I mentioned in my monthly wrap up that I found this gem at the grocery store checkout, and didn’t think twice about purchasing it. Cook’s Illustrated is my absolute favorite resource for all things food related. Their cookbooks are more like textbooks, and the test kitchen chefs try hundreds of versions of each recipe before coming up with their own, perfected version. I enjoy reading about the process and the methods they use to design their recipes.
My goal is to cook every single meal in this magazine in order to continue to develop my paleo cooking skills. I’ve mentioned before that I like to call myself “paleo-ish”. About 90% of my week (when I’m not cheating, like last week!) is paleo, with the other 10% is the “ish”. I can’t get down with subscribing to just one dietary label, for starters. I believe everything is good for you in moderation. I truly love paleo foods, so I don’t have a hard time following the lifestyle. But I still love my pizza, so there’s that. I feel better in general and have lots of energy when I’m on the paleo wagon, and it works for me.
This week, I tried the following recipes:
Garlicky Roasted Shrimp with Anise
I love anise, my husband doesn’t. It tastes a lot like licorice or fennel, but anise isn’t fennel – anise and fennel come from different plants. In this recipe, you butterfly the shrimp and make a brine. While it’s soaking in the brine, you create a mixture of ghee (clarified butter, but I just use Kerrygold butter since it comes from grass fed cows), extra virgin olive oil, garlic (six cloves, YAS!), anise seeds, red pepper flakes, pepper, and fresh parsley. After draining and patting the shrimp dry, you coat the shrimp with the butter/spice mixture, and broil on a wire rack set over a baking sheet.
It’s a super easy recipe, and has a ton of flavor. I used shrimp that was already peeled and deveined, but they recommend leaving the shell on. I love red pepper and thought that it was a little overpowering, so next time I’d adjust that slightly. I’d also consider serving this over a salad. I was boring and just made some roasted sweet potatoes, and really could have used another veggie on the side. But lazy. My husband loved it and had no idea that the delicious flavor he tasted was, in fact, anise.
Stir-Fried Sesame Pork and Eggplant
Everyone always says stir fry is soooo easy, one pot meal, blah blah blah. I do agree that it’s easy, but it makes a freaking mess! There was lots of chopping for this one (which I enjoy) but I was a little hangry when I was cooking so it seemed to take forever. In reality, it probably took me 35 minutes to get this on the table, which is totally fine.
It called for toasted sesame oil, which I thought I had – but I was out and just used plain old sesame oil. This dish was fabulous anyway, so I suspect it would have a richer flavor if I had the correct oil. Toasted sesame oil has such a bold, distinct flavor. Next time I make this, I’ll make sure I’m less hungry and have my pantry stocked with the correct ingredients. I LOVE eggplant but hardly ever make it. As an italian, I often think the only use for eggplant is to make something with lots of cheese, breading, and tomato sauce. This was a delicious use for a fabulous veggie.
Leek and Prosciutto Frittata
There’s a breakfast chapter at the end of this magazine, and I’ve been eating pumpkin custard for like the past three months. I was ready to switch it up, and this was perfect. I love leeks and prosciutto, and I love eggs for breakfast. I was concerned that the lack of cheese would make me dislike this, but nope. It was excellent, and really easy to make. It makes six servings, so I was able to put the leftovers in the fridge for a quick breakfast the rest of the week.
Latin-Style Chicken and Cauliflower Rice
I like all of the ingredients in this dish individually, but normally I’d pass on a recipe that uses them all together. But I want to try all of the recipes, and this looked like a simple, one pot meal. It was easy, but it also required a lot of chopping/prepping. I wasn’t as hangry, so it was fine.
I’ve made cauliflower rice many times before, but this had a little twist – after searing the chicken, cooking the onion, blooming the aromatics (garlic, oregano, smoked paprika, cayenne, tomato paste), cooking the “rice” and finishing the chicken, you add chopped tomatoes and green olives. I LOVE green olives but would never think to mix them in with cauliflower rice on their own. It gets finished off with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro. My husband hates cilantro, and I love it. This recipe was great since you add it at the end, so I just didn’t add any to his. This dish was bursting with flavor, the chicken was cooked perfectly.
These are all recipes I would absolutely make again. I already have my eye on a few dishes for next week that I’d like to try. It’s nice to have a little extra time to cook at night and try new recipes – it’s the perfect way to spend my recovery!
Do you enjoy cooking? Have you tried any new recipes lately?