 cup chopped prunes. You can always use less fruit for a more neutral-tasting dish, but I don’t recommend omitting it altogether. Stir to incorporate it into the wine and veggie mixture, then proceed to return the pork hocks to the pot.
Cover with enough chicken stock and/or water to nearly submerge the meat, about 3 cups in total. Season well with salt and pepper and put the lid on the pot. Transfer the whole thing to the oven, and cook until the pork is tender and falling off the bone, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Every half an hour, give the pork a flip and gently stir the sauce.
If you need to use your oven for something else during this time, simply simmer the pork on the stovetop over low heat. Easy as that!
This next one-pot dish, Pork Carnitas, is a recipe from Melissa Joulwan’s Well Fed, one of my favorite Paleo cookbooks of all time. (It’s definitely worth the money, so go ahead and buy it!) Crispy, savory…and absolutely delicious.
First, mix your spices. Combine 1 tablespoon of cumin, 1 tablespoon of garlic powder, 1/2 tablespoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of ground corriander, and 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Whisk together with a fork. Pour the spices into the bag, and add 4 pounds of cut up pork shoulder. Remove most, but not all of the excess fat from the top of each piece.
Seal the bag shut and, as vigorously as you can, shake to distribute the spices to all of the pieces of pork. This will take a couple of minutes, so keep shaking!
Now it’s time to cook your carnitas. In a large, wide pot, add a little bit of melted coconut oil on the bottom to insure the pork won’t stick. (I skipped this step and nearly ruined our really expensive Le Creuset—OUCH!) With the heat off, snuggly arrange the pork pieces on the bottom and add the juice of 2 oranges, 4 lemons, and 4 limes. You should have a little more than 1 1/4 cups of liquid in total.
Add just enough water to cover the pork (for me, about 1 1/2 additional cups) and bring to a steady boil.
Decrease the heat to low and simmer away until the liquid evaporates, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours total. Once the water and citrus is mostly gone, add a little more coconut oil and brown your carnitas on all sides, about 5 minutes more.
Leave whole, or shred into large chunks and smother with sauce.
What is your favorite thing to do with pork? Leave me a comment on Facebook and let me know!
Tags: braising, dairy-free, delicious, dinner, easy, gluten-free, paleo, pork
April 16, 2013
I made a list once of a bunch of the things I wanted to do in life. What was #1?
Visit the Nutella factory in Alba, Italy. Yes, it exists, and it’s apparently very hard to get into.
This chocolate-hazelnut spread is pretty awesome, but it’s also loaded with garbage. A two tablespoon serving has 21 grams of sugar, and chances are, you’re gonna want to eat way more than that. (My friends and I could easily polish off an entire jar in one sitting.)
These cookies, on the other hand, are baked with real, wholesome ingredients while capturing the Nutella-essence everyone loves. But be warned, though—they’re addictive, and you may want to eat the whole batch. Instead, share them with someone you love!
You can ZipList the recipe here.
A special thanks to Tammy Credicott and Adriana Harlan for the recipe inspiration!
To make these little guys, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of hazelnut meal flour, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and a pinch of salt. Sift in 1/2 cup of coconut flour and 1/4 cup of raw cacao powder, then stir to incorporate.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat 1 egg, 3 tablespoons of melted refined coconut oil, 2-3 tablespoons of raw honey (depending on how sweet you want it), 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar, 2 tablespoons of water, and 1/2 teaspoon of unfiltered apple cider vinegar on low for 2 to 3 minutes.
Pour in half of the hazelnut flour mixture and mix on low until combined. When no more clumps of flour remain, add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix for an additional 2 to 3 minutes on low. The dough should be mainly dry while remaining a little sticky.
Scoop up about a tablespoon of the batter and, with your hands, gently squeeze it until it holds together and has a spherical shape. Place on the parchment paper and lightly press down in the center with your thumb. Repeat with the remaining dough. You should have between 10 and 15 cookies total.
Bake in the oven until the tops begin to turn brown and the cookie is firm to the touch, about 13 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool on the parchment for at least half an hour before frosting. Do not add the filling right away, or your cookie will literally crumble.
Speaking of the filling, you should make it while the cookies cool. In a food processor, crush 1/2 cup of hazelnuts until a paste forms, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and add 1 tablespoon of refined coconut oil, then process for an additional minute or two.
Scoop the hazelnut “butter” into a microwave-safe bowl and add 2 tablespoons of refined coconut oil and 2.5 ounces of dark chocolate. Microwave in 30-second intervals until melted, about 1 minute and 30 seconds total.
Let the filling cool in the fridge until the consistency of butter, about 45 minutes. If it hardens too much, simply allow it to come to room temperature and stir every few minutes to soften.
Once the cookies and the filling are at ideal temperatures, fill the center of each cookie with an ample amount of chocolate-hazelnut goodness.
When filled, let the cookies sit out for at least an hour so the gooey center hardens a bit, then serve alongside a glass of coconut milk, nut milk, or raw grass-fed cow milk. These will keep in a cool, dry place for a couple of days or in the freezer for three months.
…but no way will they last that long.
What is your favorite chocolate dessert? Leave me a comment on Facebook and let me know!
Tags: chocolate, cookies, dairy-free, dessert, gluten-free, healthy, Nutella, paleo