Roasted Broccoli With Crispy Prosciutto & Balsamic Vinegar

Pin It

Want another quick & tasty variation on roasted broccoli with crispy salty pig bits?

Here’s what I gathered to feed 4-6 people as a side dish:

  • 2 large bunches of broccoli, cut into florets (there should be enough to fill a large baking sheet in one layer)
  • 4-5 slices thinly sliced prosciutto
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of your favorite fat
  • 2 tablespoons of aged balsamic vinegar

Here’s how I made it:

I preheated both the oven and toaster oven to 400F and arranged the florets on a large, foil-lined baking tray. I drizzled on the fat, seasoned with salt and pepper, and tossed the broccoli to combine.

I placed the tray in the oven and roasted the broccoli for 30-35 minutes (tossing the broccoli and turning the baking sheet halfway through the cooking time).

I took out the prosciutto…

…and put five slices in a single layer on a foil-lined tray.

I put the tray of prosciutto in the toaster oven for about 7-10 minutes. I flipped the slices halfway through the cooking time and removed them to a cooling rack when they were thisclose to being burned.

(If you don’t have a separate toaster oven, you can do this part ahead of time in the regular oven.)

When the prosciutto cooled, the slices became crispy and crunchy. I cut them into bite-size pieces with kitchen shears.

When the broccoli was finished roasting, I drizzled on aged balsamic vinegar and sprinkled on the crispy prosciutto.

Yay pork!

Paleo Eats: 2/27/11

Pin It

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!

Paleo Eats: 2/13/11

Pin It

Tonight’s my hump day so I only have three more nights to work after tonight. Slowly but surely I’m eeking through this workweek. What’d I pack for my meals? I thought you’d never ask!

Here’s what I gorged on from midnight to midnight:

The first snack of the night was a can of sardines.

This imported brand has fancy packaging but my fishies had a few too many scales on them. Scales make me angry.

My “lunch” box was filled with leftover tandoori chicken, sauteed spinach and bacon, and winter squash puree.

To settle my grumbly stomach, I snacked on some macadamia nuts and coconut flakes at 4:00 a.m.

My last meal at work was a box of leftover kebabs and nuked green beans.

You know how there are some leftovers you look forward to eating again? Charred meats make me smile.

After work, I came home and hung with my family. An hour later, I met up at the Mountain View Farmer’s Market with my new CrossFit buddy, Erin. Even though I picked up my vegetable CSA box yesterday, I still bought a ton of produce and a couple boneless pork roasts to boot. Once you go Paleo, you can never have too many veggies and meat. Plus, my hubby set up our new chest freezer so I’ll be hoarding animal parts from here on out.

After snoozing the afternoon away, I woke up and made some chow for the family. I know it seems like I love to cook but sometimes it’s a real pain in the ass getting a Paleo meal on the table. Luckily, tonight’s dinner required minimal prep work and still turned out tasty. I didn’t even take out a knife and cutting board to chop stuff up. And it was on the table after only 40 minutes of me slowly puttering around the kitchen. Really.

I grilled up some Tabil-seasoned grass fed rib eye steaks

Tabil-seasoned sauteed shrimp

…and roasted broccoli.

Here’s my plate of surf ‘n turf:

Day 10 of Whole30 Eats

Pin It

Today I was busy, busy, busy preparing Whole30 nosh.

For breakfast, I made myself another frittata. This time I made one with three eggs, mushrooms, leftover roasted bell peppers, nuked frozen spinach, and chopped shallots.

I took the extra minute to nuke the spinach and squeeze out the liquid, which saved me at least 5 minutes under the broiler. However, sautéing the filling added back at least 10 minutes.

That’s okay because it was worth the extra time. (But really: Can you ever go wrong with frittata? Answer: No.)

My morning snack consisted of some coconut flakes, macadamia nuts, and a heaping tablespoon of coconut butter.

For lunch, I ate a leftover box of last night’s chicken-in-the-pot and garlic and cauliflower mashed “potatoes.”

Dang, this recipe is a keeper.

After lunch, I was kid-less for a couple hours (the big rugrat was at a playdate and the little one was napping) so I set about making some Paleo snacks and prepping meat for future meals. First up: snacks. I hard-boiled some eggs and baked a big batch of crispy kale chips.

I also seasoned and marinated a boneless pork leg that came in my meat CSA box — I’m going to finish cooking it tomorrow, so stay tuned…

Then, I sous-vided four boneless and skinless chicken breasts (for emergency protein)…

…and 4 boneless pork loin chops (seasoned with Dukka).

I cooked all that meat at 140 F for around 3 hours.

Amidst all this cooking, I scarfed down an afternoon snack of red bell peppers and guacamole.

For dinner, I fried up the sous vide pork chops and served them with roasted broccoli tossed with avocado oil and winter squash puree with coconut oil.

I was still hungry so I helped myself to a little cup of coconut milk. After all that effort in the kitchen, I think I deserved it, don’t you?

Sous Vide Crispy Chicken Thighs: The Whole30 Version

Pin It

Butter is out this month. Sigh.

Tonight’s dinner was a bunch of my go-to dishes reformulated to fit the Whole30 program / CrossFit Love Paleo Challenge. Specifically, I removed butter from the dish and switched it out with “approved” fat.

Here’s what was on the menu: Crispy sous vide chicken thighs, roasted broccoli (sans bacon), and winter squash puree:

Here are some of the modifications I made to make this meal Whole30 compliant:

When I vacuum sealed the thighs, I wasn’t sure whether to include a dollop of alternative fat so I decided to go without any additional fat just to see how they’d turn out. Did I do this in the name of science or laziness?

Don’t answer that.

I cooked the thighs in my SousVide Supreme yesterday night (150 F for 2 hours) so all I had to do this evening was crisp up the skin.

I fried them in 2 tablespoons of macadamia nut oil and discovered that I shoulda included some sort of fat in the bag because the skin stuck to my WELL-seasoned cast iron skillet and I had to forcibly scrape them off with a metal spatula.

Some pieces were okay…

…but other pieces were plain ugly. Tasty, but ugly.

Next time, I’ll include some lard or butter (post Whole30).

For my winter squash puree, I subbed out the butter with some coconut oil and it was delicious!

I don’t always like using coconut oil because the coconut flavor can be too overpowering but it works really well in the puree.

Lastly, I roasted some broccoli with some macadamia nut oil, salt, and pepper.

To finish it off, I drizzled on some aged balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.

I was initially annoyed that I had to modify my recipes with Whole30 approved ingredients but it dragged me out of my cooking rut and I created some tasty variations.

Lunch! Leftover sous vide flank steak topped with Primavera salsa served with bacon fat roasted broccoli and Brussels sprouts. 
I’ve been afraid of nuking my leftover sous vide meats because I thought reheating them would turn them into leather. I zapped this plate for about a minute and it actually improved the texture of the flank steak.  The flank steak tasted like yummy, braised brisket because the fat melted and the meat remained really tender. Now, I’m not afraid to nuke my leftover sous vide meats. It’s nice to break the cycle.

Lunch! Leftover sous vide flank steak topped with Primavera salsa served with bacon fat roasted broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

I’ve been afraid of nuking my leftover sous vide meats because I thought reheating them would turn them into leather. I zapped this plate for about a minute and it actually improved the texture of the flank steak.  The flank steak tasted like yummy, braised brisket because the fat melted and the meat remained really tender. Now, I’m not afraid to nuke my leftover sous vide meats. It’s nice to break the cycle.

Fun With Bacon Grease

Pin It

After baking two pounds of bacon in the oven yesterday, I now have a tidy container of congealed bacon grease chillin’ in the fridge. And I’ve been on the lookout for alternatives to roasting veggies and meats with extra virgin olive oil, so the bacon grease certainly came in handy today.

I had some Brussels sprouts languishing in my vegetable crisper, so I roasted them off this morning. I kept it simple, and just tossed ‘em with a few tablespoons of bacon grease, salt, and pepper. My bacon grease turned milky white in the fridge –- I’ve grabbed it a few times today thinking it was my coconut milk. Not a terrible mistake, but I’m not sure I wanna eat my Paleo trail mix with bacon fat.

To liquefy the fat, I zapped it in the microwave for 30 seconds and stirred it. I store my fat in a microwave-safe glass Snapware container, so there’s no need to use (and later, wash) an extra bowl. Then, I spooned some of this liquid gold over my trimmed sprouts…

…seasoned with salt and pepper…

…and popped the tray in a 400 F oven for around 25-30 minutes.

The bacon fat lends the Brussels sprouts a rich, smoky, mouth-filling flavor.

For lunch, I ate some of the sprouts along with a salad I threw together using leftover sous vide flank steak, salad greens, sliced cucumbers, and grape tomatoes.

The bacon grease left in my glass container went right back into the fridge — for another few hours, anyway.

This evening, I once again nuked the container of bacon grease and then tossed a few tablespoons of the fat with some broccoli before roasting it in the oven (400 F for 25-35 minutes). 


But wait — I found more uses for my bacon fat!

While the broccoli cooked, I reheated two sous vide chicken breasts in my SousVide Supreme (140F for 30 minutes).  After removing the chicken from the water bath, I patted them dry, and brushed on some melted bacon grease…

…before searing them in my grill pan.

I’m sorry, but boneless and skinless breasts aren’t the tastiest parts of the chicken, so basting ‘em with bacon grease is a good thing.

I sliced the chicken breast and topped it with Primavera salsa and diced avocados. I served it along with my bacon-grease roasted broccoli.

Dammit, I’m running out of bacon grease. Time to make more bacon!

Dinner at 5:00 a.m.: leftover sous vide top sirloin steak, cauliflower “rice,” roasted broccoli and bacon, and herb gravy.  Since I wasn’t happy with the original texture of the meat (and it only got worse after getting nuked), I made sure to cover it all with gravy to try to salvage it.  Glad I have more gravy in the fridge in case I have more meals to rescue later in the week.

Dinner at 5:00 a.m.: leftover sous vide top sirloin steak, cauliflower “rice,” roasted broccoli and bacon, and herb gravy.  Since I wasn’t happy with the original texture of the meat (and it only got worse after getting nuked), I made sure to cover it all with gravy to try to salvage it.  Glad I have more gravy in the fridge in case I have more meals to rescue later in the week.