Sunday, December 26, 2010

Apple Cranberry Crumble (Pie)

I started out intending to make a pie.  But, I got a little careless with the crust and it turned out more like a crumble.  I'm sure you could make a pie with no problem:)  In either case, it turned out fantastic -- sweet & tart, with a nice buttery crunch.

  • 1 1/2 cups soaked macadamia nuts
  • 4 Tbs ghee (or coconut oil)
  • 1 1/4 cup coconut milk (get the kind with no added "junk")
  • 1/2 cup frozen apple juice concentrate (get the kind with no added sugar -- 100% apple juice)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh cranberries (I used 1/2 cup)
  • 4-5 small/medium apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a food processor, blend nuts until they make a meal or flour consistency.
  3. Mix with ghee (or coconut oil) and mash into the bottom of a pie plate.
  4. Bake for about 10 minutes (you want the nuts to brown, but not burn).
  5. In a saucepan large enough to fit the apple filling, combine coconut milk, apple juice concentrate, cinnamon, ginger, and cranberries.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until cranberries begin to break down.
  6. Add apples and coat in liquid mixture.
  7. Add to baked pie crust, then bake for another 30-40 minutes, watching to make sure your apples don't burn.
Part of Real Food Wednesday and Pennywise Platter.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sweet & Savory Celery Root Hash

Three months ago, I didn't know what celery root was.  The first time I saw it, I didn't want anything to do with it.  Even though I've acquired a love of a lot of new veggies, including Brussels sprouts, spinach, collards, and okra, celery is still one veggie that I don't really like.  Aside from not really liking celery, I was a little, well, turned off by celery root's ugly appearance.  The first time I tried celery root was with this Ugly Duckling Salad (which is totally awesome, by the way).  Amazingly enough, after I tried it, I decided celery root is pretty good -- a lot more mild than celery -- kind of a mix between celery and potato. If you haven't given it a try, you should.  After that recipe, I got brave and decided to try my own creation.  This makes a great dinner or breakfast (I had it with over-easy eggs the next morning). 

  • 4 oz prosciutto (you could sub bacon) 
  • 1/2 - 1 Tbs ghee or other fat of choice (coconut oil might be really good)
  • 1 celery root, peeled and diced
  • 1 small apple (I used a Honeycrisp), washed and diced
  1. Start by browning prosciutto until it has begun to render its fat, but is not yet crispy (mine didn't have a lot of fat).
  2. Add ghee (if yours has sufficient fat, you can skip this step...or if you use bacon, you won't need ghee as well).
  3. Add diced celery root and cook for about 10 minutes.
  4. Add apple.
  5. Cook until prosciutto is crisp and celery root and apples are tender.
  6. Serve and enjoy.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Buffalo Beef Chili

I'm a big fan of Frank's red hot sauce.  I use it on chicken, beef, pretty much whatever (I know, call me weird!).  When I stumbled across this recipe from Rachel Ray for Buffalo Chicken Chili, I just knew I had to try it!  Problem was, I didn't have several of the ingredients (chicken, tomato sauce).  So, here's my adaptation.  If I would have had other veggies in my fridge (bell peppers, etc.), they would have also gone in the mix. (Not my finest hour as a photographer, sorry:).)

  • 2 Tbs ghee (I think I could have used a little less and been as happy)
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 5 large cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 Tbs paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups chicken (or beef) stock
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup hot sauce (I used 1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce)
  • 1 15-oz can diced tomatoes & green chile (I used Muir Glen)
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste (as a thickener)
  • Salt and pepper (if needed)
  1. Place large pot over medium-high heat and add ghee.
  2. Once melted, add the ground beef.  Cook until browned, about 5-6 minutes.
  3. Add carrot, onion, celery, garlic, paprika, and bay leaf.  Cook, stirring frequently, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add the stock, hot sauce, and tomatoes.  Bring to a simmer.
  5. Simmer for about 15 minutes to let sauce reduce and bring flavors together.
  6. Remove bay leaf.
  7. Taste.  Adjust seasonings if necessary and serve.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sweet Potato Fries

This isn't a typical dish for me.  I don't generally eat a lot of sweet potatoes -- not because they aren't nutritious, but because they are a little carb dense for someone still working on body composition.  And, I haven't used my fryer in about, oh, 7 years.  But, it's my mom's birthday.  She's a good sport, eating everything I make, without complaint (even the flops!).  Truthfully, though, my real food/Paleo ways are not her cup of tea.  Thus, for her birthday, I wanted something she would enjoy, but made in a way that I felt was "okay" to eat.  Sweet potato fries were my answer...and boy, were they awesome!  I haven't had fast food since I converted, but homemade fries are SO much better...I can't imagine eating them at a fast food place again.  Also, I read that fries retain at least a 1/4 less oil when cooked in beef fat than vegetable oil.  Amazingly enough, they are also pretty easy to make (if your fat is already rendered, the only difficult part is cleaning up the fryer).

  • 2 sweet potatoes (peeled or unpeeled, depending upon your preference)
  • Rendered beef fat (enough for your fryer or deep pan) [I rendered the fat myself...that's an adventure to share for another post!]
  • Kosher salt
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Cinnamon
  1. Wash and peel (if applicable) sweet potatoes.  Cut into "steak" fries (thick wedges).  
  2. Place in a bowl.  Cover with ice water and let sit 15-30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in your fryer (or pan) to 325 degrees F.
  4. Once the oil has reached temperature, dry potatoes and, working in batches, drop into your oil for 3-4 minutes.
  5. After each batch is finished, remove from the fryer and place on towels to drain excess grease.
  6. After all of the potatoes are cooked once, turn the temperature up to 375 degrees F.
  7. Working in batches, fry for another 3-4 minutes until potatoes are crisp.
  8. Remove from oil and immediately season with salt, cayenne pepper, and a little cinnamon.
  9. Best served hot.
Part of Real Food Wednesday.