Monday, August 18, 2014

Product Review - Paleo Pizza Crust

I've previously posted my own recipe for meat-zza, and while it's pretty darn good, sometimes you want chewy-crust PIZZA.  Well, recently I was wandering through Low-Carb Grocery (*) up in Markham, and I ran across Paleo Pizza Crust Mix by Julian Bakery (*).  We've made it a few times now, and I have to admit - it's VERY close to wheat-flour-based pizza, at least in terms of texture and taste.

It's simple to make - add half a cup of water, mix well, roll out to a 14" crust, poke all over with a fork, bake for about 10 minutes, add your toppings, and bake again for about 12 more minutes.  Share and enjoy!  It's a bit high in carbohydrates if you're counting - 12 grams "net carbs" per 1/12 of the mix, but the carbs come from almond flour, arrowroot flour, and pumpkin powder, so they should be relatively innocuous.

My only complaint is that the raw dough is very sticky - so here's a work-around:  roll it out between two large sheets of parchment paper!

(*) = Note that I have not received any promotional consideration from either Low-Carb Grocery or Julian Bakery for this posting.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Pulled pork

It's a bit of work both up front and at the end, but in between you can let your slow cooker do the bulk of the work in this delicious recipe, based on one from the Ontario Pork website.

Ingredients

  • 3-1/2 lb (1.75 kg) Ontario pork shoulder blade roast or picnic roast or equivalent cut
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) EACH: salt and pepper 
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil 
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped 
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) chili powder 
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) ground coriander 
  • 3 bay leaves 
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) tomato paste (or 1 small can)
  • 1 x 14 oz (425 g) can tomato sauce 
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) spoonable stevia, or a dropper-full of liquid stevia, or equivalent sweetener of choice 
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) coconut aminos 
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) cider vinegar 
Instructions

  1. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat and sear pork until brown all over. Transfer to slow cooker.
  2. In the same skillet, add onions, garlic, chili powder, coriander and bay leaves. Fry ingredients while stirring occasionally, until onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add everything else, scraping any brown bits from bottom of pan; bring to a boil. Pour sauce over pork in the slow cooker, cover and cook on low until pork is tender, 8 to 10 hours.
  3. Once cooked, transfer pork to cutting board and tent with foil; let stand for 10 minutes. With two forks, shred or "pull" pork.
  4. Meanwhile, pour liquid from slow cooker into large saucepan and skim off fat. Bring to a boil over high heat and let boil vigorously until thickened somewhat and reduced to 3 cups (750 mL), about 15 minutes. Discard bay leaves.  Seriously, you don't want to bite into one of those.
  5. Add the pulled pork to reduced sauce mixture and lower heat to simmer until hot, about 4 minutes.
Now, what to serve it on?  I recently tried some coconut-based "paleo" wraps from Julian Bakery (available here from Low-Carb Grocery), and while they're (a) a bit smaller than I'd like and (b) a bit sweet, they still do the trick.  (Full disclosure note - I have not received any compensation from either Julian Bakery, Ontario Pork Producers, or Low-Carb Grocery, or any other third-party, in relation to this or any other blog posting.)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Fall-apart ribs

You might have noticed I don't post on here a lot.  I had the best of intentions to do so, but this isn't my job.  It's not even my second job.  Or my third.  I haven't seen a penny of payment for this, in fact, so it's not a job at all.  That's not a complaint, I'm just saying - I guess I get out of it what I put in, right?

Anyway, since I started this blog, there's been a minor revolution in paleo - there are cookbooks (and I mean a LOT of them - I have a dozen myself, and I'll eventually start posting reviews here) devoted the the paleo way of eating.  In that respect, this blog probably isn't as necessary as it was, since there's lots out there now (a lot more blogs as well).  But I'm going to keep it, and I'll keep updating it when and where I see fit.  Like today, for instance.

Today, I want to tell you how I do ribs in the oven.  You might already know this, you might not, but the secret is this:  time.  Long time, low temperatures.  Here's what I do:

Ingredients

  • 1-2 racks ribs
  • barbecue sauce (lately I'm using Xyla brand, but I've also made my own)
  • lots of aluminum foil (yeah, not environmentally friendly - try to recycle it!!)


Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, or the equivalent in Celsius.
  2. For each rack of ribs, lay out a single piece of foil longer than the ribs.
  3. Pour a bit of barbecue sauce down the length of the foil, lay the ribs on the foil length-wise, and pour some more barbecue sauce on top.  You can get pretty saucy now if you want.
  4. Bring the edges of the foil up and crimp on top - if you need more foil because your ribs are too wide, make sure the seam is on top, not underneath. You want to make sure any juices don't leak out.
  5. Lay the foil package of ribs on a baking sheet.  If you're doing multiple racks of rib, repeat with the other rack, and lay them side-by-side on the baking sheet.
  6. Bake in the oven for at least two hours.
  7. At this point, your ribs are technically done, and you have two choices:
    1. "Crisp" them up on the grill with more barbecue sauce, or
    2. Carefully drain the juices from the foil packets into a saucepan, thicken it on the stove by reduction, brush it onto the ribs as a glaze, and broil under your broiler for 1 minute.  Repeat three or four times until you have a nice thick coating of reduced-juice glaze baked onto the ribs.
Let them cool a few minutes, and dig in!  Napkins pretty much mandatory, by the way.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

A nice little curry

I was trying to decide what to make for supper yesterday, and hit on the idea of making a curry. This may sound odd, but I'd never actually made a curry before. But, I looked at a few recipes, figured things out, and this is what I served last night over cauliflower rice...

 Ingredients

  • One large yellow onion
  • 3-4 Tbsp Coconut oil or olive oil or lard/bacon fat
  • 4 chicken breasts, skin and bone removed, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp curry powder (or more if you like it curry-er)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 small can tomato paste

 Instructions

1. Put the oil in a good-sized pan or wok. Quarter the onion and thinly slice it.
2. Put the onion slices in the oil over medium heat.
3. Once the onion is waxy, add the chicken and garlic.
4. Mix the curry powder with a bit of the coconut milk in a bowl.
5. Once the chicken is no longer pink, add the coconut milk and curry powder, bring to a bowl, and simmer for about 10 minutes.
6. Add the can of tomato paste and simmer a while longer - it should be a nice, thick sauce.
7. Serve - best over either cauliflower "rice" or shirataki noodles.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Greek Village Salad

AKA "Horiatiki" or "Choriatiki", this is a favourite around here. Yes, it contains cheese, so non-milk paleo types will have to "just say no", but it's goat cheese, not cow cheese, okay? :-)

Ingredients
  • 1-2 English cucumbers
  • 1 sweet pepper (green or red)
  • 1/2 pound feta cheese
  • 1 Tbsp capers
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pint (small box) of "baby" tomatoes

Instructions
  1. Chop first four ingredients into bite-sized (1/2 inch or 1 cm) pieces. Combine in a bowl with the remaining ingredients except the tomatoes. For best results, allow to in the fridge sit overnight.  Add the tomatoes just before serving.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Reducto ad delicious!

Recently, I came into the possession of two cases of pure mango juice - 12 tetra packs of one liter in each case, 24 liters of mango juice in total.  That's a lot of mango juice.

In addition to drinking it, I decided to try using it in sauces, via the reduction method.  In case you don't know, that's pretty much exactly what it sounds like - you reduce the liquid by simmering, which drives off the water and concentrates the flavours (and the sugars).  When you've reduced it by 3/4 or so, and you cool it, you're left with a thick, concentrated juice (think concentrated orange juice in the freezer at the grocery store - same idea).

On its own, this makes a great glaze for chicken or fish.

Something else you can do with it is add some hot sauce just before you're done reducing it (I added two or three dashes each of a habanero-based sauce and some Louisiana-style cayenne-based sauce).  It ends up being a great sauce for stir-fry; it starts out sweet and ends with just a bit of a burn.

Again - this concentrates the sugars in the juice, so if you're concentrating on the low-carb aspect of paleo, this isn't the best idea.  However, it won't give you any more sugar than was already present in the juice, so as an occasional treat (and to help convince your friends who aren't sure about this whole "caveman diet" thing), it's not bad at all..

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pulled pork (sort of)

One of the finer things in life (in my opinion, anyway) is pulled pork - particularly in a tortilla.  This recipe, sadly, isn't quite the same, but it will do in a pinch.

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, in 2 inch / 5 cm cubes
  • 1 quart vegetable stock
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp cloves (whole)
  • 1 Tbsp pickling spice mix
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
And for the "sauce":

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp orange zest (zesty!)
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped (minus the seeds and stem, of course)
  • 1 stick (or stalk, if you prefer) of celery, again finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • more salt and pepper, to taste
  • a dash of hot sauce (or more if you like it SPICY!)
Instructions
  1. Throw everything in the first list of ingredients into a big pot (well, not TOO big).  Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer everything until the pork is tender, about an hour.
  2. Remove the pork, allow to cool, and shred using two forks.
  3. Now you have a choice.  You could do any of the following:
    1. Combine the second list of ingredients above in a bowl, and serve with the pork.
    2. Remove the chunky bits (especially the cloves and bay leaf) from the pot, and reduce the liquid until it's a nice thick sauce (optionally thickening it further with something like arrowroot), and then mix back with the pork.
    3. Find a low-carb barbecue sauce (like the ones that Walden Farms makes, although that's not really an endorsement - they still don't pay me), or make your own, and mix that with the pork.
  4. Now comes the hard part - how to serve it?  I'd prefer it on tortillas, but, you know.  Wheat.  Evil.  Enough said.  However, it's been suggested that you could serve this on large lettuce leaves, such as Boston lettuce (also sometimes called Bibb lettuce).
Enjoy!