Nom Nom Paleo

Paleo Eats: 2/27/11

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Another day of eats coming right up…

Tonight at work, my first meal of the shift was leftover tandoori chicken, sautéed spinach and bacon, and garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes.

At snack time, I threw down some leftover curried cream of broccoli soup with sous vide chicken breast.

My final meal at work this morning? A box of chili con carne-seasoned ground beef with roasted carrots and celery root and stir-fried collard greens and bacon.

After my shift was over, I drove over to the Mountain View Farmers’ Market with the boys and spent a mess of money. I didn’t need any more veggies (I’d picked up two different vegetable CSA boxes this week), but I wanted to stock up on meat, fish, and strawberries.

When we got home, I threw a bunch of pastured beef bones and aromatics into the slow cooker to simmer a pot of beef broth while I slept.

(I’ll post a recipe later this week if it turns out to be successful.)

Then, I gobbled a few squares of dark chocolate (it is an “S” day after all), downed my vitamins, and hit the sack.

When I woke up close to 6:00 p.m., my hubby had already left to pick up some kabobs for dinner from House of Kabobs. This time we ordered a bunch of skewers a la carte.

In the meantime, I got busy preparing side dishes. I roasted some broccoli tossed with avocado oil, salt, and pepper (convection roast 375 F for ~25 minutes)…

 …and wilted some Castelfranco radicchio and shallots.

Here’s my dinner plate:

After boxing up the leftovers and putting the kids to bed, I strained the beef broth and stuck it in the fridge for later. Then, I packed my grub for work and left the house. Only three more nights of work!

Wilted Radicchio with Shallots

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Alice Waters is worshipped here in the Bay Area, and I’ll readily admit that I’ve guzzled her locally-brewed, organic, artisanal Kool-Aid myself. Whenever I get an unusual vegetable in my CSA box, I always refer to my copy of Chez Panisse Vegetables to figure out what to do with it. Although her book has no pictures and most of its recipes include no specific measurements, it’s one of my favorites because it pushes me to develop my own cooking instincts and to experiment in the kitchen.

I referred to her book again this evening when I needed a recipe for the beautiful head of Castelfranco radicchio that came in my Mariquita Farm Mystery Box.

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This vegetable is part of the chicory family, so I followed Waters’ simple recipe for wilted escarole with some small modifications. Here’s her succinct recipe, quoted verbatim from the book:

Wash and trim escarole. Cut the leaves into wide strips. Saute in olive oil, covered, until wilted and bright green, about 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add a splash of vinegar, and serve.

Really. That’s all it says.

Here’s what I gathered to make this recipe:

  • 1 head of Castelfranco radicchio (or escarole), roughly chopped into strips
  • 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of Kerrygold unsalted butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar (you can substitute with your favorite vinegar but I like the sweetness of balsamic to balance out the bitterness of the radicchio)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Here’s how I made it:

I melted the butter over medium heat and tossed in my sliced shallots. I sauteed the shallots until they were softened and lightly browned.

Then, I tossed in my chopped radicchio along with some salt and pepper to taste. Yes, I’m being vague — but learning to season properly is a skill everyone needs to perfect. Taste, taste, and taste some more while you’re cooking.

I didn’t need to cover my pan because the radicchio wilted pretty quickly.

After the greens were wilted, I splashed on the vinegar and adjusted the seasoning with additional salt and pepper.

Ta dah!

Please note that chicories (e.g. endives, escarole, and radicchio) are naturally a little bitter. Maybe that’s why I like ‘em, because their taste matches my personality!