Sunday, February 26, 2012

Spiced Chicken and Root Vegetables

The language of food can be a fun one.  It spans continents and cultures.  It can make you sound sophisticated.  It can also make you sound like an immature 12 year old boy.  At the top of my food vocabulary favorite list (right behind "fishmonger") is "spatchcocked."  Walk up to the meat counter at your local grocery store, ask for one of the whole chickens in the case... then ask the butcher to spatchcock it for you.  I can usually keep a straight face right up until the butcher does a double take and asks me what I just asked.  I quickly explain that a spatchcocked bird has the back cut out and the breast bone removed or broken (both of which can be reserved and used later for stock).  They slowly nod and prep my chicken.  Why do I ask the butcher to do it for me?  They have better knives and shears than I have... and I just have fun asking.

If your butcher doesn't cut meat/poultry to order, check out this guide on how to spatchcock your own bird.

Also, I decided to take this bird into previously uncharted territory (for me, at least) when it came to seasoning.  To satisfy a craving I've been having all winter, I dusted this bird with cinnamon and allspice.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Fennel & Apple Slaw with Pork Chops

Every family has their standbys and quick go-to meals.  They are part of a rotation.  Thinking back to when I was a kid, I remember hot dog/mac’n’cheese night, taco night and grilled cheese/soup night.  One of my favorite meals that my mom kept in the rotation was pork chops, apple sauce and Rice-A-Roni.  If I want to overanalyze it, I’m sure the roots of the recipe below can be found in that childhood meal.  I wasn’t trying to mimic or recreate it… just thought of it while eating my latest creation.  I’ll wager that this version has a little less sodium than boxed rice and noodles… and a little less sugar than jarred applesauce.  And it has vegetables!  Fennel!  [That’d be the funny looking onion-like bulb that smells faintly of licorice in your produce section.]

Buy and use as many pork chops as you need for this meal.  The slaw portion prepared below makes about 4-6 good sized servings… but then I’ll eat a quarter of a cabbage head in one sitting.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Upcoming Primal/Paleo Events in Texas

There's always something going on, but the events below are a little bigger than a local paleo potluck or Whole 30 Challange info session.  Houston, Dallas and Austin are each hosting an event... and all of these events are coming up in March.

First on the calendar is Paleo FX in Austin, March 14-17. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Buffalo Salmon Jerky

If you want something done right, sometimes you have to do it yourself.  The buffalo salmon jerky recipe I will share below spawned in the deep, dark recesses of my brain when browsing the seafood counter at our local Whole Foods.  They happen to make/carry a version of this treat.  But, after reading the ingredient card and talking with the fishmonger, I discovered that they make their salmon jerky using farm raised Atlantic salmon and have a number of soy based ingredients in their marinade.  [sigh…] Not something I want to spend my hard earned money on, much less eat.  As if the presence of soy wasn’t disappointing enough...  wait.  Why, you ask, am I so wound up about the sourcing of my jerky meat?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Wings

Aside from some of the harsh lessons learned in my kitchen these past couple of weeks, there have been a couple of successes.  One of them was the bacon bouquet I made my wife for Valentine's Day.  A bacon bouquet doesn't last as long as a dozen (overpriced) roses, but roses don't taste like bacon.  If they did, I still wouldn't buy them because real bacon is cheaper.  Next Valentine's Day, show your love with bacon.  If the target of your affections rejects your offering, move on.  Anyone who rejects bacon doesn't deserve your love.

I digress.  You're probably thinking, "Did he mislabel the post?  He hasn't said a thing about chicken wings..."  And if you're hoping to find out what a bacon bouquet looks like, sorry.  It didn't last long.  So, buffalo chicken wings...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lessons Learned in My Kitchen

The past couple of weeks in my kitchen have been checkered with successes and failures.  Some people think that "failure" may be a harsh criticism to throw out there.  But, I'd be sugar coating the reality if I tried to downplay some of my poor results... and sugar isn't primal/paleo.  While almost nothing I made was worth posting on Primal Texas, I suppose these lost endeavors cannot be labeled total failures.  For one thing, nothing that was prepared had to be wasted.  It may have tasted kind of "meh", but my wife put on a smile that even I (almost) believed and told me it wasn't as bad as I thought.  And, there were lessons learned in every instance.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hearty Beef Stew

If it were to ever get cold in Texas this “winter,” I’d have started making this months ago and more often.  But, alas… It’s going to be 70 degrees or warmer the next couple of days with no dip into the 30s for a while.  Sometimes it’s hard to want to make stews and chilis when it isn’t cold outside.  However, I took advantage of the amazing unseasonal weather we’ve been having and started cleaning up and prepping the back yard and vegetable patches last weekend.  Some things we planted last year are somehow still going strong: chard, parsley… and rosemary.  While the recipe that follows is headlined by beef (a favorite leading character), rosemary certainly deserves a nod as Best Supporting Ingredient.  It doesn’t steal the spotlight, but brings a depth to the entire production that would be lacking if it were not there.