Omelette Odyssey Continues

There were some leftovers in the fridge that I played around with to spice up my yolk only omelette. My better half had made tacos for herself the night before (I was fasting), so I took some taco meat, homemade salsa and manchego and folded it into my omelette.

This was maybe the best omelette I have ever had. It was like having a taco except the shell was egg yolk.

Another variant I’ve been playing with on Tuesdays is stuffing my omelette with leftover roast chicken and cheddar cheese. This is a great way to break my Monday fast and to help my wife get rid of the leftovers from the Sunday roast.

I can’ wait till tomorrow morning.

Egg Yolk Omelette with Tomato, Basil and Cheddar

Long-time readers will know I have some hens in the back garden. Gerty, Ester, Rosebud and Ginger give us four eggs a day. That means I eat a lot more egg yolks (I’m allergic to the whites) than I ever did in the past. Egg yolks are one of the more nutrient dense foods out there, but I was getting bored with the same old same. I was either having my egg yolk cakes or my “fat bomb” omelettes. Something needed to change because the eggs were piling up, as the idea of eating more eggs was turning my stomach. My poor wife was doing the best she could, but asking her to eat twenty-eight eggs a week was cruel and unusual punishment.

I little look round the inter-web revealed some recipes which I adapted. It’s actually made me look forward to eggs again in the morning. I had this version today with my big coffee with double cream.

Ingredients

  • Six egg yolks
  • Four table spoons of double (heavy) cream
  • 30g of grated cheddar
  • 30g of cherry tomatoes halved
  • Fresh basil leaves roughly torn
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A few dashes of Tabasco (optional)

Instructions

  • Separate the yolks from the whites, add the cream and whisk until you get some bubbles.
  • Melt some butter over low-medium heat and add the tomatoes.
  • After three or four minutes, the tomatoes will start to turn a golden brown. Add the egg yolks and give them a little stir to make sure the butter doesn’t accumulate at the edges of the pan. You also want to spread the tomatoes out a little.
  • Cook for three to five minutes.
  • Add the cheese and basil to one side of the omelette and then fold the omelette using two spoons.
  • Cook for another two minutes to allow the cheese to melt.
  • Serve with some salt and pepper and a few dashes of Tabasco.

Chef’s Tip

You really need to be careful when folding the omelette. Without the whites as a binder, the omelette will break apart if you fold too early. You can take a little peak under the omelette using your two spoons. When it looks golden brown, it’s time to fold. That’s one reason I add double cream to the yolks; it makes the folding possible. The cream also makes the egg yolks a little fluffier. Enjoy.

Keto Chilli

For some reason, a few weeks ago I got thinking about chilli. I loved it growing up but rarely, if ever, made it once out of the nest. My better half made it from time-to-time, but that was before I took over cooking duties. Anyways, I “swisscowed” keto chilli and tons of recipes came up. I went with one from a site called “Low Carb Life.” The recipe has had over 700 reviews and has an average of 4.5 Stars.

Plastic ladle full of chili

What was the result? Fantastic. I made two tweaks: I used a little bit of Scotch bonnet peppers because I couldn’t get jalapenos, and I replaced tinned tomatoes with fresh. I’ve read too many articles about contaminants due to leaching to ever go near canned tomatoes again.

The chilli resulted in an elevated glucose reading for me in the morning. I went to the gym really early and worked it off, so the damage was minimal. If you have a fully functioning pancreas, this should not be a problem. Enjoy!

Keto Chili | That Low Carb Life

Roasted Parsnips in Goose Fat

“And these are…parsnips”

“What the f*ck is a parsnip?”

One of the funniest shows of all times!

I don’t cook these for myself anymore, even though they are the most delicious vegetables around. They are far better than roasted carrots. I make them for my better half. When I do, this old Dave Chappelle skit is always bouncing around in my head. Apparently, parsnips are eaten by “the Man” and not black folks. Maybe that’s a general truth. I’m certainly an exception. I’m white and never ate a parsnip until I moved to Scotland. I don’t think I had even heard of parsnips until I was an adult.

Anyhoo, given their relatively high carb count, these are more of a paleo treat than a staple veg. You can also roast these with other fats: duck, butter, ghee, avocado, beef drippins. I’ve used them all, but goose is definitely the best (butter and beef dripping yield good results too). Goose fat is easy to get in the UK, especially during the Yuletide, but experience tells me you have to seek it out in Canada and the US. I roast one or two geese every year; that’s where I get my goose fat from. The amount rendered lasts all year long.

Ingredients

  • Parsnips – 500 grams
  • Goose fat – one or two tablespoons
  • Sea Salt – a couple of big pinches
  • Pepper – to taste
  • Garlic powder – a teaspoon
  • Dried thyme – a teaspoon (maybe a touch less). You can use rosemary instead.

Instructions

  • Crank the oven to 200 centigrade.
  • Peel the parsnips like you would for carrots. Cut them into chips/fries or wedges.
  • Put the fat in the pan and put it in the over for a few minutes to melt the fat.
  • Take the pan out of the oven and put the parsnips in. Using a spoon turn the parsnips over to cover them in fat.
  • Sprinkle on the sea salt, pepper and garlic powder. Stir again.
  • Put them in the oven and roast for thirty to forty minutes.
  • Take the parsnips out of the oven, sprinkle with thyme and put them back in for another fifteen or twenty minutes.
  • Take out when they are golden brown.

Chef’s Tips

  • These go great with any roast. The only challenge is timing, so your roast meat and roast parsnips are finished at the same time.
  • If you cut them in inconsistent sizes, you’ll get some parsnips that are overcooked or burnt. You can make them into wee chips or larger wedges. The point is make them consistent. The smaller they are, the less cooking time you’ll need. I go for a middle ground between wee chips and big wedges. When I see a few smaller ones cooking faster, I take them out and give them to my missus as a snack.
  • Two tablespoons of goose fat is probably just a little too much. You’ll get the feel for how much you need. The parsnips shouldn’t be swimming in fat. After the first thirty minutes of roasting time, if you think they’re is too much, just spoon some out.
  • You don’t want too little fat either. You’re reading this aren’t you? Animal fat is good for you!
Thanks Jamie Oliver – He opts for big wedges.

Roast Guineafowl with Bacon

French Guinea Fowl - Heritage Acres Market LLC
Delicious Little Creatures

It’s that time of year again. The guineafowl are at the supermarket, and I bought a couple on offer. Before, I give you my recipe, it may be worth mentioning a few things about these exotic looking birds. From Wikipedia:

Guineafowl are birds of the family Numididae in the order Galliformes. They are endemic to Africa and rank among the oldest of the gallinaceous birds…While modern guineafowl species are endemic to Africa, the helmeted guineafowl has been introduced as a domesticated bird widely elsewhere.

I think a lot of people, when they see guineafowl, pheasant, etc, in the supermarket or at the butcher, hesitate because they’re too far out of the comfort zone. It’s a real shame because, let’s face it, our ancestors wouldn’t have hesitated. Into the pot or over the fire they went. In addition, guineafowl are delicious and easy to prepare. There is a salmis recipe I sometimes use if I have the time. However, that’s not always a possibility, so I simply roast them with some bacon rashers on top. Note well: one guineafowl is enough for two people.

Cooking with Calvados: Pot-roast guinea fowl in cider ...

Ingredients

  • One guineafowl
  • Four streaky bacon rashers
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Two cups of chicken stock

Instructions

  • Crank up the oven to 210 centigrade.
  • Lay the bacon over the bird and throw it into the oven.
  • After fifteen minutes, turn the oven down to 170.
  • At the thirty minute mark, take the bacon off and baste the bird (eat the bacon!). Sprinkle the bird with a little salt and pepper.
  • After an hour, the guineafowl should be ready; the internal temperature should be the same as for chicken.
  • Cover the bird with foil and put aside to rest.
  • Put your chicken stock into a saucepan and scrape in all the delicious crispy bits from the guineafowl. Skim off excess fat.
  • Reduce the stock on high heat and stir frequently. Add a little salt and pepper to taste. The more you reduce the stock, the more intense the taste. Experiment to discover what you like.
  • Serve with some boiled broccoli or cauliflower.

Paleo Pork Chops with Two Bulbs of Garlic

Pork does not always sit well with diabetics. I’d had this suspicion for some time and then came across the Weston A. Price Foundation study on pork. This pointed to one reason pork negatively affected my blood glucose. The other is my love of food. I can be a bit of a glutton. One pork chop is delicious. Why not two or even three then? Add this to the fact that pork chops are protein dense, and you have a recipe for high blood sugar in the morning.

Anyways, the above study argues that one way to counteract the negative effects of fresh pork is to marinade it in apple cider vinegar. I did this in the summer once for a BBQ and then forgot about it. That was until the other day. I was flipping through one of my cookbooks, the outstanding River Cottage Meat Book, and came across a simple but outstanding recipe. I only tweaked it a tiny bit: butter instead of olive oil. Sorry Hugh but you shouldn’t cook with olive oil!

Ingredients

  • 4 thickly cut pork chops marinated in apple cider vinegar for 24 hours
  • 2 bulbs of garlic – yes bulbs
  • Big pat of butter
  • 200ml of white wine
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • A pinch of dried thyme (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 220°C
  • Gently crush your two dozen or so cloves of garlic and leave the skins on; this will protect them from burning in the oven.
  • Throw the butter into a large frying pan and cook the garlic at medium heat for five minutes or so.
  • Push the garlic to the side of the pan so they’re off the heat. Whack the burner up to high and brown your pork chops on both sides for one or two minutes. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper. You may have to do this in two batches.
  • Place the pork chops into an ovenproof dish so the fatty “tails” are sticking up in the corners. This will allow the “tails” to crisp up. Scatter the garlic cloves over the loins. You can drop a few into the pan too.
  • Deglaze the pan with your glass of white wine, reduce for a minute or two and pour over the chops. Sprinkle a little thyme on the chops if you want.
  • Put the pork chops in the oven and cook for 15-30 minutes depending on how thick your chops are. Baste the chops once or twice with the pan juices.

Keto Caffè Mocha

It was twenty years ago when I was introduced to Starbucks’ Caffè Mocha. It quickly became my weekend drink. I’d walk down to the local Starbucks, newspaper in hand, and hunker down for two or three hours. I’d usually have two or sometimes three ventis. Let’s face it, these are gourmet hot chocolates with some coffee added in. Each one had 35g of sugar due to the chocolate sauce. Is it any surprise that my pancreas nearly called it a day?

Starbucks, Princes St Edinburgh - Stunning views of ...
Great View

I haven’t had a mocha for over ten years, until last Wednesday. I had no cream in the house so was making a bulletproof coffee with a massive pat of butter. I remembered there was a tin of cacao powder in the cupboard, so I threw a heaping tablespoon in. After forty seconds in the blender, the result was amazing: smooth, creamy, chocolatey goodness with three or four grams of carbs.

This isn’t something I’ll have every day but what a great treat! It kind of takes me back to those days in the cafè.

Ingredients

  • Large cup of coffee
  • Very large pat of butter
  • Two tablespoons of cacao powder

Instructions

  • Put everything in a blender and blitz for forty seconds.

Roast Lamb – Guard of Honour

Local, grass-fed lamb has transformed my gastronomic life. I’ve written about pongy, New Zealand lamb before. It just doesn’t compare to the stuff that was running around in the fields surrounding my house a month or two ago.

Until the other day, the only successful lamb roast I’ve attempted was a leg (lamb shoulder didn’t work out so well). Now, leg of lamb is delicious, but because we’re in the yuletide, I wanted to try something with a bit more pizzazz. Here it is:

Lamb guard of honour with lemon and mint crust | Tesco ...

The lamb guard of honour just looks beautiful. I once bought a frozen version from the supermarket, but the lamb was tired and the crust was high carb. I decided to try a paleo version.

With a little bit of research, I found this recipe and tweaked it slightly. The result was incredible.

Ingredients

  • 2 x 8 bone racks of lamb, French trimmed (ask your butcher to do this)
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • For the “breading
  • 30g parsley
  • One handful mint sprigs, leaves picked
  • 1 tbsp. capers, drained
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 25 g chopped roasted hazelnuts
  • 1 medium egg yolk
  • 25 g chopped almonds

Instructions

  • Brown the lamb in a large pan for five minutes at medium heat.
  • Take out of the pan, set up the honour guard and brush on the Dijon.
  • Blitz the almonds and hazelnuts in a food processor until chopped.
  • Add the capers, garlic, mint, parsley, olive oil and vinegar to the processor and blitz until everything is finely chopped. Remove and put into a bowl.
  • Add the egg to the “breading” and mix.
  • Using a spoon and your hands press the breading onto the lamb.
  • Put the lamb into the oven at 200°C (180°C fan) and roast for 45 mins for medium.

Ox Tongue and Ox Tail Stew

So we went nose to tail last night with ox tail and ox tongue. I didn’t take photographs, so you’ll have to trust me that mine looked pretty similar to the below last night.

Ox Tail Stew - YouTube
Pretty much what mine looked like!

Originally, I was only going to go with ox tongue, but the one I got from the butcher was not as large as I expected. They looked bigger in the photographs and videos. I think my butcher said it was a cow tongue actually. Technically, a cow is a female, so maybe that’s why it was smaller.

Ox Tongue, Organic (800g) | Abel & Cole
Appetising? It’s all in your head!

Anyways, it made me realise that I needed more meat for the stew, so I went back to the butcher and got some ox tail.

Oxtail

Reflections

This is an easy way to cook. There is very little preparation and for most of the time the stew is just simmering on the stove top. It becomes a little labour intensive after everything is cooked (more on that below). I went with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recipe but kept out the heart. That one was just a bridge too far for me.

The result was very good: the meat was incredible tender, and the broth was tasty. I would characterise this recipe as more paleo because there were carrots and parsnips in the stew. Of course, both of these can be quite sweet with cooking. I suppose that’s not a problem if you aren’t a strict keto-type. It wasn’t a problem for me because my better half is more paleo than keto and loves carrots and parsnips. I had one tiny piece of each. I mainly ate the meat and the celery. From what I can find online, the broth is not going to load you up with carbs either.

The texture of the ox tongue was interesting. It tasted like the typical beef one would use in a stew, but the texture was a little spongy. That made it incredibly tender, but I think the texture will take a little getting used to.

If you’ve never had ox tail, I would suggest that this is a good gateway for offal. With slow cooking it is amazingly tasty. I’ve been making ox tail dishes for years and they always turn out really well. Slow cooking with red wine is often one of the nicest ways to have it. Ox tail, like the tongue, has the delicious taste of stewed beef, but it is incredibly tender.

Conclusion

This one is a winner. I wouldn’t make it every weekend, but I think it now has a place in my list of winter dishes. It didn’t have any negative effects on my blood glucose which is, of course, very important for me.

Ingredients

  • One ox tongue
  • A kilo of ox tail cut into three inch pieces
  • Celery 750g
  • Carrots 750g
  • Parsnips 500g
  • Two leeks
  • Two large onions
  • Four garlic cloves
  • Bouquet garni
  • Two bay leaves
  • Small handful of black pepper corns
  • Two big pinches of sea salt

Instructions

  • Put the whole tongue and ox tail into a big pot of cold water and crank the hob up to high heat.
  • Prepare half of your veg to add to the beef. All of it should be roughly chopped.
  • Let the beef come to a vigorous simmer and skim off any grey foam before you add the veg. N.B., this may depend on the quality of the beef because mine didn’t really produce any grey foam.
  • Add half of the carrots, leaks, celery and onions.
  • Add all the herbs, all the garlic, salt and peppercorns.
  • Water should be covering everything in the pot.
  • Let the pot simmer at low-medium heat for four or five hours.
  • Once cooked, skim as much fat off the top as you can and then remove the meat placing it in a large bowl to rest.
  • Discard the veg using a slotted spoon. Then run the beef stock through a sieve transferring the stock to another pot.
  • Add the other half of your veg: onion, leek, carrots, parsnips to the stock.
  • Take the meat off the oxtail and put it into the pot. N.B., there is so much collagen in the oxtail that you may find your hands getting a little sticky. I had to wash my hands a few times so I could get to grips with the tail.
  • Peel the skin off the tongue and trim the “root” of the tongue; chop the tongue up into rough chunks and throw them into the pot.
  • Let the whole thing simmer on low-medium heat until the veg is cooked – around thirty minutes.
  • Serve in shallow bowls.

Chicken Stir-fry with Mushrooms and Courgettes

I have this great book of chicken recipes. Putting aside my concerns about too many omega-6 PUFAs in corn-fed chicken for the moment, I want to share this recipe. It is very, very easy and very very tasty. Prep time is about twenty minutes. Cooking time is about twenty minutes.

Easy Zucchini Mushroom Chicken Stir Fry Recipe | Diethood

Ingredients

  • Four chicken breasts thinly sliced
  • One courgette thinly sliced lengthwise (first cut the courgette in half)
  • One onion quartered
  • Mushrooms thinly sliced – 300g
  • Two cloves of garlic crushed and roughly chopped
  • Gluten-free soya sauce – two or three tablespoons
  • Toasted sesame seed oil – two tablespoons
  • Coconut oil – two tablespoons
  • Cauliflower (optional) – 300g
  • Broccoli (optional) – 300 g
  • Small handful of cashews (optional)
  • Sprinkling of sesame seeds (optional)

Instructions

  • Heat up the coconut oil in a wok on high heat.
  • Throw in the chicken breast and garlic cooking the chicken half-way through – this should take three or four minutes.
  • Add the onion, mushrooms and courgette and cook until all three begin to soften – around five minutes.
  • Drizzle in the sesame oil and soya sauce.
  • Throw in the cauliflower, broccoli and cashews – N.B., you should pre-boil the cauli and broccoli so you can just throw it in at the end.
  • Mix together and cook for two or three more minutes.
  • Serve.
  • N.B., sesame oil is high in omega-6 PUFAs and is not good for us under high heat. That’s why I drizzle it in at the end for flavour.
  • N.B., the amount of vegetables you throw in really depends on how keto you are. I tend to go with either broccoli or cauliflower. You can even throw a couple of handfuls of spinach in at the end if you prefer.