Happy Cinco de Mayo!!! The perfect holiday excuse to celebrate and party, also known as day where amatuers rage.
Cinco de Mayo calls for Carnitas and Margaritas! And today that’s what we’re talking about…carnitas and margaritas! I am so excited to share with my one and only go to, fail proof Carnita recipe. This is the only carnita recipe I’ve ever used (gracias Cyndi for sharing your recipe with me) and did I also mention? It’s baked, paleo and whole 30 approved, and no oil required! (yup…none of that deep friend oil splattering stuff!) AND it only requires 4 ingredient items!
But first, let’s our drink game on….I am leaving this to the pro, my friend Deborah. Not only is she clever, she’s an amazing host and quite the cocktail maker (can I call you that, Deb?)…check out her muy delicisoso recipes aqui: Clever Little Madam’s Margarita BarAll of her concoctions are always a hit!
To absorb the tequila, these carnitas can be served with tortillas, rice, beans, or in a salad (my preference).
Here’s the recipe:
4 limes, juiced
6-8 garlic cloves (1/2 head of garlic)
5 lbs. of pork butt roast or pork shoulder, cut into large chunks (I prefer to get this from Costco or my local Sprouts)
Kosher salt to taste
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a blender, combine lime juice, garlic and salt.
Place pork and garlic/lime marinade in roasting pan. Allow to sit for 30 mins.
Cover tightly with aluminum foil and roast for 2 – 2.5 hours (until pork is tender).
Remove foil and pan juices from roasting pan.
Return to oven for an additional 30 minutes to brown, turning pork, half way through
You for additional caramelization, add a can of coke or juice of two oranges.
I can’t believe that tomorrow is already the last day of my Whole30 Challenge! Besides feeling damn good, this challenge has really pushed me to be more creative in the kitchen. The limitations have forced me to look at what I can eat and what I can do to recreate some of my favorite dishes.
Last month, my girlfriend, Betsy and I brunched at a cute little brunch spot called Poppy & Rose in downtown, LA’s Flower District. I tried their Salmon Chowder and it was so delicious, I knew I had to recreate it.
It’s raining, it’s POURING today, and seeing that it’s the eve of the last day to my Whole30, I wanted to share this Whole30 and paleo approved recipe for today’s Make Something Monday. Today’s recipe is Seriously Sammy’s Salmon Bacon Chowder recipe. It’s the perfect “stewp” for a cold, rainy day…or any day for that matter. You’re going to love it!
Prep the celery, leek and onions
Brown your bacon until crispy
Bake the salmon filets
Roast the cauliflower
Add the bacon and truffle salt, enjoy your Salmon Bacon Chowder! Mmmmm.
Seriously Sammy’s Salmon Bacon Chowder recipe
6-8 filets of Salmon, deboned (if you like more protein go for eight filets)
2 lbs of cauliflower florets
6 TBSP of EVOO
4 C of Organic Chicken Broth
1 13.5 oz can full fat coconut milk (I only used about a third of it)
5 cloves of garlic, minced or sliced
1 leek, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
7 celery stalks, chopped
8 mushrooms, sliced (you can use cremini or button, whatever you like)
6-7 slices of bacon, sliced into small pieces
1-2 tsp of fresh dill
Salt & pepper to taste
Truffle salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Mix the EVOO and the garlic in a bowl
Line a baking sheet with wax paper, lay out the salmon filets and using about 2T of the EVOO/ garlic mixture, use a brush and paint it on to the salmon. Put this on the top rack of the oven for about 15 minutes
In a mixing bowl, add the cauliflower florets and the remainder of the EVOO/ garlic mix. Toss thoroughly. Line a baking sheet with foil or wax paper, and pour the cauliflower on to the sheet. You can add salt and pepper to this if you wish. Put this on the bottom rack of the oven for about 15-20 minutes. I put both the salmon and the cauliflower trays in the oven at the same time.
While the oven is working away, add the bacon to a big soup pot at medium heat. Let that sizzle and brown up. With a pair of tongs, remove the bacon from the pot. Set aside the bacon. Leave the oil/ fat in the same pot.
Add the leek, onions, celery to the bacon fat. Keep it on med-high heat. Once browned/ translucent, add the broth. Bring to a boil. Transfer this to the Vitamix or blender. Pulse.
Add about 2/3 of the roasted cauliflower to the soup mix and pulse until it’s a smooth thickness that you like. I reserve the rest of the cauliflower to add into the soup base as I like the chunks of it…it makes it more chowder-like sans the potatoes! (Quick tip: cauliflower is a great substitute for starch like ingredients…think potatoes, rice, etc…)
Return the soup base to the pot and add the coconut milk, bring to a boil, allow to simmer. (Note: Up until this point, this method can be applied to any other type of Paleo chowder recipe.)
With your tongs or wooden spatula, break up the chunks of roasted salmon and add to the soup. Put it on a low simmer.
Add mushrooms and dill. Simmer until the mushrooms are to your liking.
Top it off with the bacon. Oh and if you want to kick it up a notch, add your favorite truffle salt (mine is Casina Rossa Truffle Salt from Far East Fungi…love that place)!
One thing I love about Los Angeles is its diversity. Within a mile’s stretch, there’s various ethnic supermarkets (Chinese, Latin, Indian, Thai). Since I started this Whole30 challenge, the limitations (mainly meats and vegetables and some fruit) have allowed me to be as creative as possible in trying to keep things fun and challenging.
With the weekend here, it usually means that we can take our time and do as we please. I decided to explore the local Latin Supermarket, Super A Foods. The produce is so vibrant and fresh, I got excited and inspired. I immediately gravitated towards what spoke to me (all the chilis and peppers); and I decided to make Pork Chile Verde. Did I say that this is also Whole30 and paleo approved? Pork Chile Verde, that’s what’s cooking this weekend!!!
If you want to make your own Pork Chile Verde, follow my recipe below.
Pork Chile Verde Recipe – Whole30 and Paleo approved!
4 pounds pork butt or shoulder, trimmed of fat and cut into 2-inch cubes
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons of Olive Oil
3 yellow onions
2 green bell peppers, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 Anaheim or Poblano chiles, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 -3 jalapenos, seeds removed, and finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, roasted, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons coriander seeds, crushed and soaked in a scant amount of water
2 bay leaves
1 bunch cilantro leaves, cleaned and chopped
3 stalk, Onions, young green, tops only
1 leek, chop the white part only
4 cups chicken stock
Season the pork meat generously with salt and pepper.
De-husk the tomatillo, boil, drain set aside in the food processer
Add the cilantro and leek to the food processor w/ the tomatillo, blend
Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium high heat and brown pork chunks well in small batches, on all sides.
Lift pork out of pan and place into the pot used for the pressure cooker
Discard fat and place the garlic, onions and peppers in the same skillet and sweat over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until limp, about 5 minutes.
Add all of the chiles and cook an additional 3-4 minutes, then add the garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more.
Add the Sauteed vegetables, tomatillo sauce, and dried herbs to the meat, cover with the chicken stock in the pressure cooker pot
Set it to Stew/ Soup mode and set for 1 hour-1.5 hours…Set it and Forget it!!!
Wowsas! It’s already been two weeks into my Whole30 program and damn, I’m feeling pretty good! Don’t get me wrong, the initial few days weren’t fun…but that’s in the past now. Once I stopped focusing on the limitations (really of meats and vegetables are allowed) and thought of all the creative dishes I can make, things got fun, challenging and creative! I have started to explore making different food genres. It’s funny how limitations actually breeds creativity.
This weekend’s recipe was inspired by an Instagram post from a childhood friend, it’s a Vietnamese braised pork belly stew-like dish called Thit Kho Trung. Once I saw the post, I knew I had to make it. Though I never had the dish before, I already tasted it based on the photo and description. I tweaked it a bit to ensure that it’s Paleo and Whole30 friendly, and it’s super easy to make.
Paleo Approved?Check. Whole 30 approved?Check. Easy to make?Check. Less than 5 minutes to prep?Check!Healthy and Hearty?Check!!!! Look no further, this Seriously Simple Lemon Garlic Salmon is what’s cooking this weekend! Make your own, by following this weekend’s recipe (below):
Seriously Simple Lemon Garlic Salmon Recipe:
3 oz. ghee* or preferred fat (such as Avocado or Olive Oil)
2 t of coarse kosher salt
zest of 1 lemon
1 t. fresh dill and or parsley, chopped
1 Garlic Clove, minced
white pepper to taste
4 salmon fillets, about 4-5 oz. each
1 lemon, quartered (optional)
Pre-heat the oven to 400
Place all ingredients except for salmon and lemon wedges in a small bowl and melt in the microwave for 30-45 seconds. Skip the microwave if you’re using oil.
Stir until combined.
Place the salmon fillets on a baking sheet lined with foil
Using a pastry brush, coat the salmon with the lemon herb butter/ oil, ensuring it’s covered.
Bake in an oven preheated to 400 degrees on the top rack for 10-12 minutes, or until salmon is cooked through.
Brussel Sprouts… there’s just something so rustic and earthy about ‘em. I love me some crunchy leaves in between each bite and add some bacon…it’s heaven in every bite! For this weekend’s recipe, here’s a simple, killer recipe that has me salivating! And did I say? It’s Paleo and Whole 30 approved? Check out my recipe…oh, and the icing…just 5 simple steps to make this Brussel Sprouts & Bacon! So damn good. Enjoy!
Brussel Sprouts & Bacon Recipe
2# of Brussel Sprouts, cut in half or quartered (depending on the size)
4 slices of no sugar added* bacon, diced
2 T of EVOO or any preferred fat (ghee, butter, etc)