Balut

This weekend I tried balut for the first time. For those that don’t know, balut is a fertilized, partially developed duck egg. It is considered a delicacy in the Philippines. It was…interesting…
Check out this clip of me trying balut. my first balut

The Fat Duck Cookbook — Orange and Beetroot Jellies

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This weekend I made my first attempt at tackling a recipe from The Fat Duck Cookbook. I attempted orange and beetroot jellies as the recipe seemed fairly easy and blood oranges and beets are in season. The key to this recipe is it is supposed to create jellies that fool the diner with their colors. The orange jelly is red and the beet jelly orange due to the use of blood oranges and yellow beets — or at least that’s how it’s supposed to turn out.

On Saturday we went to the farmers market and picked up blood oranges and yellow beets. I also picked up some 170 bloom leaf gelatin. The next day I went to work on my jellies. The blood orange jelly went off without a hitch. It turned out a beautiful beet red color, was smooth, and delicious.

The beet jelly, however, was not without its problems. I had a very hard time juicing the beets. No matter how much I tried, I could not get more than a tiny bit of liquid out of them and I ended up breaking my blender in the process. To add insult to injury, the more I tried to juice the beets, the greener the liquid became. I ended up taking the green pureed beets and forcing as much as I could through a fine mesh sieve. I ended up with more of a thick green paste than a golden liquid. I decided to go ahead with the beet jelly as by that time I had invested quite a bit of time in juicing the beets. Plus, if the key to the dish was surprising colors, I certainly had that with my green jelly! The result left a lot to be desired. It tasted like beet paste and looked like baby food. I don’t know that I would try this dish again. Even if I were able to get yellow juice out of the beets and create a more delicate jelly, I’m not really sure that I would want to eat beet jelly again. I haven’t quite figured out how or why to incorporate that as part of a meal.

Perfect Pineapple Rings

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For Christmas I got a strange looking contraption from my mom. I had to call her to find out what it was. She said it was a pineapple slicer.

ImageI tried it out this morning and discovered what a marvelous contraption it is.

Step 1. Cut off the top of your pineapple.ImageStep 2. Insert pineapple slicer.

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Step 3. Twist until you reach the bottom.

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Step 4. Gently wiggle and pull the slicer to remove.

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Step 5. Take the slices off the contraption. Voila!

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Clean — Spice It Up and Favorite Green Shakes

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Yesterday I made the Spice It Up Shake from the Cleanse Sample Meal Plan (page 22). As Clean shakes go, it was about average. This shake includes raspberries and carob powder which sounds really yummy. However, the flavors are rather muted. I added cacao nibs and fresh raspberries on top to give it some textural contrast and brighten up the flavor. The shake was slightly bitter so I should have also blended in a couple of dates to add some sweetness.

ImageTo start the new year off right, I once again turned to the Cleanse Sample Meal Plan this morning for a nutritious shake. The Favorite Green Shake (page 22) is bluish-green thanks to the spinach, blueberries, and spirulina. The spirulina adds an algae-like taste. While that may sound off-putting, I find it appealing.

Repurposing Leftovers: Mashed Potatoes

For dinner tonight, I made Shepherd’s Pie with Lamb from the Cleanse Sample Meal Plan. However, I made a couple of substitutions to better utilize my leftovers from Christmas. Instead of making the roasted cauliflower top layer, I used leftover mashed potatoes. For the meat filling I substituted goose stock for the chicken stock. The addition of potatoes kept it from being a truly Clean meal. However, it was still pretty darn good and was a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture until I dished it out. It looks much nicer coming out of the oven.Image

Clean — Keepin’ It Smooth

Around March of this year, Jenn was watching Dr. Oz and heard about a new cleanse called Clean by Dr. Junger. She was very excited about it and wanted to give it a try. She told me about how this program could clean your body of toxins and reset your system. I was interested to learn more so I ordered the book. We stuck to the program pretty faithfully for three weeks. I really felt healthier and lighter and while doing Clean. Doing Clean got us both in the habit of eating more fruits and veggies and less meat. We also have been drinking shakes for breakfast almost every morning since. However, some of our unhealthy habits (Flamin’ Hot Cheetos with Limon) have made their way back into our diets.

A week or so ago, we decided to give Clean another try. While the book contained a lot of great information and laid out the founding principles and benefits, the recipes were lacking. So I went to the internet to find more recipes. I searched the web and found a website which featured a wide-range of recipes. We’re not going to do it religiously, but we are going to eat Clean on a more regular basis. As part of that journey, I plan to make all of the recipes in the Cleanse Sample Meal Plan. For breakfast this morning I made the Keepin’ It Smooth smoothie on page 21 which features avocado, peaches, and raspberries. It’s not my favorite smoothie ever. The flavor of the fruit doesn’t really shine through. However, it’s decent and packs a nutritional punch. Raspberries are my favorite fruit, so I made sure to throw a few extra on top for good measure.Image

Harissa T. Goose with Crispy Goose Skin

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I roasted my first goose for Christmas this year. Since there are only two of us, I had quite a bit of leftover goose. For lunch today I made Harissa T. Goose with Crispy Goose Skin. Here’s my recipe:

Harissa T. Goose

  • 1 T. soy sauce
  • 1 T. harissa
  • 1 T. peanut oil
  • 12 oz. cooked goose, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 1 T. water
  • 1 T. sesame seeds
  • 1 T. crispy goose skin, crumbled

Whisk the soy sauce, harissa, and peanut oil together in a small bowl. Heat in a skillet over medium heat. Add the goose and stir to coat. Add the spinach and water. Cover and steam for five minutes. Remove the cover and add the sesame seeds. Stir until the spinach is wilted and the ingredients are evenly distributed, about one minute. Sprinkle the crumbled goose skin on top and serve.

Serves Two

Crispy Goose Skin

  • Goose skin from roasted goose
  • 1-2 t. goose fat
  • Chile powder
  • Salt

Cut the goose skin into 1 in. strips. Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the goose skin and cook until golden and crispy, 2-3 minutes per side. Place the goose skin on a plate covered with paper towels to drain. Season with chile powder and salt to taste. Enjoy!