Paleo Eats: 4/17/11

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Ack! I only have 3 more days of vacation! I know you’re all in a tizzy as well but maybe taking a peek at my chow will distract you.

For breakfast, I reheated a bowl of braised red cabbage topped with emergency protein, Primavera salsa, and homemade guacamole.

Then, I rushed off to the Mountain View Farmers’ Market to pick up my free asparagus, some strawberries…

…and a few veggies before going to a kickboxing class at Big-O’s kung fu studio.

My post workout meal was a baked yam and a few slices of Applegate Farms organic chicken breast.

On a whim, I decided to invite our good buddies, H & B, over for brunch so I fried up some filling (diced Full of Life Farm ham, cremini mushrooms, radish greens, roasted asparagus, and Sunny Paris seasoning)…

…for a batch of mini frittata muffins.

I also made a salad with mixed greens, sliced radishes, carrots, avocado, and slivered almonds that I tossed with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil…

…and hulled a big bowl of strawberries for dessert.

I ate my plate of grub…

…and slurped up a delicious bowl of curried carrot soup that H brought over.

I’m gonna pester her for the recipe so I can recreate it myself.

At dinnertime, I didn’t want to make anything complicated. I dunked some purchased duck confit legs in the SousVide Supreme and sauteed some broccoli and shiitake mushrooms while the legs heated up. Then, I took the duck legs out of the water oven and seared them in a cast iron skillet.

I plated the duck and veggies with some leftover garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes.

Time for some shuteye!

Cheater Crispy Sous Vide Duck Confit Legs

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Hey R, here’s a different way to heat up those Costco-purchased Grimaud Farms duck confit seasoned legs that’s super easy and the results are astounding.

I used to heat them up in the oven per the instructions of the package (stick in 400 F oven with skin side up for 15 minutes) but I was always disappointed with the flabby skin and the dried out texture of the meat. Since these babies come vacuum-sealed and are probably prepared sous vide originally, I’ve always wanted to reheat them in the water oven and then sear the legs off on the stove to crisp up the skin.

I opted to cook them this way tonight and they turned out PERFECTLY! My one minor gripe is the skin’s never intact on the legs so it’s a crapshoot how much crispy skin you get. That being said, I will NEVER make my own duck confit — I’ll just pretend I did.

Here’s what I did to feed 2.5 people:

I filled and heated the SousVide Supreme to 140 F and grabbed a package of Grimaud Farms duck confit seasoned legs from the fridge. 

Although the legs come vacuum-sealed already, I opted to reseal them in a Foodsaver bag since I don’t know if the original plastic container can be heated. 

I dunked the legs in the water oven for about 45 minutes and took the legs out…

…and patted them dry. 

I melted 2 tablespoons of duck fat in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat and seared the legs skin side-down for about 2 minutes…

…flipped them over, and browned the other side for about a minute. There’s lots of splatter so cover up with an apron.

Voila! 

French bistro quality, super-crisp skinned and tender duck legs at home!

Paleo Eats: 3/20/11

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When I woke up this morning it was raining hard and the wind was howling – love it! I know most people prefer sunny weather but gloomy, stormy weather makes me smile. On the weeks when I’m working the graveyard shift, it lulls me to sleep in the middle of the day. On my days off, I love being “trapped” inside and just chilling out with the family. Thing get complicated when we have places to go. Like today. Then the rain can be a bitch.

For breakfast, I made myself a red cabbage slaw topped with leftover sous vide flank steak.

This was a big-ass mofo salad and it kept me full until lunchtime.

After breakfast, the family took a trip to Whole Paycheck where we stocked up on essentials for the week. My kids LOVE pushing the mini shopping carts around the store. I HATE herding them around the store and apologizing to all the patrons getting clipped in the Achilles tendon.

For lunch, we stopped by Anantolian Kitchen again. I really dig this spot for kebabs. It can get busy during weekday lunches, but on a rainy Sunday, it was easy to get a table at noon. I guess most people wanna gobble French toast and waffles for brunch instead of tasty meat sticks. Lucky for us.

Hubs and I split the combo grill plate (chicken, lamb, doner kebab, and salad)…

…and the Adana kebab (marinated ground lamb & beef with a salad). Both dishes were ordered sans rice.

This spot may be my new favorite Paleo-friendly spot in Palo Alto…

While Little-O took a nap, I took Big-O to a birthday party at a bounce house. It was a pandemonium, but at least he burned off a lot of energy!

When we got home at 5:30 p.m., I started prepping dinner. I was tired and didn’t want to make anything too complicated so I heated up some pre-cooked duck confit legs (I bought ‘em at the farmers’ market) in the toaster oven (15 minutes at 375 F).

To finish the duck, I charred them with my kitchen torch to get the skin all crispity-crunchity.

I tossed some asparagus spears in the rendered duck fat with some salt and pepper…

…and broiled them in the toaster oven until tender.

I finished off the dish with a spritz of lemon juice. Trust me: Always keep some lemons in the fridge.

I also nuked a packet of winter squash puree that I mixed with butter, salt, and pepper…

…and sautéed a pan full of spinach in butter with sliced shallots, dried chilis, and lemon juice.

I’m happy to report that dinner was on the table in about 35 minutes.

And as a special treat, I ate half a bar of dark chocolate: