Tag Archives: ghee

Ghee: What Is This Healthy Fat?

Ghee: What is This Healthy Fat? | stupideasypaleo.com

Ghee…what is this healthy fat that’s becoming so popular in the Paleo & real food world?

Essentially, ghee is a type of clarified butter that’s been cooked a bit longer to give it a nutty flavor. It’s got some fantastic properties that make it both healthy and good to cook with.

But first, let’s settle something: Ghee, derived from butter, is technically a dairy product. Yep. There it is. Dairy. Even if you’re a very strict Paleo-eater, don’t click away just yet. There are some reasons why ghee is a superior fat and one of the least problematic dairy products out there. Put simply, ghee is pure fat.

How is Ghee Made?

Ghee (rhymes with “me”) is made by heating butter slowly until all the water cooks off and the proteins coagulate in the bottom of the pan. The ghee is poured off and strained, solidifying once it has cooled. Ghee is cooked longer than traditional clarified butter which gives it a nutty, butterscotchy aroma. Basically, ghee smells like victory. If you’ve ever caught yourself just smelling the ghee jar for no reason, you’re not alone. Ahem.

It’s easy to find ghee is most large markets and health food stores, and if you’re feeling crafty, you can also make your own. When it comes to purchasing or making your own ghee, make sure the butter is from grass-fed, organic cows: If the butter is white or very pale yellow, it’s probably not high-quality. The fat produced from grass-fed cows is superior for a few reasons which are mentioned in the next section.

To see my favorite brand of ghee, click here.

But, Isn’t It Still Dairy?

Technically. But. BUT.

The reason why dairy is not part of a rigid Paleo template is because it can cause inflammation, sensitivities and intolerances. (Milk is a complex brew of proteins, carbohydrates and fat of which folks are generally sensitive to either the proteins or the carbohydrates, not the fat.)

Ghee is pure butter fat without the components that can make dairy problematic for many people. Note: If you’re really dairy sensitive, trace amounts of these proteins—such as casein—may remain and cause issues, but for most folks, it doesn’t.

Need more convincing? Even my friends over at Whole30 have made ghee the only Whole30-approved dairy product—and trust me, they’re known for their incredibly high standards.

So what’s so special about this delicious, golden butterfat? Cows that feed on grass produce butterfat with more conjugated linoleic acid (a fatty acid), vitamin K2, beta carotene (which is why it’s so vibrant yellow), vitamin A and a better Omega-3 fatty acid ratio than those fed on grain. Try to go with ghee made from grass-fed butter when you can.

And, butterfat is high in saturated fatty acids. In other words, it’s a healthy fat. Need to know more about saturated vs. unsaturated fats? Read here.

3 Reasons Why Ghee is a Star In My Kitchen

Besides the aforementioned, when it comes to cooking, ghee is my favorite fat to use in the kitchen for these reasons:

  • It has a really high smoke point: 485°F (252°C), far higher than coconut oil, olive oil, lard, butter, etc. This makes it ideal for high temperature cooking.
  • It’s incredibly shelf-stable. Ghee will last for months without refrigeration, though it’s recommended that you store it away from direct light and heat and only use clean, dry utensils to remove it from its jar. Keep it tightly covered when not in use.
  • It has a rich depth of flavor and adds a complexity to many foods that can’t be achieved with other oils or fats. Plus, I know a lot of folks don’t like the taste of coconut oil so ghee is a great alternative.

Wondering what you can make with ghee? Try this silky, delicious Ghee Hollandaise, this decadent Cinnamon French Toast Panna Cotta or this wonderfully colorful Ratatouille.

Click here to pin this!

Ghee: What is This Healthy Fat? | stupideasypaleo.com

Have you ever tried ghee? What do you think?

Can Coffee Really Improve Your Health? Meet Bulletproof®.

Bulletproof® Coffee | stupideasypaleo.comAh, the beloved cup of morning Joe. It’s a ritual (er, habit) for millions of people around the globe; the United States alone imports almost 1/3 of the coffee grown worldwide, with Germany coming in a distant second (source). Its health benefits are hotly debated:

  • Is caffeine good or bad? (Depends on your sensitivity, other stressors in your life because it may increase cortisol, personal objections, etc).
  • Doesn’t coffee contain antioxidants? (Yes. So does red wine but be honest, nobody really drinks it for that reason.)
  • How much is too much? (If you measure your consumption in “pots per day” rather than cups or think a coffee IV would be much more convenient, you may need to reconsider).
  • Is it even Paleo? (Purists will state that coffee isn’t Paleo. Others concede it’s one of those exceptions they’re willing to make.)

While I can’t tell you if coffee consumption is right for you—remember, it’s up to you to know your unique context, needs, and goals—I can show you how to make the coffee you drink better for you. Meet “bulletproof”.

Bulletproof® is a brand founded by Dave Asprey, a Silicon Valley investor and life hacker. His formula for making this trademarked brew is quite specific, requiring specially grown, Bulletproof Upgraded coffee beans that are devoid of problematic mycotoxins (linked to all sorts of health problems), high quality grass-fed butter and MCT oil (I’ll go over these components shortly). In the past couple years, this concept of packing coffee with healthy fats has taken off and spawned its own variations. It’s kind of like calling all photocopiers “Xerox” machines, right? Not all coffee put together in this way can technically be called Bulletproof® but the spirit of the original is there.

What’s the Bulletproof Coffee® recipe? Basically brewed coffee + grass-fed butter + MCT oil. More on these in a minute.

How can this Bulletproof® coffee formula really improve your health? It’s all about the fats. If you’re new to Paleo, be advised this is not a low fat diet. We rely on fats – particularly of the saturated variety—for slow-burning, stable forms of energy. They also compose a large percentage of our cell membranes and are important in the absorption of fat-souble vitamins. In short, saturated fat (in the context of a relatively low carb approach like Paleo) is a good thing.

This may be surprising since shelf-stable saturated fats (particularly of animal origin like butter, lard and tallow) have been vilified for years thanks to the weak correlation concluded between fat consumption, cholesterol levels and mortality rates from heart disease from a study by Ancel Keys (Seven Countries Study). While Keys’s intentions and motivations are still debated, what’s clear is that the Seven Countries Study became the study used to justify steering the boat toward polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) consumption and away from saturated fats. PUFAs (most plant oils and some of animal origin like fish oil) are highly unstable and prone to oxidative breakdown due to their chemical structures. Read: PUFAs are not a better choice for dietary fat sources. Saturated fatty acids (SFA) are much more stable and better for high-temperature cooking.

Let’s look at the components of Bulletproof® coffee:

  • Grass-fed butter. Rich in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty acid produced by ruminants like cows, it’s been implicated in many studies as having beneficial effects. Grain-fed cows do not produce as much CLA in their milk as their grass-fed counterparts. Grass-fed butter also contains an Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio that’s basically 1:1 (that’s very GOOD). If you’ve ever seen pale (almost white) butter, the poor stick of saturated fat is lacking in beta carotene. Where to get bright yellow butter? You guessed it, cows fed on grass. In addition to all this, grass-fed butter contains more fat-soluble vitamins like K2 (which is converted from K1 by cows).

Verdict: Butter from grass-fed cows is better than butter from grain-fed cows.

But…isn’t Paleo supposed to be dairy-free? It’s generally not part of a Paleo template because some dairy can be quite problematic for people – not because Cordain wanted to make you cry by taking away your delicious cheese. For some, it’s a sensitivity to the proteins like casein. For others, it’s a problem with digesting the lactose carbohydrate fraction. Butter has very little protein and is mostly fat (read: butterfat doesn’t cause the same reactions that the protein or carb component can). If you’re sensitive to dairy protein, you could try using grass-fed ghee (how to make your own or find a commercially available brand) which is essentially clarified butter stripped of its proteins. The only way to know for sure if you’re sensitive to these foods is to remove them for at least 30 days and then reintroduce them methodically.

  • MCT oil. MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides and is a purified form of these types of fatty acids (capric and caprylic, naturally found in plant fats like coconut oil and palm kernel oil). MCTs have several benefits, including being an easily metabolized form of energy. MCT oil is purified from coconut and palm kernel oils and generally sold as a supplement instead of a food on store shelves. It can be quite expensive, so many folks have taken to using coconut oil instead of pure MCT to make their version of Bulletproof®-style coffee.

Verdict: MCT oil provides a higher concentration of these fatty acids, though coconut oil is a good, budget-friendly alternative.

  • And lastly, the beans. The mycotoxin issue makes sense to me – and apparently higher quality coffee isn’t necessarily devoid of these mold poisons – but I’m not sure it’s personally worth the cost of the upgraded beans for my wallet. You can certainly decide what fits your budget best though I recommend buying Fair Trade beans whenever possible.

Verdict: Get the Upgraded beans if you’re really concerned and want to spend some extra money.

Here’s my simple recipe for making bulletproof-style coffee at home:

Bulletproof®-Style Coffee Recipe

Ingredients:

Variations:

  • Pumpkin Spice (per 1 cup): add 1 teaspoon pumpkin puree + a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg
  • Mexican Chocolate (per 1 cup): add 1 teaspoon cacao (or cocoa) + a dash of cinnamon and chili powder
  • Bulletproof® Chai (per 1 cup): substitute 1 cup of brewed chai tea instead of coffee
  • Iced Bulletproof®-Style Coffee: prepare the coffee as below, then chill and pour over ice. Trying to do it the other way around (by making cold coffee then blending in the fats) won’t work because the fats won’t emulsify.

Directions: 

  • Prepare the coffee, scaling the recipe up to suit your needs.
  • Pour hot coffee into a blender. Add the grass-fed butter and coconut oil, plus any extras like spices or sweetener if preferred.
  • Blend for 30 seconds until frothy and creamy (use caution when using a blender with hot liquids).
  • Enjoy. You could also use an immersion blender or just melt the butter and oil on top of your hot coffee but I don’t prefer it that way…it ends up like an oil slick. If that’s your thing though, that’s okay :)

Pin this picture here!

Bulletproof® Coffee | stupideasypaleo.com

Give it a +1 on Google+

Have you ever tried Bulletproof® Coffee? What did you think?

Paleo Smashed & Loaded Sweet Potato

41c75aad24e7dde300b846f350af9535One of my favorite things to do with leftover roasted sweet potato is to smash it and brown it in a pan with ghee. It gets all caramelly and crispy and drool-worthy. I wanted something different for breakfast today, so I smashed my sweet potato then loaded it with pan-fried eggs, leftover shredded kalua pork, buttery avocado and crispy homemade bacon bits. Get creative and use any leftover meat that you want! Is your mouth watering yet? [Hint: roast a bunch of sweet potatoes on a foil-lined sheet in a 400°F oven for about 45-60 min. Refrigerate. When cold, the skins come right off.]

Prep time: 5-10 min     Cook time:  10 min     Makes: 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 1 roasted medium-sized sweet potato, peeled
  • Ghee, coconut oil or fat of choice
  • 2 eggs
  • Toppings: leftover shredded or cubed meat (I used shredded kalua pork), avocado, bacon, jalapeño rings, etc. Get creative!

Directions:

  1. Heat a skillet over medium-high (I like cast iron for this job). Add ghee or your fat of choice. 
  2. Put the pre-cooked sweet potato in the skillet. Press flat with a fork or spatula. Fry on each side for 2-4 minutes or until the sweet potato caramelizes (but doesn’t burn). Remove to a plate.
  3. In the same pan, add more ghee. Fry two eggs (or more if you’re hungrier) in whatever style you’d like. I made mine over-easy so the yolk would run all over my potato. Tasty.
  4. Stack your smashed and loaded sweet potato: add the eggs on top of the sweet potato then layer with your toppings of choice.
  5. Rejoice in how tasty your breakfast is. Consume.

Note: great for post-workout if you go easy on the avocado and bacon.

Paleo Peach Mango Ginger Chutney

DSC_0793 When I made my Coconut Wild Boar Burgers, I was searching for the perfect accompaniment. Peaches were calling to me because they’re in season and juicy and pair really well with pork, so I created this Paleo peach chutney to put on top almost like a relish. Chutney, traditional to Indian cuisine, is a condiment that combines fruit, vinegar, sugar and spices. Being Paleo, I left out the sugar and instead of using oil, I stirred in ghee for a rich buttery flavor.

Putting vinegar, onion and garlic in with fruit may sound weird but it gives just the right counterbalance to the fruit’s sweetness.

Prep time: 10 min     Cook time:  10-15 min     Makes: ~2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons ghee
  • 1/4 cup onion, minced
  • 3 peaches, diced
  • 1/4 cup mango, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 Tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Zest from 1 orange

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the ghee, and minced onion. Cook until the onion is translucent, a few minutes. 
  2. Add the peaches, mango, garlic, orange juice, apple cider vinegar, ginger, red pepper flakes and orange zest. (I zested the orange, then cut it open and used the juice from inside. Hint: use a microplane grater to zest the orange and grate down the garlic and ginger, saving time.) DSC_0790 2
  3. Turn heat to low and continue to simmer until the fruit is softened but not overly mushy.  DSC_0789
  4. Spoon over pork burgers or chops, chicken or even salmon.  DSC_0800

Easy Paleo Ghee Hollandaise Sauce

04b809838df2f0b73a6e42fab84ebb3d Hollandaise is one of those sauces to splurge on, perfect for a special brunch or a party with friends. I personally think a Tuesday is reason enough to make one, but that’s up to you to decide. I’m giving you two methods to make the Hollandaise – the blender is faster than the double boiler – but they both rely on the scientific concept of an emulsion. 

[Science alert: Emulsions are a type of mixtures where you force two liquids that normally wouldn't go together to mix. Mayo and vinaigrette are other examples of emulsions. The key to an emulsion is to add the fat - the ghee in this case - very slowly while blending or whisking so the emulsion won't "break" or separate. You must be patient. Smile. Breathe. Hum your favorite tune.]

Use high-quality ghee…grass-fed organic butter that’s already been clarified, which is normally how you’d make Hollandaise. The result’s rich and buttery and ah-may-zing. YUM. It’s easy to double this recipe for a larger crowd.

Ingredients:

Directions for blender method (faster, fewer dishes):

  1. Gently melt the ghee in the microwave or on the stove top. It shouldn’t be boiling hot.
  2. Place the egg yolks, lemon juice, salt and cayenne pepper in the blender or Vitamix. DSC_0745
  3. Start the blender on low and run for about 30 seconds. Now…SLOWLY drizzle the melted ghee into the blender through the hole in the the lid. You must go slow or the emulsion will separate and get soupy.
  4. Once all the ghee is added and the Hollandaise has thickened, you’re done. Scrape it out and use on eggs, roasted veggies, a juicy steak…whatever your heart desires.  DSC_0746
  5. Will keep for a couple days in the fridge though it will harden when it cools. Very, very gently warm in the microwave if desired. If you nuke it, the egg yolk will cook.

Directions for the double boiler stovetop method (takes longer, more dishes):

  1. Gently melt the ghee in the microwave or on the stove top. It shouldn’t be boiling hot.
  2. Place a small sauce pan on the stove with a very small amount of water at the bottom (less than an inch). Heat until simmering. Turn the heat to low.
  3. In a small bowl (I prefer glass) that the bottom fits into the sauce pan, whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice until the yolks get pale and frothy.
  4. Now put the bowl into the sauce pan. Voila! Double boiler.
  5. With the heat on low (LOW), whisk the egg yolks while SLOWLY drizzling the melted ghee into the bowl. Go slow or your emulsion will separate.  DSC_0771
  6. Once all the ghee is added and the Hollandaise has thickened, you’re done. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and whisk in the salt and cayenne. Serve over eggs, roasted veggies, a juicy steak…whatever your heart desires.
  7. Will keep for a couple days in the fridge though it will harden when it cools. Very, very gently warm in the microwave if desired. If you nuke it, the egg yolk will cook. DSC_0758

Ratatouille a la Claudette

DSC_0791 This rainbow on a plate was inspired by a ratatouille made by my amazing friend Claudette, the owner of Cavegirl Confections (her granola and nut butters are HIGH quality and made with love…and she ships). We got together for dinner last week – with scallops, crab cakes, pork belly and lamb kofta with lemony herb sauce – and she made this as a side dish. It’s light and colorful and perfect for summer. Claudette’s not a big eggplant fan, so she left it out, but you could certainly add it if you’d like.

Like the creative genius that she is, she slices the peppers and tomato thin and uses a regular ol’ peeler to make the squash, zucchini and carrots into wide noodles.

Prep time: 10 min     Cook time:  8-10 min     Makes: 2-3 side-dish servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 carrots
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 yellow summer squash
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 bell pepper, any color
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Large spoonful of ghee (I like Omghee) or your fat of choice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Use a regular vegetable peeler to peel the carrots, zucchini and yellow squash into long slices. Seed and thinly slice the tomato and bell pepper. Roughly chop the basil and parsley.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the ghee. Sauté the veggies (save the herbs for later) until they’re tender but not mushy, about 6-8 minutes. Turn off the heat, sprinkle in the herbs and season with salt and pepper to your liking.
  3. Easy peasy!

Apple Cinnamon Maple Bacon Sweet Potato Hash

sweet potato hash Sometimes inspiration can come from anywhere if you’re open to it, and this one is no exception. I stopped by the local Whole Foods yesterday after stalking looking up the calendar of my favorite food truck, Not So Fast Food. The owners, Bob and June, 1) cook some damn tasty food; 2) completely get the Paleo / Primal way of life; and 3) are the nicest freaking people on the planet. After chatting with Bob, he gave me a taste of a new dish he’s working on and while I can tell you this isn’t exactly same, this recipe is inspired by what he gave me. Consider it a little treat of those of you who may never get to San Diego to visit.

I *did* add a dash of pure maple syrup as a finishing touch, but please feel free to omit if you’re on a Whole30, 21 Day Sugar Detox or similar. One way to speed this dish’s prep time is to shred a few sweet potatoes and store them in the fridge. I used a shredding blade on my food processor but you could use a box grater or even dice them very finely by hand. I prefer to cook my bacon separately; instead, you could render the chopped bacon and then use that fat to fry the potatoes. Ghee makes it taste better to me so that’s what I use instead.

Prep time: 10 min     Cook time: 10 min    Makes: 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of shredded sweet potato or yams
  • 1/2 of an apple, chopped
  • 3 pieces of bacon, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup, optional
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Ghee, bacon fat or fat of choice

Directions:

  1. In a skillet over medium heat, render / cook the bacon until it’s crispy. You can save the fat to cook the rest of the ingredients or pour off the fat and start over with a spoonful of ghee, coconut oil, etc. 
  2. Add the sweet potato to the pan, cooking on medium heat until they begin to get golden brown.
  3. Add the apples and stir until they soften, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Season with the maple syrup, cinnamon and sea salt, to taste.

Bonus: For a one-skillet meal, remove the hash to a plate, then quickly wilt some spinach. Remove the spinach to the same plate, then fry or scramble eggs in the same pan.

Caramelized Figs

photo-592This is a simple way to make something that’s a bit sweet but a far cry from Paleo-ifying dessert. You could even skip the shaved dark chocolate if you wanted something Whole30-compliant.

Prep time: 5 min     Cook time: 5 min    Makes: 4 figs

Ingredients:

  • 4 fresh, ripe figs (mission, black, brown turkey, etc.)
  • 1 spoonful of ghee or coconut oil
  • Cinnamon for sprinkling
  • Good quality dark chocolate for shaving on top, optional (I used 90% dark chocolate)

Directions:

  1. Wash the figs. Cut the stem end off and then slice in half.
  2. In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt the ghee or coconut oil. When hot, cook the figs 1-2 minutes on each side or until they begin to caramelize. 
  3. Remove from the pan sprinkle with cinnamon and dark chocolate shavings.

Fried Plantains with Cinnamon

IMG_3936

This one couldn’t be much easier!

Plantains are the larger, starchier relatives of bananas and can be eaten at any stage of ripeness…however, if they’re unripe, they’ll be very starchy like a potato and need to be cooked (boiled, fried, grilled, etc). In other words, don’t expect them to be sweet! If you’re willing to be patient and wait, plantains will eventually ripen and take on a sweeter flavor. The plantains I used had been sitting on my kitchen counter for almost 2 weeks. This is a very simple preparation but one that’s incredibly tasty.

Prep time: 2 min     Cook time: 5 min    Makes: 1 serving

Ingredients:

IMG_3933IMG_3934

Directions:

  1. Peel the plantain and slice into 1/4″ rounds. I like to cut mine on the bias (diagonal).
  2. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high and add the ghee or coconut oil. Fry the plantains until golden brown, 2-3 minutes each side. Be careful because they’ll burn easily.
  3. Remove from the heat and dust with cinnamon and a sprinkle of sea salt.
  4. Easy peasy.

Homemade Ghee

IMG_3816Butter is right up there with bacon on the list of foods that pretty much everyone loves. Am I right? Thought so. The only bummer is that butter contains milk proteins which means it’s off limits to anyone doing a Whole30 or trying to cut out dairy in general. If only you could have the flavor of butter but without the icky proteins…

It just so happens that ghee (basically clarified butter) can give you just what you desire. Unfortunately, 1) it can be hard to find in some stores and 2) it’s usually pretty expensive. Luckily, all you really need to make your own ghee is butter and patience.

The concept is simple: allow the butter to slowly heat so the water is forced out and the milk proteins solidify on the bottom of the pan. Strain it, and all you’re left with is delicious butterfat. It’s very stable at room temperature, has a higher smoke point than butter and is especially tasty when combined with coconut oil.

Prep time: 0 min     Cook time: 30 min    Makes1 pound of ghee

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound (500 grams) of grass-fed butter, salted or unsalted is your preference
  • Cheesecloth

Directions:

  1. Place the butter into a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over low heat. 
  2. Cook the butter on very low heat – resist the urge to crank up the flame. The butter will bubble and foam and make weird noises as the water is being vaporized. Do not remove the foam.
  3. After the butter foams up, it will likely dissipate a bit and then foam up again. The color of the butter-ghee will start to become golden, and crusty-looking milk solids will coagulate in the bottom of the skillet.
  4. The bubbles will start to dissipate and when the butter is golden in color, remove the skillet from the heat. Keep an eye on the pan because it can go from perfect to burned in a blink.
  5. Line a mesh strainer with cheesecloth and pour the butter through and into a glass jar (I like mason jars) allowing the milk proteins to be separated out.
  6. Allow to cool before covering. Ghee can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

Jalapeño Crab Dip

IMG_3564

Holiday time means parties, and parties mean tables full of non-Paleo treats. Today a bunch of the gals from the gym got together for brunch, and I kept trying to think of something interesting to make. My mind kept gravitating toward a dip of some sort but how to make it Paleo would be the catch since most dips have some sort of dairy like sour cream or cheese. The mayo in this dip is homemade–egg, olive oil and a few other ingredients–which is the hardest part of making the whole dish. I followed the recipe in “It Starts with Food” by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig which is based on this one from The Clothes Make the Girl. I made the whole batch and used 1/2 cup for this recipe. To substitute for the Parmesan, I pulsed Brazil nuts into a cheese-like texture with garlic and salt. Instead of crumbs on top, I used almond meal that was toasted with ghee and salt on the stove top. The jalapeños are quite mild and give a nice tanginess.

Nothing like a captive audience to get feedback on a new recipe, and the girls all said they LOVED the dip. It was served warm with sliced mini bell peppers, but any crudite would work well. Now you have another dish up your sleeve for holiday parties (and nobody will even know it’s missing the gluten and dairy).

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Brazil nuts + 1 clove garlic + pinch of salt
  • 16 oz (500 grams) high-quality canned crabmeat (I used Chicken of the SEa)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pickled jalapeño rings, chopped
  • 1/2 cup homemade mayo
  • 1 tsp hot sauce (read labels…mine has water, chilis, vinegar and salt)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins is gluten free)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup almond meal + 1 tbsp ghee or coconut oil + pinch of salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175C).

2. Make the Parmesan substitute: pulse the Brazil nuts, 1 clove of garlic and a pinch of salt in a food processor until fluffy, fine bits form.

3. In an oven-proof glass bowl or small casserole dish, combine the crab, chopped garlic, chopped jalapeño, mayo, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and Parmesan substitute. Stir until well combined.

4. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp ghee or coconut oil, almond meal and a pinch of salt. Stir constantly until the almond meal turns golden brown and toasty. Be careful…resist the temptation to walk away because it will go from yummy and brown to burned in seconds.

5. Top the crab mixture with the almond meal crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes until bubbly and hot.

6. Dive in!

Shrimp in Coconut Broth

Man, I love the Twitters! So many interesting people with lots to share. In fact, my most recent follow is Gordon Ramsay (@GordonRamsay01)…I bloody love him, especially on Hell’s Kitchen where he curses and kicks people out of the kitchen! Today he posted a delish-looking recipe for “Mussels in an Aromatic Coconut Broth”, to which I immediately started salivating. I headed to the market to pick up my shellfish, took one look at the sad, mostly wide-open mussels and asked the fish guy when they were delivered. When he stared blankly at me, I became worried. He left to ask the boss, came back and said, “Tuesday.” Folks, it’s Friday here. Not to mention, when I pressed my face to the glass and looked at the tag buried deep among the shells it said, “Harvested 6/4″!!! It’s the 15th. In true Ramsay style, I wanted to tell the guy to piss off, but instead I bought shrimp and went to town on modifying the recipe.

This recipe varies in technique from the original and also substitutes a couple key ingredients. Since shrimp meat on its own is not super flavorful, I used the shells to infuse the broth with shrimpy goodness. Later, I strained the liquid and used that to create the base for the dish. When I plunked the bowl down in front of the Mister, he took a few bites, then launched into a very long story about his shrimp-eating past. The point of the story: he said it was the best shrimp he had ever tasted. Ever.

finished dish

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb. raw shrimp
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1/4 c. dry white wine (or chicken broth if doing Whole30)
  • 1 can (16 oz.) full fat coconut milk
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, sliced down the middle
  • 1 red chili pepper (I used Thai), sliced
  • 3 green onions, sliced thinly
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp ghee
  • Cilantro, as garnish

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Directions:

1. Set aside a large skillet. Peel the shrimp of their shells and put the shells into the skillet (do not throw them out…yet). Save the peeled shrimp in a bowl for later use.

2. Add the can of coconut milk, white wine, thyme and garlic to the shrimp shells. Put the pan on medium heat and let it simmer for ~10 minutes until the shells turn pink and the broth is infused with flavor.

3. Strain the shells and herbs out by pouring the mixture through a strainer. Save the broth!!! Discard the shells.

4. Return the broth to the skillet. Add the shrimp, lemongrass, chili pepper, green onion and salt/pepper to taste. Cook over medium-high heat until the shrimp is pink and the broth has thickened just a bit.

5. Add the ghee (clarified butter) and stir so it melts into the broth. Be sure to remove the lemongrass prior to serving as it’s very tough…nobody wants to eat that!

6. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves and serve.