Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Happiness Is Roasted Chicken

My husband LOVES roasted chicken.  And I love to make it for him.  I usually just buy the bone-in legs and thighs because we both prefer dark meat, and there is just something primally satisfying about eating meat off the bone.  

The Meat
- 2 bone-in chicken legs with thighs
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons bacon grease
- 1 tablespoon butter
- rosemary, thyme, savory, dill, salt, pepper to taste

The Veggies
- 2 yellow summer squash, sliced
- 1/2 cup of green beans, ends cut off
- 1 green gypsy pepper, sliced
- 2 red heirloom carrots, diced
- 1 medium sized turnip, cubed
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup red wine
- dill, salt, pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

I prepped my chicken on my baking pan by lightly coating them with lemon juice and seasoning them liberally.  Then I broke up the butter into small dollops and dotted the top of the chicken with it.  I repeated the process with the bacon grease (I keep my supply of grease refrigerated so it is in a more solid state, easier to manipulate for meals like this) and dot the spaces in between the butter with the bacon grease.  The chicken goes into the oven for around 40 minutes - make sure you get your chicken up to 165 degrees internally and that the juices run clear when you cut into it, so you don't get sick from undercooked meat.  At minutes 15 and 30, open up your oven, and re-spoon the grease/butter that has dripped off the chicken back onto the skin.  This ensures you have an intensely delicious crispy outer skin. 

After dicing, slicing, and cubing all of my veggies, I throw them in a pan and add the water, butter, and wine.  I cooked my veggies on medium-low heat for around 25 minutes, until most of the water had boiled down and the green beans and turnips were soft. 

This is a relatively simple yet absolutely wonderful meal.  The chicken is cripsy on the outside and juicy within, and the wine in the veggie "broth" gives the turnips and the beans a memorable flavor.  The squash melts away in your mouth.  Yum.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Feeling Yellow-Orange?

Every now and then my husband asks for a meal that is all the same color.  He thinks it is great fun to challenge me to make a tasty meal while staying in a color group or two.  Tonight was one of those nights, and yellow-orange was the color.  Good thing I'd been to the Farmers' Market this weekend!

The Meat
- 2 fillets of sockeye salmon with the skin
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- salt/pepper/dill to taste
- 1 slice bacon, crisped and crumbled

The Veggies
- 1 cup yellow cauliflower, diced
- 2 yellow potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 3 carrots, sliced
- 1/4 cup onion, sliced
- 2 yellow summer squash
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice (or more, to taste)
- dill, thyme, salt, pepper, paprika, cracked red pepper to taste

The Garnishes
- 4 slices of yellow heirloom tomato
- cracked pepper goat cheese

I threw the veggies in my 3" deep pan and let them cook away with the water, lemon, and spices, on medium high heat for around 20 minutes.  While they simmered I "dressed" my salmon with the lemon juice and spices and fried up the slice of bacon.  Then I grilled up the salmon on my awesome griddler with a little bit of bacon grease left over from making the slice of bacon on my nonstick griddle pan (different from the griddler).  Since the griddler cooks both sides simultaneously, it only took around 7 minutes to finish the fish.  You want to cook the salmon until it is flaky, but check it often to make sure you aren't overcooking it - dried out salmon is not appetizing.

When the veggies and salmon were cooked, I layered the vegetables on the bottom and put the salmon on top.  I sprinkled on the bacon, a few slices of big, juicy tomato, and some delicious goat cheese coated in cracked pepper.  Voila!

Friday, July 22, 2011

"Stuffed" Patties

There is something about cutting open a piece of meat and finding goodies mixed into it that is so rewarding.  I made "stuffed" beef patties tonight for dinner with goat cheese, pepper, and onion, on top of a bed of mixed veggies with a creamy yet tangy tomato sauce.  This meal satisfies the Italian in me without compromising my Primal diet.  

The Meat
- 1 pound of ground beef
- 1 green onion
- 1/2 a green bell pepper
- 1 3/4 ounces of herbed goat cheese
- 1 teaspoon of dill
- salt and pepper to taste
- red pepper (optional)
- 1 teaspoon of basil
- 1 teaspoon of oregano

The Veggies
- 8 stalks of asparagus
- 1 cup of spinach
- 1 golden beet, cubed
- 1 small purple potato, peeled and cubed
- 1 small yellow potato, peeled and cubed
- 1/4 cup yellow onion, sliced
- 1 teaspoon of bacon grease
- 1 teaspoon of olive oil
- 1 cup of water

The Sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of sunflower oil or olive oil based mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh red tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon of capers
- basil and oregano to taste

The Varnishes
- 1/2 teaspoon of Parmesan cheese
- 2 slices bacon, crisped and crumbled
- 1/2 yellow heirloom tomato, thickly sliced

First, I took all of the veggie ingredients except for the spinach and threw them into a 3" deep saute pan.  Add the water, cover, and cook on medium heat for around 20 minutes.  If you notice that your water is boiling away quicker than that, either lower your heat or add more water - up to you.  I added the spinach in the last 5 minutes so it stayed green and fresh looking, but still wilted the right amount.

While the veggies simmered, I mixed all my meat ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.  Ladies and gents, take of your rings and get ready to get squishy.  I broke the goat cheese up into reasonably sized chunks in order to make sure that the patties had a consistent amount of cheese - try to make sure that you don't have any huge chunks that can overwhelm your palate.  

I cooked the bacon on my flat skillet with the gas on high for around 5 minutes, turning them twice to get a medium crisp (not too much blackened crisp for us, but it's whatever you prefer) and then threw on my quarter-pound patties onto the bacon skillet to brown.  I turned my patties after around 4 minutes and cooked for another 4 minutes until the centers were light pink - we like our meat a little rare in the middle, so if you want yours medium or well done, add a minute or two to each side. 

I mixed the mayonnaise, tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, lemon juice, and capers with my seasonings in a small mixing bowl, and set it aside. I crumbled my bacon and mixed most of it into my veggies, which were just about done.  The rest I kept to sprinkle on top of my patties.  I sliced up 4 pieces of an heirloom tomato to layer on top of my patties, also.

To finish my plate I set the finished veggies onto the plate first, then spooned some of my sauce on top.  Next I placed the patties over the veggies, covering them with the slices of tomato and then putting some sauce, parmesan cheese, and bacon over the tops.  Be as generous as you like - the combination ends up being really addicting and you might want to lick your plate clean!

Welcome to my kitchen!

Welcome to my blue kitchen!  I love creating tasty and healthy meals for my friends and family to enjoy.  SO many people ask for my recipes, so I've decided to put them all on this blog for people to learn and love their food much the way I do!  

The recipes you will find here will be Primal recipes.  My husband and I love living the Primal lifestyle - if you do not know what that is, please take a gander at  Mark Sisson's book, The Primal Blueprint, is an inspiration and we try our best to follow it every day.  It has occasionally been a challenge to create savory sauces or sweet treats following a grain free/processed food free diet, but we do our best and I have a lot of fun trying new flavor combinations.