Easiest (Paleo) Pulled Pork … Ever.

See, here’s the thing, I’ve finished the show and still I haven’t quite managed to have a moment to breathe at all. The idea of fiddling with a week and a half worth of photos was just too too much to bear. So tonight you get a recipe for Pulled Pork.
The easiest (and, incidentally, Paleo-friendly) recipe I’ve ever seen.

Paleo Pulled Pork

Paleo Pulled Pork
Recipe by my friend Susan

Ingredients:
2kg pork shoulder. If you can, buy it on the bone for extra flavour.
3T of smoked paprika.
3T of salt
1T of dry mustard
1.5T of ground cumin

Cooking:
Combine all the spices and then massage into the pork shoulder.
Leave it in the fridge to marinate – if you can do it overnight that’s ideal, but at least for an hour or two.

Preheat your oven to 150 degrees then put the pork shoulder into the oven for 6 hours in a covered dish.

After 20 minutes, leave it to rest for 20ish mins. Then, with a fiendish amount of glee, get two forks and start shredding the meat. Do your best not to eat it all at this point. It smells and tastes divine.

It really, really does.

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Christmas Krispies

Sunday: christmas treats

So, you may have noticed that it’s coming up to Christmas so, naturally, I had to find some kind of dreadfully unhealthy treat to which I could add candy canes.
This year, I think I may have outdone myself.

(Just reading the recipe makes my teeth hurt just a bit. And they are dangerously tasty. Beware)

The working title for this was marshmallow-hot-chocolate-candy-cane-coco-pop treats. But, since the greater part of the world knows marshmallow plus puffed rice as “rice krispies” that’s what I’m going with also.

Christmas Krispies

Ingredients
6 cups coco pops, coco snaps, or other coco-flavoured puffed rice cereal
1/4 cup butter
1 bag of mini marshmallows, plus 2 cups divided (About a bag and a half total)
6 Tbsp hot chocolate mix
6 mini candy canes or 3 regular sized candy canes
Baking paper

1. Line a baking tray or pan with baking paper.
2. Melt butter in large pot over low heat.
3. Add one bag of mini marshmallows and hot chocolate powder.
4. Stir while continuing to cook over low heat until marshmallows are melted and chocolate is mixed in. Remove from heat.
5. Unwrap your candy canes, put them in a plastic bag, and bash them into powder & chunks.
6. Mix in your 6 cups Coco Snaps or equivalent. DO NOT BE TERRIFIED IF THE MIXTURE LOOKS LIKE COBWEBS.
7. Add in MOST of the rest of your mini marshmallows and all of the pulverized candy canes.
8. Stir until marshmallows & candy canes are evenly distributed.
9. Pour into the prepared pan. Use an extra piece of baking paper to press it down – it’s very sticky.
10. If you have remaining mini marshmallows, pour them on top and press into the mix.
11. Cool for 30 minutes and cut into squares.

Store air tight for up to 2 days.

The name needs some work.

Original recipe found all OVER the place.

Pa pa paleo – Raw Cacao Macaroons

Saturday: makng macaroons (art directing Craig)

There are some good things that come from this Paleo diet. Besides weight loss and not feeling disgusting after meals. But sometimes you come up with delicious treats that you can share with your friends who are gluten free, or have chronic fatigue syndrome, or who have recently found out that they are allergic to PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING.
And these? these are so good that I will probably make them on and off for years. They are so good I would eat them if I did not care about gluten or grains or dairy or anything else. They are so good I emailed them to all my people before I even perfected the recipe.

Because I kind of did make this recipe up. Not from scratch, it is sort of an amalgam of three or four different recipes, and a bit of trial and error on my part. But you should try them! They are delicious.

1

Raw Cacao Macaroons

1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup coconut oil
2tbsp organic maple syrup
2tbsp organic agave nectar
dash of organic vanilla essence
pinch of sea salt
Desiccated coconut

3 4

Combine all the ingredients. Add enough coconut to make a mixture that sticks together.
I made a double batch and used about 100g of coconut. Next time I would probably even up the coconut content.

5 6

Roll into balls, lay on greaseproof paper, and refrigerate.

If the balls are a little melty (coconut oil is VERY MELTY), don’t panic like I did the first time. It’ll harden back up in the fridge!

7

Pa Pa Paleo Recipe: Lamb and Bacon Dumplings

title

I essentially gave up on Paleo just before Christmas
I kept the basic principles as much as possible but there were just too many sweets, so many refined carbohydrates, a lot of smooth peanut butter on whole grain toast. I started feeling bloated after almost every meal. My jeans started getting just a little bit tight. But mainly, I felt unhealthy after I was finished with a meal.

So I’m heading back to the caveman life, back on the Paleo diet.

With that in mind, I give you one of our favourite all time Paleo meals*.

Lamb and Bacon Dumplings

Ingredients

Meatball ingredients
6 rashers bacon
1 small onion
1 tbs olive oil
2 tsp sage
1 tsp ground paprika
1 egg
salt and pepper
500g minced lamb

Sauce ingredients
400g canned diced tomatoes
2 tsp basil
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 spring onion
salt and pepper

Method

Preheat a fan-forced oven to 180 celsius/350 fahrenheit.

1

Finely chop the onion and bacon

2

In a pan on medium/high heat fry the bacon and onion for 5 minutes or until the onion is tender

3

Add the sage, paprika, salt, and pepper and cook for a further two minutes. Remove pan from the heat and leave to cool.

4

In a large bowl combine the bacon mixture, egg, and minced lamb. Mix well.

5 7

Roll the lamb mixture into balls and place in a tray lined with baking paper. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until well cooked.

6 8

To make the sauce, place the tomatoes, basil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a medium sized pan** and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the spring onion and simmer for a further minute.

9

Add the cooked meatballs and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Serve with a sprig of basil.
Note: if you are not on the Paleo diet I’m sure this would be a good spaghetti and meatballs recipe. I would just double the tomatoes, basil, and garlic for the sauce.

10 - plated

* Adapted just a smidge from the free pdf book “Recipes for the 21st Century Hunter Gatherer” by Nikki Young
** I just use the pan the bacon mixture was cooked in, so you get all the excess spices and whatnot

Memories: Mushroom and Walnut Pâté

Mushrooms
Borough Market 2008

Some of my favourite memories of London are set in winter. When the air is so cold that at first, it almost hurts to breathe. Where you go from coffee shop to coffee shop so you have something warm to hold. Where the air is blue and cloudless, you wear a hat and scarf, coat and gloves, and it’s just warm enough. When you almost forget the feeling of your husbands un-gloved hand in yours. But you can’t help smiling.

My memories of Borough Market are like that. Coffee in one hand, Craig’s hand in the other. Cobblestones underfoot.

Past the Tate Modern, past the Globe, past Pizza Express, past The Anchor, past the remains of Winchester Palace, past the Golden Hinde, right next to Southwark Cathedral, and we were there.

Game

We went there on a Saturday morning. The market was always madness after 11 so we would try and get there early. Rarely did we make it before 10:30.
Sometimes we would each get a bacon and egg butty or Craig would get a roast sandwich, and I’d get the venison burger and a coffee from Monmouth (the best, consistently the best, coffee I have ever had). Sometimes we would walk and eat, sometimes we would sit in the grounds of Southwark Cathedral – depending on how strong the sun was that morning.

Always we would buy food for home as well, pies from ‘Pie Minister’, handmade fudge, the best brownies I’ve ever purchased, artisan bread, and mushroom pâté.

Crates & Crowd

I miss our market routine. Even when the weather outside and the warmth of our bed got the better of my robot-husband and he stayed home. I miss that little routine more than anything. So much sometimes that it hurts. So much that I can barely bring myself to try the Wellington version – I know it won’t live up to the original. But I have tried to recreate some things.

I found a recipe for a pie with olives in it, I found a recipe for even better brownies, and finally, finally, I tried making mushroom pâté.

And it was good. Not Borough Market good, but pretty damn good*.

Mushroom and Walnut Pâté

Ingredients
250g Mushrooms
1 medium white onion
1 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp dried basil or marjoram
1 clove or tsp garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
40g walnuts

1. Chop the onion and fry in butter until translucent.

Mushroom and Walnut Pâté 1

2. Add the chopped mushrooms and cook for a few minutes.
3. Add the herbs, garlic, and seasoning.

Mushroom and Walnut Pâté 2

4. Blitz the walnuts in a food processor and add to the mushroom mixture.
5. Return all the ingredients to the food processor and purée.

Mushroom and Walnut Pâté 3

6. Turn into a bowl and chill. Serve with bread, toast, or crackers.

Mushroom and Walnut Pâté

It may not be a secret family recipe like the original from Borough, but it’s good enough for me.

* It was good enough that when I made it on Christmas day my mama sent me away with a bag of mushrooms and instructions to make more for Boxing Day.

Candy Cane (salted) Chocolate Brownies

7

Christmas just isn’t Christmas without any Candy Canes

To me, chocolate and peppermint is the flavour of Christmas. I can’t help it. With that in mind, I fiddled around with my favourite brownie recipe and created Candy Cane (salted) Chocolate Brownies. They are so good.

(NB: my pan is a little larger than required so I made a one-and-a-half batch. The recipe below is just for one)

Candy Cane (salted) Chocolate Brownies

Ingredients
8 tbsp butter
1/2 c brown sugar
1 c white sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 c flour
1/2 c cocoa
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp peppermint essence

For the icing:
2 tsp butter
Icing sugar
1 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp peppermint essence
3 candy canes

Ingredients

1. Preheat Oven to 200c

1
Christmas calories don’t count, right?

2. Melt (entirely too much) butter in pot over stove

2

3. Remove butter from heat, let cool about a minute, then add sugars (I use the pot as my bowl the whole way through. I’m all about saving on the washing up). Mix well.

3

4. Add eggs, flour, cocoa, salt, and essences. Mix well.

4

5. Line pan with baking paper, pour in batter, and pop in oven.

5

6. Bake 20-25 minutes, test with a knife in the center and remove when only a few little crumbs cling to the knife.

7. Cool one hour.

8. In another bowl mix the butter with enough boiling water to melt it, icing sugar, cocoa, peppermint essence, and another pinch of salt, until you have an icing with a good consistency – add water a tsp at a time to water it down.

7

9. Have your handsome husband (I mean, if you have one lying around, it’s handy) unwrap the candy canes and crush them. Try not to eat too many of the bigger pieces.

8

10. Sprinkle over the icing! Enjoy. Also, if you happen to have a metric tonne of melted white chocolate from when you also made peppermint bark? you can add that too.

Addendum

Dinosaur Diet: Chilli and Garlic Chicken Salad

Chili & garlic chicken #paleo #dinosaurdiet

Three days in and my Dinosaur Diet is going swimmingly.
No cheating at all. I mean, food-wise. Last night I was out and had wine. But I did so much better than the co-workers I was out with. I am totally going to win this damn challenge.

Tonight’s meal:

Chilli and Garlic Chicken Salad (ish).

Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts
2 tbsp olive oil
1 chilli, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
6 tbsp lemon juice
Baby spinach
Slivered almonds

Preheat the oven to 180c/350f.
Mix all the oil, chilli, garlic, and lemon juice together. Slice the chicken breast, lay in a greased oven pan and pour over the sauce, making sure to cover it all.
Bake for 30-40 minutes.
Serve over a “salad” of baby spinach and top with toasted slivered almonds.

– if I had thought in advance I would’ve added some red capsicum and paleo-mayonnaise. Eh. It was still really good.

Christmas Eve: Candy Cane Fudge

Step 22 - FINALE

My basic lazy-girl-baker idea of christmas baking is to take anything that usually comes as chocolate and add peppermint essence and candy canes. Because Chocolate and Mint is the best flavour combination in the world. THE WORLD.

Still, this slice is delicious.

Ingredients
250g butter, cubed
1 cup caster sugar
2 egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp vanilla essence
2 tsp peppermint essence
4 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
2x 250g packet wine biscuits, finely crushed
Simple chocolate icing
10 half-size candy canes (or, I suppose, 5 regular size candy canes)

Ah, jeez. I JUST realised that I only used 1 egg in this recipe. Though it calls for two. And tastes just fine. Hurrah!

Step 1
Ingredients. Plus handy iPhone containing the recipe.

Step 2
Cut the butter. Don’t be terrified by just how much you use. Or at least, try to ignore it.

Step 4
Place butter in a saucepan to melt.
You can cut it in to cubes to help it melt faster but I prefer to not.

Step 3
Because it’s the perfect time to have a drink.

Step 5
Or to continue with the recipe.
Put the packets of biscuits into a plastic bag.
Also? I have no idea if wine biscuits are called anything else around the world. They are plain plain plain biscuits and I can only stand them in recipes like this.

Step 6
Crush the biscuits!
Yes, we keep a hammer in the kitchen. Why?

Step 7
Measure out the sugar. I love my measuring cups, they are ADORABLE.

Step 8
Add to the melted sugar and stir until dissolved.
Wooden spoon handle covered in electrical tape because I hate the feeling of rough wood. Makes my skin crawl.

Step 9
Remove from the heat, allow to cool for a minute (just a minute) then add the egg(s. Damn,) and stir. The egg might go a little streaky white but that’s just it cooking. DO NOT PANIC.

Step 10
Add the vanilla and peppermint essences. I add extra because I love both flavours.

Step 11
Stir in the cocoa.

Step 12
Add the crushed biscuits. Don’t panic if there are large chunks, you can crush them up in the next step.

Step 13
Stir and stir and stir some more. And then a bit more.

Step 14
Press into a greased 17 x 27cm slice tin.

Step 15
Refrigerate!

And now you can watch Elf, or cook dinner, or have another drink. Then move on to the icing. You can use any chocolate icing recipe you like but mine is as follows:

Ingredients
1 tsp butter
1 tsp cocoa
Water
Icing sugar

Step 16
Icing ingredients.

The most annoying part is unwrapping and crushing the candy canes. This is where I rope in my darling darling husband, or, like last year, my darling sister.

Step 17

Step 18

Step 19
Add the teaspoon of butter to a bowl and microwave for scant seconds to melt. Then add 1/4 cup hot water, the cocoa, and icing sugar.

Step 20
Continue to add icing sugar and water, alternating between the two, until you have a) enough icing and b) the right consistency.

Step 21
Spread over the slice and sprinkle with the candy cane shards.

Step 22 - FINALE

Enjoy!
It’s delicious.

Beef, Mushroom, Bacon, & Olive Pot Pie

Oh Darling Hearts

Only occasionally do I feature something I’ve already purchased as something I heart, but this week? I bought a Pie Bird. As in a four and twenty blackbirds were baked in a pie kind of bird.
And this wouldn’t exactly be news except that tonight I used it (him? her? no. it) in the making of a pie so amazing it has wiped all thoughts of material goods out of my mind completely. G.O.N.E. Hmm. I think it was octopus jewellery? anyway.

Four and Twenty

Beef, Mushroom, Bacon, & Olive Pot Pie
(this recipe is most definitely not mine. It was featured in a fundraising recipe book so it didn’t originally come from there either.)

2 cloves of garlic, diced (I used 2 inches of pre-crushed garlic from a tube)
1 onion (I used 2)
125g bacon, diced
1 cup of mushrooms, diced
1kg beef, diced (3cm cubes)
1-2 heaped tablespoons wholegrain mustard (I used 1.5)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
440g tin crushed tomatoes (I used 400g cause that’s what came in the tin)
1 handful black olives (I used 2 handfuls! I love olives)
1-2 sheets puff pastry

Preheat oven to 200°C

In one pan, sautée the onions and garlic in two tablespoons of olive oil until softened but not browned. Add the mushrooms and bacon and stir.

In another pan cook the beef cubes until sealed. This might need to be done in batches, adding the beef to the onions, mushrooms, bacon, and garlic mixture as you go.

In the pan you used to seal the meat put in the tomato paste and mustard, deglazing with the red wine. Stir well to get all the scrapings off the bottom of the pan.

Combine the ingredients from both pans, add the crushed tomatoes, and bring to a simmer and cook until the beef is tender. The recipe I used called for 1-1.5 hours but I didn’t realise that until I had started cooking and it was already getting late so I made do with 30 minutes and the beef wasn’t tough at all. But I guess it depends on the quality of the beef and uh … I don’t know anything about beef. If it looks like it’s getting a bit dry, add some water, or more red wine! Stir in the olives.

Place a pie bird in your pie dish (hee!) and surround it with the delicious delicious pie filling. Top with a sheet of puff pastry (apparently, if you are sans pie bird (a sad life) then a hole cut in the pastry will work just as well. But it will be much less amusing) and make leaves with any leftover pastry. Brush the pastry with an egg wash (or a milk wash) (or forget this part because it seems like too much hassle) (oops) and bake for 30 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

Perfect for the cold cold threatening storms winter evening Wellington served up tonight. It’s moorish and amazing.

Week Twenty-Five

365 in 2009!

Sunday: Sickbed
Sunday
I spent the day in bed attempting to ward off illness and watching Criminal Minds.

Monday: Sir C returns! with dirty laundry.
Monday
Craig returned from his long weekend racing cars. His dirty laundry safe in a bag.

Tuesday: Mexican Lasagne!
Tuesday
I made Mexican Lasagne* for dinner. My pathetic wrists are too weak to hold the pan while constructing the lasagne. Craig helps out at that point.

Wednesday: Supercute Shoes
Wednesday
I wore my new supercute shoes. They hurt. Because, despite the hidden platform, the heel is just a smidge taller than I can find comfortable. I will continue to wear them though! because look! they’re so damn cute.

Thursday: Beehive at night
Thursday
Walking to the station at dusk.
These lights are at the entrance to the Beehive grounds.
(you can see it through the trees)

Friday: Dawn at the Train Station
Friday
It was so so cold on Friday that I bought a coffee from the cart at the station in order to have something to warm my hands on my walk to work. And the coffee is really good.

Saturday: Light at Uncle Chang's
Saturday
Kitschy lights at the kitschy Uncle Chang’s restaurant in Wellington.
(Craig was on a nostalgia kick)

&

Cough cough cough
I’ve had a death cough all week.

* Mexican Lasagne
It’s essentially Chili Con Carne plus miscellaneous vegetables, in a casserole dish with Tortillas taking the place of the pasta in lasagne, each tortilla smeared in a little cream cheese (taking the place of béchamel sauce) and topped in grated cheese.
Then baked for a further 20 minutes. Deeeelicious.