Nom Nom Paleo

Paleo Eats: 5/26/11

Here’s a quick recap of my day of eats and cooking:

Breakfast: I scarfed down a slice of leftover frittata (ham and frozen broccoli) that I topped with guacamole and Primavera salsa. I ate this while I played Candyland with Lil-O. “See, honey? Gramma Nut and King Kandy are metabolically deranged because they eat too much sugar.”

Mid-morning snack: I nursed a big-ass thermos of Phil’z coffee (Jacobs Wonderbar with heavy cream). So damn good.

Lunch: I ate a simpler version of Asian almond chicken salad that I made with leftover roast chicken, cukes, carrots, and red leaf lettuce.

Dinner: I made some sous vide crispy chicken thighs, roasted curried cauliflower, and sauteed spinach and cremini mushrooms.

I’m also defrosting our Full of Life Farm pork belly in the fridge. So many possibilities…

Sous Vide Pork Belly

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Tonight was the first time I ever served pork belly, let alone sous vide pork belly. Thanks to my SousVide Supreme, it wasn’t a disaster and I didn’t have to order takeout as a back up.  In fact, it turned out pretty yummy.

A few nights ago, I brined two ¾-pound bricks of pork belly per the guidelines I found on David Barzelay’s site, Eat Foo. 

(Yes, the brine has brown sugar in it.)

The following morning, I removed the bellies out of the brine, dried them, and vacuum sealed them. 

Then, I dunked them in my SousVide Supreme (set at 160 F) and let them hang for 24 hours.  After a day passed, I put them in an ice bath and then stored them in the fridge until I cooked them off tonight for company.

I wasn’t sure whether or not to reheat the pork bellies in my SousVide Supreme before searing them so I opted to dunk them back in for 30 minutes at 160 F.  It might have been a mistake because when I tried to weigh the pork bellies down to flatten them post bath, the fat layer sheared right off the meat. Oh well. I decided to brown the four pieces separately and reassemble afterwards.

To sear the pork belly, I heated my cast iron skillet to medium high with 1 tablespoon of lard.  Then, I removed the pork bellies from their bags, pat them dry, and scored the fatty side with a sharp knife.

I browned the fat side for a good 4-5 minutes undisturbed and flipped it over to cook for an additional minute on the other side. 

The other two pieces were meatier, so I just seared them a minute on each side.

I plated them and then reassembled them to look like two solid pieces again.

Since I wasn’t sure we’d have enough meat to eat, I crisped up my last two sous vide chicken thighs straight from the fridge (6 minutes skin side down…

…then 2 minutes on the meat side).

Here’s our meat on a chipped serving platter:

For veggie sides, I served spinach and shallots sautéed in lard…


roasted butternut squash in lard

…and curried cream of broccoli soup.

Here’s my dinner plate:

The pork belly was tasty but the chicken thighs were awesome! I love that I can fry them straight from the fridge!

Paleo Finds at Nijiya Market (Mountain View, CA)

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I love Japanese grocery stores! A lot of the food is excessively packaged and super processed, but the stores are so damn clean, especially compared to other Asian markets. (Been to a 99 Ranch lately? Yowsers!)

I hadn’t been to Nijiya Market in a while because I no longer need to stock up on mirin, soy products, soba noodles, Japanese curry mix, etc. since going Paleo. But today, I returned to check out Nijiya’s selection of meat and organic produce (which is pretty extensive).

I picked up a few veggies and some packages of organic peeled and cooked chestnuts…

…Rocky free-range chicken thighs, boneless, with skin-on…

…and pork belly!

I love that Nijiya carries unusual cuts of meat that are harder to find at most big-chain American grocery stores. I’m gonna be sous viding the pork belly and thighs, so keep your eyes peeled for a blog post about ‘em later this week.