Quick and Easy Chicken “Parm”

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I love using leftovers to make something delicious. I was craving chicken parmesan, but wanted a version that was both low-carb and gluten free.

We had a leftover tomato base (tomatoes, salt, garlic, and olive oil) from making pizza as well as fresh mozzarella, so he made a very simple version. He used chicken breast, topped with the tomato base and a bit of oregano, and then put fresh mozzarella slices on top.

Baked at 325 until done (took about 30 minutes).

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He served it with steamed broccoli.

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Pork Schnitzel with Asparagus

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I love schnitzel in all forms, but can never order it in restaurants since it uses breadcrumbs. Luckily, Nick decided to make me a gluten free version using gluten free breadcrumbs (found at our local co-op).

First, he took the pork chops and pounded them thin with a meat mallet.

Then, he coated them with egg, and a mixture of gluten free breadcrumbs with salt and oregano, and then fried them in peanut oil.

To make the asparagus, he first blanched them, and then sauteed them with red wine vinegar.

Finally, the mustard sauce is a blend of coarse grain mustard, olive oil, a little bit of salt, and a dash of balsamic vinegar.

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Caramelized Carrot Soup

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Nick first made caramelized carrot soup for Christmas dinner. The recipe is from Modernist Cuisine, and is part of the selection of recipes from the books which is published online.

First step, was making the carrot juice. This is one step that Nick wishes he had just left out! It took forever, and was a huge pain. We don’t have a juicer, so he used our blendtec. Next time, he’s definitely just going to buy carrot juice. Luckily, he did make enough to freeze juice for another batch. He used the remaining frozen juice for the second course of our dinner party.

Since Nick doesn’t have a centrifuge (we’re not to that level yet!), he decided to do the salted butter substitution for the carotene butter. 

The soup itself is made in the pressure cooker, and then blended. Nick used the blendtec to do the final puree. Verdict, amazingly delicious! Note, the soup is incredibly rich, so we used a very small amount in the bowls.

Seared Mahi Mahi with Miso Green Beans

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Ingredients:

  • Fresh green beans (with ends trimmed)
  • 2 T Butter
  • 1/4 C soy sauce (or substitute with gluten free tamari)
  • Splash of mirin
  • Splash of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T red miso paste
  • Drizzle of chili oil
  • Mahi-mahi filets (thawed and deboned)
  • Pinch of Alderwood smoked salt

Directions:

First, bring a big pot of salted water to boil. Drop in the green beans, and cook until tender and still bright green (about 5 minutes). Then, cool the green beans in an ice bath. In a sauté pan, melt a tablespoon of butter, then add a quarter cup of soy sauce, a splash of mirin and apple cider vinegar, a tablespoon of red miso paste, and a drizzle of chili oil. Heat to a simmer, and add the cooled green beans. Sautee for a couple of minutes.

Sprinkle both sides of the mahi-mahi with the Alderwood smoked salt. Sear in a hot pan with butter, a few minutes each side (depending on the thickness of the fish). The fish should be slightly undercooked in the middle.

To plate, cube the mahi-mahi, and place in the middle of the plate. Top with the sautéed green beans.

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Asparagus Salad with Garlic Confit Vinaigrette and Pickled Radishes

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Nick was inspired by this Serious Eats post on Raw Asparagus Salad for the first course of our dinner party last week.

First step, is the garlic confit. Garlic confit is one of those amazing creations that makes your entire house smell like heaven and adds a fantastic touch to almost any dish.

Nick uses the garlic confit recipe from Modernist Cuisine, and has tried both the sous vide and pressure cooker methods. He prefers the pressure cooker version simply because it takes two hours instead of seven! It’s extremely simple, just take olive oil, garlic cloves, rosemary, and thyme, and place mason jars in the pressure cooker, filled with water halfway up the sides of the jars.

While the garlic confit is cooking, it is time to prep the asparagus. Using fresh asparagus (ours came from our local farmers’ market), slice (using a mandolin) on the finest level (basically, as thin as possible). Make sure to use a cut resistant glove!

After it is sliced, place the asparagus in an ice bath until the edges start to curl.

To make the pickled radishes, compress the sliced radishes in a chamber vacuum sealer with a vinegar (red wine and apple cider) and salt mixture.

Finally, the dressing. He combined 2 T garlic confit (cooled) with 4 T red wine vinegar, a pinch of salt, and 6 T of olive oil (for 6 small salads).

Toss with the radishes and asparagus, plate, garnish with freshly ground pepper, and serve.

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Gluten Free Beer and Bailey’s Cupcakes

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We had a little St Paddy’s day themed get together at work, and when I saw these amazing Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes from Smitten Kitchen, I knew I had to try them. The name definitely bothered me (the history of car bombs in Ireland is not something to celebrate), so since I was making them after work and limited on time, I decided to skimp on the ganache and turn them into “Beer and Bailey’s Cupcakes.”

I made two versions, one using my King Arthur Bread Flour and a Black Raven porter, and then a gluten free version. One of the tricks with making baked goods gluten free is to think about what you’re trying to recreate. Chocolate cake is one of those that tends to do really well gluten free, since it’s dense and moist instead of light and fluffy.

Chocolate Beer Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup gluten free beer (your favorite porter or stout if not gluten free)
  • 226 grams of butter (2 sticks)
  • 64 grams Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 250 grams Cup4Cup flour (or your favorite gluten free flour blend)
    • For the regular cupcakes, I used 240 grams of bread flour
  • 400 grams of sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 151 grams sour cream

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

First, melt the butter in a sauce pan and mix with the beer. Then whisk in the chocolate powder.

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Mix together the sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt with a whisk in a large bowl.

Using your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the sour cream and eggs together on medium until combined. Slowly pour in the chocolate/beer/butter mixture (slightly cooled). Reduce speed to low, and add the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.

Pour mixture into lined cupcake pan, and fill about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way full. Don’t overfill!

Bake at 350 degrees for 17 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

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Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting (makes enough to frost two batches of cupcakes)

Ingredients:

  • 226 grams of butter (2 sticks)
  • 900 grams powdered sugar
  • 6 T Bailey’s
  • 6 T heavy whipping cream

Using your stand mixer, mix the butter on high until it is light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar. Finally, add the cream and Bailey’s.

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Verdict: INCREDIBLE. They were delightfully moist and delicious. We were having fun at work having folks guess if the one they were eating was gluten free, and no one was able to guess correctly. The only time you could tell the difference was when they were tasted immediately side-by-side and while trying to actually tell what the difference was.

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen. A few notable substitutions:

  • Gluten free: Subbed Cup4Cup flour and gluten free beer ( Used Fox Tail Gluten Free Ale, since I was worried my favorite TweasonAle would impart too much of a fruity flavor)
  • Did measurements by weight instead of volume (weight chart)
  • Regular: Subbed Guinness for the porter since that’s what we currently have on tap

Primal Pork and Beans

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Green beans, that is!

When Nick was making dinner , he brought up an amusing point: “We eat a lot of weird vegetables! I think green beans are the most normal thing I’ve made in a long time.” There is some question in the paleo/primal community on green beans, since they’re technically legumes (Cordain is against them, Mark Sisson enjoys his side-dish green beans). For me personally, they don’t give me any digestive issues and they taste great (and they don’t have gluten!), so I see them as they’re a nice side to throw in the rotation.

We went to our Crossfit orientation last night, and I handled it pretty well (I’ve been working out 2-3 times a week with a personal trainer and we do a lot of Crossfit style workouts), but Nick was quite sore (though he did awesome!). We had a simple dinner so he could relax.

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First, he sprinkled the pork chops with a citrus spice mixture, and seared them on both sides. They were plated with a dash of mustard.

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For the green beans, he first toasted the pine nuts in a bit of olive oil. Then, he added the beans and sautéed them with the nuts, oil, and homemade raspberry red-wine vinegar.

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