Taste-wise was ok…a bit bitter – is that normal?
Monthly Archives: February 2011
I’ve made ghee before, but it was only a very small quantity. It turned out ok but I think I didn’t cook it long enough nor strained it properly. From that point, I decided to give this another try and it would be better.
I almost ran out of it so yesterday I had to make a quick run to TJ store to get lbs of Kerrygold unsalted butter so I could replenish my ghee stash.
1 lb of unsalted butter (pastured, grass fed would be the best)
I tried to use coffee strainer and mesh to strain it, but it wasn’t that great. I could still see the “milk part” sneaked through so I figured I just scooped out the oil.
Anyway, now I had my ghee fully stacked and hopefully it’ll last for at least 2 weeks?
TJ has the most reasonable price for Kerrygold butter, but I think it was still quite pricey (8oz for $2.79?) I saw Costco carries it too but only the salted ones. I read on Paleohacks.com that it doesn’t matter whether using salted/unsalted butter to make ghee.
I’ve never cooked lamb before because people said if you don’t know how to cook it properly, the smell would be unbearable. Luckily, my co-worker, C was kind enough to give me her husband’s homemade Roast Masala seasonings.
All natural ingredients: chili’s, garlic, ginger, cloves, black pepper & coriander
Primal/Paleo approved to the boot!
Initially, I only asked her to ask her husband what would be the best spices/herb combo to marinate and cook lamb. Instead, he told her to give me his marinate..FOR FREE! C and her husband has an online business selling marinates and Goan sausage.
Check their website: http://goanfoods.com/catalog/index.php. The hottest selling item is their Goan sausage. I tried their sausage before and it was pretty good, if you can handle the spiciness. For me it wasn’t spicy at all.
And when Superking market had lamb shanks on sale, I knew I had to give this marinate a try!
Roast Masala Lamb
1.5 lbs Australian lamb shanks
1-2 tsp roast masala seasonings
4 garlic cloves
2 shallots – minced
1/2 white onion -chopped
1/2 jicama – diced
1/4 cup of coconut milk
1 tsp coconut oil
1. Marinate the lamb with salt and 1 tsp of roast masala seasoning for 4 hours or overnight
2. Heat the pan with 1 tsp coconut oil in medium heat
3. Saute the lamb until brownish
4. Pour in the rest of the ingredients – season to taste – add 1 more tsp of roast masala seasoning
5. Cover and cooked in medium low heat for about 1 hour
Beef Clod Shoulder Roast was on sale as well, so Beef Roast on the next line!
2.5 lbs beef clod shoulder roast – I trimmed off all the excess fat b/c it wasn’t grass-fed type
Lots of garlic
1 white onion
1 jicama – thickly sliced
Lots of shallots
3 whole cloves
4 dry bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
8 medium size carrots – thickly sliced
2 tsp ghee
Seasonings from Caramelized Chicken mixture
Basically: salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, paprika and coriander
1. Rub the beef with the seasonings – snug some garlic cloves – put in storage zip lock bag and tightly sealed (push as much air out as possible) – if you have vacuum sealer, it’d be even better – marinate for overnight
2. Before cooking, bring the meat into room temperature first (take it out an hour prior cooking)
3. If you have slow cooker, just dump everything and cook in slow cooker for about 6-8 hours
4. Pressure cooker method:
I preheated my pressure cooker to medium heat – melted the ghee and saute the onions, garlic and shallot until fragrant
5. Dump the rest of the ingredients -minus the carrots, added 1/4 cup of water and cook under pressure for about 1 hour in medium low heat
6. After the pressure cooker cooled down, I took out the beef
7. Added a bit water to the sauce, dumped the carrots and cooked them in pressure cooker for about 5 minutes
8. Topped the beef with the sauce.
For roasts, I usually enjoy them the day after because it just taste MUCH better than right after they’re cooked.
Have you cooked lamb before? Do you like lamb?
On Friday, the weather forecast mentioned that it’d be super cold over the weekend. When I drove back home from work, it was started to rain already.
When K came back home, his mom gave him 3 whole chicken. Personally, I hate cleaning up a whole chicken. It has way too much fat and since it was conventionally raised, I had to trim lots of the fat away. Usually, the easiest way for me to cook chicken was just bake the whole thing. But my convection oven broke recently and I’m such a noob of using the big oven, so baked chicken was totally out of the option.
When I was cutting up the chicken – separated the dark meat and white meat parts, an idea popped in my head.
I’d use the white meat part to make Pho broth so I could satisfy my pho craving and I’d remake the Caramelized Chicken that I made a while back for the legs.
2 chicken breast bones
Chicken breast meat -cut into cube – lightly season with salt and pepper
2 star anise
1 white onion
3-5 cloves of garlic
1 jicama – thickly sliced
1. Blanch the chicken bones to remove the impurities (dip the chicken bones into boiling water for 1 minute – remove and discard the water)
2. Fill the pot with water (not too much, just enough to cover the chicken bones) – boil the bones with the rest of the ingredients
3. Simmer for about 1 hour
4. Strain the soup and discard the rest of the ingredients.
5. Boil the chicken breast meat in the broth – season with salt accordingly
Since I’ve been craving for pho but didn’t have any in my pantry at the moment, rice noodles did the trick as well.
Technically, it’s not primal/paleo but it’s not like I consume this every single day. Besides what can beat a nice hot noodle soup in this cold weather?
Soak the rice noodle in cold water until soft
Boil them for about 1 minute then immediately soak them in cold water to stop the cooking process. Soggy rice noodles taste nasty.
Enjoy the rice noodles with pho-inspired broth, topped with veggies – YUM! Add some lemon squirt if you’d like
Pan Fried Caramelized Chicken Legs (modified from this)
2 chicken legs and wings – trim off excess fat as much as possible
1.5 tsp salt
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground coriander
3 stalks of green onions – separate the green and the white part
1/2 white onion
1/2 freshly squeezed lemon
1 Tbsp avocado oil
1-2 Tbsp coconut aminos
1. Mix all the herbs/spices & salt together
2. Rub everything on the chicken (make sure to rub underneath the skins as well) – marinate for 4 hours or overnight
3. Line the steamer with paper towel – steam the chicken on high for about 30 minutes
4. Mince the shallots, green onions and onions
5. Heat up the skillet with 1 Tbsp avocado oil for medium high
6. Pan fry the chicken legs until golden brown – turning occasionally
7. Remove chicken from the pan, saute onion mixture until fragrant – season with salt, coconut aminos and lemon juice accordingly
8. Top off the cooked chicken legs with the caramelized onion mixture
I actually like this version better than the baked version. When I baked the raw chicken in the oven, the shallots/onions always got way too burned and the chicken took much longer to cook (about 1 hour or so). By steaming the chicken until cooked, it keeps the chicken moist and lining up the steamer with paper towel made cleaning a breeze as well. Just wrap and throw away the paper towel. The steamer doesn't get too much grease either!
How’s your Saturday so far?
First of all thanks for those who chimed in to my shout out - I guess not many of you are a fan of dark colored avocado..haha though it might still be fine. One thing though, I need to learn how to pick avocados.
Anyway, I made this Sesame Ginger Pork on Friday night after got back from work. Super easy and simple as well.
About 1.5lbs pork tenderloin – thinly sliced and marinate with salt and pepper for at least 15 minutes or overnight
1 tsp five spice powder
1 tsp sesame oil
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 inch of ginger
2 Tbsp coconut aminos
2 stalks of green onions
1 tsp ghee/another high point cooking oil of your choice
2. Heat the cooking pan with medium high – add 1 tsp of ghee. Lightly pan fry the sliced pork
3. When the pork is almost cooked, mix in the ginger, garlic, shallot mixtures
4. Season with salt, pepper, and coconut aminos – taste accordingly.
5. Mix in the green parts of the green onion last – turn off the heat
6. Pour in the sesame oil
Happy Monday or Happy President’s Day for those who got a day off from work/school in the US. I didn’t, but I won’t complain either. The traffic was sooooooo light so my commute was a breeze today.
Speaking of which, the weather was quite freezing today. To top it off, the AC was blasting in the office for the whole afternoon. BLEH!
Anyway, when I went for grocery shopping over the weekend, I saw spaghetti squash, tomatoes and beef were on sale! So pasta dish came into my mind.
I’ve been meaning to make a homemade pasta sauce from scratch -no canned tomatoes, no canned pasta sauce etc etc. Just purely tomatoes, onions, garlic and herbs It turned out fabulous and yummy!
100% Homemade Pasta Sauce
10 ripe roma tomatoes
1 white onion
3-4 garlic cloves or more
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper
3-4 dry bay leaves
Dash of thyme
1. Cut tomatoes into small chunks – discard most of the seeds (next time I’ll keep the seeds to mix with a soup. Do you know that tomato seeds have the most nutrition?)
2. Mince shallots, garlic, and onions
3. Preheat the skillet to medium high – add 1 tsp of ghee or your cooking oil choice.
4. Saute the shallots, onions and garlic until fragrant
5. Add in the diced tomatoes
6. Season with salt, pepper, Italian seasonings, paprika and thyme – adjust to your own taste
7. Add in the bay leaves
8. Cover the skillet for about 5 minutes
9. VOILA! Homemade pasta sauce is ready to be devoured
For the “pasta” (Primal style)
I cooked the spaghetti squashes in my pressure cooker – took about 15-20 minutes. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can cut them in half lengthwise, and steam them for about 20-25 minutes.
I admit, originally I was supposed to make Pasta meat sauce, but I was hungry already and decided to have lunch first then continued making the meat sauce.
I never like buying pre-grounded beef so I always select the beef cut and grounded myself- manually.
All you need is:
A cutting board
A sharp cleaver
Some arm strength
To cook the minced beef:
1/2 white onion -minced
2 shallots -minced
1-3 garlic cloves – minced
1 tsp of ghee or cooking oil of your choice
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Saute the minced beef with some onions, garlic and shallot on the skillet with high heat until the beef is thoroughly cooked
2. Season with Italian seasonings, salt and pepper
3. Mix in the pasta sauce
It took quite sometime to make homemade pasta sauce, but I think it’s very rewarding, especially you’re in control of what you put in there. Store bought pasta sauce tend to have some additives, HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) and other chemicals that we don’t want to know.
Have you made your own pasta sauce before?
Do you like spaghetti squash? How do you eat them besides as spaghetti substitute?
This was my first time ever trying spaghetti squash and I’d say I LOVE IT! I think I like most squashes (kabocha, butternut squash, acorn squash)..any other squash that I should try?
K and I were out for the whole day today! It was quite nice and refreshing to just go out on weekend, doing some fun stuff other than grocery and house chores. Even though it was on and off raining, we’ve been lucky enough that it wasn’t raining whenever we had to walk outdoor.
The original plan for today was to go Ice skating using Groupon that I got a while back. It’s going to expire this coming Monday. And after we ran to the market and Costco to replenish our fridge, we decided to eat out for lunch before the ice skating.
I had to resist myself snacking on these Macadamia nuts that I ordered from Oh! Nuts using the promo code that I got from a giveaway a while back.
Roasted unsalted macadamia nuts. Among all of the nuts, macadamia has the lowest Omega 6, therefore it’s the most ideal nuts for Primal/Paleo. However, I wasn’t so lucky. I should’ve read the labels closely. Oh! Nuts roasted the macadamia nuts with cottonseed oil/canola oil….BUMMER! Now what should I do with these 2 bags??? Maybe I just slowly eat them and not overdo them too much? ARGH! I feel such a FAIL PRIMAL/FAILEO.
Lunch at Daphne’s Greek Cafe
Mine – I had the platter of gyro with 2 side dishes of fire roasted veggies and salad. I asked them not to include the pita bread and gave me extra salad instead, but they didn’t get it..*sigh* so K had all the pita bread
We went to the place for the ice skate, but totally disappointment. The description on the website was totally misleading! It was an outdoor ice skate rather than an indoor, and it was only a very small space of ice rink. Nobody was there and since it was raining earlier, we didn’t want to risk ourselves to fall on the icy rink. So in the end, we didn’t use the Groupon at all. Wasted $16 for nothing.
Paid $24 for two (including rentals) and skated
as long as we want until we felt we had enough and it was getting crowded.
After skating, we went to the mall so I could shop for a dress for my brother-in-law’s upcoming wedding in early March (gasp! it’s getting closer and I have NO IDEA what to wear!) We literally walked the entire mall, though I didn’t enter every single shop there. I am not quite a shopper. I usually just go in to the shop, scan through the entire store to see if anything catches my eyes. If nothing, then I leave, not wasting more time trying to select some clothing. If there’s something then I’ll try it on. K is the most patient guy I’ve ever been. Unlike typical husband/boyfriend/man who usually just sits outside the store waiting for the wife/girlfriend/female companion finish with her shopping, K actually walked into the store with me and see what clothing that I picked.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get the dress, but I didn’t come home empty handed either!
Some undies from Victoria Secrets (I actually went here first because I knew I need more undies) and 3 color camis ($5 each).
Surprisingly, I was still full from lunch and decided to skip dinner altogether! And I finally made my first ghee!
Ok, I don’t think I did it right. After reading Kath’s post, I realized I need to cook the butter at least 1 hour! I think I only did it for 10 minutes? I thought after all the butter melted and I could skimmed off the white stuff, it was all done. I guess I’ll do better next time!
Are you a shopper?
Do you like ice skating?
I think I am ok, at least after “a little warm up”, I finally remembered how to glide on the ice. I am faaaaaaaaaaaar from being a pro. I wasn’t fast and only slide little by little. I could go a little faster but I would lose my balance an fall. This time I didn’t fall at all, which was good.
Happy Friday everyone! I’m so glad weekend is finally here. As I’m typing this post, it’s raining hard right now! The weather channel mentioned that it’ll be raining throughout weekend.
Anyway, I realized lately I haven’t been posting any recipes etc, although I’ve been cooking as usual – sorry about that. Lately, I am just not as inspired to make new dishes so I haven’t really made anything that’s worthy to share on the blog. Being primal/paleo does take some meal planning in advance, especially now that I don’t rely to those quick fix breakfast/snacks (cookies, crackers, oatmeal, cereal, bread, etc) anymore.
In the beginning it was quite hassle to step out from my comfort zone and being more creative in my dishes. Substituting soy sauce with coconut aminos, fruits as sweetener instead of sugar, using coconut oil or avocado oil as opposed to any vegetable oil.
After a while, I started to get a hang on it and all sudden, I don’t even have to think too hard on how to prepare the food anymore. Additionally, I also don’t get that hunger crash as I used to have.
Of course there were hit and miss in my dish creation, which didn’t quite make it to the blog.
Last weekend I bought some fishes that I didn’t use to buy. I used to buy tilapia and striped bass because I know they taste good, but the downside is they are farm raised, which are not quite good nutritionally as wild fishes. So I selected two type of wild fishes: yellow croaks and mullet fish.
Baked mullet fish in coconut milk and curry powder. Looks good but the fishes weren’t that fresh so tasted kinda bland. Yellow croak fishes didn’t turn out good either. I baked them after seasoned with salt pepper and some butter pats and lemon. They taste bland as well, probably because they weren’t fresh either. I spare you from the pictures.
Stepping out from the comfort zone does have a risk. After the incident of the fish, now I am concerned of getting some other fishes to experiment, especially fishes are not cheap! Same deal with buying organic produce and meat. Just by looking at the price tag enough to bust my monthly grocery budget limit. I’m comfortable buying conventional produce and meat and not looking to change that as yet.
In addition to prior, my current life is actually my comfort zone as well. Or I should say my job. Today we were having an office potluck for one of my colleague. She found a new job at another place and today was her last day.
Her resignation got me thinking. Do I have the courage to venture to another place? But why would I do that? Currently, I enjoy the place, the work, the drive etc. At least I know I won’t fail to their standard. But does it do any good to my career growth? If I change place, I’ll have to start over again and there’ll be a chance that if I fail, then I’ll lose the job, and then what? Why change when nothing’s broken, right? I know it’s bad, but this is another comfort zone that I don’t want to give up as yet.
Sorry if this post sounds lame, but once a while it’s a nice change to have a post that’s not too food/diet centric, right?
Are you a risk taker? Do you like your current comfort zone? I’d love to hear what you think!
Have a good weekend!
I’ll try to post something yummy next time