Category Archives: Parsnip

Indian Night after a Long, Dry Spell

I haven’t been making much Indian since going mostly Primal.  I think it has something to do with not having the rice and naan to go with the curries.  It’s not as though I’ve cut it out completely but it’s definitely not been in my diet as much as it was at one time.

I really enjoy making Indian.  I have accumulated a lot of the spices that are common in Indian and scoff at the “optional” entries in recipes because, 1) I have those ingredients and have a slight superiority complex come out, and 2) I can’t imagine the recipe without them because after having used them I feel like the recipe just wouldn’t be the same without them.  Curry leaves are one of those ingredients that I just can’t imagine going without when listed in a recipe.

I was going through my cookbooks this morning trying to find an Indian recipe for some goat stew meat that I had defrosted.  In addition to a crockpot recipe for the goat, I came across 2 other recipes that I had marked as wanting to try and had all of the spices on hand.  It was a great day to tinker in the kitchen given that we’ve been pretty much snowed in and it’s still too cold to go out and enjoy the outdoors.  At least in my opinion.

The two recipes are adaptations of Chicken in Cardamom Cream Sauce in “Complete Indian Cooking” by Meena Pathak to go with Sweet Potato Chaat in “American Masala” by Suvir Saran.  I felt that the sweet potato recipe would be a great accompaniment/primal substitute for basmati rice.  And I was right!  Both dishes are delish, pair well together and I didn’t even miss the rice.

One note on spices: if you can or have the time, I would recommend freshly grinding the coriander.  It’s an easy spice to grind, the little globes just simply crush in on themselves.  The difference between store bought and freshly ground coriander is significant.  And this can make your dish that much more stellar!

I prepped my Chaat root vegetables and started roasting them when I started the Chicken Cardamom recipe.

CHICKEN IN CARDAMOM CREAM SAUCE

Serves 4

  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 3 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp freshly ground coriander
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 12 oz boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2″ to 1″ cubes
  • 200 ml cream
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp coconut sugar
  • salt

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat.  Add cumin seeds, cloves, cardamom pods and bay leaves.  Turn heat to medium and cook, swirling pan occasionally, until they begin to crackle, approximately 10 minutes.

Add the ground coriander and canned tomatoes and fry for 2 minutes.

Add the diced chicken and fry, stirring continuously for 5 minutes.

Add the single cream, ground cardamom, fenugreek leaves and garam masala.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.  Add coconut sugar and salt to taste.  Serve alongside Chaat Roasted Vegetables.

Chaat Spiced Roasted Vegetables

Serves 6

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

  • 3 large parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2″ dice
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ dice
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp roasted cumin seeds, ground
  • 2 Tbsp Chaat masala
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • 1 lime

Toast cumin seeds in a small cast iron skillet or frying pan over medium heat.  They are done when they are lightly brown and smell fragrant.  Let cool before grinding.

Prep the vegetables, adding others if you see fit.  Beets might be a good option.  Place vegetables in a large mixing bowl.

Mix the dry spices together in a small mixing bowl.

Drizzle olive oil over vegetables.  Stir vegetables so that they are evenly coated.  Sprinkle some of the spice mixture over vegetables.  Turn vegetables to spread the seasoning evenly on the vegetables.  Do not feel that you have to use all of the spice, I kept some back to use for later.

Line a sheet pan with tin foil or parchment paper.  Spread your vegetables evenly over the sheet pan.  Roast for 15 minutes.  Stir vegetables and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and lightly brown.  Remove from the oven and squeeze 1/2 to 1 full lime over the vegetables depending on your flavor preference.

Winey Goat Soup

My friend Kim and I shared a 1/2 hog and a 1/4 beef from Montana City Meats.   I needed to clear out my freezer to make space in preparation for the bounty of meat that would be arriving.  I pulled out a package of goat stew meat from one of my favorite vendors at the Helena Farmer’s Market, John & Jodi Mann of Sheep Spring Farm and put it in the fridge to thaw.

Well, a week later, I still hadn’t done anything with the meat and was feeling a little desparate to get it cooked up before it went bad.  I looked into my fridge and assessed my situation.  First, I kicked myself for not having pulled out a container of frozen goat stock that I had made last year with a goat shoulder bone.  It would take forever to thaw! 

I looked around desparately for a substitute, not even allowing myself to consider the high sodium, no flavor stock from the grocery store. I locked eyes on a half bottle of wine.  I am a wine snob and refuse to drink a red wine any older than 2 days, even if it’s been vacuum sealed after being open.  Yeah, yeah-I’m a snob.  I decided to give it a whirl and see what would happen if I were to make a wine stock soup. 

I simply poured the wine into a medium saucepan, added some water, and literally went shopping in my fridge. I pulled out parsnips, carrots, celery, panang curry paste, and some fat cut from a tenderloin steak that for some reason I had saved and added all of this to the wine water.

I looked around in my pantry and came up with dried herbs from the garden, bay leaves, and my “ultimate find”-dried morel mushrooms harvested while on a Rock Creek fishing trip 2 years ago.

Winey goat soup ingredients.

I let the concoction simmer on the stove for several hours and in the end was quite pleased with my creation; all pulled together with what I had on hand.  A side note about the fat.  I believe it may have added some depth to the stock.  At the end of the cooking time, I simply pulled out what was remaining and threw it out…. Actually, I lie; I ate it.  And it was good.

WINEY GOAT SOUP

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 bottle red wine
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano, crushed
  • 1 tsp dried thyme, crushed
  • 2 tsp panang curry paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, cut into 1″ lengths, those then quartered
  • 2 medium parsnips, peeled, cut into 1″ lengths, those then quartered
  • 2 medium celery stalks, cut crosswise in 1/4″ slices
  • 10 dried morel mushrooms
  • 1 lb goat stew meat

DIRECTIONS:

Pour wine and water into saucepan and stir to combine.  Bring to boil over high heat.  Turn heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the herbs, onion and garlic.  Simmer for another 5 minutes. 

Add the remaining ingredients, turn the heat to high and bring to a strong boil.  Turn heat to low or medium low and simmer gently for your desired cooking time (cook at least an hour but the longer it cooks, the more rich it will become).  Check it occasionally to determine if you need to add more water to keep it “soup” like.  Season with salt and pepper, serve hot.

Primal Eating

Back in July, my friend Jenny came home from a work function where she had run into a co-worker that she hadn’t seen in a while.  The co-worker had lost weight and Jenny asked her how she had done it.  The co-worker referred Jenny to the website Mark’s Daily Apple.

Jenny told me and a few other girlfriends about the site. I immediately checked it out and liked what I found. The idea is to live “primally”, emulating our long ago ancestors through diet and exercise.

I got serious about primal eating at the beginning of August when I got back from Sayulita, Mexico. I cut out all grains, most starches and legumes, and as much sugar as I could. I noticed a dramatic effect in my feelings of satiety, energy and well being. I simply felt content.  And I wasn’t so bloated.

I am still eating a primal diet consisting of lots of organic greens and vegetables, grass fed meats from local producers and berries for my fruit. I cook with bacon fat, coconut oil and a little bit of olive oil.

In transitioning to this lifestyle, I have had great adventures in learning to cook differently so that I am not consuming the grains and starches that I was habitually consuming through breads, crackers, potatoes and beans.

One such recipe is shepherd’s pie. It’s a dish that I tend to make every fall when there is a bounty of game meat that I receive from hunting friends. That and the amazing fall harvest produce that is available at the farmer’s market and from my garden.

The top of the shepherd’s pie is generally made with potatoes and the “gravy” for the filling made with flour. Well, that needed to be changed. This recipe is based loosely on one that was posted on Mark’s Daily Apple by Cherie Randall.  You may notice that the topping is very similar to my cauliflower parsnip gratin in my post “What’s for Dinner? 11/8/2009”.  It is Cherie’s post that got me rolling on the gratin creation.  Thanks Cherie!

 SHALON’S ROOT VEGETABLE SHEPHERD’S PIE

Serves 6 – 8

Topping:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1-3 tablespoons cream (optional)
  • salt & pepper taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided into 1 tbsp each
  • 1 beet, peeled and cubed into ¼ “ cubes
  • 2-3 parsnips, peeled, cut into 1” lengths, the fatter lengths then quartered
  • 2-3 carrots, cut into 1” lengths, the fatter lengths then quartered
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 pound ground grass-fed beef, bison, goat, antelope, etc.
  • 1 tablespoon almond flour
  • 3/4 cup beef, veggie or chicken stock or broth
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Break the cauliflower into chunky pieces and steam until just tender, approximately 10-12 minutes.

While cauliflower is steaming, heat butter in small saucepan over medium low heat.  Add garlic to the butter and keep on low heat, infusing the butter with the garlic flavor.  Don’t get the butter too hot or it will burn the garlic.  Let the garlic and butter mixture sit on low heat for approx 4-5 minutes, swirling the mixture on occasion.

Put the cauliflower in the food processor with the garlic butter and grated parmesan and process until smooth. At this point, you may want to add cream to give it a smoother consistency.  Add salt & pepper to taste.

Heat 1 tbsp butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add beet cubes and toss to coat with the butter.  Cook beets, stirring occasionally, until slightly browned and just fork tender.  Place beets into a medium bowl and return pan to heat.  Add the remaining 2 tbsp butter and add the parsnips and carrots.  Toss to coat and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until slightly browned and just fork tender.  Add to the beets.  (It’ll take about 15 minutes to cook each the beets and the carrots/parsnips.  Don’t turn the heat up too high otherwise you’ll brown the veggies before they are done on the inside.) (Don’t over cook the veggies either, you want them just fork tender because they’ll continue cooking in the pie mixture as well and “finish”).

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and sauté several minutes until soft. Add beef and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring to break up the meat so it browns evenly. Add beet/parsnip/carrot mixture and cook another five minutes.

Stir in the almond flour. Add broth and herbs and reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from skillet and put into a medium glass or metal casserole dish. Spread the cauliflower over the top.

Scatter 2 tablespoons of butter cut into small pieces on top of the cauliflower. Bake 30-35 minutes until top is browned in places and pie mixture is steaming hot.

 

 

What’s for Dinner? 11/8/2009

I just finished a yummy dinner of leftovers from the previous night.  They were from a dinner that I shared with my friends Cooper, Erin & Jeremy before we went to the last showing of “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” at the Myrna Loy Center

It was a lovely time replete with gin martinis expertly mixed by Cooper for a pre-dinner cocktail,  a Fess Parker chardonnay with dinner, and good conversation over delicious food.  Ah yes, the food.  We had Souvlaki beef skewers made with tenderloin steaks from MT City Meats, Greek yogurt tzatziki, a cauliflower/parsnip gratin and a “house” salad with homemade salad dressings.

As for my rendition of the leftovers, I simply sauteed the remaining beef and onions with the marinade over high heat to make a “gravy” out of the marinade while cooking the beef.  I reheated the cauli/parsnip gratin at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  I added sauteed cubed sweet potatoes as another side dish.

Souvlaki Leftovers

Rendition of leftovers. Plate by Emily Free Wilson.

BEEF SOUVLAKI

serves 4-6

Marinade:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, cut into 1/2″ square pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons crushed, dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 pounds beef steak, cubed into 3/4″ cubes

Tzatziki:

  • 8 oz Fage Greek Whole Milk Yogurt
  • 1/2 English cucumber, sliced lengthwise, deseeded and shredded
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Mix all of the marinade ingredients together in a small mixing bowl.  Place cubed meat and chopped onions into ziplock bag.  Pour marinade over meat and onions, seal bag and work the marinade around in the bag so that it completely coats the beef and onion.  Lay bag flat in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to overnight.

Mix the tzatziki ingredients until well combined.  Place in refrigerator to let flavors meld. 

30 minutes before you are ready to make skewers of the beef and onion, pull the marinating bag out of the refrigerator and let sit on the counter.  When ready to start creating the skewers, light your outdoor grill or start heating the Cuisinart Griddler (what I used).  Skewer the beef and onions.

Cook over searing heat, turning every couple of minutes.  Grill for 8-10 minutes.  Place on serving plate and let rest for a few minutes.  Serve with Tzatziki sauce.

CAULIFLOWER PARSNIP GRATIN

Serves 4 – 6

  • 1 large head cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 4 – 6 parsnips, peeled, cut into 2″ long pieces, the thicker pieces further cut into halves and/or quarters
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated parmesan; divided
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper

Place cauliflower and parsnips into steaming basket and steam over boiling water for 12-15 minutes until very tender when pierced with a fork.  When done, pull off of heat and let them slightly cool.

Meanwhile, make garlic butter.  Melt butter over medium heat  in a small saucepan.  Once melted, add minced garlic and swirl pan.  Turn heat to low and let the garlic meld with the butter.  Do not brown the garlic.  Let sit on low heat for 3-4 minutes, turn heat off.

Put steamed vegetables into mixing bowl of large cuisinart.  Pour 1/2 cup cream over the top.  Add garlic butter and 1 cup parmesan.  Puree mixture until you reach a desired consistency, adding more cream as necessary.  I like mine to be that of mashed potato consistency.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Spread mixture into buttered 9″ round metal baking pan.  Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese on top.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Broil for 4 minutes.  Serve hot.