Archive | Vegetables

Grilled Tuna and Thai Coleslaw

Paleo Grilled Tuna

Grilled Tuna: Paleo, low carb and delcious

I’ve long been a fan of America’s Test Kitchen, and related magazines and sites. Before science and food prep combined to help us understand why certain techniques worked and why some recipes failed, ATK was churning through scores of tests ensuring that soufflés would rise, chickens would would roast to golden perfection and vegetables would be bright and delicious.

But having mastered some many techniques and great recipes, things began to change. I had to adapt favorite dishes to a healthy, paleo profile and decline to make many of the recipes offered each month because they couldn’t be modified. And I wanted to go beyond the scope of Cook’s Illustrated et al.

I read today that Christopher Kimball, who founded the America’s Test Kitchen empire, and branched off to a new venture called Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street, is being sued for copying the model he created. It’ll be interesting to see where that goes. In the meantime, I received newsletters over the last several months with teasers about the new magazine, website and cooking school and the first recipe, Thai Coleslaw was a total winner.

Christopher Kimball's Milk Street 177milkstreet.com

Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street 177milkstreet.com

Made with Napa cabbage, coconut milk, lime juice and featuring chopped cashews, this is a coleslaw game changer.

Paleo Thai Coleslaw by Christopher Kimball's Milk Street

Paleo Thai Coleslaw by Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street

I paired this delicious side dish with easy-to-make Grilled Tuna. A fast, heathy and welcome supper, I hope you enjoy this meal as much as we have.

For music, I’ve selected a three (!!!) hour playlist of Louisiana music. This extravaganza was compiled for our daughter’s recent wedding rehearsal dinner. Harris and I flew to New England with six pounds each of frozen crawfish tails for etouffée and six pounds of Kartchner’s fabulous boudin for appetizers. There was a huge salad, roasted chicken, and my Paleo Apple Crisp for dessert. We also made some mighty powerful Hurricanes for our 25 guests. It was a blast, the wedding was sublime and wonderful time was had by all.

Paleo Grilled Tuna
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Grilled Tuna
Grilled Tuna: so easy, so good! Take a tip from Cook's Illustrated and marinate the tuna for a full hour in olive oil.
Grilled Tuna
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Grilled Tuna: so easy, so good! Take a tip from Cook's Illustrated and marinate the tuna for a full hour in olive oil.
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
4servings 5minutes 10minutes
Servings Prep Time
4servings 5minutes
Cook Time
10minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
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Servings: servings
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Instructions
  1. Season tuna liberally with salt and coarsely ground pepper. Add tuna to gallon, zip top bag. Add olive oil. Let marinate for 60 minutes at room temperature. (If pressed for time, marinate at least 15 minutes.)
  2. Heat grill pan over medium high heat for five minutes.
  3. Place tuna and olive oil in the heated grill pan and cook for 3 minutes. Turn and cook additional 4 minutes or until desired doneness is reached.
  4. Garnish with chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, cilantro or chives.
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Paleo Thai Coleslaw by Christopher Kimball's Milk Street
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Thai Coleslaw
Thai Coleslaw from Christopher Kimball's Milk Street. Slightly adapted.
Thai Coleslaw
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Thai Coleslaw from Christopher Kimball's Milk Street. Slightly adapted.
Servings Prep Time
4servings 10minutes
Servings Prep Time
4servings 10minutes
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  1. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the lime juice, sugar, fish sauce and chili. Let sit for 10 minutes. Whisk in the coconut milk until combined.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, radishes, peas, cilantro and mint. Add the dressing and toss until evenly coated. Stir in the cashews and serve.
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Steak Diane

Steak Diane with Mashed Peas and Braised Carrots

Steak Diane with Mashed Peas and Braised Carrots

It’s been a wild, crazy six weeks. On April Fool’s Day, Harris woke up needing to go to the hospital. He was in the middle of a heart attack. That’s what 30+ years of smoking will do. What could have been a terrifying experience, turned out to be surreal in the extreme. An hour and half after we arrived, Harris had passed through the crisis. The wonderful people at Opelousas General Hospital were simply the best. And by ten that morning, we were able to see Harris in the ICU. At the next visiting time at three, he actually looked like he’d been sunbathing all morning. His color was so dramatically improved. Of course there were monitors and a blood pressure cuff, an IV for medication, but he was so much better for the two stents … much better. One artery was completely blocked, the other 80% and there’s still a third that has to be taken care of next week. That will be an overnighter, but without the emergency aspect.

The smoking’s over. And Harris is really committed to paleo. He always liked the meals I prepared for him, and he ate well at home. Out at lunch, restaurant dining, and random snacking and soda drinking was a different deal. And when we went to our new MD, the tale was told in black and white … or should I say in green, yellow and red. My lipid numbers (and not just the usual four that most docs test for) were in the green range, Harris’s were mostly yellow and red. It was a dramatic difference.

We’re all good though. I’m so very thankful.

I tried something new with this post. Instead of preparing the meal during the day and being left with re-heatables or lunch that was supper worthy, I decided to take a chance and prepare our dinner, photographing the resulting dishes. And that’s what I did last night. Lighting has been the bane of my photographic existence, and I think I finally came up with a workable solution. Which even means photos as I’m preparing a meal. It’ll be interesting to see how this develops (pun intended).

We often have pan-seared steak, and it needs a sauce or salsa or relish in my view. A charcoal-fired rib eye is ideal on its own, and Harris has his own blend of oak and pecan wood to add smoky flavor to a nice steak. I like the idea of Steak Diane, but many versions don’t quite make the mark for me. My version is very similar, but I think it hit all the right notes.

For veg I thought peas and carrots would be nice. Some paleo peeps avoid peas and green beans, but my feeling is that if you can eat it raw or barely cooked, it’s fine. Our future son-in-law is British and I’ve long wanted to do my own take on mushy peas. With this side, you’ll have a creamy mash, and colorful greens.

Mashed Peas

Mashed Peas

And what is more natural with peas than carrots? These are gently oven braised in broth with a bit of butter and honey … so good! And they’re so tender, you can add back their lovely green tops by inserting parsley stems in the tops of the carrots. This menu is great for steak night Saturday or an impromptu dinner party.

Braised Carrots

Braised Carrots

For music, the menu lent itself to the French for some reason, so voilà! Bon appétit!

 

Steak Diane with Mashed Peas and Braised Carrots
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Steak Diane
The classic Steak Diane with its sophisticated flavors comes together in minutes for a feast of beefy proportions.
Steak Diane
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The classic Steak Diane with its sophisticated flavors comes together in minutes for a feast of beefy proportions.
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
4servings 10minutes 10minutes
Servings Prep Time
4servings 10minutes
Cook Time
10minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
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Ingredients
Servings: servings
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Instructions
  1. Trim the outside layer of fat from the steaks. With a meat pounder or heavy skillet, gently flatten the steaks to a 1/3-inch thickness. Season liberally with salt, pepper and cayenne.
  2. Heat heavy cast iron or other skillet over medium high heat for 3-5 minutes. (Turn on the vent.) Add tallow to skillet. Carefully add steaks and sear for 2 minutes. Flip and sear an additional 2 minutes. Turn off heat. Remove steaks to a plate and cover loosely with foil.
  3. Add brandy, if using, to skillet, and with a long match or butane lighter with a long stem, ignite the brandy. Allow the alcohol to burn off. Turn the burner on to medium heat. Add the grated shallots and stir, 30 seconds. Add broth and bring to a boil.
  4. When broth has reduced a bit, about 5 minutes, swirl in the butter until just melted and add the Worcestershire sauce. Turn the heat to medium. Add chives, taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Return steaks to the skillet, warming them in the sauce until desired doneness is reached. Serve.
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Mashed Peas
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Mashed Peas
Fresh, creamy and bright: Mashed Peas are a side dish with a difference. Flavored with shallots and the fresh herb of your choice, they're downright delicious!
Mashed Peas
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Fresh, creamy and bright: Mashed Peas are a side dish with a difference. Flavored with shallots and the fresh herb of your choice, they're downright delicious!
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
4servings 10minutes 10minutes
Servings Prep Time
4servings 10minutes
Cook Time
10minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
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Ingredients
Servings: servings
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Instructions
  1. Add peas and shallots to saucepan and add 2 tablespoons water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Stir, cooking only until peas are warmed through, but still bright green.
  2. Drain the liquid from the pan and add peas and shallots to blender or food processor. Add remaining ingredients and purée until desired consistency is reached.
  3. Return mixture to saucepan and heat over medium heat until hot. Taste for seasonings and adjust if necessary. Serve.
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Braised Carrots
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Braised Carrots
As lovely cooked as they were fresh in the bunch: braised, tender and sweet carrots.
Braised Carrots
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As lovely cooked as they were fresh in the bunch: braised, tender and sweet carrots.
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
4serving 5minutes 30minutes
Servings Prep Time
4serving 5minutes
Cook Time
30minutes
Ingredients
Servings: serving
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Ingredients
Servings: serving
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In an oven proof, 12-inch skillet, arrange carrots in a single layer. Add broth, honey, butter and seasonings. Heat skillet over medium heat until broth is warmed and butter is melted.
  2. Cover skillet and place in oven. Roast for 30 minutes or until very tender, but not browned. Check liquid after 20 minutes and add a bit more broth or water if the skillet is dry.
  3. With a small paring knife, make a slit at the top of the carrot. Insert parsley sprig if desired.
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Muffuletta Pork Chops and Zydeco Green Beans

Muffuletta Pork Chops and Zydeco Green Beans

Muffuletta Pork Chops and Zydeco Green Beans

Way, way back in the day, folks in Acadiana would hold a bal de maison, or house dance for their friends and neighbors. You’d let everybody know by putting a flag on your fence by the road. Food was served and it was a night of music and socializing for the whole family. Another name for these dances is fais do do, which is Louisiana-French baby talk for “go to sleep.” Baby sitters weren’t a thing then, but the dances would run late. So the kids would pile into a back room to sleep. As kids are wont to do, they often popped up and ran back out into the action, and their mamas would admonish them by saying, “fais do do,” so she could get back to the fun.

Occasionally the fare served at the dance was meager. So the host might pass the word that, les haricots sont pas salé, “the green beans aren’t salty,” meaning that the beans were without pork. In French, les haricots would be pronounced, “lay zarico,” and eventually zarico morphed into zydeco and became the name for the music that was played at the dance. Originally French-speaking Cajuns and Creoles all played the same music. Starting at the end of World War II, Cajun music kind of went country and zydeco picked up on rhythm and blues.

My recipe for Zydeco Green Beans is made with tasso, but you could use bacon or pancetta. And instead of white (or as they say around here, Irish) potatoes, you can substitute sweet.

Zydeco Green Beans

Zydeco Green Beans

For the pork chops, we salute New Orleans and their iconic sandwich, the muffuletta. Not especially paleo, the muffuletta’s signature element is the olive salad. I love salsas and relishes with meat and poultry, and this addition makes for a nice change from gravy or a pan sauce. The whole meal is quick and easy, and delicious, too.

Muffuletta Pork Chops Seasoned

Muffuletta Pork Chops Seasoned

My playlist reflects the dishes with tunes by bands that play in and around New Orleans and a bunch of my favorite zydeco songs. Originally the playlist was two-and-a-half hours long, and obviously I’ve left out whole genres of Louisiana music. If I’d included the many forms of jazz, swamp pop, and Cajun, there’d be two-and-a-half days of music … with too much left out. So this will give you a taste.

Just a note and maybe you have some feedback for me. Since November my posts haven’t been as consistently scheduled as I’d like. The writing, recipe creation, music and website aspects are not a problem, but the photography has been. At first I started with just my iPhone 4, and after six months, darling Harris gave me a DSLR for Christmas. I tried learning to use it on my own through Internet searches and online courses. I was beginning to see some success, especially by having my a few of my photos accepted by foodgawker.com, but it was hit or miss. Then I had some private lessons with a professional photographer, got a macro lens and started on a new photo journey. The lens is amazing, but my “studio” lacks good lighting. And the lens is tricky to work with.

I think I’ve finally figured out a better system for the light, and we’ll see how it goes with foodgawker. It’s frustrating to know I’ve got to go back and re-shoot so many photos from the early posts, while trying to keep up with new ones. And foodgawker is vital to my becoming known in the enormous world of recipe blogs, as it has been responsible for some of my recipes being featured on sites like paleoleap.com and paleogrubs.com and new subscribers have found me through them.

What do you think? Any advice? I know photos are super important. Thank you for any words of wisdom you might have!

Muffuletta Pork Chops

Muffuletta Pork Chops

 

Muffuletta Pork Chops and Zydeco Green Beans
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Muffuletta Pork Chops
Muffuletta Pork Chops salute NOLA with the addition of savory olive salad. Giardiniera (pickled cauliflower, celery, peppers and onions) can be found in the pickle section of the super market. Cook the pork chops in my Cajun Country ghee for extra flavor!
Muffuletta Pork Chops
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Muffuletta Pork Chops salute NOLA with the addition of savory olive salad. Giardiniera (pickled cauliflower, celery, peppers and onions) can be found in the pickle section of the super market. Cook the pork chops in my Cajun Country ghee for extra flavor!
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
4servings 10minutes 25minutes
Servings Prep Time
4servings 10minutes
Cook Time
25minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
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Ingredients
Servings: servings
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Instructions
  1. Season pork chops and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a 12-inch, ovenproof skillet over medium high heat, melt the ghee. Add the pork chops and brown, without moving, for 5 minutes. Turn the chops and brown the second side, 5 minutes.
  3. Place skillet in the oven and cook for about 5 minutes. Check the internal temperature of the chops with an instant read thermometer. This will depend on the thickness of the chops. They should be 160 degrees F. If needed, continue to cook, checking temperature every 5 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately, topped with olive salad.
  5. Giardiniera
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Zydeco Green Beans
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Zydeco Green Beans
Snappy, salty and delicious, Zydeco Green Beans add a two-for-one side dish for meat, poultry or seafood. Et toi!
Zydeco Green Beans
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Snappy, salty and delicious, Zydeco Green Beans add a two-for-one side dish for meat, poultry or seafood. Et toi!
Servings Prep Time Cook Time Passive Time
4servings 10minutes 30minutes 20minutes
Servings Prep Time
4servings 10minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30minutes 20minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 medium potatoes white or sweet, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 lb green beans trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ghee or coconut oil or lard
  • 4 oz tasso chopped, or bacon or pancetta
  • Cajun/Creole seasoning to taste, or salt, pepper and cayenne
Servings: servings
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Ingredients
  • 2 medium potatoes white or sweet, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 lb green beans trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ghee or coconut oil or lard
  • 4 oz tasso chopped, or bacon or pancetta
  • Cajun/Creole seasoning to taste, or salt, pepper and cayenne
Servings: servings
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Instructions
  1. In a medium to large sauce pan add potatoes and cover with cold, salted water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Add green beans and continue cooking until beans and potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Drain vegetables and set aside. Return sauce pan to the stove and add ghee over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 4-5 minutes or until translucent.
  4. Add tasso and cook for 5 minutes. Do not let the onions brown. Add potatoes and beans and toss, heating everything through and add Cajun/Creole seasoning to taste.
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Gulf Coast Cioppino

Gulf Coast Cioppino

Gulf Coast Cioppino

I’ve been fortunate to give paleo demos at our local Whole Foods Market in Lafayette a few times over the last couple of months. And today’s recipe is the next one I’ll be demonstrating. This time around we’re having it in the wine bar, so attendees will be able to enjoy a lovely beverage while I cook. And. Harris is bringing his keyboard and amp and will play original music as well as a some jazz standards. I imagine a few heads will pop through the swinging doors to find out what’s going on. It should be so much fun!

The last demo I did was as a paleo iron chef. Pens and paper in hand, each person toured the store in search of five paleo ingredients that really appealed, right that moment. It was fascinating to see what items were chosen. I then took one of the lists, gathered those foods and cooked them up on the spot. I had a blast and the group really liked the dish: halibut with mushrooms, potato, onion and ginger. I used my favorite combination of Japanese flavors, and in under 20 minutes, had a full meal prepared.

In these modern times, most of us don’t hunt and gather the way our ancestors did. Though it would certainly be possible here in Acadiana. From gulf and fresh water seafood, to forests teaming with game, wild berries, roots and shoots, a hunter/gatherer time traveling to rural Louisiana would not go hungry.

Gulf Coast Cioppino Ingredients

Gulf Coast Cioppino Ingredients

I was thinking about paleo in the current age, and the fact that Europeans are more inclined to follow this foraging tradition. Most every population center has a market with fresh produce, meats and fish. And one can stroll through the market, be tempted by luscious fruit or beautiful vegetables and start the evening meal with the selection of that ingredient. Instead of beginning with a recipe and working with what’s available, Italian cooks in particular, find a beautiful eggplant or sparkling piece of fish and build a dish around it.

Americans should try this more. Instead of loading up the fridge one day a week and being confined by those purchases, Europeans have tiny refrigerators and shop several times a week. How do you know on Saturday what you want to eat on Tuesday? And how many of us have shopped heavily, looked in the fridge on Wednesday, shut the door, uninspired, and then picked up the phone for takeout? It would be nice to think that every restaurant takeaway was a combination of great meats and vegetables, cooked in healthy fats and not loaded with chemicals and preservatives, but let’s face it: restaurants, like any business, are most of all interested in the bottom line. Ingredients are selected for profitability first, quality second. If the profits suffer, the ingredient quality goes down to make up the difference. Only you are interested in your health and the well-being of your family, and you shop, as best as possible, to that end. Great ingredients mean delicious results, even with simple techniques. It’s cost effective, too. Cheap takeout might seem like a bargain, but take a close look at what you’re really getting.

Gulf Coast Cioppino

Gulf Coast Cioppino

You can cook quick, delicious meals that are modestly priced. At Whole Foods, for example, if you crave a burger and you’re dining alone, you can buy 5-6 ounces of pastured ground beef. No waste. No leftovers. Or you can get two links of sausage, a single chicken leg, one potato, a handful of green beans. Most supermarkets do not give you that option. You’ve got to buy a pound of this, a package of six of that. If you’re dining according to your specific tastes at the moment, you’re more likely to cook good foods for yourself, and save money, too.

One thing I noticed in the lists that people at the demo had in common was that every single one featured seafood. So for my next demo I decided to make a fish dish that I’ve always dearly loved: cioppino. It’s an Italian specialty that became a San Francisco favorite. Fisherman off the coast of California would start the base of the dish and as it was time to eat, they’d chop up fish from their catch and add it to the sauce. Often cioppino tastes like tomato/vegetable soup with fish in it. I prefer the method used by the Tadich Grill in San Francisco: the base and fish are made separately so the fish is not overcooked, then the two are combined just before serving.

Cioppino Vegetables Cooking

Cioppino Vegetables Cooking

Gulf Coast Cioppino Fish Cooking

Gulf Coast Cioppino Fish Cooking

So of course, I wanted to make a paleo version and I wanted to bring it home to the Gulf Coast. The Tadich Grill dredges their seafood in flour, and while I’ve made it that way in the distant past, I actually prefer it sans thickening. And I like more emphasis on the seafood and less on the tomato broth. You can use whatever seafood is freshest and local to you. Virtually any type of fish will be delicious. The tomato sauce can be made ahead, so you can serve this recipe for a dinner party without stressing over last minute prep, except for the seafood. You can freeze the sauce in individual servings, pick up a bit of a seafood after work, and have the most delectable weekday meal imaginable in less than 15 minutes.

Gulf Coast Cioppino

Gulf Coast Cioppino

One of the “secret” ingredients in this dish is a ghee that I make with the Cajun/Creole trinity (onions, celery, bell pepper) plus garlic. The vegetables are added to the butter.

Cajun Country Ghee Ingredients

Cajun Country Ghee Ingredients

Cajun Country Ghee Ingredients

Cajun Country Ghee Ingredients

Cooked in a 250 degree F. oven for 2 1/2-3 hours.

Cajun Country Ghee Cooked

Cajun Country Ghee Cooked

And strained. Did you know that ghee is non-dairy? That’s because all the milk solids are removed. Did you know that making your own ghee is cheap? For just the cost of a pound of unsalted butter, you can have one of the most wonderful cooking ingredients ever devised. If you’re pressed for time and don’t want to chop a bunch of vegetables for a quick sauté, or want to perfume the house with delicious aromas and infuse your fish, chicken, meat or vegetables with instant, awesome flavor, this is for you.

Cajun Country Ghee

Cajun Country Ghee

Another eclectic mix is in the playlist this week, including a tune by Mackenzie Bourg, who seems to be heading for the American Idol finale. Could the last American Idol be a hometown boy?

Gulf Coast Cioppino
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Gulf Coast Cioppino
Brimming with fresh seafood, the San Francisco favorite, cioppino, travels to the Gulf Coast in paleo style. A deeply flavorful sauce completes the dish.
Gulf Coast Cioppino
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Brimming with fresh seafood, the San Francisco favorite, cioppino, travels to the Gulf Coast in paleo style. A deeply flavorful sauce completes the dish.
Servings Prep Time Cook Time Passive Time
6servings 30minutes 1hour 45minutes
Servings Prep Time
6servings 30minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1hour 45minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
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Ingredients
Servings: servings
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Instructions
For the sauce
  1. Melt ghee or olive oil in a 12-inch skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add celery, bell pepper, carrot, fennel, garlic or shallots and leek. Sauté 8-10 minutes until vegetables are tender, but not browned. Add tomatoes, thyme, seasoning, wine, stock or water, Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces. Stir and let simmer gently for 1 hour. Remove from heat and continue with the seafood or place in container and refrigerate or freeze until needed. Bring sauce back to a simmer before continuing with seafood.Cioppino Vegetables Cooking
Seafood
  1. In a 12-inch skillet, melt 4 tbsp ghee or olive oil and wine. Simmer over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add snapper and cook for 3 minutes, turning the fish gently with tongs to cook all sides. Add shrimp, oysters and their liquor. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes or until shrimp are pink and nearly cooked through. Turn shrimp over with tongs and stir snapper and oysters gently without breaking up the fish. Gulf Coast Cioppino Fish Cooking
  2. Add crab and mix gently. Ladle in as much tomato sauce as you like, combine gently and heat through. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary, sprinkle with parsley and serve.Gulf Coast Cioppino
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Cajun Country Ghee
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Cajun Country Ghee
Infuse ghee with onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic for an instant to your best savory dishes.
Cajun Country Ghee
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Infuse ghee with onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic for an instant to your best savory dishes.
Servings Prep Time Cook Time Passive Time
24servings 5minutes 3hours 3hours
Servings Prep Time
24servings 5minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
3hours 3hours
Ingredients
Servings: servings
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Ingredients
Servings: servings
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Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a Dutch oven or 2-quart pyrex cup. Place in 250 degree F. oven for 2 1/2-3 hours. Remove from oven let cool for 10 minutes. Cajun Country Ghee Ingredients
  2. With a slotted spoon, remove solids and vegetables. Strain through fine mesh strainer into a 12-16 oz. glass jar, stopping just before the milky residue reaches the lip of the pan. Let cool to room temperature. Cap and store in the refrigerator.Cajun Country Ghee Cooked
  3. Cajun Country Ghee
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Green Chile Chili and Spicy Strawberry Dessert Salsa

Green Chile Chili

Green Chile Chili

To all our dear friends and family in the cold Northeast: we do not envy your bone-chilling cold this Valentine’s Day. I hope my Green Chile Chili menu will warm you up and tickle your tastebuds in the days to come. A bit of spice and heat in food is always welcome in the winter. Bright chiles and even out-of-season strawberries give the promise of warmer weather on the way.

Harris’s brother-in-law, Nathan, went deer hunting a while back and has at least 100 pounds of venison in the freezer. He shared his bounty with us, and today’s chili recipe was inspired by his gift. But you certainly don’t have to use deer meat. Beef chuck is delicious, too. I wanted a variation on the usual bowl of red and thought that several types of green chile would be a nice change. I added some tomatillos for an additional green component and braised it in a slow oven for tender, tender meat and mellow pepper flavors with a hit of heat that won’t knock your head off. Then I garnished it with cilantro and sliced raw jalapeños for crunch and a fresh, herbal note and topped it with creamy avocado.

Green Chile Chiles and Tomatillos

Green Chile Chiles and Tomatillos

Green Chiles and Tomatillos for Roasting

Green Chiles and Tomatillos for Roasting

For dessert, I made a strawberry salsa and paired with yummy paleo cookies I found on glutenfreebaking.com.  I added some minced jalapeño for a little unexpected punchiness—it was so good with the bright, crunchy, sweet salsa. Use the cookies to scoop up the fruit for a paleo take on savory chips and salsa.

Spicy Strawberry Salsa

Spicy Strawberry Salsa

For tunes I picked some of my favorite love songs. I’m so grateful to be married to a man I adore, and wish everyone could have a joyous Valentine’s Day. I know this holiday can be bittersweet for some, and down right sad for others. That’s the thing about holidays. Love comes in a variety of ways. I sincerely hope that however you view this day, you will cherish those who love you and those you love in return.

Green Chile Chili
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Green Chile Chili
This Green Chile Chili is a change from the usual bowl of red. You can use venison or beef and whatever green chiles are available in your market. A long, slow, easy braise in the oven will guarantee tender meat and this is a chili that won't blow your head off with heat—though you can spice it up to your tastebuds' content. Garnish with fresh jalapeños, cilantro and creamy avocado for a winter meal that will warm your heart and your tummy!
Green Chile Chili
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
This Green Chile Chili is a change from the usual bowl of red. You can use venison or beef and whatever green chiles are available in your market. A long, slow, easy braise in the oven will guarantee tender meat and this is a chili that won't blow your head off with heat—though you can spice it up to your tastebuds' content. Garnish with fresh jalapeños, cilantro and creamy avocado for a winter meal that will warm your heart and your tummy!
Servings
8servings
Servings
8servings
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Units:
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Units:
Instructions
  1. Raise oven rack to about 6 inches from the broiler element. Set the temperature to broil. Oil a rimmed baking sheet with 1 tbsp lard or oil. Remove the stem ends of the poblano and Anaheim peppers. Cut the peppers along one side and press open to flatten. Remove ribs and seeds. Lay the peppers skin-side up on the baking sheet. Remove the papery covering from the tomatillos and add to the baking sheet. Broil until skins are blackened, about 5-7 minutes. Remove vegetables to large zip top freezer bag or a paper bag. Allow the vegetables to steam. Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees F.. When cool enough to handle, rub the blacked skins from the pepper and chop them along with the tomatillos. Set aside.Green Chiles and Tomatillos for Roasting
  2. Add 1 tbsp lard or oil to the rimmed baking sheet. Distribute beef or venison in a single layer on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
  3. In a Dutch oven, melt remain oil over medium heat, add onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Do not brown. Add garlic, cumin, oregano, coriander and chili powder and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add browned meat and any accumulated juices, peppers, tomatillos, broth and Rotel tomatoes. Place covered Dutch oven in the oven and braise for 3 hours. Taste for seasoning, adding cayenne if you like.
  4. Garnish with cilantro, jalapeño and avocado.
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Spicy Strawberry Dessert Salsa
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Spicy Strawberry Salsa
Sweet, crunchy, fresh and delicious, this spicy strawberry dessert salsa is a winner. Pair it with paleo sugar cookies for a dessert version of chips and salsa. This Mexican appetizer staple will end your meal with a festive note!
Spicy Strawberry Salsa
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Sweet, crunchy, fresh and delicious, this spicy strawberry dessert salsa is a winner. Pair it with paleo sugar cookies for a dessert version of chips and salsa. This Mexican appetizer staple will end your meal with a festive note!
Servings
4servings
Servings
4servings
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Units:
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Units:
Instructions
  1. Mix together and serve with paleo sugar cookies (link below).
Recipe Notes

Here's the sugar cookies recipe: glutenfreebaking.com

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