Sunday, July 16, 2017

Chicken Soup for the Soul w/ Rice Noodles & Sesame Oil

Throughout Southeast Asia, hot soup is eaten year round. Even though it's counter-intuitive, eating hot soup when the temperature is high causes your brain receptors to kick in and start to cool you down. 

Or maybe you have a summer cold? In any case, a bowl of fragrant, golden and savory chicken noodle soup is always welcome and nurturing.

Try this lighter version with rice noodles adapted from the New York Times' recipe, "Chicken Soup From Scratch." Or, if whole chickens go on sale at your market, make a batch and freeze in quarts to have for those “rainy days” when you really need some Chicken Soup for the Soul ~

My Paleo Marin Rating: 4.8 Persimmons

Photo from Google Images
For the Broth (made a day before the soup):

See link here to make the broth. I spent 1 1/2 hours gently simmering the whole chicken plus other ingredients. I put the cooked chicken in the fridge, and spent another 1 1/2 hours reducing the stock. I  refrigerated both the chicken and stock overnight. The recipe made about 5 quarts of stock.

For the Soup:

Ingredients (for 2 large servings):

1/2 package Annie Chun's Rice Noodles
1 quart previously-prepared broth (above)
2 carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal
1 cup previously-cooked chicken pieces (above)

Garnish: 2 green onions, sliced on the diagonal; dash of sesame oil (and/or hot chili oil)

Directions:

1. Put 1/2 a pack of Annie Chun's rice noodles in a large bowl of hot water to soften. 


2. While the noodles are soaking, add 1 quart of chicken stock to a 5-quart pot and heat to a low boil. 

3. Cook the carrots in the broth until softened (about 5 minutes). 

4. When the noodles have softened in the warm water (about 10 minutes), add them to the pot and finish cooking through. Shred the chicken pieces with a fork, and add them to soup to heat up.

5. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top with chopped green onions and oil(s).

Use the stock and chicken within 3 days, or freeze for up to six months.

#paleo-inspired #chicken #soup #noodles #broth #cleaneats #comfortfood #glutenfree #dairyfree #nutritious #newyorktimes 


My Paleo Marin Rating 1-5 Persimmons

I try out these recipes so you don't have to (and modify them for Paleo where possible). The rating will reflect my opinion of the final result in terms of taste, ease of preparation, nutrition, and sometimes, cost.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Aloha! Ahi Tuna Workshop - Part 2: Japanese Pickled Cucumbers

Why do some restaurants charge so much for sushi and sashimi, while others are much more reasonable, especially in the all-you-can-eat establishments? 

The reason was made clear by the two samples of ahi tuna brought in by Chef Edward Metcalf at the Sunset Outdoor Kitchen Workshop (see photo below). The tuna with the bright red color (on the left) sells for about $12 - $15 a pound. The lighter one (on the right) sells for about $26 - $30 per pound. The one on the left has been treated with CO2 to boost the reddish color and make it more "appetizing." It is crunchier than the other tuna steak, and is used widely in the industry - especially in spicy tuna sushi. The natural tuna has a texture more like soft butter, and needs no flavor boosters to be melt-in-your-mouth delicious. For more information on the use of CO2 and tuna, see the New York Times article here.

A recipe for Japanese pickles was included with the workshop handout.  Blanching the cucumbers for 2 minutes followed by an ice bath was the “chef’s secret” to making authentic pickled cucumbers. Chef Metcalf said that the Japanese serve something pickled with almost every meal, and the recipe also works for beets, carrots, beans, and cauliflower.

My Paleo Marin Rating: 3.8 Persimmons

Ingredients:

4 cups thinly sliced cucumbers (about 2 medium-large cucumbers)
1 Tablespoon Kosher salt

1 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup pure cane sugar
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds

Directions:


1. Thinly slice the cucumbers (with a mandolin if possible). Blanch the sliced cucumbers in boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Put immediately in an ice bath (1/2 ice and 1/2 cold water).

2. When the cucumbers are completely cooled off, strain the slices and set aside in a medium bowl.

3. Whisk together the vinegar, water, sugar, and sesame seeds. Pour over the cucumbers and mix well. 

4. Place in a covered container in the fridge for about 1 hour before serving (20 minutes minimum).

Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

#paleo-inspired #sushi #sashimi #japanese #ahi #tuna #asian #cucumbers #pickled #salad

A special thanks to Chef Edward Metcalfe of the Shiso Modern Asian Restaurant for the workshop.


My Paleo Marin Rating 1-5 Persimmons
I try out these recipes so you don't have to (and modify them for Paleo where possible). The rating will reflect my opinion of the final result in terms of taste, ease of preparation, nutrition, and sometimes, cost.


Sunday, July 2, 2017

Firecracker Red & Gold Raw Beet Ribbons

Visually stunning, the vibrant colors in this salad will help you forget you're not wild about raw foods. I surprised myself when, during my taste test, I enjoyed the triple crunch of beets, snow peas, and sesame seeds so much that I ate all the extras put aside in case I needed them for the photo shoot.

It took a bit of practice to figure out how to "shave" the beets into ribbons with my vegetable cutter, but eventually it all came together. After marinating in the dressing, the yellow beets were the sweetest. I modified the recipe from Food & Wine Magazine to my taste, but offer up the julienned shiso leaves and crushed coriander as options if you'd like.

Beets are loaded with B vitamins, iron, manganese, copper, magnesium and potassium - low in calories, and high in fiber. Enjoy this earthy side salad with chopsticks.


My Paleo Marin: 3.8 Persimmons

Ingredients:


1/2 pound snow peas
1 1/2 pounds mixed red and yellow beets, medium size


Kuhn 4" Peeler
Image from Google Images
1/4 cup grape seed oil
1/4 Teaspoon hot chili oil (or more according to personal preference)
2 Teaspoons Red Boat Fish Sauce (or more according to taste)
2 Teaspoons honey (or more according to taste)
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Kosher salt to taste

Garnish: Toasted sesame seeds; Thai basil (julienned), or arugula


Optional: 8 shiso leaves, thinly sliced; 1 Tablespoon crushed coriander seeds

Directions

1. Blanch the snow peas in bolding salted water for about 1 minute. Place pods in an ice bath to cool, then drain and pat dry. Cut off ends, and chop crosswise into 1/2" pieces. Put in a medium sized bowl. 


2. Cut the bottom and top off of the beets. Peel the beets with a vegetable peeler. Carefully run the peeler around the sides of the beets to create a thin ribbon of beet. Tear into bite-sized pieces, and put them in the bowl with the peas.


3. Whisk together the oils, fish sauce, honey, and citrus juices. Pour over the beets and snow peas. Stir in the sesame seeds, and salt to taste. Chill the salad for about an hour.


4. When ready to eat, top with garnishes and serve.


#paleo #raw #salad #beets #snowpeas #shisho #asian #glutenfree #healthyeats 


*Recipe adapted from Food and Wine Magaziine, June 2017



My Paleo Marin Rating 1-5 Persimmons

I try out these recipes so you don't have to (and modify them for Paleo where possible). The rating will reflect my opinion of the final result in terms of taste, ease of preparation, nutrition, and sometimes, cost.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Aloha! Ahi Tuna Poke Salad - Part 1

When my local Mill Valley Market posted a Facebook photo of ahi tuna steaks that had just arrived, I bought a half pound, and picked a recipe online from a trusted source,The Kitchn, to give traditional Hawaiian poke a try. It was one of those times when the universe reminded me that stepping out of my comfort zone can sometimes bring unexpected rewards!

I really liked the recipe posted below, and there are many variations on poke, but I guarantee that any of them will taste better than what you may have had in a supermarket deli case - even in Hawaii. Look for ingredients that appeal to you, and buy very fresh fish - you might ask your fishmonger if she or he would eat it raw. Just make sure the fish looks pink, is sashimi grade, feels firm to the touch, and smells fresh (not fishy).



[This is Part 1 of two posts on ahi tuna poke. Part 2 will cover information and recipes from the Sunset Test Kitchen's class on poke held in Sonoma yesterday by Chef Metcalfe of the Shiso Modern Asian Kitchen Restaurant.]

My Paleo Marin: 5 Persimmons

The Kitchn's "Best Ahi Poke" Recipe (adapted for Paleo):


Ingredients:


1/2 -3/4 pound ahi (yellowfin tuna) steaks

Coconut Aminos:
 Aged coconut sap and sea salt;
Low salt, gluten free and vegan;
Substitute for soy sauce
1 scallion, cut on the bias
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 firm avocado, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 - 3 Tablespoons macadamia nuts, chopped and toasted
2 Teaspoons black sesame seeds
3 Tablespoons coconut aminos
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 Teaspoon coarse salt, Himalayan, Hawaiian, or Kosher (to taste)
1/4 Teaspoon red pepper flakes (personal preference)

Garnish: Arugula, frisee, etc.


As you like it toppings: Edamame, Cucumber, Daikon, Seaweed, Pickled Radish, Masago (roe), shiso (julienned), 
Furikaka (homemade w/ coconut aminos), wasabi, minced ginger


Directions:


1. If possible, select tuna pieces with a minimum of white streaks (connective tissue) as they can be too chewy (or remove them with a sharp knife). Cut the steaks into 3/4" - 1" pieces, and place the chunks into a large bowl.


2. Lightly toast the macadamia pieces in a frying pan over low heat (about 2-3 minutes), or until they turn light brown.


3. Add the onion, scallion, garlic, avocado, nuts, coconut aminos, sesame oil, salt and pepper flakes in the bowl. Stir well to combine.


4. The recipe recommends putting in the mixture in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Another recipe said to let it sit about 2 minutes and then serve. I put it in the fridge, but found it tasted much better after it sat out for about half an hour. 


5. Add garnish when ready to eat.


Makes 4 side servings.



#paleo #ahi #tuna #poke #sesame #summer #salad #macadamia #Hawaiian #fish #sashimi #japanese #asian #glutenfree #dairyfree, #pickling, #shiso, #edamame, #wasabi, #seaweed, #seafood 


My Paleo Marin Rating 1-5 Persimmons

I try out these recipes so you don't have to (and modify them for Paleo where possible). The rating will reflect my opinion of the final result in terms of taste, ease of preparation, nutrition, and sometimes, cost.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Beat-the-Heat Thai Noodle Salad w/ Toasted Sesame Oil Dressing


This cold crunchy Thai Noodle Salad is perfect for your next summer potluck. The recipe makes a huge bowlful of healthy salad that is both vegan and gluten free.

The recipe is adapted from the sassy New York Times bestselling Thug Kitchen (eat like you give a f**k Cookbook - an irreverent take on cooking from two Millennials in Los Angeles. The authors proudly boast that they have “the only website dedicated to verbally abusing you into a healthier diet.”

Easy and delicious, serve this salad anytime - with or without the profanity.

My Paleo Marin Rating: 4.5 Persimmons

Ingredients:

Toasted Sesame Dressing:

1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar 
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 Teaspoons coconut aminos
2 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
Salt & pepper to taste

Noodle Salad:

1 package Annie Chun’s Pad Thai Rice Noodles (8 oz.)

1 medium head of iceberg lettuce, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 large head of Romaine lettuce, crisp parts chopped into bite-sized pieces 
2 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks (or julienne - video here)
1 English cucumber, cut into matchsticks (or julienne - video here)
1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1 cup chopped basil leaves (cut in a chiffonade style here)
1 cup chopped green onions (white and green parts)

1 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
Lime wedges

Directions:

Toasted Sesame Dressing:

1. Add all ingredients together in a mason jar. Twist lid on tightly. Shake vigorously, and set aside.

Noodle Salad:

1. Put 4 quarts of water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add the rice noodles, and turn heat to medium. Use tongs to separate noodles, and stir for about 4 minutes until the noodles are cooked through. Drain the noodles in a colander and set aside to cool.

2. Lightly toast the slivered almonds over low heat in a frying pan until they begin to turn brown, about 3-4 minutes. Stir constantly. Set aside to cool. 

3. Chop, chop, chop all the veggies. 

4. To serve on a platter, place the lettuce around the plate, put the noodles in the middle, and add the rest of the vegetables around the sides. 

5. When ready to eat, pour the dressing on the salad and taste test for salt and pepper. Sprinkle the toasted almonds on top. Self-serve using tongs.

Optional: Toss all ingredients in a large bowl, and check for seasonings. Serve with tongs on individual plates, and then sprinkle almonds on top.

Store extra in fridge for about 2 days.

#paleoinspired #Thai #Thaifood #salad #noodles #ricenoodles #sesame #almonds #vegan #vegetarian #glutenfree #ricevinegar #healthyeats #cleaneating #recipes #maindish #potluck

My Paleo Marin Rating 1-5 Persimmons

I try out these recipes so you don't have to (and modify them for Paleo where possible). The rating will reflect my opinion of the final result in terms of taste, ease of preparation, nutrition, and sometimes, cost.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Lemon Curd with Summer Berries

I first saw a photo of this beautiful dessert in the May issue of Bon Appétit. While always happy to find an excuse to make lemon curd, I had no idea what the red berries were.

Turns out they are lingonberries, previously seen by me only in tinted-glass jars of Ikea jam. I mail ordered the frozen berries from Oregon, and shared half of the 3-pound minimum with a friend who made a lingonberry spread that was also good as a topping.

Fresh and colorful, the lingonberries add a tart balance to the sweetness of the curd. However, the dessert is just as good - and much more economical - with any combination of fresh blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries. 

My Paleo Marin Rating: 4 Persimmons

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
1 cup fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup cane sugar
6 large eggs
Pinch of kosher salt

1 stick of butter (8 Tablespoons), chilled and cut into pieces

2 cups fresh mixed berries

Directions:

1. In a large pot, add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Combine over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat to cool to a temperature still warm but not hot enough to curdle the eggs in Step 2.

2.  In a large bowl, add the cracked eggs, salt and the remainder of the sugar. Whisk constantly for about 1 minute until the eggs are light and frothy. Gradually add in about 1/4 of the warm lemon juice mixture to the eggs, and whisk constantly until combined. 

3. Gradually whisk the remaining egg mixture into the pot with the lemon mixture, and cook over low to medium heat, stirring constantly, until the curd thickens enough to see the lines of the whisk, about 1 - 2 minutes.

4. Pour the curd into a blender. At medium speed, add butter pieces one at a time. When all the butter is absorbed, transfer to a nonreactive bowl, cover the top of the curd with plastic wrap and press to the top so a film doesn't form. Allow curd to cool for at least 2 hours, or overnight. Curd can be stored for up to 2 days.

5. To serve, add the curd to plates and top with washed fresh berries. 

Optional: Berries can be mixed with an additional 1/4 cup sugar for a half hour prior to serving, if desired.

Serves 6.

#paleo #lemon #curd #lingonberries, #berries, #blackberries, #strawberries, #dessert, #fruit, #recipes #ikea


Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit here.


My Paleo Marin Rating 1-5 Persimmons
I try out these recipes so you don't have to (and modify them for Paleo where possible). The rating will reflect my opinion of the final result in terms of taste, ease of preparation, nutrition, and sometimes, cost.





Sunday, June 4, 2017

English Peas, Macadamia Nuts & White Chocolate Salad

"This is one of the greatest dishes of all times....People went crazy for it," claims Chef Jeremy Fox of the former Ubuntu Restaurant in Napa. David Chang writes, "Fox...makes the best tasting vegetables on the planet." So, of course, I had to give this recipe a try.

For anyone who was lucky enough to eat at Ubuntu before it closed, you'll appreciate the complexity and unique combination of flavors in this salad. For others, it might be a bit of a mystery as to why it was so complicated and took so long to make.

There's no doubt the salad will be a conversation piece. Just allow several hours to make it, or bring in a sous chef to help.

My Paleo Marin Rating:  2.5 Persimmons

Ingredients:

Pea Shell Stock:

1 pound fresh pea pod shells (about 2 pounds of whole pods)
1 garlic clove, smashed with germ removed
1 shallot, sliced
Image from Amazon.com
On Vegetables link here
2 springs fresh spearmint

English Pea Salad:

2 pounds fresh peas, shucked (about 4 1/2 pounds of peas in pods)
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 Teaspoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup Pea Shell Stock (chilled)
1 Tablespoon Champagne Vinegar
3 Tablespoons white chocolate, finely chopped
3 Tablespoons macadamia nuts, chopped and toasted

Fresh pea tendrils or edible flowers to garnish
Kosher salt, to taste
Olive oil in a squeeze bottle for topping and to decorate plates

Directions:

Pea Shell Stock:

1. Wrap the ingredients in a large piece of cheesecloth, gather the corners together and tie with twine.

2. Lower the sachet into 1 quart of water in a pot set over low heat. Keep the bubble very low just to steep the ingredients.

3. After 2 hours, life the sachet from the stock and allow the stock to drain out into the pan. Discard the sachet.

4. When the stock has cooled, transfer the stock to an airtight container with a lid. Refrigerate for up to 2 days, or freeze the extra for up to 2 months.

English Pea Salad:

1. To cook the peas: Bring a pot of water to boil over medium-high heat. Add salt to make a salty brine. Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl. Add the shucked peas to the boiling water and blanch until they become tender, about 1-2 minutes. Drain immediately and put in ice bath. When completely cook, place them on towels to dry off.

2. Gently squeeze the prepared peas to divide in half, discard the skins, and place in bowl. Season the peas with the olive oil, lemon juice and salt to taste.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the pea shell stock with the vinegar and season with salt to taste.

4. To compose the salad in 6 individual bowls:  Divide the peas evenly, and sprinkle with the chopped chocolate and toasted nuts. Garnish with mint leaves and flowers. When ready to serve, pour the seasoned Pea Shell Stock over the peas, and dot the surface with olive oil dots from a squeeze bottle.

Serves 6.

#paleo #englishpeas #ubuntu #jeremyfox #californiacuisine #macademianuts #glutenfree #dairyfree #vegan #vegetables #salad #whitechocolate #peasalad #edibleflowers #nasturciums

Recipe adapted from the KCRW website here.

My Paleo Marin Rating: 1-5 Persimmons
I try out these recipes so you don’t have to (and modify them for Paleo where possible). The rating will reflect my opinion of the final result in therms of taste, ease of preparation, nutrition, and sometimes, cost.