Take Two: A Big Update to My iPad Cookbook App!

Pin It

Right before Christmas, I proudly announced the release of an update to the Nom Nom Paleo iPad® cookbook app. Unfortunately, there was an unforeseen glitch: The wrong version of the app had been inadvertently submitted to Apple for approval. And the company’s App Store review team was shutting down for the holidays. Argh.

So for the past two weeks, we (and you) have been stuck with an old version of the app, without all the new goodies we promised. Double argh. We can’t say sorry enough times to make this right, but thanks for bearing with us anyway.

Thankfully, with the App Store team back in action, we got word late yesterday that our update — the real one! — has been approved by the good folks at Apple. And now, version 1.5 of the Nom Nom Paleo app is finally live!

image

So what does this mean for those of you who own an iPad or iPad Mini? Keep reading for the full scoop!

Read more

Rogan Josh (Lamb Stew) - The Easy Version

Pin It

Folks, I’ve discovered another game changer.

After reading John “Doc” Willoughby’s article “Deep Flavor, No Browning Required” in the NYT, I’ve decided to forgo pre-searing meat when I cook stews. According to the article, the way to “cold start” a stew is to skip the normal searing of meat in hot oil and replace it with a gentle warming of the protein in some fat, aromatics, and spices. No sputtering oil or grease burns AND you still get a delicious, flavorful dish? Awesome.

The other day, I decided to test out this method with my Rogan Josh recipe. How’d it turn out? The final dish was yummy and flavorful and nobody missed the browned bits (or the greasy mess).

Here’s what I gathered to feed 6 adults:

  • 2.5 pounds of boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1.5 inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (or coconut oil)
  • 2 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of Rogan Josh seasoning
  • ½ cup full fat Greek yogurt (or coconut milk)
  • 2/3 cup water Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Here’s how I made it:

I preheated the oven to 300 F, prepped the lamb…

…chopped the veggies…

…and melted the ghee in a large Dutch oven over medium low heat.

Once the fat melted, I dumped in the lamb, onions, carrots, spices, salt, and pepper.

I stirred the mixture constantly for 5-8 minutes until the spices were fragrant.

Next, I added the water and yogurt and increased the heat to high to bring the contents to a simmer.

I put on the lid and placed the stew in the oven for around two hours or until the lamb was very tender. I removed the stew from the oven and adjusted the seasoning with salt and pepper.

I transferred the finished dish to a storage container with the intent of reheating it in a few days.

Stews always taste better when they’ve been allowed to mellow out in the fridge for a day and this was no exception. My parents kept on remarking that the lamb was super tender and delicious. I think they’re just surprised that my food is edible these days. Practice makes perfect…

Slow Cooker Roast Chicken And Gravy

Pin It

In the past, I’ve always had crappy results when I’ve tried to cook a whole chicken in the slow cooker. The bird would always be overcooked, stringy, mushy, and dry. Super icky. Last night, I cooked a whole chicken in my slow cooker and it was AMAZING! I‘ll never prepare a whole chicken any other way again. Yes, that was a hyperbolic statement but I’m sticking with it.

The method I followed was a mash-up between Sarah Fragoso’s Spice Rub Crock Pot Chicken and the chicken in a pot recipe from Slow Cooker Revolution.  I heart both, so how could I fail? 

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 pound organic kosher chicken (I prefer the taste of the salt-washed bird)
  • 2 tablespoons of ghee
  • 2 onions, chopped medium (or 2 cups of your favorite alliums)
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste (you can use up to a tablespoon to add more umami)
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • ¼ cup white wine (replace with 1/4 cup extra chicken stock if on Whole30)
  • Sunny Paris seasoning (or your favorite seasoning)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Here’s what you do:

Gather and chop up your veggies…

image

…and melt the ghee in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onions and garlic (I threw in some scallions, too)…

image

…and add the tomato paste.

image

The aromatics should be softened and lightly browned after 8-10 minutes. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper to taste.

image

Then, deglaze the pan with the wine and/or chicken stock, and transfer everything to your slow cooker. Dry off the bird and season it well — inside and out — with salt, pepper, and your favorite poultry seasoning. (I like Sunny Paris seasoning from Penzeys Spices.)

image

Place the chicken breast side down in the slow cooker, put on the cover, and set it to cook on low for 4-6 hours.

image

This bird was close to 4 pounds, so I aimed for about 4.5 hours of simmering.

When the chicken’s finished cooking…

image

…take it out of the slow cooker and let it rest for 20 minutes.

image

De-fat the braising sauce…

image

…check for seasoning, and blend it with an immersion blender

image

… to make a delicious gravy.

image

This gravy is kickass!

Rip up the chicken up with your hands like a true cavegirl or caveguy…

image

…and serve it with the gravy.

image

My favorite thing about this recipe is the breast stays moist! Love it! Don’t ever cook chicken longer than 6 hours on low!

And DON’T FORGET TO SAVE THE GRAVY! It’s pretty much incredible on everything.

Cheater Crispy Sous Vide Duck Confit Legs

Pin It

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!

Chez Panisse Braised Red Cabbage

Pin It

Here’s another simple yet delicious recipe culled from Alice WatersChez Panisse Vegetables. The woman is a genius.

The finished dish is an awesome bowl of purple comfort food – tender, sweet, tart, and savory. It goes well with any protein so it’s a wonderful cabbage side dish to have in your repertoire.

Here’s what I gathered to feed 4-6 adults:

  • 1 red cabbage (green works great as well), outer wilted leaves and core removed, and sliced very thin
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons of duck fat (bacon grease would be delicious as well)
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 apple, peeled and grated

Here’s how I made it:

The first thing I did was gather and chop up the ingredients.

image

I scooped out the duck fat…

image

…and melted it over medium heat in a large cast iron skillet.

Once the duck fat was melted, I sautéed the onions for about 5 minutes.

Next, I added the cabbage, vinegar, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and water.

I brought it up to a boil, put on a lid, lowered the heat, and simmered the cabbage for 20 minutes.

I peeled and grated a Fuji apple and added it to the cabbage mixture.

image

I mixed it in, put on the lid, and let it cook for 5 more minutes. I tasted the cabbage and adjusted for seasoning.

image

I love the combination of cabbage, apples, and sherry vinegar!

Sous Vide Carnitas

Pin It

I’ve made carnitas the traditional way, but the process can be a big a pain in the ass. Delicious, yes, but it requires more effort than this lazy-butt is willing to expend. I’d rather head to my favorite taqueria and buy a pound.

This is why I was so excited to read R’s super-simple yet scrumptious recipe for sous vide carnitas a few days ago. As soon as I read her post, I immediately ran to the garage and pulled a big pork butt out of the chest freezer to recreate the recipe at home. (Remember? I have 100 pounds of pork in there.)

I followed her recipe pretty explicitly, but I lazified it even more by using 4 tablespoons of Penzey’s Arizona Dreaming seasoning instead of making my own dry rub.

Here’s the play-by-play:

I brined the cubed pork butt for the suggested 24 hours in the fridge…

…rinsed off the excess brine…

…dried off the pork…

…tossed it with the Arizona Dreaming seasoning

…vacuum-sealed the seasoned pork in two packets…

…dunked the packets in the SousVide Supreme for 28 hours…

…removed the cooked pork from the water oven…

…blotted the pork cubes dry…

…pan-fried the cubes in a couple tablespoons of lard, and drained them on a wire rack.

For dinner, I served carnitas lettuce tacos topped with diced white onions, cilantro, Primavera salsa, and homemade guacamole.

Very tasty and easy-peasy! The meal prep takes some advance planning, but it’s definitely worth it. I can’t wait to make this again and again and again and again…

Thanks for the great recipe, R.! I’ll repay you with a big slab of pork belly!

Marinated Roasted Beets

Pin It

My husband lurvs beets, so whenever they show up in my CSA box, I always prepare them using Alice Water’s recipe for lightly pickled beets from Chez Panisse Vegetables. Me? I’m not a super fan of beets, but this recipe works so well that even I will happily down a few — and not just so I can change the color of my pee to a pretty shade of red. These beets are tasty!

Here’s what I gathered to serve 4 people:

  • 6-7 medium sized beets (try to shoot for the same size so they’ll cook for the same amount of time)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Here’s how I made them:

I preheated the oven to 400 F and I washed and trimmed the beets so the stems were about ½ an inch.

I had two different bunches of beets so they weren’t even close to being uniform in size. I could have baked two separate batches but that’s a pain in the keister. Instead, I ended up taking the smaller beets out earlier and letting the larger beets bake for 30 more minutes.

I placed the beets into a baking dish and added an inch of water. I covered the container with a lid (or aluminum foil) and popped it in the oven for about an hour…

…or until the beets were easily pierced with a knife (~45 minutes for the little ones, ~75 minutes for the big ones).

I let the beets cool before I sliced off the tops and peeled of the skin and long tails. Then, I chopped them into bite-size pieces…

…and seasoned them with salt, pepper, and a generous glug of balsamic vinegar.

I marinated the beets for at least 30 mintues, stirring once or twice,…

…before I add a generous glug of extra virgin olive oil.

Per Ms. Waters, if you don’t wait to add the oil, the vinegar won’t penetrate the beets properly and they won’t taste as good.

These beets are yummy eaten as is or thrown into a bunch of composed salads. Don’t be alarmed if your poop and pee turn pink. You don’t have a kidney infection or a GI bleed — it’s just another stupid human trick.

Roasted Baby Artichokes

Pin It

Of my two vegetable CSA subscriptions, I definitely prefer Mariquita Farm’s. Full Belly Farm has wonderful produce but the contents of the box are too dang small for our family. Case in point, we received five baby artichokes in our box last Saturday.

Dude, this amount is barely enough to feed me.

On the other hand, I’d be cursing them if I had a large bag of baby artichokes to trim and prepare. I guess I can always find something to whine about…

If you haven’t noticed, my favorite way to prepare vegetables is to roast them in a hot oven tossed in fat, salt, and pepper and then I spritz a bit of acid on the finished dish. Baby artichokes taste fantastic roasted but there is a little work involved to get them oven-ready.

Here’s what I assembled to feed just me:

  • 5 baby artichokes
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • Avocado oil (or your favorite fat)
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper

Here’s how I made them:

I preheated the toaster oven to 400 F. Then, I filled a large bowl with cold water and squeezed in the juice from the lemon and dumped in the spent halves. Artichokes brown as soon as you cut them so dunk them in the water as soon as you make the first chop.

I chopped the artichokes about ¼ of the way from the top…

…and removed all the tough outer leaves.

If you’re not sure if the leaf is tough, yank it out. You’re going to pop the whole thing in your mouth and no one wants to gnaw on a fiber-y leaf.

Next, I used a sharp paring knife to trim the stem and base of the artichoke of the tough skin.

I cut the trimmed artichokes in half…

…and dunked them in the acidulated water.

I drained the artichokes and tossed them with a nice glug of avocado oil, salt, and pepper.

I placed the artichokes on a foil-lined baking sheet and popped it in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, flipping them halfway through the roasting.

I ate the artichokes with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

The whole thing is edible since the choke hasn’t fully matured and it’s crispy on the outside and tender in the middle. Yes, it can be kind of a pain to prepare but baby artichokes are only around for a short period so suck it up.

Super Porktastic Bacon-Topped Spinach and Mushroom Meatloaf

Pin It

I was inspired to make this bacon-topped, veggie-laden meatloaf after watching this video on Chow.com. I wasn’t brought up on bad meatloaf as a child, so I don’t have an aversion to it like some folks. Quite the opposite, in fact. As a college student, I used to routinely hit up all the local diners to seek out the best meatloaf sandwiches.

I’ll be the first to admit that not all of my kitchen experiments turn out tasty, but tonight’s pork-y loaf was definitely a winner. Don’t believe me? My six-year old declared that he was rating it “FIVE stars!” AND he polished off his plate. (This doesn’t always happen; often, he butters me up with a compliment but then doesn’t eat the meal at all. It’s sweet, yet infuriating.)

The original recipe looks delicious, but I decided to veer away from it — not only to make it Paleo-friendly, but also to simplify the steps. In place of the milk and fresh breadcrumbs, I threw in coconut cream, coconut flour, and minced mushrooms. And since I’m too lazy to steam, drain, and chop fresh spinach, I replaced the fresh spinach with chopped frozen spinach. Also, after the recommended baking time, the bacon on top was still kind of limp, so I briefly stuck the meatloaf under the broiler to crisp up the bacon. Who wants soggy bacon? Not this gal!

Here’s what I gathered to feed 4-6 hungry adults:

  • 1 pound frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (or coconut oil)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion (from 1/2 medium onion)
  • 1/2 pound Cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup coconut cream or coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup small-dice celery (from about 2 medium stalks)
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 pound ground pork (the original recipe calls for 1 ¼ pounds of pork, veal, or beef but I only had 1 pound of ground pork defrosted)
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3-5 bacon slices
  • Tomato sauce, warmed, for serving (optional)

Here’s how I made it:

I preheated the oven to 350 F with the rack placed in the middle. I dumped a packet of frozen spinach into a Corningware container

…covered it with a lid and nuked it on high for ~4 minutes to defrost it. Then, I dumped the spinach in a colander and pressed out all the liquid.

I heated the butter over medium heat in a large cast iron skillet and tossed in the chopped onions and mushrooms along with some salt and pepper to taste.

I sautéed them until the liquid had evaporated and the onions were softened.

Next, I blended the coconut cream, parsley, and celery until a puree was formed.

In this case, the $29 immersion blender trumped the expensive Vitamix; the small volume didn’t blend properly in my fancy blender.

I placed the pork in a large bowl, followed by the chopped spinach, coconut flour, garlic, measured salt and pepper, and nutmeg.

Then, I added the coconut cream puree, beaten eggs, onions, and ‘shrooms.

I used my hands to gently combine all the ingredients.

I tested if the seasoning was right by frying up a tiny meatloaf patty.

Then, I transferred the mixture to an ungreased 9 x 5 loaf pan…

…and layered the bacon on top.

(You can store the uncooked loaf in the fridge for up to a day and then bake it at your convenience).

My loaf pan is kind of leaky, so I put it on a lined baking sheet before sticking it in the oven. I baked the meatloaf for 70 minutes, rotating it at the halfway point. Then, I broiled it for 3 minutes to crisp up the bacon.

There’s quite a bit of grease that pools in the pan so I poured it off and I let the loaf rest for 20 minutes before slicing into it.

I served the meatloaf slices with a generous ladle of Rao’s marinara sauce, but they also taste great without it.

Man, this meatloaf was super-moist, delicious, and chock-full of veggies! Coconut haters: Don’t worry - you can’t taste any coconut at all.

I can’t wait to eat the leftovers!

Emergency Protein (a.k.a. Garbage Stir-Fry)

Pin It

The whole idea behind emergency protein is that I want to cook some protein and veggies really quickly so it gets in my rumbling belly FAST. Plus, I want to make sure I make a big batch so I have leftovers.

Hands-down, the quickest way to cook meat is to stir-fry it. Everything should be cut small so your dish is finished lickey-split. Similar to my Garbage Soup, this “recipe” makes use of whatever protein and wilting veggies are in the fridge or freezer. I don’t have any set measurements, and I rarely make this dish the same way more than once. I taste constantly while I’m cooking and I stop seasoning when it tastes right. 

All variations normally include:

  • Quick cooking veggies (e.g. pre-washed baby spinach, leftover sautéed chard, frozen broccoli, shredded carrots, broccoli slaw, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons of your favorite cooking fat (e.g. lard, coconut oil, ghee, etc.)
  • ½-1 cup of onions, leeks, or shallots cut into small dice
  • 1 pound of ground or thinly sliced meat
  • 1-2 tablespoons of your favorite seasoning or coconut aminos
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Here’s an example of how I prepared a batch of emergency protein today:

I quickly chopped up my veggies…

…and melted 2 tablespoons of ghee over medium heat in a large cast iron skillet. I tossed in some sliced green garlic and diced shallots and stir-fried until they were tender. 

I added the mushrooms…

…and shredded carrots (i.e. vegetables that take longer to cook) along with some salt and pepper to taste. 

Next, I tossed in some thinly sliced chicken breast  along with a few healthy shakes of Turkish seasoning, salt, and pepper. 

When the chicken was cooked through, I tossed in some pre-washed spinach leaves… 

..and turned off the heat when the spinach was wilted.

It’s that easy.