Thursday, January 22, 2015

Pan Seared Chicken with Balsamic Cream Sauce

I am so excited because this weekend we are going to Silver Falls and staying in a lodge with 4 of our friends.  Silver Falls is an amazing and beautiful state park that has a ton of wild life and hiking trails.  There is also the Trail of Ten Falls which I've never hiked and really want to because who doesn't love waterfalls?  As I mentioned last post the cooking situation is not so easy, I think I have come to the conclusion that I am going to make this recipe of Pizza Chili and then just reheat it on the wood stove for dinner.  Today is my Friday and I couldn't be happier, I have been exhausted all week and am ready to relax.  Although tonight I am going to The Portland Kitchen class and meeting staff, kids, and will talk more about what I will be doing as a volunteer.  Onto the recipe, I adapted this recipe and it was so freaking delicious I want to make it again tonight!

Serves 4

The Ingredients

1 1⁄2 lbs chicken breasts, boneless, skinless

1 medium yellow onion, sliced into thin rings and separated

1 lb mushroom, cremini mushrooms, quartered

1⁄2 cup chicken broth

1 cup half-n-half

3 tablespoons avocado oil

3 tablespoons butter

1⁄2 cup parmesan cheese, shaved

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

salt & pepper

1 pinch red pepper flakes (optional)

The Process

1.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper and let rest.

2.  In a small skillet, saute onions in the butter until they are golden brown (carmelized).

3.  In a larger skillet with tall sides, heat avocado oil and brown the chicken on both sides, but do not cook through. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.

4.  While the pan is still hot, deglaze with the chicken broth, and use a whisk or spatula to loosen all the browned bits.

5.  Add the half-n-half and the balsamic vinegar to the chicken broth. Add salt and pepper to taste and red pepper flakes (if desired) Whisk through.

6.  Add the mushrooms to the cream sauce and simmer for 10 minutes. Add onions into the sauce.
Place the chicken back into the pan with the sauces, increase heat to medium and saute until chicken is fully cooked and juices run clear.

7.  Remove chicken and add the Parmesan cheese to the sauce. Stir until melted through the sauce.

Plate the chicken and top with sauce.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Primal Pizza with Grain Free Crust

Did you all know that it is national soup month?  I somehow just found this out and now have a very limited amount of time to make tons of soups!  At least I've made 2 soups and 1 stock this month...  And just in case you were wondering here is an entire list of food holidays for the year.  This weekend we are going on a fun adventure (I'll go into details next post) and we just found out we don't have access to a kitchen, no electronic cooking devices are allowed (ie crockpot), we might have access to a camping stove, and our main source for cooking will be on a wood stove.  This calls for some very creative cooking, and my original plan of making chicken bacon chowder in the crockpot is thrown out the window.  Here is a helpful link on how to cook on a wood stove, looks like I just might be able to make a soup on the wood stove.  Last night I made an experimental pizza with one of my good friends and while it turned out tasty it is definitely more like a frittata, super eggy and not very crusty.  Here is a link to the recipe, and I am still searching for an amazing primal pizza recipe.  We also talked a ton about Europe as she has been several times, she gave me many tips and suggestions on where to go.

Makes 9 pieces

The Ingredients

For the crust:
8 eggs (free range/pastured is best)

1/3 cup coconut flour

3 TBSP melted butter or coconut oil

1/2 tsp of oregano

Pizza Sauce, enough to cover the crust

6 small shallots, thinly sliced and sauted

4 cloves garlic, minced and sauted

Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, enough to cover pizza

Prosciutto and Capicola, enough to cover pizza

The Process

1.  Mix all crust ingredients in an electric mixer and then pour into a well greased 9×13 pan.

2.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until it poofs up and turns golden. Don’t let the poofiness alarm you. Thats just the eggs doing their thing.

3.  Take it out of the oven and cover with sauce, shallots and garlic, meats, and cheese.  Then baked it for 6 more minutes to melt the cheese. You can broil it at the end to make golden brown.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Mihshi Waraq Inab

Don't know what Mihshi Waraq Inab is?  It is the Lebanese version of dolma stuffed with meat, rice, spices, and more.  One of my best friends is a quarter Lebanese and has a family recipe for Mihshi Waraq Inab that comes from further back than her great great grandmother.  Last Saturday we decided to triple this recipe and freeze a bunch so that we can have it whenever, since it is labor intensive it is smart to make it in large batches.  As you may recall we had made plans to make  Mihshi Waraq Inab back in November but ran into an issue when we discovered barely any stores carry grape leaves anymore, luckily we found grape leaves at Whole Foods.  During this process I also managed to cut off the tip of my poor thumb while cutting onions, and yes it was a brand new very sharp knife...always seems to happen to me.  Now since this recipe is generations old and very authentic it is in fact a secret family recipe that I can't share with you all, but I did find a similar recipe found at this link (also written below) that you are more than welcome to make, enjoy!  Below are pictures from our wonderful rainy day full of cooking.

Grape (or Vine) Leaves Stuffed with Ground Beef (Wara’ Enab bel Lahma el Mafrooma)

Prep Time: 30 minutes to prepare the filling and an hour to roll the leaves
Cook Time: 35-40 minutes
Serves: 60-80 leaves, which feeds about 10 people

The Ingredients

one 1-lb jar of brine-preserved grape (vine) leaves (I bought the brand “Peloponnese” from Whole Foods because it doesn’t contain any artificial preservatives, but you can also use wild hand-picked fresh leaves – check this post on MidEats for info on how to find them)

2 cups short-grain white rice (sushi rice is a great substitute because it has similar properties to Egyptian rice – short, thick and gets a bit sticky when it’s cooked).

1 lb grass-fed, organic ground beef

2-3 cups homemade chicken or beef stock (you may use water if you’re out of stock, but the taste won’t be nearly as rich)

2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped or pureed in the food processor

3 tablespoons grass-fed organic ghee
juice of half a lemon
unrefined sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

2-3 bay leaves, sliced garlic (2-3 cloves), onion slices and lemon slices to cover the bottom of the pot before stacking the stuffed grape leaves

The Process

1.  This link will show you how to roll the grape leaves

Monday, January 19, 2015

Mediterranean Pork Chops with Dill Yogurt Sauce

What a weekend, for a mostly unplanned and relaxing weekend we sure did get a lot done and have lots of fun.  Saturday was the dolma making day, stay tuned for that story in the next blog post.  Saturday evening we ended up going to my parents house for a family dinner and they made delicious pork curry.  My dad seemed to be in good spirits and not tons of shoulder pain so I think his healing process is all around a lot smoother this year.  Then on Sunday we had planned on going on a hike but of course when we were just a couple minutes away from our destination it started pouring rain...  So we ended up hitting up thrift stores and had lunch at an old favorite across town, the Lutz Tavern.  The Lutz is a dive bar we use to always go to when my boyfriend lived in the Woodstock neighborhood, and their A-1 burgers are delicious!  After a full day of fun we went to our friends' house for a soup night.  Every other Sunday evening they host a soup night, it alternates stone soup and a soup of their choice.  The idea is that everyone brings an ingredient to add to the soup or that would be a good side and we all eat around a very large round table.  The average turn out is about 10-12 people and it feels very much like a friend/family dinner, I love it!  Last night the host made an amazing Ukrainian borscht (pictured below), it was a perfect end to a rainy weekend.  I made this recipe the other night and served it with a side of lemon and garlic butter covered artichoke hearts.

Serves 3

The Ingredients

For the Pork Chops:
- 3 thick cut boneless pork chops
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- salt & pepper, to taste

For the Dill Yogurt Sauce:
- 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt
- 1 1/2 tbsp of fresh dill, chopped
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 clove of garlic, minced

- salt & pepper, to taste

The Process

1. Take the pork chops and pound them thin with a meat tenderizer.

2. Combine the red wine vinegar, olive oil, oregano, and garlic in a large ziploc bag.

3. Add the pork chops to the mixture making sure to cover both sides in it, and let them marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes.

4. Before you begin cooking the pork chops, bring them to room temperature for about 10 minutes.

5. While you are doing this, combine the ingredients for the dill yogurt sauce (Greek yogurt, dill, olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, and salt & pepper) in a small mixing bowl. Once mixed together, place in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

6. Place a  large frying pan on medium-high heat, and once hot, add the salt & pepper to the pork chops on each side and add them to the pan.

7. Cook the pork chops for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cooked through.

8. Serve with the dill yogurt sauce.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Mini Primal Pizzas

We did it, we bought our European vacation tickets last night!  Our path is Iceland> Munich, Germany> Zurich, Switzerland> Dijon, France> Paris, France.  Can't even express how excited I am because I haven't ever been to Europe!  We are going mid September through October 1st and will be in Germany during Oktoberfest!  Currently I'm preparing for a full day of dolma making tomorrow and trying to find a good primal recipe for pork chops for tonight's dinner.  Any ideas?  This weekend will be nice and relaxing with only several plans so hopefully I will get tons of cooking in!  Onto the recipe, I adapted this recipe and it was super delicious.

Makes 9 pizzas

The Ingredients

1 pound pastured ground sirloin

1 egg

1 tsp. Italian seasonings

½ tsp. kosher salt

5 Tbs pizza sauce, about 1/2 Tbs. per pizza
Toppings: grated mozzarella (primal), un-cured sliced prosciutto, sauted shallots and garlic.

The Process

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Mix together beef, egg, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, and salt until well blended.
2.  Place a piece of plastic wrap in a wide-mouth mason jar lid and press a scant ¼ cup of the beef mixture to the edge of the ring, forming a small patty. Repeat until all the meat is used.
3.  Place the patties on a foil lined jelly-roll pan with edges and bake for 8 minutes.
4.  Remove the beef crusts from the oven and dab the tops with paper towels to remove excess grease.

5.  Top each with a 1/2 Tbs. pizza sauce and your desired toppings. Bake another 5 minutes.
6.  Eat immediately or allow to cool completely and stack in wide-mouth mason jars.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Turkey Pot Pie Soup

I'm still going strong on Primal eating, dry January, working out a lot, and the lemon water detox.  My body feels great, sore but great, and I think the lemon water is really helping my skin!  I am mid way through the month and am already seeing and feeling wonderful results, I might just have to continue all this into February too!  I'm sure many of you have listened to the podcast Serial, well there are now 3 parts out of an interview with Jay and there is an interview out with the prosecutor.  All of it is very interesting but I still don't think Adnan did it, what do y'all think?  Happy Thursday, the week is almost over and here in PDX it is now super grey and rainy, just in time for the weekend.  Honestly it is perfect weather for dolma making which is finally happening after months of waiting!  Here is an extremely tasty recipe that I adapted, enjoy!

Serves 6

The Ingredients

1 tablespoon butter

1 small yellow onion, diced

1/2 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced

2 celery stalks, diced

1/4 cup almond flour

2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups turkey stock

1 1/2 cups half-and-half

2 carrots, peeled and diced

3 cups shredded leftover turkey meat

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

The Process

1.  Heat the butter in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and almond flour and cook for 1 minute. Add in the potatoes, sage, and pepper.

2.  Pour in 2 cups water, chicken broth, and the half-and-half. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes.

3.  Add the carrots and mushrooms and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes. Add the shredded turkey and cook until warmed through, about 1 minute.

4.  Add in the parsley and season with the salt. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary before serving.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Turkey Stock

I finally took the thanksgiving turkey carcass out of the freezer and made this basic turkey stock for a soup I made the next night.  My dad is doing well after his surgery, no surprises or issues with the process which is very good news.  He even gets to go home today because his pain is under control, normally they keep shoulder replacement patients for two nights so he is in very good shape!  I'm really excited because tomorrow my boyfriend and I are buying our plane tickets for our European adventure that we are going on mid September 2015.  We are looking at the possibility of having a "stayover" in Iceland instead of just a 2 hour layover.  They let you stay for up to 7 days without changing the price of your plane tickets, and we found a really awesome lagoon we are going to visit during our "stayover," check it out  Onto the recipe!  Turkey stock is so versatile you can use it as the base for almost any soup, so be creative!

Servings 8

The Ingredients

1 large turkey carcass and any fat and scraps left on the bones

10-12 cups water (approximate)

2 onions, peeled and halved

2-3 carrots, washed and cut into half (no need to peel)

2 celery ribs, leaves attached, cut in half

5 garlic cloves, peeled

10-15 peppercorns

2 bay leaves

The Process

1.  Place all ingredients in your largest slow cooker, adding enough water to cover the turkey carcass and fill the crock. Cook on low for 13 hours.

2.  Remove and discard turkey carcass, vegetables, and spices. You can do this by fishing out the larger pieces with a slotted spoon, and straining the broth through a mesh strainer.

4.  Pour strained stock into one or more containers and refrigerate overnight. Once the stock cools, the fat will congeal on the top and it can be lifted off and thrown away (if there is any fat).