Food post! Tuesday’s dinner: Steak à l’oignon, carrots à la vichy, and salad. I got these recipes from La Cuisine de France by Countess Mapie de Toulouse-Lautrec. Both recipes were very simple (each had only five ingredients… including salt), and both were very good. The carrots came out very sweet, as the recipe called for way more sugar than salt.
Food post! Thursday’s dinner: Fillet steak a la mexicana and chiles rellenos. Recipes from Cuisines of the World: Mexico, by Julia Fernández. The steak was simple, just chopped and cooked with garlic, onions, tomatoes, parsley, and chilis. The stuffed peppers were filled with cheese, onion, egg, parsley, garlic, and also corn, though that wasn’t called for in the recipe (I just threw it in there on a whim).
Food post! Wednesday dinner: Jugged Chicken (frango na pucara) and fresh cèpes with parsley dressing. Once again the main dish was from Portuguese Cooking by Hilaire Walden while the side dish was from Vegetarian by Linda Fraser. The chicken dish is called ”jugged” because it is traditionally prepared in an earthenware pot. I however used a cast iron dutch oven. The chicken came out surprisingly tender, while the vegetables were very fresh. The recipe called for a lot of tomato, onion, garlic, and bell pepper, so it had a very rich salsa-like taste. Warm salsa with pieces of chicken may not sound appetizing, but I assure you it was yummy. The recipe also called for lots of alcohol: white wine, white port, and brandy. Since I actually had white port (and since it’s a type of wine wine), I used the port mixed with brandy and omitted the regular white wine. As for the salad: I had no cèpes, so I used dried mushrooms that I’d picked up at the Asian market. I have no idea what this particular variety of mushrooms is properly called, but regardless I sautéed them in rice vinegar, butter, honey, and white port to bring them to life. The mushrooms were then sliced and served on a bed of romaine lettuce and topped with parmesan cheese, almonds, and the parsley dressing. The parsley dressing called for two egg yolks, minced parsley, a pinch of sugar, and peanut oil, but I used a basil infused soybean oil instead. It turned out great.
Food post! Tuesday dinner: Mexican-style shrimp (camarones a la mexicana) and Mexican rice (arroz a la mexicana). Recipes from Cusines of the World: Mexico by Julia Fernández. The shrimp were shelled, cleaned, and pan-fried on each side then served on a bed of sauce made from tomatoes. onions, cilantro, bell peppers, and garlic… basically a cooked salsa, that was seasoned with salt, pepper, and thyme. The rice was stewed with beans, red onion, bell pepper, tomato paste, and seasoned with chili powder, salt, and white pepper.
Food post! Wednesday dinner: Braised pork with corn (côtelettes de porc braisées au maïs) and baby spinach salad with herb dressing (vinaigrette aux fines herbs). Recipes from La Cuisine de France by Countess Mapie Toulouse-Lautrec. Pretty easy dishes. The pork was braised in a pan with a diced onion and bell pepper to which corn was added. The salad dressing called for olive oil, vinegar, and a mix of herbs including parsley, tarragon, mint, basil, and anise leaves, but since I was out of the last two, I omitted them. I combined all the ingredients and (as Alton Brown suggests doing) I mixed them all in a cocktail shaker just before serving. I served it over a salad of baby spinach, dried cranberries, and cucumber.
Food post! Sunday lunch: Marinated pork steak (bifes de porco gelhada), sautéed greens (Grelos), and braised lentils (Le estufaso). Recipes from Portuguese Cooking by Hilaire Weaver. The pork chops were marinated overnight in a mix of lemon juice, mint, salt, garlic, and olive oil and then broiled in the toaster oven. For the greens recipe, I used green chard and sautéed them in a small cast-iron skillet with olive oil and garlic. The lentil recipe called for simmering the lentils for 30 minutes in beef broth along with potatoes, leeks, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and carrots. Since I had no potatoes and leeks, I substituted diced apple and celery. I’ve had lentils done all kinds of ways, and this recipe ranks up there with my favorites.
Food post! Saturday dinner: Paleo-correct meat loaf with spinach salad. The recipe was from (no surprise) the Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain. The meat loaf was easy; I took 93/7 lean beef and mixed it with a couple of cage free eggs, onions, garlic, parsley, black pepper, cilantro, and olive oil. The salad was made with spinach, radishes, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes. There’s more meat loaf left, so looks like I know what’s for lunch today.
Food post! Monday dinner: Braised river trout with marinated mushroom and artichoke salad. So this recipe is the first in a while that is not from Loren Cordain’s the Paleo Diet, that’s because I broke down and bought the Paleo Diet Cookbook and that’s the source of origin for this recipe. The trout was braised in a cast iron skillet with chicken stock, carrots, and onions (the recipe called for leeks, but I was out). The artichokes and mushrooms were marinated for a short time in a vinegar and oil mixture and chilled in the freezer for a couple of minutes. Not a bad meal.
Food post! Saturday dinner: Salmon with pear infusion, stuffed mushrooms, and mixed-leaf salad with walnuts. This recipe was adapted from a recipe called “Salmon with nectarine infusion”, but since I had no nectarines, a different fruit was drafted into service. The stuffed mushroom recipe (called “stuffed ‘shrooms”, to appeal to those hip youngsters) was a landmark of the forgetable sort… this was the first Paleo recipe I’ve tried where I thought to myself: “Wow, this needs more salt!” One of the major appeals of the Paleo diet is that it doesn’t seem like a diet at all, so I’m going to chalk this up to just a bad recipe. More cayenne pepper or garlic powder might fix the problem for next time, in regards to its lack of seasoning. Both the above recipes were from the Paleo Diet Cookbook, by the way. I served it with a mixed-leaf salad with carrots, grape tomatoes, and walnuts.
Food post! Sunday breakfast! Scrambled eggs with salsa and fresh strawberries. Recipes from the Paleo Diet by Loren Cordin PhD. The egg recipe was in the book under the title “scrambled basil eggs” it was literally two ingredients: eggs and dried basil. It suggested topping it with another recipe from elsewhere in the book, called “Anaheim Cilantro Salsa”. This recipe was a combination of tomatoes, garlic, onions, cilantro, a jalapeño pepper, an anaheim pepper, ground black pepper, and cumin made in the food processor. I served it with a few fresh strawberries. I mentioned in an earlier post that I had tried 12 of this book’s 90 recipes… that number is now up to 19. I’ll see if I get that number above 30 by the week’s end! One thing about Paleo cooking that is refreshing… it really is simple. It is literally easier than pie.
Food post! Wednesday dinner: chopped steak and ratatouille. Recipe from the Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain. The ratatouille recipe called for real rats (they’re Paleo!) but I substituted chopped celery instead. It also called for fresh parsley, but since I had a little cilantro, I used that instead. Easy recipes.
Food post! Monday dinner: Chard stuffed pork loin with spinach salad. I’ve been doing a lot of stuffed meats lately. Call it an obsession if you will. For this dish I took a small bundle of Swiss chard, diced it with onions and canned clams then stuffed it inside of a butterflied pork loin. I served it with a spinach salad topped with walnuts, bell pepper, tomato, and a homemade vinaigrette. Both the bell pepper and the chard were bought last Thursday at the Homegrown Alabama Farmer’s Market on the lawn of Canterbury Chapel. So, you know… shout out.