Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Paleo Burger Patties with Grilled Onions & Marinated Carrots

As the kids head back to school (I don't have kids, but this is what I hear), and summer starts to wane (although, we're having FANTASTIC warm weather here at the beach), it's time to get the most out of your grill.  No need to turn on your oven or stove for this meal.   It's a colorful, delectable, easy meal on a summer night (tell me more, tell me more!)

Real, traditional aioli is quite the production and a very fickle condiment (trust me), so in an effort to save your arm and your sanity, just whip up a batch of Julia Child's mayo as your base. 

For the patties:
1 lb grass fed ground beef
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
1 tbs Dijon mustard
2 tbs Italian parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp caraway seeds, ground
1/2 tsp celery salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tbs pickled jalapenos, diced
any other spices you have/want to throw in!

Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a bowl and form into patties.  Throw those on the grill until they're cooked to your liking.

For the carrots:
2 large carrots, peeled
1-2 tbs white vinegar
1 tbs honey
pinch of sea salt

I called these Whisk vinegar, honey, and salt in a bowl. Using a vegetable peeler or mandolin, peel the carrots into strips.  Place in the bowl and toss, cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for an hour or so.

For the onions:
1 large red onion

Slice in thick rounds and throw on the grill with your burgers until they've softened and sweetened up.

For the truffle aioli: (mix it all up)
2 tbs mayo (I'll say it again, make you own!)
1 tbs truffle oil*
2 tsp truffle salt*

*You can usually find these at higher end grocery stores, boutique spice shops, or online. 

To assemble: Place your grilled onion down intact, top with the patty, a little dollop of the truffle mayo, and as many carrots as you can handle.  The acid from the carrots really lends a nice touch to the creamy mayo and the juicy, herbed burger.  

Friday, August 26, 2011

Paleo Cod Cakes

Who needs crabmeat?  Consider these the poor man's crabcake, and I'd be willing to wager if you didn't say anything, it would be tough for anyone to figure out that you didn't splurge.  They're pretty quick to put together, make a great appetizer, or a very satisfying dinner.

Olive oil
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 green onions, diced
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
1 small sweet potato, peeled and boiled
1 lb cod filets
salt & pepper
1/2 c almond meal
2 tbs mayo (make your own, I use Julia Child's recipe)
3 tbs dijon mustard
3 tbs fresh dill, chopped
3 tbs parsley, chopped
1 egg, beaten
juice and zest from 1 lemon

Heat the oilive oil and saute the carrot, onion, green onion and garlic until onions sweat a bit.  Remove and add it to the sweet potatoes..  Mix roughly with a fork.  In that same pan, add a little more olive oil and cook the cook, then add that to the potato mixture.  Toss in the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly with a fork, but try and keep some texture.

Make little patties out of the mixture - and just a note, the smaller they are, they easier they'll be to flip - and place them on a plate.  Cover with plastic wrap and put them in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up.  

In a large pan, heat some butter until it's foamy and fry those little guys up until they get crispy.  We ate them once with salsa, and once with a remoulade style sauce (mayo, dijon, tabasco) that you'd see more often with a crabcake. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Paleo Campfire Cookout

We like to camp, and recently headed down to San Onofre for an easy weekend of surfing, tent sleeping, and hanging with friends.  

There are some hard things about camping:
1) Getting a site.  These suckers in California get booked fast, so you're limited on the spontaneity.  And on a side note, there are 70+ CA state parks set for closure in 2012, so I can only imagine what a hot commodity some of these sites will be next year.
2) The cleanup.  You know when you get home and everything is covered in dirt, stale campfire smell and seawater?  There is no washer big enough....
3) Cooking.  Oh wait...this is the easy part!  Well maybe not as easy as sitting on the beach, but with a little prep, it can come close. And you don't have to be tied to hot dogs, and with some tools you can throw out those sticks (unless you're saving them for s'mores)

Marinate some chicken (I used bone in thighs) in olive oil, garlic, rosemary (or any herbs) , salt & pepper and place it in a large ziplock plastic bag. Place the bag in the freezer overnight, and pack in the bottom of your cooler the next day.  It will act as an icepack, and be thaw by the time you need it. 

Chop some veggies (I used bell peppers, zucchini, yellow squash and cherry tomatoes), place them in a big plastic bag with a little salt & pepper.  

When you get your fire going, place the chicken in a flat grill basket - these are also good for grilling fish and shrimp - and put the veggies in another.  Have a beer and flip/toss as needed! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Paleo Rosemary Kale Caear Salad

Kale Caesar!  (sorry, I couldn't resist) This crunchy little gem was hiding in my Bon Appetit and it's definitely a keeper.   My only suggestion - add some crumbled bacon.  

1/4 c lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
8 oz anchovy filets, drained 
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
3/4 c good olive oil
2 hard boiled eggs
salt & pepper
1 lb kale, stalks removed and chopped
2 tbs sliced almonds

In a food processor combine the lemon juice, anchovies, garlic and dijon and pulse until smooth.  Very slowly add the oil with the processor on, this will give you that creamy dressing. Add rosemary and pulse to combine.  

Separate the yolk from the white on your hard boiled eggs.  Chop and keep separate.

Put your kale in a bowl, drizzle dressing,  drop in those egg bits, toss in the almonds, crack some black pepper on top (then give it a taste and see if it needs a little salt).  Easy 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Quick Paleo Lunch: AB&J Roll-ups

PB&J is so 2008.... Here's one more idea to have on hand when you have that what-to-make-for-lunch moment.  You know, that one that involves a hungry person and little motivation/inspiration? 

Make some paleo wraps

Fill with almond butter and your favorite jelly.  I used a combo of low sugar blackberry and low sugar apricot jam.  Roll them up and voila! 

You can also fill them with almond butter and raw honey, or sweet potatoes and grade B maple syrup...feel free to get creative.  

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Paleo Salt & Pepper Salmon with Sweet Potatoes

Sometimes you need a fresh, light dinner that won't keep you in the kitchen for hours.  This is one of those meals - the hint of salt on the fish, the bitter greens, and the soothing sweet potatoes make for a pretty nice little combo.  

I know some of you are thinking, "but sweet potatoes are loaded with carbs..carbs are the devil!"  True, there's about 20g of carbs per 100oz, but calm down. Eating some carbs won't kill you, in fact it might help you out a bit.  Not to mention sweet potatoes have a lot of fiber, Vitamins A & B, iron, calcium, magnesium, and beta carotene. Another fun fact (thanks to Wikipedia), is that China is the largest producer of sweet potatoes, providing about 80% of the world's supply.  As with all of your food, try to buy them locally grown.

2 Salmon filets - I happen to come across some wild, frozen Sockeye salmon
1 tsp pink Hawaiian sea salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 small pads of butter
1 lemon - cut into 2 wheels for presentation and couple wedges to squirt
2 sweet potatoes
3 tbs chives, chopped
1 tsp sea salt

For the fish - Preheat oven to 400. Rinse and dry fish, season evenly with Hawaiian salt and pepper.  Place on a foil lined baking sheet and add the thin pad of butter and a lemon wheel on top.  Bake for about 8 minutes (depending on the thickness of your fish), or until it flakes with a fork without being dry.  Remove from oven and squeeze remaining lemon over top.

For the potatoes: You can peel them, but I like the skin on so I just give them a good scrub.  Cut them into pieces, cover with water and bring to a boil.  When they're soft, drain almost all the water - I leave a few tbs just to keep them smooth - and mash with a potato masher/electric mixer.  You can also add a little coconut milk if they seem dry.  Drop in those chives, a little salt & pepper and mash a bit more

I served this with a wild rocket salad dressed with good olive oil

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bali, a Paleo Paradise

Sorry for the long pause between posts, but I took a vacation and haven't had the chance to cook anything!  We spent some time in Bali, where there is a plethora of fresh fresh and even fresher fruit, and while the sugar in the latter will sneak up on you, the former is spectacular. Even better, at some of the touristy places (Jimbaran Bay, Echo Beach) you can choose your own fish and eat with your feet in the sand.   Our lunch of squid, prawns and baronang (a local fish), all perfectly grilled with a little chili and garlic is one of the top meals I've ever had.


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