Garlic. Garlic everywhere.

I’ve made Bill and Haley’s Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic before when I just wanted to experiment with the idea of using so much garlic to cook a dish. In this case I did it because it’s simple, and all it requires is to baby sit the over (which you can do while doing other things in the kitchen anyways).

Just like the previous time the hardest thing to do is to cut up the chicken. Every time I do it, though, the easier it becomes, and I’ve gone from 30 minutes “I have no Idea what I am doing” to 5 minutes “I’m also chopping some shallot and other stuff at the same time”.

Besides that, everything is even sequential: fry the chicken, fry the garlic, fry the shallot, put everything together and bake for 1.5 hours.

One thing I forgot to buy were the fresh herbs, lemon thyme and rosemary. I will try my hand at herb growing again, but I need to stick it in my calendar that I have to water my herbs. I somehow managed to kill mint, which is basically a weed, so yeah, I suck.

However, a good bunch of dried herbs were a good substitute.


A different kind of liver

My roommate, Nick, has been working in a farm for a couple months now. One afternoon he called me and since I still have problems understanding English over the phone I only got that I’d be getting some free organ meats from a grass-fed cow. YES!

I considered first doing just liver and onions but I realized I didn’t have enough onions, so I moved onto the next easiest thing you can do with liver: liver with bay and onions. The idea is to fry some onions, then fry the liver, then add some wine and let the liver stew in it. Ah, and some bay leaves, obviously.

I have to admit that since the liver was presliced I found it easier to cook, since it was stewed more uniform. If you don’t have wine (like I did that night) you can always use broth as a substitute. Surprisingly enough, this is a dish that requires very little salt when using broth since that has a fair amount of it – but if you are using wine you may need to add a bit more just to bring out the flavors.

Also, I found the taste to be milder than my usual lamb liver. I have to admit I like lamb liver more, but this was definitely tasty. Now, if I can convince my roommate to give me more free meat…

Eggless meal

Reading through Paleo Slow Cooking I stumbled through this recipe for a morning hash without eggs. Why? Chrissy’s husband doesn’t like eggs that much. And I feel sad about that.

One of the great things about Slow Cooking is that you can prep all the ingredients before hand and then dump them in the crockpot when you finally need to cook. I had sliced and diced the peppers, the onion and the sweet potatoes (3, 1, 3, respectively) the previous night, and put everything together the following morning. The protein for this meal was two pounds of sausage.

Eight hours later, the sausage was perfectly done, and the veggies were soft and moist. And yes, I used this recipe for dinner, even if it’s supposed to be a breakfast substitute. I don’t care. Besides, breakfast for dinner is fantastic!

So good!

Calorie Bonanza

So I tried to do the Spartan Military Sprint in Ft Carson a week ago.

I failed.

And it is the popular opinion that I did so because I lack fat. See, I’m a skinny bastard: I’m 5’11” and I weigh 139 lbs on a good day. My body fat is in the single digits (but I’ve got a mean six pack) and when you try to compete in a race with a lot of mud in a cloudy and windy day with no training whatsoever that missing fat may be a key component of why you get hypothermia.

But next year will be different, I’ll be much better trained, much better equipped, and me and my team will destroy that race.

Yes, I’m doing it again, and for that I am increasing my calorie count.

Boulder’s public library has several books on Paleo, but almost always they are checked out. I have to consider myself lucky for finally snagging Chrissy’s Paleo Slow cooking. I’ll be honest – I was not aware of her site and I haven’t checked it yet. I just got into this massive “I should check out all the Paleo books” mood in the library and that’s how I got it. I have to say I am impressed.

I am a fan of slow cooking because of its simplicity. Chop, dump, cook, forget. That’s it. I have several tales of chicken and beef so the Carbaganza was the first thing that I wanted to do. Immediately. And since today was a gym day it seemed much more important than ever.

I cut up and peeled three sweet potatoes, one apple and put it in the slow cooker with some cinnamon for six hours. After that time, the sweet potatoes were soft so I could dump them in the food processor and have a nice paste that looked not unlike baby food. I deviated from the original recipe by adding nutmeg and raisins in order to bring up the sweetness even more.

This should be plenty for three weeks. Unless I go wild on my portions. AGAIN.

When lacking something, look at the ingredient list

I’ll admit that I’ve been missing some stuff from back home. My mom’s Mushrooms in Green Sauce is one of them, and I haven’t tried to emulate them just yet because the stores I frequent don’t carry tomatillo. Yes, I should go to the mexican store. When it stops snowing and I can bike there thank you very much.

So when I was wandering in George’s site and found this Chicken Tomatillo recipe I was stoked. Now, he has two versions – one with home made salsa, which I’m pretty sure it’s a thousand times awesome (or at least, easier to manipulate) and one with store-bought salsa. I gave up and spent ten minutes in the aisle of Vitamin Grocers reading labels until I found a satisfactory salsa jar.

Another thing that I loved about this recipe is how mexican it looks. Well, everything that has green, white and red gets classified as that, even though we share colors with Italy and I am babbling now and haven’t said anything about the recipe. Basically, a green pepper, a red pepper, a tomato and an onion, all of them sliced, tossed with mushrooms, salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, lime juice and the salsa.

The chicken goes first – this is to allow the salsa to penetrate from the top into the chicken, and allow it to mix with the juices that will be released by the animal.

Just like that.

Six hours later (in low, like usual), the chicken comes out moist and tender… even probably to the point of destruction. That’s what happened to me, so I immediately took the veggies out, the chicken, and the sauce in three different containers, shredded the chicken and made lettuce wraps with the veggies and the sauce as sides. Awesome.

Why chicken is so easy

Borrowing from my previous recipe, I decided to use thyme, lime juice, pepper and salt on my usual roasted chicken. So I melted them into the butter.

And did the usual procedure: rub the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper, insert some cilantro and garlic into the cavity, tie it up and then rub it generously with the herbs butter.

The taste was different – the lime and thyme brought a much fresher taste for the skin, and the flesh was juicy and tender. It was a nice variation to the mustard I tend to use, but I have to admit that I am much more used to that.

Marinating the spring

In case you haven’t noticed, I usually don’t cook pork. Not because I don’t like it – as a matter of fact I love pork; but because I never know anything about the pork I get from the store. My best bet tends to be always Whole Foods, and even there it only reaches a Step 2 in their Animal Grading scale.

However, reading this I decided to give it a go and have some. After all, once in a while won’t kill me, and it would be a welcome change from all the chicken and beef I’ve been getting lately. So I got me some pork chops and slit their fat, so they would not curl up when cooked.

With my pestle I crushed some pepper, thyme and salt. I added this mixture and half an onion, chopped, to a mix of lime juice and olive oil.

And I marinated the chops in it.

While 45 minutes seemed like enough, I actually prepped these pretty late so I let them marinating overnight. In the morning, I took a couple out and cooked them in my cast iron s

Since they were too thin for my thermometer, I went with the how does it feel method to tell if they were done, and served them with a side of roasted cabbage.

Boy that was easy. Recipe from Lemon Squeezy