The toughest thing about eating Primal has nothing to do with dessert. Especially not when this little custard cup is so delightfully in tune with the Primal lifestyle and all its nutritive guidelines.
I must admit how I’ve missed, a little bit, the crusty, flaky sweet-filled stuff of cakes and pies and cookies ever since switching to the eating habits of Grok. But this eggy last course, which combines the best parts of all my favorites – the sweetness of a cookie, the texture of a chilled cake, the satisfying warm flavor of a gooey brownie or buttered scone, ends the yen. It’s a bit of an in-between dessert; not quite the high-carb, sugar shock item that once came with trips to the Jewish bakery or Dairy Queen – those summer after-dinner memories! – but more of a cheesecake, a flan, or even, when frozen, a sweet and delicate Italian ice that tastes a little bit like egg nog.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch. You’ve heard that before, right? Economic theories aside, the saying means nothing comes free. Everything is a process, including food. Most of us already know that. We know how important it is that we take the time to understand – or at least think about – where it came from and, if it was prepared for you, how and what it was made from. Food choices are a philosophy of life, a display of respect for ourselves and our surroundings. And bad food choices are more than a stomach ache!
A few weeks ago, in the name of showing a little appreciation for local farmers, I went to a chic but homey restaurant nearby to sample from their menu of locally-grown and organic ingredients. (They even have organic beer!) I tried an appetizer of roasted lamb, aged balsamico and sage, and decided right then and there this dish held all the power of the entree. I would have to replicate it.
Confit loosely translates as “cooking or preserving something in its own juices.” Typically, this refers to cooking or preserving meat in its own fat. You’ve heard of duck confit, right? It’s a simple and brilliant cooking method. If something is delicious, it just makes sense that cooking it in its own flavors is going to make it even more delicious. This need not only apply to meat. Any fruit or vegetable that has some juice to give can be cooked confit. Those cherries you keep passing up at the market (maybe because you don’t know what to put them in, except for a pie) are a perfect example.
There is something to be said for letting your mind wander. Even in the kitchen. Even when you have a rather sharp kitchen tool in your hand. Even when you’re cooking meat that is notorious for turning dry and flavorless if you’re not careful. I have often aspired to take part in the disciplined mind-wandering of meditation or to be lulled into a peaceful mental vacation on a yoga mat. But in my busy life this is unlikely. More often than not, my mind enters the blissful state of thinking about absolutely nothing when I am in less zen-like places. Like in front of the kitchen sink. It happened the other day when I was peeling a carrot. I kept peeling and peeling, my hands focused on the task but my mind …well, I don’t know exactly where my mind was. But before I knew it I had peeled the entire carrot instead of chopping it into rounds like I had intended. But this is the beauty of letting your mind wander. Sometimes it leads you to an interesting place; a place you never would’ve gotten to had you been following an exact recipe. The carrot had turned into a beautiful swirl of thin ribbons that I sautéed quickly with fennel and red pepper flakes. The carrot was still a carrot, but changing its shape and texture made it taste like an entirely new vegetable, one that I hadn’t already eaten thousands of times during my life.
I have an exciting announcement to make. Mark’s Daily Apple has two new Worker Bees! And both are primed and ready to bring you delicious Primal recipes every week. So read on and be sure to check back tomorrow for another delectable dish.
I once spent a lot of money buying alternative meat products under the impression they were somehow “better” for me. If you’ve done it too, you know that aside from health, there are more important aspects of meat that necessitate buying the real thing. Taste, for example. There’s no taste comparison whatsoever between soy sausage and the real stuff, and really I can’t see how “quorn” quite cuts it for anybody.
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