Monday, April 8, 2013
Sunday Cook Up Catch Up
No seriously, I also talk about paleo eating! Which is why I'm going to take this opportunity to share some paleo recipes and food photos I've been hoarding. First up is my Sunday cook up from two (yes, two!) weeks ago, this White Chicken Chili recipe from Cook's Illustrated that was passed on to me by the same friend who gave me that great pumpkin curry soup recipe.
I only needed to make a few adjustments to make it totally paleo. First, I used chicken thighs (breasts are fine, but I prefer the fattier dark meat) that I seared in sunflower oil (I still need to research this a bit more, but I think the general thinking is nut oils, while paleo aren't ideal for high heat cooking so you can use whatever paleo friendly oil/fat you'd like) and I used homemade chicken stock. Lastly, I replaced the beans with additional chicken, using about 3 1/2 pounds total.
For the most part I followed the instructions, but I simplified where I could. For instance, why waste time mincing the jalapenos yourself when you can just throw them in the food processor with the rest of the peppers? Overall, it was a simple process and the resulting chili was really tasty and filling. My only complaint, the heat was very subtle. Next time I will definitely add more jalapeno. I served the chili with fresh avocado and extra chopped cilantro (both a must in my opinion):
Last week's cook up was yet another variation on Nom Nom Paleo's Slow Cooker Cheater Pork Stew. I've made a stew using this recipe as a base 3 times now, never doing exactly what she says or the same thing twice. It's an incredibly easy and forgiving recipe - use whatever tougher/cheaper cut of meat, spice blend, and vegetables you have on hand and it will taste delicious every time. This time was probably the closest I've gotten to her original recipe, but I used beef chuck roast instead of pork shoulder and added quartered cremini mushrooms. In the past, I've used a different spice blend, chopped fresh tomatoes in place of the marinara and I haven't always included the cabbage. Seriously, when you're in a pinch, make this stew.
Finally, last night I knew I'd need a quick and easy recipe since I worked at the winery all day and I had a few things to use up in my fridge so I made a Sausage & Spinach Frittata using (again) a Nom Nom Paleo recipe as a base. I sliced and sauteed some mushroom & cognac turkey sausage from Three Little Pigs in a bit of bacon fat in my 10" cast iron pan. When the sausage was browned, I removed it and added some chopped onion to the fat in the pan. Once the onions were caramelized, I added several large handfuls of baby spinach and mixed it until wilted. While the meat & veg were cooking, I beat 6 XL eggs with a few tablespoons of heavy cream, salt, & pepper. Once the spinach was wilted, I added the egg mixture to the pan and let it cook over medium heat for a few minutes until the bottom was set, then I baked it for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Finally, I broiled it for a few minutes at the end to brown the top. Here's the resulting frittata:
I sliced it up and served it alongside a nice green salad. It was a surprisingly satisfying meal for how simple it was and the reheated leftovers were still delicious tonight. Frittatas are definitely going into my regular rotation.
There you have it my friends. 3 weeks of Sunday meals. Now I just need to figure out what I'm going to eat for the rest of the week!
Posted by Jen at 6:37 PM