Saturday, October 26, 2013

Weekends are for serious business breakfast.

I've had a pound of pork belly in my freezer for a few months. It had been buried underneath frozen veggies that I'd amassed at the farmers market over the summer, but I uncovered it the other day when I was clearing room in the freezer for my new roommate. I took it out to thaw last night, figuring I'd only have time to cook it on the weekend. For those who aren't aware, cooking pork belly can be kind of an ordeal.

So here's what I did for breakfast this morning:

A perfectly poached egg, Crispy Glazed Pork Belly, and Duck Fat Home Fries. It was all of the delicious at one time.

I was going to make Hollandaise sauce for the egg, but it broke, as have my last two attempts due to my ADD (seriously), so I decided to go without. Honestly, I didn't even miss it so it all worked out.

For the poached egg, I brought a small pot of water to a boil, then added a tsp of apple cider vinegar and reduced the heat to low. I cracked an egg into a small glass just in case I spazzed out and cracked some of the shell into the egg. I slid the egg into the boiling water, covered the pot, and let it cook for three minutes. After the three minutes were up, I scooped it out of the pot, sprinkled it with salt and pepper, and enjoyed the hell out of my breakfast.

Crispy Glazed Pork Belly

1 pound pork belly, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 cups apple cider vinegar
1/4 plus 1/8 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp whole cloves

In a medium bowl, combine vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, and cloves until sugar is dissolved.

Heat half of the mixture over medium-high heat until it reaches a boil. Add pork belly cubes and simmer for 20 minutes. While pork is simmering, preheat oven to 400.

Brown pork cubs in a preheated cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until browned on all sides. Place skillet in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

While pork is in the oven, heat the other half of your vinegar mixture over high heat. Reduce mixture to a glaze; you should wind up with about a quarter cup.

Remove pork from the oven and drizzle with the glaze. Serve immediately.


  • I make my glazes in non-stick skillets, which effectively revokes my dirty hippie card. My desire to have a pan that doesn't wind up irrevocably coated in vinegar candy trumps. Always. 
  • The glaze is done when it starts to look foamy/really bubbly. Keep an eye on it or it could completely boil away and burn into candy.
  • You could probably use honey or maple syrup to replace the coconut sugar. I'm really not sure.

Duck Fat Home Fries

1 medium Russet potato
1/4 cup duck fat
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat duck fat in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until it sizzles. Smells amazing already, right?

Peel the potato and cut into 1/4-inch cubes. Sprinkle with garlic powder.

Add potato cubes to the skillet and let brown on all sides, flipping every few minutes. Cook for about 15 minutes until cubes are brown and have shrunken slightly.

Remove from skillet, pat dry with paper towels, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.


  • You could easily use a sweet potato if you don't tolerate regular potatoes very well. Whatever you do, use a starchy potato (not a red potato - too waxy) or the cooking times will be off.
  • If you want to use yucca root or some other type of vegetable, it would be best to parboil it first, or it'll take forever to cook.
  • I buy my duck fat from Wegman's; it's the D'artagnan brand. The containers for the fat and the stock look almost identical, so make sure you're getting the right thing. Not that I've done that, of course. Ahem.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Gluten-Free Honeycrisp Apple Crisp (say that three times fast)

Filling Ingredients
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup palm sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Honeycrisp apples, cored and sliced somewhat thinly
1/2 Craisins

Crumb Topping Ingredients
3/4 cup rice flour
1/4 cup palm sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup grass-fed butter

Preheat oven to 425. Let butter sit out or microwave on defrost setting until softened. In a large bowl, sprinkle apples with lemon juice, then mix in sugar, cinnamon, and Craisins. Add apple mixture to a 1-1/2 or 2 quart casserole dish. You can grease it with coconut oil first, but I didn't find it necessary.

In a medium sized bowl, combine all topping ingredients except for butter. Cut in the softened butter with a pastry cutter or two forks until pea-sized crumbs form. Sprinkle the crumbs evenly over the apple mixture.

Bake for 10 minutes, then decrease oven temperature to 350 and bake for 50 minutes or until crumbs have browned. Let cool/set for at least 15 minutes before digging in


  • You could easily swap out other granulated sugars of your choice; I'm not sure how liquid sugars or sugar-free stuff would work.
  • No, you don't need to peel the apples. I used a corer and sliced each of the large pieces it made into thirds.
  • You could swap the Craisins for raisins if you want. I just happen to hate raisins. You can also leave out the dried fruit altogether. You can always add another half of an apple or so.
  • For the rice flour in the topping, it's possible that you could swap it for arrowroot, tapioca, coconut or even almond flour, all of which would Paleo-ize the recipe. I haven't tested the arrowroot or tapioca and I'm not a fan of the texture of almond or coconut flour crumbs, so I went with the finest flour I had on hand.
  • I used Kerrygold salted butter because it's delicious and grass-fed.
  • The dish I used was a round glass one about 8" around. If you use a wider one, you may need to reduce your baking time or add another half of an apple to keep things from getting overcooked.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Just the Food, Ma'am - 10/18/12

Uhhh, oops. I almost forgot I have a blog. Anyway.

Veggie and egg scramble with hot sauce

The last of the best chicken ever and the veggie salad.

FAIL - I'll get better at updating.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sunflower Butter Cookies

I love my mom a lot. I don't think she gets the Paleo lifestyle, though. So when she asked if I wanted her low-cal peanut butter cookie recipe, I politely declined. She had tucked it into one of my St. Nicholas Day gifts anyway and after looking it over, I figured I'd give it a shot with some modifications.
The original calls for peanut butter, which I subbed for sunflower seed butter. It also calls for 3/4 cup of Splenda and 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar, which I swapped for 1 cup of blonde palm sugar and 1 tbsp of molasses. The original didn't call for the pinch of sea salt, but it's an awesome addition, in my opinion.
1 cup sunflower seed butter
1 cup blonde palm sugar
1 tbsp molasses
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
Sunflower seeds (optional, to press on top of cookies)
Preheat oven to 350F.
Combine sunflower seed butter, palm sugar, molasses, salt, baking soda, and vanilla in a medium bowl by hand until well mixed. Add egg and stir by hand until a dough forms.
Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and flatten with a fork in a criss-cross pattern. Press sunflower seeds into the top if using.
Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Move to a wire rack to finish cooling.