Turkey Stroganoff

Stroganoff is a Russian dish of sautéed meat and soured cream, or smetana.

Popular worldwide, Stroganoff has grown to incorporate many combinations of tastes, flavours and textures, from the inclusion of vegetables, mushrooms, pasta or rice, served inside crepes, as a topping to baked potato and made with almost any cut of meat, even sausage.

I'm going to use turkey ...

Stroganoff is a quick dish for which preparation is the key.

Slice up some turkey breast into small strips. I also shredded some streaky bacon for a salty, fatty flavour.

Prepare any vegetables that will accompany the meat - I used yellow pepper, asparagus tips and ribbons of courgette for fettuccine.

Using a frying pan or sauté pan, warm the bacon through and remove the bacon leaving the fat. Set the bacon aside. Sauté the the vegetables in the fat and set aside.

Colour through and cook the turkey strips, adding in the bacon, the vegetables and combine well.

Remove from the heat and drop in a good helping of cream - crème fraiche, soured cream, smetana or even double cream will do just fine. Grind in some freshly milled black pepper and sea salt, if required.

Once warmed through and combined into the meat and vegetables, serve out.

Eggs Florentine

Eggs Florentine, a twist on Eggs Benedict where the ham is replaced with spinach, is an entrée of poached egg and spinach on a muffin with Hollandaise - egg yolks emulsified with butter.

We're going to keep it paleo ...

First, the "muffin" - place a Portobello mushroom in the oven set to around 180C to soften up.

Next, the spinach - wilt the spinach in a frying pan with a little butter and white pepper.

Next, the Hollandaise.

Collect three egg yolks in a glass mixing bowl.

Put a good block of butter in a pan and on a gentle heat. As the butter melts, the solids will drop out leaving clarified butter to pour off, discarding the solids and returning the clarified top to the gentle heat to keep warm. The shortcut here is to use ghee.

Whisk the eggs briskly with a balloon whisk and add a splash of lemon juice.

Over a baines marie (sitting the mixing bowl over a pan of boiling water without the base of the bowl touching the water) and whisking constantly, pour the clarified butter into the mix in a constant stream.

You may need to lift the bowl off the heat every so often to prevent it from turning to custard.

If the Hollandaise becomes too thick, add a teaspoon of water.

Set the Hollandaise to one side.

Crack a further egg into a ramekin taking care not to break the yolk.

Add a generous splash of white distilled vinegar to the water, get it up to a rolling boil and then drop the heat. Gently swirl the water and carefully pour the egg into the vortex to poach.

Poach the egg, retrieve and dry off by resting it on a folded kitchen paper towel.

Re-warm the Hollandaise over the water, adjusting consistency with a little water if necessary. No need to add salt, since the ham will provide all the saltiness the dish needs.

Build the dish ...

Place the mushroom in the centre of the plate and cover generously with spinach.

Gently place the poached egg on the ham and smother with the Hollandaise.

For extra-extravagance, crown the dish with shaved or grated truffle!


Turkey & Chicken Pumpkin Chilli

With the Hallow e'en season in full swing, cooking with pumpkin becomes very popular.

Time for a warming autumn dish to celebrate the depth and sweetness of pumpkin ...

Roast off some pumpkin pieces to deepen the flavour and add colour in the oven at 180C for half an hour, or so with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a little sea salt.

Once soft, blend into a purée with a hand blender or food processor. Set aside.

Brown off some chunks of chicken and turkey breast in a lidded sauté pan.

Add in some chopped onion then a little whisky and get the lid on - adding spirits to the dish is pure Hallow e'en! The steam will soften the onions nicely and the slightly sweet smoky flavour the whisky will impart into the meat.

Pour in a can of peeled plum tomatoes and mash down to a pulp. Pour the pumpkin purée in and stir until well combined.

Now we add in the warmth and heat ...

Slice a Scotch Bonnet pepper, a clove or two of garlic and toss in. Sprinkle over some ground coriander and a little ground cinnamon. Chop some fresh coriander and add to the pan.

For a more crisp alternative, chop some bell peppers - green, red and yellow.

Simmer for a couple of hours, adding water where necessary. The dish is ready when it is well cooked and the liquid fully reduced.

Serve out into bowls with a few fresh coriander leaves. I accompanied with a few chipped potatoes fried in dripping and a small bowl of yoghurt.


Paleo Gin Fizz

Gin, the perfect aperitif!

Gin & Tonic is the perfect aperitif! The downside for paleo folk is that most tonics have a substantial quantity of sugar or worse, aspartame!

Tonic Water is a classic British Empire drink, blended to push the anti-malaria, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of the bark of the cinchona tree into its finest and brightest out in Her colonies!

Sugar was used as a means of making the very bitter bark more palatable. Nowadays, the quinine is manufactured and the drink so far removed from those Colonial days, that we wonder ...

Do we really need it now?

So, how to make a modern gin aperitif and keep it paleo?


Tall glass. Ice cube. Wedge of lime ... squeezed. Dropped in.

Angostura Bitters* ... just a couple of drops to make "pink gin" ...

Gin ... two shots ...

Soda water (that's fizzy water to you Yanks!) to top up to taste.


Easy as Gordons!

* Angostura Bitters - see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angostura_bitters



Poutine is a dish of French Fries and curd cheese covered in gravy - the famous Montreal Poutine.

Inspired by this, I set out to make a more paleo-friendly version using up a few leftover ingredients.

Let's get busy ...

Peel and slice up some white potatoes into French Fries. Maris Piper variety is good for this purpose, as is Yukon Gold.

Fry the fries in dripping.

I keep a bowl of dripping in the fridge and scrape it into a small fryer. Once the food has been fried, the dripping is poured back into the bowl, allowed to cool and then returned to the fridge.

Meanwhile, get a beef gravy going. I used the meat and leftover cooking juices from a slow-cooked beef brisket. The gravy should be a middle consistency - not glutinous, nor watery.

Throw a few salad leaves into a bowl and drop a few spoons of curd cheese over. Curd cheese is similar to cream cheese and cottage cheese - cottage cheese can be strained and blended until smooth. I didn't have any of these, so just used some mayonnaise.

Drain the excess fat off the fries and scatter over.

Pour over the gravy, grind a little freshly milled black pepper over and maybe a splash of Tabasco to liven things up.

Dig in!


Cauliflower Stalk Amuse Bouche

Amuse bouche? Amuse the mouth, tickle the mouth, get the taste buds going ...

The purpose of an amuse bouche is to get the taste sensation moving; often served as a pre-starter, an amuse bouche should be pack full of a single flavour, heavily enhanced - salt and lemon in perfect balance with a single ingredient is the key.

While this may look like a repeat of my Romanescu Stalk Amuse Bouche I wanted to compound the idea that trimmings can be used so easily to produce this little gem of flavour and to go a little deeper into the techniques.

Cauliflower is such a great vegetable and so useful in paleo cuisine for faux rice, or faux couscous. But it's funny that the stalks are so easily discarded.

Let's see what's so amusing ...

First, wash, clean, trim and prepare the cauliflower stalks. Trim off dirty ends and shred them finely.

Gently fry the stalk slices in pastured butter.

You can add in other flavours at this point - leeks, garlic, chives, herbs ...

Top up with some bouillon and bring to the boil for a few minutes until really soft.

Bouillon is a broth made from a simmering of mirepoix, bouquet garni and some bones. You can look up mirepoix and bouquet garni but here's a cheat - you can buy powered bouillion which only needs a generous tablespoon in a litre of water. If you wanted to make up your own, it's onion, celery and carrots (the mirepoix), thyme, bay and sage tied together (the bouquet garni), some bones and water - simmer for a few hours to extract all the flavour, freeze excess as appropriate.

Once soft, receptacle and blend to a fine paste, adding the liquid to soften things up and bring the total consistency to a thick soup. Optionally, you can emulsify a little oil in at this point for a really smooth texture.

Pass the blended soup through a fine sieve and return to the heat.

The solids can be combined with freshly minced garlic, chives, sea salt and melted butter. Formed into a sausage in a sheet of clingfilm and chilled, slices can be cut off, as required for a flavoursome butter sauce melted over meat and fish steaks.

Return the soup to the boil and reduce until the flavour is fully compounded. This may be a huge reduction, or may produce a lot of amuse bouche depending upon how well the solids were blended.

Take the pan off the heat, drop in a teaspoon of cream per cappuccino cup and swirl in.

Finally, squeeze a little lemon juice in - just enough so as not to overpower the flavours, but enough to work with the cream to offset the heavy saltiness.

Pour out into cappuccino cups.


Beef Mulligatawny Soup

Conventional paleo people should look away now! Beef Mulligatawny Soup contains rice!

Rice? What on earth?

You will have noticed that I frequently use dairy in my cooking - cheese, cream, soured cream, creme fraiche and yoghurt, and you might well have seen the very occasional use of white potatoes ... but rice?

This is not a paleo dish, as far as most conventional definitions of paleo go. This is a Perfect Health Diet dish.

So, having read what the Perfect Health Diet is all about are you now interested?

If it's not for you, it's not for you ... if it is, read on ...

Translated from Tamil, Mulligatawny literally means "pepper water". There are many recipes, consistent to all is that the soup is a hot, spicy liquid with some meat and bulked, if not thickened, with rice.

This recipe emulates the classic Heinz can of soup.

I'm afraid that there are no shortcuts to this. I suppose you could use a beef gravy, but it's not the same as ...

Slow-cook a large piece of beef brisket in water or a Belgian beer with lambs kidneys, mushrooms, onion and garlic for several hours. I use Leffe Blonde.

Retrieve the beef, set aside to rest in tin foil.

Retrieve the kidneys. Blend the remainder together to make a thick gravy, thickened fully with a little arrowroot in water. Return the kidneys to the gravy and pour over slices of beef brisket, served with vegetables. Enjoy!

Now you see what's going on ... this is leftovers dish!

Cool the leftover beef brisket in the fridge, along with the gravy in another dish.

Warm the gravy up with a gastrique - a splash of cider vinegar and a touch of honey, a good squirt of tomato purée, perhaps some ginger and several generous splashes of classic red Tabasco. Add a little water to thin out to a soup if necessary.

Meanwhile boil some rice - I used risotto rice, since my wife does not like basmati, but basmati would be the more authentic choice. The rice in the Heinz can is more puffed than just boiled basmati, so the risotto rice made it more akin to the canned version.

I guess this could be made in a more conventionally paleo way with cauliflower rice. If the cauliflower rice was lightly fried in a dusting of spices, that would be excellent! Turmeric, cumin and coriander would be just right.

Shred some of the leftover beef brisket and warm through in the soup.

Drain the rice and tip into the soup.

Serve out into a wide brim bowl and enjoy this warming, comforting soup.


Pan Fried Tilapia with Cavolo Nero and Potato Gnocchi

Tilapia is a fresh water fish which lends itself well to strong flavoured dishes, not overpowered nor overpowering in flavour.

Cavolo Nero is an Italian kale, black in colour and very dark green once cooked.

Gnocchi are small Italian dumplings often made from semolina, flour or potato. We're going to use potato and potato starch and follow the method set out by Paul Jaminet: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=4416

Let's get cooking ...

Boil a large potato, cut into smaller segments. Once cooked, mash and set aside to cool.

Cooled, crack in one egg, a little sea salt, combine and then sprinkle over potato flour until a firm dough consistency is reached. Roll out into a long sausage, score a fork along its length and then cut into inch long pieces.

Bring a large pan of water to the boil and drop in the gnocchi. Once they float up to the surface, they're done! Remove and set onto a paper towel to absorb any excess water.

Shred up some Cavolo Nero and place into a steamer over the pan of boiling water.

Melt some butter in a frying pan and cook the tilapia for a couple of minutes, turn over and take off the heat using the residual heat in the pan to cook the fish through.

In another frying pan, add a couple of spoons of pesto to soften and then toss the gnocchi in the warm pesto.

Pesto is simply the combination of pine nuts, basil and salt in extra virgin olive oil, blended. It will keep in the fridge in a jar and not mould so long as the surface is covered with oil.

Serve out the Cavolo Nero onto a plate and place the fish on top. Accompany with the gnocchi to the side.

In the frying pan that the fish was cooked in, using the residual fat make up a warm salsa of capers, pickled chillies and chopped parsley. Squeeze a little lemon juice into the salsa and then pour over the fish.

Leftover Texas Chili Omelette

Leftovers are always fun, providing seriously interesting combinations for breakfast!

With a bowl of last evening's Texas Chili in the fridge, I set about making an awesome paleo breakfast.

Let's get cracking ...

Eggs, that is. For a couple of people, crack five large eggs into a bowl and gently whisk until the yolks are broken and just combined.

Eggs should be free range at the very least, woodland reared are best since the chickens are left to roam, peck and scratch for grubs natural to their diet, and the taste difference is evident.

Warm the leftover chilli through.

Place a good block of butter in a large frying pan and pour over the egg mixture. Move it around every so often to create a little interest in the omelette and introduce any uncooked areas to the heat of the pan. Once just set, sprinkle over some grated cheese and some finely sliced mushrooms. If you've exclude dairy, just leave out the cheese.

Slide the omelette out onto a board and cut in half - half each on clean plates.

I love sauerkraut and so placed a bed of sauerkraut on my half along with a number of shakes of green Tabasco.

Spoon over some chilli, top with more cheese, some chopped pickled chillies and a blob of Greek yoghurt.

Fold the sides of the omelette half up around and squirt over some table sauce. Again, if you're off bought sauces, garnish however you like.


Texas Chilli

Bowl of Red - the classic Texas Chili.

Meat and chillies - that's all that goes into a classic Texas Chili, and they'll run you out of town tarred and feathered if you even think of dropping some beans into it!

Checking out a few award-winning recipes, I found that tomato was often included, garlic, too and even herbs. I put together a hybrid from a number of recipes to make up my own Bowl of Red ...

Slip on some rubber gloves - we've got chillies to chop!

In a large sauté pan, get some minced beef browning off.

Meanwhile, soften up some chopped onions in a pan with some fat - I used pork fat, recovered from a belly pork roast. Bacon grease, lard, tallow or shortening will do. Something fatty, anyway.

Put the softened onions into a receptacle to be blended, along with a sliced clove of garlic and a little root ginger for a fiery hit! Blend to a paste. You could add in a couple of chillies here, too.

Add a can of peeled plum tomatoes and a squirt of tomato purée into the receptacle and give it a quick pulse to break down the tomatoes.

Pour over the now browned meat.

The purée will appear quite light, but it will darken with cooking. The purpose of blending the onion is to make the most of the minced meat without much interference from other textures. I'd seen onion powder used a lot in the award-winning recipes, but didn't have any ...

Add in some beef stock and some chicken stock. The combination of stocks gives a depth and a lightness! About a pint in total.

Now for the chillies!

We've already got a fiery note from the ginger and garlic. Time for a wall of fire! I used the naga jolokia chilli (also known as the ghost chilli). Weighing in at one million Scovilles, this is a HOT chilli and must be handled with care. Gloves on and wash the knife afterwards. I used just one centimetre of the chilli and believe me ... this is HOT!

Next, some chipotle for that smoky depth. I used Smokey Tabasco.

Next, some jalapeño for the crispness. Finely chop these with the seeds removed.

Sprinkle some cayenne pepper and paprika over to complete the wall of chilli!

Sprinkle over some oregano and grind in some freshly milled black pepper and a little celery salt to taste.

Finally, add in a good block of chocolate - make it as dark as you have. This will give an enigmatic back-flavour which enhances the whole dish.

Set to simmer for a couple of hours.

Serve out however it is you like your chilli ...

I put mine into a bowl and covered with cheese, placed alongside some tomato, cucumber and pickled chillis, some sliced avocado and a few British cos lettuce leaves to make up wraps. Greek yoghurt alongside is very welcome! Slug down a few tequilas, bite on some lime and have a blast!


Italian Inspired Fish Stew

Each coastal town in Italy boasts its own fish stew as the best. Perhaps the best known is from Naples - Neapolitan Fish Stew, or La Zuppa di Pesce Napoletana.

Common to all is the simple combination of locally caught fish, shellfish, tomato and herbs.

Inspired by these hearty and honest soups, I set about putting my own together.

Something fishy this way comes ...

Begin by pouring a generous glug of extra virgin olive oil into a sauté pan and toss in some chopped onion to soften.

I deviated a little and dropped in a good helping of finely sliced chestnut mushrooms - maybe 6 or 8, to help bulk out the dish which is often bulked with bread in Italy.

Pour in a can of peeled plum tomatoes, pulp down and stir in. Add a squirt of tomato purée and a couple of cloves worth of sliced garlic. Pour over some fish stock - maybe half a pint. Set to simmer.

Meanwhile, prepare all manner of fish and shellfish.

I used some pollock, squid, mussels, clams and scallops. Any fish, sea or fresh water, any shellfish, octopus, anything from the sea will do.

Toss the fish into the pan, prepare and cook items like mussels, clams, squid and so on in a frying pan and toss into the sauté pan as each are done. I went with squid first, mussels and clams second and finally the scallops just before serving.

Chop a very generous amount of parsley and toss into the sauté pan, seasoning further with freshly milled black pepper and a little sea salt if desired.

Serve out over some courgette linguine from juliennes of courgette tossed in a hot frying pan for a few minutes to soften.

I went a little further and wilted down some spinach to place on top and crown with a fresh pomodorino tomatoes and pickled chillis.

Finally, since bread features so highly in Italian cuisine I made up some Pão de Queijo, inspired by Paul Jaminet from his 'Perfect Health Diet' weblog.

I supplanted the butter with olive oil, added in some minced garlic, replaced some of the milk content with soured cream and used pecorino instead of parmesan for an extra sour taste.


Cheese Puffs

Inspired by Paul Jaminet's post on Brazilian Cheese Puffs (also known as Pão de Queijo) I wanted to make up a bread to accompany an oily, deep and sumptuous Italian Inspired Seafood Stew: Italian Inspired Seafood Stew

Back to the bread ...

The Brazilian recipe uses cassava flour, milk, eggs and butter, and Paul's article then mixes in some parmesan cheese for the cheesy tang.

I made a more Italian twist on these ingredients ...

Cassava flour, eggs and using olive oil rather than butter, soured cream instead of milk to boost the sourness of the flour, and pecorino cheese rather than parmesan, these bread balls came out crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside with a wonderful sour tang from the cassava flour, cream and cheese - perfect for offsetting the oiliness in the main dish.

I have made them up again since using potato flour, yoghurt and cheddar cheese - perfect accompaniment for deep, luscious meat stews where dumplings would conventionally accompany.

I have also tried a little baking powder in, which produces a much lighter, fluffier ball.

Next, I will experiment with beef suet for the fat content, aromatic herbs and hopefully make up a paleo+ dumpling.

So, the method ...

I'm not at all good at following recipes. I read recipes, understand the principles and then deviate wildly when the ingredients are in front of me.

Take a cup of flour and place into a mixing bowl.

Crack in one egg - free range, outdoor reared, woodland chicks; just get the best eggs you can from birds which are reared as naturally as they can be.

Roughly mix together by hand.

The mix will be too dry. Add in small amounts of milk, yoghurt, soured cream, whatever your preference until a good dough is formed.

Add in a little salt if you like, but it is not necessary with most cheese.

Grate some cheese - Parmesan, Pecorino, Manchego, Cheddar, whatever your preference and roll into the dough.

Gently kneed the dough a few times to ensure the ingredients are well distributed and set about hand rolling balls of the dough just smaller than a golf ball.

Place the balls onto a very lightly greased oven-proof plate and bake in a pre-heated over set to 200C for 20-30 minutes until the colour changes to a pleasant brown and the outsides are hard.

Break one open - if it's still too doughy, just return to the oven.


Daikon & Parsnip Rösti with Spinach and Poached Egg

Perfect for a starter, breakfast, snack or just because ...

Rösti is a Swiss dish consisting mainly of potatoes and while the inclusion of white potatoes as a safe starch in the paleo template is much debated at present, we're going to keep it traditional and use a couple of more conventional tubers: daikon and parsnip.

Daikon in Japanese literally means "great root" and has a mild radish flavour. On the Indian sub-continent, it is called Mooli.

Great! No, "Grate!" Yes, I mean "grate"! Let's get grating ...

Peel and grate a 6" length of daikon into a bowl and squeeze out as much liquid as you can, discarding it. This is the same process as potato. I also like to fry off the grated root in a pre-heated pan, but keep it moving so as not to colour it.

You could just leave it at that and make up a single rösti, double the amount for a couple of rösti or add in another flavour. Return to the bowl.

Peel and grate a parsnip into the bowl - no need to squeeze out parsnips; they're not that full of water. Mix together.

In a frying pan, melt down a good chunk of butter - about half an inch off the end of block of butter is fine. Pour over the grated roots, mix together, grind a little fresh black pepper over and add in a little sea salt if so desired.

Place a couple of rings in the frying pan and spoon in the rösti mix, pressing down to make a firm pack.

Place the frying pan back on the heat and get the rösti frying off - three or four minutes on one side and then flip them over carefully so as not to lose structure. Fry on the other side for three or four minutes and turn back and forth for a couple of minutes at a time, as required.

Meanwhile, in another frying pan add a small chunk of butter and get the spinach wilting down.

Boil up a pan of water sufficient for your eggs - a milk pan is ideal.

Splash in a tablespoon, or so, of white distilled vinegar, lower the heat and swirl the water. Drop an egg cracked into a ramekin into the swirling water and let it poach for a few minutes until the white has hardened. Too long and the yolk will cook.

If you are doing more than one egg, you can get the initial cooking after dropping into the swirling water done and then retrieve the egg into cold water. Repeat until all the eggs are done this way and then return all the eggs into the hot water to warm through and cook on.

The lot should come together in unison ...

Turn out the rösti onto the middle of a plate, spoon over the spinach, plate the egg atop and cut it on one side to release the yolk. Crush a little sea salt over, maybe a sprinkle of chopped chives, maybe a final grind of freshly milled black pepper - it's your egg.

Än guete!


Carne Asada

In Mexican cuisine, Carne Asada literally means "grilled meat". It is a simple meal of thin strips of marinated beef and served with guacamole, salsa and beans in a taco or tortilla wrap.

To keep it paleo we'll stick to guacamole and salsa, and use long strong spined lettuce leaves as the wraps - British cos lettuce is my favourite, with a strong spine, long supple leaves and a subtle bitterness.

Let's get marinating ...

Take some beef and slice it thin across the fibres of the meat. I used a medallion steak and a sirloin steak - it's what I had in.

Place the meat into a large bowl, squeeze some lime over, splash some Worcestershire Sauce in, add some sea salt, some avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of chilli powder suitable to your enjoyment.

Worcestershire Sauce is not strictly paleo so feel free to leave it out and maybe just blend a little anchovy puree or fermented shrimp with water instead.

Leave this to marinate overnight in the fridge, stirring in the morning to cook in the evening.

Wash and dry a few lettuce leaves, make up a guacamole and slice up a few tomatoes, pieces of cucumber and pickled chillis alongside.

To make good guacamole, take a couple of ripe avocados and put them into a bowl. Squeeze a little lime juice over and mash with a fork, the butt end of a rolling pin ... or just use a hand blender. For a real paleo treat, emulsify in a drizzle of avocado oil while blending.

Holy guacamole! That's good!

Using a grill, griddle or grill pan get the heat on and the metal hot.

Lay the strips of meat onto the grill and cook through.

Serve out onto a communal plate and get stuck in!


Warm Poached Salmon Salad with Blackberries

The blackberry season is almost over. Up here on higher ground, it has just finished - the very last of those plump, sweet berries are there for the final picking.

But what to put them with?

You could just eat them with some heavy whipped cream, but blackberries work so well with heavier flavoured fish like mackerel or salmon.

I have a good source of wild keta salmon and so, with two of the ingredients present and available I set about making up a real celebration of the last of those wild blackberries.

First, get some bouillon on and the salmon poaching.

Bouillon is a broth made from a simmering of mirepoix, bouquet garni and some bones. Mirepoix? Bouquet garni? Here's a cheat - you can buy powered bouillion which only needs a generous tablespoon in a litre of water. If you wanted to make up your own, it's onion, celery and carrots (the mirepoix), thyme, bay and sage tied together (the bouquet garni), some bones and water - simmer for a few hours to extract all the flavour, freeze excess as appropriate.

I keep both the frozen real stuff in and a pot of the powdered stuff. Tonight, I used the frozen surplus from a previous batch of the proper stuff - nothing is too good for this salmon.

Let the salmon poach on a low heat for a good 10 minutes, more if you're slow at the preparation of the remainder of the dish.

Using a vegetable peeler, shave some strips of carrot and courgette. Put these in a pan to boil for just a couple of minutes. Drain and set out to evaporate the remaining water. Transfer to a mixing bowl with some capers, sliced pickled garlic and some extra virgin olive oil.

Shave some fennel into a frying pan and sauté off in a little butter.

Build the plate ...

In a wide brim bowl, lay out some wild rocket leaves.

Arrange the vegetable strips over the top and spread the caper, pickled garlic and remaining oil over the dish. Splash a few drops of green Tabasco over the salad.

Place some sautéed fennel in the middle of the bowl and lay the poached salmon over.

Drop a good helping of cottage cheese next to the salmon, or soured cream over, and sprinkle chopped herbs over the top. I used flat leaf parsley, but dill would have been better.

Jewel the dish with a few washed wild blackberries.


Crustless Quiche

Derived from the German kuchen, or cake, quiche (or küche in Lorraine) is an open-faced pie with a savoury egg custard filling.

Traditionally, the filling is poured into a pastry base and baked.

We're going to keep it paleo ...

... and make some individual quiches for breakfast.

Pre-heat the oven to 180C and take a baking tray, dropping some silicone moulds one into each pocket.

Place a slice of feta cheese in the bottom of each, add in whatever other ingredients you like - I used scallions, fried bacon pieces and a head of gently boiled tenderstem broccoli.

Whisk up some eggs with a little double cream and pour into the cases. You can make up more egg if you run out.

Grind some freshly milled black pepper over the top and maybe a splash of Tabasco.

Place in the pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes. Set the timer for 12, check and cook on if need be - you'll know whether it needs a little longer as the egg mixture will still appear like egg white if undercooked. The cooked result should still have a little movement and will soufflé a little.

Turn out onto a place accompanied by a little salad, a few cooked things, whatever you want.

Great for breakfast, easy for dinner ...


Rose Harissa Roasted Butternut Squash

Harissa is a Tunisian spice paste made from a blend of chillis, garlic, herbs and other spices.

Rose Harissa is a gourmet paste that has the inclusion of rose petals, giving a deep colour as well as offsetting the unnecessary burn of the chilli.

The result? One seriously flavoursome paste which retains a good kick!

There are a number of recipes that you could follow to make your own Harissa, but they're all pretty much grinding down chillis, garlic, herbs and spices down in a pestle and mortar, adding in rose petals, grinding some more and softening it all up with oil.

I buy mine. I like the Belazu brand: "Rose petals are one of over forty spices added to give this paste its unique aroma and complex, yet unmistakably spicy, taste. Harissa was originally a staple of Tunisian cooking but is used throughout North Africa as a seasoning or condiment. It has a hot kick to it but the rose petals in the sauce provide a unique balance to the chilli heat."

Harissa can be spread over meat and roasted, added to soups and stews, spread over flat bread, the options almost limitless.

Here, I'm roasting some butternut squash ...

Peel and cut the squash into good sized pieces and place in a bowl. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over and add a good tablespoon of Rose Harissa. Stir well to ensure the squash pieces are covered.

Transfer to an overproof dish and roast at 150C for 30-40 minutes.

The squash should be cooked through but not soggy. The taste? Sweet, sour, hot and gorgeous throughout!

Serve with complimentary foods, such as slow cooked lamb, mutton or goat, strong green vegetables, bitter leaves and soft feta cheese.

Walnut Oil Hinted Scallops over Cauliflower Puree

Dropped into Cauliflower Stalk Soup to perk up some interest in what is otherwise a pretty bland dish, scallops are also perfect partners to the other part of a cauli - the flower.

The unique aromatic flavour counterpoints the depth and sweetness of scallops in a perfect display of one hand washing the other.

Simple to put together ...

Take a few florets and steam them. Steaming keeps the best of the flavour.

Puree and set into the middle of a wide bowl or plate.

Meanwhile, warm a little butter in a frying pan until it just browns and drop the scallops in.

Scallops should need little more than a half a minute on each side to just colour up and warm through, while retaining all the softness.

Set the scallops onto the cauliflower puree.

For a more sensuous experience, add in just a little horseradish or even daikon into the puree and maybe a drop of walnut oil onto each scallop.

Leftover Burger Wrap

One for Finn & Greg, my paleo pals (northerners, too ... northern English, that is) over at Modern Paleo Warfare - he's a great food blogger, cross-fitter (whatever one of those is) and a damn good read ... a damn good adult read, so put the kids to bed and enjoy an adult take on the paleo lifestyle!

Much respect, mate! Keep on cooking and keep it paleo!

Anyway ...

Last night I made up some more Aberdeen Angus burgers, this time with no onion - meat, just meat and nothing else. 100% beef, like McDonalds' do ... but with Burger King meat. This is the perfect burger!

Even cool, it's hot ...

Method? Erm ... take some minced Aberdeen Angus meat and squeeze it between your fingers a few times to break it up, soften it and get it ready for burgers.

Form the meat into burger patties and return to the fridge to re-harden.

Cook in a pre-heated frying pan with no fat, just the burgers, nothing else - a couple of minutes each side and then drop the heat to cook them through maybe 5 minutes on each side more.


Serve up however you do and enjoy - this is the best of all worlds and pretty much pure paleo!

Leftovers? Yeah ... just chuck 'em in the fridge and enjoy for breakfast.

How? It's a thick bit of meat, so cut it in half through the middle, place on a large lettuce leaf buttered with mayonnaise, sour cream or even natural yoghurt.

Fold up and cram in your mouth ... chew ... swallow ... feel awesome for the day to come!


Lamb & Aubergine Stuffed Peppers

Damn! What a terrible picture of a dish which was sooooo tasty.

Lamb and aubergine go together so well, the lamb softening potential bitterness while aubergine guards against overly fatty lamb. What a marrige!

Let's get matchmaking ...

In a saute pan, soften some finely chopped onions in some lard or butter. Add in a good few cloves of minced garlic.

Drop in the lamb mince, soften and brown.

Add a couple of plum tomatoes from a can, reserving the remainder of the can for an additional sauce. Pulp the tomatoes down and feel free to add a squirt of tomato puree to enhance the tomato.

Cube up an aubergine into centimetre cubes and toss into the pan.

Once the aubergine is slightly softened and has absorbed some of the residual fat, salt and pepper to taste and pour on some water.

Cook on a low heat on the hob for a couple of hours, topping up the water when necessary.

Meanwhile, make up a tomato sauce by pulping down the remainder of the can of plum tomatoes and cooking on a low heat to reduce the liquid.

Add in a chilli or two and quarter some small tomatoes for adding at the end.

When the meat is about ready, halve a couple of peppers and set them into an oven on a medium heat, say 150C, for 15 minutes or so to soften.

Toss the fresh tomatoes into the tomato sauce and build the plate.

Lay the peppers halves onto the plate and optionally place a few cubes of feta into each.

Spoon the meat into the pepper halves and top with the tomato sauce.



Mozzarella Angus Burgers

Made from the raw milk of grass fed water buffalo, Mozzarella is a good, fatty cheese which tastes great cold and turns to a soft stringy texture when warmed.

The Aberdeen Angus breed is recognised throughout the world whose meat has a tender, rich flavour. As used by Burger King UK for their premium burgers, minced meat from this breed makes excellent burgers - alas, Burger King Angus burgers don't hit the spot for me and so after a disappointing burger that afternoon I set out to make some proper paleo burgers.

Take the cold meat out of the fridge and place into a mixing bowl. Cold meat is important for texture. One kilo will make four good sized half pounder burgers, or even six to eight quarter pounder burgers. Tenderise the meat by squeezing it through your fingers a few times - the result should be that the meat is softened, but not warmed.

Finely chop a small onion and mix into the meat.

Salt and pepper to taste, add in some herbs, chopped chillis for a little pep and any other flavours you want at this stage.

Cut up the mozzarella ball into a few slices, divide the meat into four and take one portion, forming into a burger shape. Now squash it down flatter and place a slice of mozzarella on, folding the meat back around. Reform into a thick burger shape. If you do not partake of dairy, just leave the mozzarella out.

Place the burgers back into the fridge for 15 minutes, or so, to firm up.

Pre-heat a flat pan or griddle pan and with a little oil patted onto the burger place them in the pan. Cook on one side on a high heat for a couple of minutes, flip and colour the other side for a couple of minutes.

Drop the heat, flip back over and cook through for 5 ish minutes each side until the mozarella can be seen to be soft and oozing from the burger. I like to add a little butter to sit on the top and soak in during this stage.

Meanwhile, prepare some large lettuce leaves - I like British Cos for the structure and slightly bitter flavour.

Make up some guacamole, maybe some chopped gherkin, tomatoes, chillis, your favourite paleo sauces ... whatever.

Build the burger by buttering the leaf with some guacamole or sauce, place the burger on, top with whatever you choose, fold up and chow down!

I'm lovin' it ...