With posts like this and this and this, you may have thought I was off the Paleo Diet. But that’s totally not the case. I’m still going strong 🙂 I did put on several pounds after my trip to NYC though. With dining destinations like Le Bernadin, The Big Gay Ice Cream Shop, Eataly, Baked and the Momofuku Noodle Bar, it was close to impossible for me to follow Paleo guidelines. But I don’t go on many vacations throughout the year, so I was totally fine with breaking the rules. I’ve got three recipes below that have helped me get back on track. They’re easy to prepare and packed with flavor. Each recipe also has a richness that makes you forget the fact that you are eating diet food. Citrus Avocado Dip, Coconut Yogurt, and Chorizo Meatloaf recipes below.
Several days ago, temperatures in San Diego shot up to the mid 80’s and 90’s, causing an almost instantaneous craving for summer flavors. Fresh berries, sweet corn, juicy tomatoes, grilled meats and gloriously green herbs. I immediately got in my car to do some grocery shopping. Windows down. A warm breeze blowing. Spotify on full blast. Pulled Pork Tamales with Corn Salsa in mind.
This recipe captures the essence of summer. Smoky, succulent pulled pork is encased in corn masa, then steamed until light and tender. Accompanying the tamal is a corn salsa spiked with red onion, serrano chile and chopped cilantro. This salsa is fresh, fresh, fresh. A perfect counter to the richness of the tamal. Summer, I am ready for you. Continue reading for the recipe.
With all of the diet changes happening in my life right now, I’ve become very aware of what I am putting into my body. A month ago, I came down with a bad stomach bug after eating some homemade turkey burgers. While I can’t exactly pinpoint the problem food, I am certain it was the ground turkey I got at the supermarket. Since then, I’ve been grinding my own meat at home. Now I did happen to experience a fair amount of weight loss from the stomach bug, so perhaps I should continue on eating the supermarket ground meat? Really, I’m just two stomach bugs away from my target weight. But, I’d rather not use up any more sick days at work for the same issue. Also, it always seems like ground meat products are in the news wrapped up in some sort of scandal: recalls, salmonella, E. coli, and even horse meat! So I’m going to stick with grinding my meat at home. And let me tell you, the process couldn’t be easier. Continue reading for the method.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork has been in my recipe repertoire for over 4 years now. Consistently delicious, this pulled pork is succulent, smokey and unbelievably tender. The best part? It’s so easy. Marbled chunks of pork are showered in a fragrant flurry of spices, then cooked for hours in a bath of liquid smoke. Usually, you should use liquid smoke sparingly; however, this recipe calls for an unabashed 1/2 cup. As the pork cooks throughout the day, you’re entire house will be enveloped by an drool-inducing fragrance. The finished pork is packed with a smoky savoriness that one would think came from hours of cooking in a traditional smoker.
Years ago, I served this pulled pork with a cool, crunchy slaw on top. Recently, I’ve been substituting in tart pickled red onions. I love the contrast of the rich meat and the spicy, acidic pickles. Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is perfect for a crowd, and would certainly fit in at any testosterone-charged Super Bowl party. You need to make this. Continue reading for the recipe.
This recipe is a beefed up (or porked up) version of my favorite Golden Brussels Sprouts. Halved sprouts are sauteed in bacon fat until tender and deeply caramelized. Finished with Parmesan cheese and crispy bacon, these flavorful little nuggets are served with a bright miso-mustard. The combination of the sprouts, bacon and miso-mustard is big, bold and perfect with an ice cold beer. I’ll have to say that miso is quickly becoming one of my new obsessions. Several weeks ago I prepared this Miso Butter Roasted Chicken, and I was really surprised at how tasty it was. Miso, a fermented rice, barley or soy bean paste, provides a salty depth of flavor. Not just for soup anymore, this umami powerhouse works well with meat, fish, vegetables and even dessert (see Bittman article below)! Continue reading for the recipe.
Do you know what I really hate? Dry pork. And dry chicken. I always find it so disappointing when I slice into a beautifully golden piece of meat to find an abrasive assault of coarse saw dust. I’m sure we’ve all been there. So the question is, what’s a fool-proof way to prepare tender pork or chicken? The answer… this brine 🙂 A brine is essentially a solution made of salt and water. Meat is soaked in the brine for several hours allowing salt to penetrate throughout. Brining both seasons the meat and causes it to absorb water, ensuring that the final result is both flavorful and juicy.
Made with kosher salt, onion, garlic, thyme, bay, lemon and black pepper, this Brine Recipe infuses some major flavor and moisture into any cut of pork, chicken or turkey. Also, the process really couldn’t be easier. Prepare the brine in under 15 minutes, let the meat soak for 2 to 3 hours, dry, rest, then cook any way you like (roast, fry, grill, saute). Seriously give this a try. It’s life changing. Continue reading for the recipe. Also, I’ve announced the winners of the Bella Sun Luci Sun-Dried Tomato prize packs giveaway.
Up until this year, my method for making Bolognese Sauce called for adding cooked, seasoned beef to my Homemade Tomato Sauce, simmering for a bit, then finishing with fresh herbs. It wasn’t until I saw this video that I realized I wasn’t really making Bolognese Sauce at all! After experimenting a bit with Mario’s recipe, I found a method that I really love. This slow cooked Bolognese Sauce pairs a number of classic aromatics with ground beef, pork and bacon. The mixture is then simmered in tomato paste, whole milk and wine. Thick, rich and luscious, the finished sauce has the most amazing depth of flavor. The recipe below definitely takes some time to make. But I urge you to give it a try. You won’t be sorry. Continue reading for the recipe.
I find the few minutes between bringing a hot, fresh pizza from the oven and the moment when the pizza is cool enough to eat absolutely excruciating. The sizzling toppings taunt me as I eagerly await that first taste of melty mozzarella and crunchy, golden crust. It takes every shred of willpower I have to keep me from diving in right away. It’s a challenge I face almost every week when making homemade pizza. Aside from that first glorious bite of a freshly baked pie, I just love creating toppings. Sometimes I enjoy meat pizzas (hot salami, Italian sausage, roasted chicken). Other weeks I go the seasonal veggie route (shiitake mushrooms, red bell pepper, Tuscan kale). Really, olive oil, salt and dough (that I purchase at a local pizzeria) are the only constants from week to week. I recently decided to experiment with the classic combination of asparagus and bacon. A coiled nest of long, green asparagus tendrils are piled high onto a bed of freshly grated mozzarella and Parmesan. Finished with a sprinkling of sliced scallion and crumbled bacon, this Shaved Asparagus and Bacon Pizza is well-balanced and packed with mouth-watering flavor. The freshness of the asparagus balances the smoky richness of the bacon, creating quite the harmonious bite. Continue reading for the recipe.
Red Pozole is a flavorful Mexican stew made of pork, ancho chiles and hominy (corn). Pozole recipes can vary greatly throughout Mexico. This version is similar to the ones found in central Mexico. The base of this stew is a slow simmered broth made of pork shanks, trotters and shoulder. The broth is then added to simmering nixtamal corn with a bold blend of pureed ancho chiles. The finished stew is hearty, aromatic and so flavorful. My favorite part? The toppings. Served with Red Pozole are these traditional accoutrements: sliced cabbage, chopped onions, crisp radishes, bright lime, fiery red chile flake, dried Mexican oregano and crunchy tostadas. I just looove the smell of crumbled oregano as it hits the surface of the hot stew. This recipe may not be quick and easy; however, it is a fun weekend project with amazingly satisfying results. The recipe below will make a very large quantity of Red Pozole. Feed an entire party of people or freeze the leftovers for later consumption. Continue reading for the recipe.
So, I’m not really one to get wrapped up in the whole March Madness thing. I put together a bracket once in college, but haven’t attempted one since. I guess I’m just not that excited about basketball. Marsh Madness is an entirely different story. When Quirk Books asked me if I wanted to compete against 15 other bloggers in a marshmallow making contest, I was like, “Uhhhh… … … Yeah!” Making homemade marshmallows has been on my foodie to-do list for a while now, so I jumped at the chance to participate in the competition. I was tasked to prepare some sort of marshmallow creation based upon the original vanilla recipe found in Shauna Sever’s Marshmallow Madness. Continue reading to see what I came up with. Also, I’m giving away 3 copies of Marshmallow Madness. Details below.