Nom Nom Paleo

Broiled Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus Spears

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[UPDATED May 18, 2012: This ain’t a new recipe (it’s from over a year ago), but it continues to be popular and the old photos were all kinds of horrible, so I updated this post with new pics. Enjoy (again!)]

Broiled Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus Spears by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Broiled prosciutto-wrapped asparagus spears are a quick and delicious app that’s perfect for any Paleo party. The prosciutto crisps up like bacon while the sweet asparagus in the middle gets soft and tender. When you drizzle aged balsamic vinegar on the roasted spears, you end up with a dish that satisfies your sweet, salty, and sour cravings. Plus you get veggies and meat all in one morsel that you can just pop in your mouth with your hands.

Here’s what to assemble to make enough spears to feed 10 hungry adults:

  • 3 bunches of asparagus, stems trimmed 2 inches from the bottom
  • 2 four-ounce packages of prosciutto di parma
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Avocado oil or fat of choice (update 4/22/13: I use 2 tablespoons melted ghee)
  • Aged balsamic vinegar

Here’s what you do:

Preheat the broiler to high (with the rack 6 inches from the heating element) and assemble the ingredients.

Broiled Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus Spears by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Divide the asparagus evenly onto two large baking trays…

Broiled Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus Spears by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…drizzle some avocado oil over the spears, and season with salt and pepper.

Don’t go crazy with the salt because the prosciutto is plenty salty.

Cut each slice of prosciutto into 3 thin strips and wrap one strip around each asparagus spear. 

Broiled Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus Spears by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Pop a tray under the broiler for ~5-8 minutes (tossing the spears at the halfway point) or until the prosciutto crisps up and the asparagus is tender. Repeat the process with the second tray.

Broiled Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus Spears by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Plate the spears when they’re finished and drizzle on some aged balsamic vinegar.

Yes, my friends — it’s that easy.

Tomato and Basil Salad

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Whenever I throw together a simple recipe, I’d like to think I’m channeling Alice Waters, but in all honesty, I’m way more Paula Deen.

Sigh.

That being said, this dish will taste awful if you’ve got crappy, mealy, unripe tomatoes: you can only go simple if you’ve got kickass quality ingredients.

Here’s what I gathered to feed 4 people:

Here’s how I made it:

I gathered my ingredients…

…and started chopping!

I marinated the sliced shallots in my favorite aged balsamic for at least 15 minutes to mellow their bite.

Lastly, I plated the sliced tomatoes with the shallots, a splash of olive oil, a sprinkle of fleur de sel, a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper, and basil chiffonade. 

That’s it! Make this delicious salad before summer is over!

What’s In My Pantry

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Here are some staples we keep on hand at Chez Nom Nom Paleo:

Coconut Oil: We normally stock up at Whole Paycheck when coconut oil goes on sale.  I used to avoid it like the plague since I was taught that saturated fats = heart attack (yes, I have a nutrition and food science degree from the mid 90’s).  Now, I use this stuff all the time time for stir-frying or high temperature cooking.

Here’s our coconut spray oil, also purchased at Whole Paycheck.  Fitbomb uses it for everything.  I prefer to scoop some coconut oil from the jar.

Our go-to brand of extra virgin olive oil for everyday cooking is the one in the biggest bottle from Trader Joe’s. It’s economical, tasty, and I love the pour spout that comes with it. Call me crazy, but I don’t like sticking my thumb on the bottle opening (á la Jamie Oliver) when I’m drizzling olive oil on stuff.

I use Conzorzio Roasted Garlic Flavored Extra Virgin Olive Oil to drizzle on foods post cooking, or on foods I’m not cooking at a super high temp.  The flavor is pretty strong so I don’t put it on things that it’s likely to overpower. Get it at Costco before they decide to take it off the shelves. I just wish these bottles came with spigots!

Since the Paleo gods frown on dairy, we don’t use butter as much as we used to. When we do, we use Kerrygold unsalted butter because it comes from grassfed cows. Plus, you can find it reasonably priced at Trader Joe’s.

When I need a high-smoke-point fat and coconut oil has too distinctive a flavor for my dish, I’ll use ghee.  I’m too lazy to make my own from Kerrygold, so I just buy Purity Farms Organic Ghee. Per their website, it’s made from grassfed, pasture raised cow milk.  This product is carried at Whole Paycheck and other fancy grocery stores.

Okay, vinegar isn’t technically Paleo because it may have some gluten in it but I really like balsamic vinegar and keep a few bottles in my pantry at all times. My favorite cheap balsamic vinegar is Trader Joe’s Gold Quality Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. I use this stuff all the time to marinate my roasted veggies. See how the label has rubbed off?

Having a fancy, aged, thick balsamic vinegar in the pantry is a must. I just buy whichever one is on sale at Whole Paycheck or at a nicer grocery store. I drizzle the nice stuff to finish my dishes.  A little bit goes a long way. This is the higher-end bottle that’s currently sitting in our pantry:

Since I’ve cut out soy and oyster sauce, we have some San-J Organic Tamari in the pantry when I make Asian food (which is rare).  I don’t use this too often, though, because it’s still made with soy.

The Worchestershire sauce we have in the fridge is The Wizard’s™ Organic Worcestershire Sauce.   This is the stuff Fitbomb uses in his jerky recipe.

Last but not least, is one of my favorite pantry items: Rao’s Marinara Sauce! Honestly, this canned sauce is better than most Italian grandmothers’. Yes, it’s pricey, but it’s worth every penny. Anytime I see it on sale, I stock up. Buy it and put it on everything.