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  • Cooking Primal with Otter

    'tis I, Otter!
    Starting a new journal! You can read my old one detailing daily minutiae. Anyway:
    Me: Otter, middle aged female. I like to cook, I like the gadgets, I like the science. Eating is ok. I have an unfortunate tendency to not read recipes all the way through or "wing it" midstream.
    Victims: the long-suffering El Hubbo. Motto: "Did you follow a recipe?" Motto 2: "does this have bones in it?"
    Challenges: Otterkit (born this summer) has an uncanny sense of timing. No matter how well I plan his naps, feedings, entertainment, he will pick the most crucial minutes of cooking to have some kind of crisis. Also, huuuge grocery store that is out of random things or needs to be restocked when I shop on Sundays. This week's special: No pastured butter or mushrooms and only "thin-sliced chicken breast".

    I thought it would be entertaining to try out recipes and review my results here. I rarely cook the same thing twice so I'm always on the look out for something for dinner. I'll attempt to cook every Saturday Primal Blueprint recipe.

    For today, a retrospective review:
    Filipino Beef Kalderata
    "Kaldereta is a Filipino stew with flavors influenced by three centuries of Spanish colonization in the Philippines. Tomato-based and traditionally made with goat or beef, potatoes, green olives and peppers, it’s a filling, comforting dish."

    Modifications:
    1. green olives served on the side bc El Hubbo calls anything that's not a canned black olive a "cocktail olive" and speculates sadly on why they are in his food.
    2. maybe a little less than a half pound of chicken livers. I was very excited to find a big frozen pack of organic ones hiding in the freezer and come across this recipe at the same time. I may have eaten a lot of them before they made it into the dish.

    Results:
    I got spaghetti sauce. I'm not sure why I expected to throw a bunch of spaghetti sauce ingredients into a pot and come up with an exotic Filipino dish.

    Otter gives this a thumbs down.
    Last edited by ottercat; 01-18-2014, 06:58 PM.
    Cooking Primal with Otter - Journal
    Otter's (Defunct) Primal Log
    "Not baked goods, Professor, baked bads!" ~ The Tick

  • #2
    Originally posted by ottercat View Post
    I have an unfortunate tendency to not read recipes all the way through or "wing it" midstream.
    Sometimes Lady Friend looks at a recipe and says, "Well, THAT can't be right!" and makes an adjustment. It does not end well.

    HI, OTTERCAT!!!!!!!!!

    I'm so happy to see this new journal (and what a good topic - I'm bored with what I'm eating).
    JOIN THE PANDA SHOW!!! Primal With A Side Of FABULOUS and PANDALOONERY!

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Ottercat,

      I need some inspiration, I'm getting bored with my own cooking, so I will be happily following your experiments.
      Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.

      Comment


      • #4
        Am I the only one who read the title of this journal and thought that I'd find recipes made with otter meat?

        *is not a cannibal*

        Comment


        • #5
          Hey Y'alls! Thanks for visiting! GP, I'm bored too and I figure I should just barely be able to keep up with the Saturdays recipes. Urban Forager: Oh, look, you're bored too! Let's all be bored together and laugh at Otter's cooking foibles. Goldie: mmmmm, furry creatures, mmmmmmmm. El Hubbo won't eat lamb because he says it's baby animals. Otter won't eat veal because she doesn't see what the big deal is.
          Cooking Primal with Otter - Journal
          Otter's (Defunct) Primal Log
          "Not baked goods, Professor, baked bads!" ~ The Tick

          Comment


          • #6
            MOROCCAN MEATBALL AND EGG TAGINE
            i.e. Shakusha with Balls!

            Yum, this looks very tasty and has a fun variety of spices! Otter doesn't like to buy spices because they're freakin' expensive and come in huge jars and how long is it going to take me to use up THAT MUCH CORIANDER??!? So I used to just buy about a tablespoon's worth in the bulk section, use the quarter teaspoon for the dish, wrap it up and toss the little plastic baggie into the odoriferous pile of other bagged spices that I occasionally look at and scratch my head over and eventually toss en masse. Also, I do not own saffron. I bought some once and it turned food yellow and didn't taste like anything. Turns out there are various lesser forms of saffron such as the yellow dyed hamster bedding that I had apparently purchased.

            MODIFICATIONS: no saffron water, see above. Also, BAKED the meatballs to a tasty broiled brown before putting them into the sauce because boiled gray lamb-balls, yum! Ended up only adding half the tomatoes because it seemed like it was turning into spaghetti with meatballs.

            AFTERMATH: Tasty! a fun blend of spices, and who doesn't like lamb (El Hubbo)? But even he ate it because he didn't know it was lamb until after he was scooping up seconds. However, I found the whole thing blindingly salty! I mean, 1tsp salt in a pound of meat? Blargh! I would leave the salt out of the tomatoes altogether and reduce it to 1/2 t in the meat. Yummy over cauli-rice.

            Otter recommends this dish.
            Cooking Primal with Otter - Journal
            Otter's (Defunct) Primal Log
            "Not baked goods, Professor, baked bads!" ~ The Tick

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi there! Your journal looks very yummy and fun so I will be following along. I love food!
              ------
              HCLF: lean red meat, eggs, low-fat dairy, bone broth/gelatin, fruits, seafood, liver, small amount of starch (oatmeal, white rice, potatoes, carrots), small amount of saturated fat (butter/ghee/coconut/dark chocolate/cheese).

              My Journal: gelatin experiments, vanity pictures, law school rants, recipe links


              Food blog: GELATIN and BONE BROTH recipes

              " The best things in life are free and the 2nd best are expensive!" - Coco Chanel

              Comment


              • #8
                Hey Turquoisepassion,
                YOUR blog looks yummy! I'm totally going to (wish I had the time to ) try some of those recipes!
                Cooking Primal with Otter - Journal
                Otter's (Defunct) Primal Log
                "Not baked goods, Professor, baked bads!" ~ The Tick

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Gay Panda View Post
                  Sometimes Lady Friend looks at a recipe and says, "Well, THAT can't be right!" and makes an adjustment. It does not end well.

                  HI, OTTERCAT!!!!!!!!!

                  I'm so happy to see this new journal (and what a good topic - I'm bored with what I'm eating).
                  Fffff I would side with Lady Friend; some cookbook authors are just silly.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Good morning, my darlings. Actually, it is probably lunchtime for Otter since Otterkit decided he needed to eat at 4:30AM and being the insomniac that I am, I am still awake. Of course, Otterkit is squeaking and rubbing his eyes so it may be 4AM again by the time I finish this post.

                    Anyway, what we need is a good breakfast! A fearsome treat, not only protein-packed and filled with Vitamin K, but also home-made and fermented and ethnic. Truly, it will establish you as a BADASS and win you the awe of everyone. Of course I'm talking about the most dreaded of Japanese dishes: natto. I know hardcore Japanophiles who've lived there for years who won't touch the stuff, hell, I know Japanese people who won't eat it. And yet, when the Otter-nephews were little, their parents couldn't bring it out until the end of the meal, lest they shun everything else they were served and hold their arms out weeping for natto. Anyway, this is how you take poisonous soybeans and convert them into something delicious.

                    First we need the culture (which I got from Cultures for Health, who also have English instructions). It is shown here with a 1/4 teaspoon for scale, kawaii!



                    Next, we take 2c of dried soybeans and soake them for 24 hours, changing the water a few times. I found a good handful that had refused to take on any water over this period so I picked them out. Now, I've seen instructions that say to boil them for 9 hours. Pffft. Git out yer pressure cooker and the steamer bucket, put in the minimum amount of water. Cook on high for 45 minutes.




                    Natto has to be incubated at 100 degrees for 24 hours in a special natto incubator, your ginormous food dehydrator, or.... your sous vide! I filled it up to the minimum volume and built a platform from the plate, the rack, and a plastic thingy made for cutting sandwiches into brontosaurs. This will keep your incubation chamber just out of the water. Turn on the sous vide, etc. etc.
                    I don't know why this stupid picture comes out like this, I edited it to be much smaller and this original doesn't even exist anymore...

                    Incubation chamber: 9x9 glass baking dish, which will be covered by a paper towel and a piece of aluminum foil with holes poked in it. Efff your sterilized cheesecloth.

                    Whilst the beans are cooking, put some water in the baking dish and a little glass bowl and microwave for 5 minutes to sterilize. Make sure there is nothing scary on the ceiling of the micro that is going to dissolve and drip down. Leave it there til you're ready to use.

                    In a pint-sized measuring cup, put your heat-proof spatula and a metal teaspoon and pour boiling water over them and let set until ready to use.

                    When the beans are done, remove the steamer basket, dump out the water and put the beans back in. In the little glass bowl add a teaspoon of hot water and a wee spoonful of culture and swirl to dissolve. Dump this over the beans and mix them gently with the spatula. Pour the water out of the sterilized 9x9 glass dish and add the beans in a smooth layer.

                    Cover with a paper towel larger than the dish and cover securely with aluminum foil. Poke several holes in the foil. everyone says to use sterilized cheesecloth. You could put the cheesecloth in the microwave with the baking dish, but then you have to squeeze it out. How ya gonna do that? eh? Then the cheesecloth is going to sag and touch the beans. I just use the papertowel which is more effective at soaking up water and keeping drops off the beans. Put the whole thing into the sous vide and leave 24 hours. I occasionally open it up and use a towel to soak up any water puddles on top of the foil.


                    24 hours later: voila!


                    I actually find homemade natto to be a little less stinky than I would like. On the plus side, this does not make your whole house smell like fermenting soybeans as I imagine a dehydrator would. It did smell slightly funky when I took it out, covered it with saran wrap and moved it to the fridge to mature for a few days. El Hubbo came in and started going through the blankets in Otterkit's rock'n'play that was parked in the kitchen saying, "Something smells weird", but he was not inspired to empty the trash or anything.

                    Natto are much milder tasting than you might imagine. They are pure umami, but need a lot of salt (usually in the form of soy sauce). To eat, take out a portion, add a fair amount of tamari, and stir as hard as you can for about 30 seconds. The slime will get all stringy, this is a good thing. They're good with a dab of Chinese mustard and some green onions.
                    Cooking Primal with Otter - Journal
                    Otter's (Defunct) Primal Log
                    "Not baked goods, Professor, baked bads!" ~ The Tick

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      i bought swiss chard this week intending to make fritters, but forgetting that the Hub was going out of town. This puts a bit of a damper on cooking as Otterkit is going through a "thing", a Wonder Week, as in "I Wonder why more babies don't get left in the woods?" and I pretty much live on protein shakes.

                      We did, however, make Chicken Kombu soup, sort of. I glanced thru the recipe, thought, "why would you do it like that?" and that was the last time I looked at the recipe.

                      KOMBU: one of the many varieties of seaweed hawked as "sea veggies" around here. One day I'll do a field guide to "sea veggies". Til then, hie thee to the Korean store and get some kombu. There are many grades of kombu ranging from stuff that looks like prisoners scraped it off the sand at low tide where the Yellow River disgorges the bloated pig carcasses (see the kombu featured in the recipe!) to the grade that looks like the Silent Diving Monks of Urashima cut it from their undersea gardens by the full moon. Try to get the better stuff.

                      Preparing the kombu: I mooched 3 6" pieces off of Mama Otter, broke them into several pieces each, put them in a quart jar of water and let sit overnight at room temperature. When you have time, move it all to a pan and heat gently to a sub-simmer. Then, you are to remove the chunks, bring the liquid to a boil, and skim off the suds. I forgot to do this step, who cares. The liquid doesn't really have a strong flavor, but is apparently chock full o' micronutritious goodness.....and natural MSG!

                      Preparing the chicken: boiled chicken, bleah! I roasted a wee organic chicky, ate the dark meat, and cut up some of the breast meat for the soup. If you don't have a freezer full of bone broth, use the bones and skin to make bone broth! Cover the bits with water, add a dash of vinegar, simmer for 2 days, smash up the bones, simmer for another day. Strain, aliquot, freeze.

                      I used the shmaltz from the roast to sautee some veggies (celery, carrots, leeks), then added the liquid from the kombu, chicken meat, and some bone broth. I guess I was supposed to have added ginger.

                      This isn't the recipe that was features on MDA. It's not really a recipe that one can claim ownership of, but rather a "do it like this, yo" from your friend, the Otter.
                      Cooking Primal with Otter - Journal
                      Otter's (Defunct) Primal Log
                      "Not baked goods, Professor, baked bads!" ~ The Tick

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You are so creative with your food! I am drooling here.
                        ------
                        HCLF: lean red meat, eggs, low-fat dairy, bone broth/gelatin, fruits, seafood, liver, small amount of starch (oatmeal, white rice, potatoes, carrots), small amount of saturated fat (butter/ghee/coconut/dark chocolate/cheese).

                        My Journal: gelatin experiments, vanity pictures, law school rants, recipe links


                        Food blog: GELATIN and BONE BROTH recipes

                        " The best things in life are free and the 2nd best are expensive!" - Coco Chanel

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Resubscribing under new account!
                          JOURNAL..
                          @BabesWithBBQ.
                          Gelatin/bone broth recipes blog.
                          Professional Style Website.
                          #TeamBrisket Shirts

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                          • #14
                            Cardiff Crack



                            I made this recipe because STEAK, yum! Also, the "Cardiff" in the name caught my eye because I used to watch "Torchwood".
                            "Cardiff Crack is a delicious USDA Choice tri tip that is trimmed, marinated, and infused with a one-of-a-kind Burgundy Pepper marinade, which through a secret process, permeates the beef and results in tri tip that is incomparably flavorful and tender and highly addictive", this is what comes up when I Google it, but all I recipes I find online are the same as in Primal Blueprint Cookbook.

                            Modifications: I pretty much stuck to the recipe except I used a flatiron steak bc that's what I had. Since it's January, I did not grill outside, but used my Cuisinart Griddler, which is AWESOME for flatiron steaks. I just steamed and buttered the asparagus pictured alongside.

                            The Result: ........... everybody loves this and I found it incredibly bland without any salt. Also, all the pepper and garlic fell off when I took the steak out of the marinade. I'm puzzled by the blandness because I am usually too rushed to marinate a flatiron steak so I just salt and pepper it before closing the griddler.

                            Le sigh. this journal is starting to suck without recipes that make me happy.

                            Otter might recommend this recipe with modifications if she had to, I guess
                            Cooking Primal with Otter - Journal
                            Otter's (Defunct) Primal Log
                            "Not baked goods, Professor, baked bads!" ~ The Tick

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              i made you some CAULI-TOTS, but I eated them

                              I don't know why cauli-tots are so good, or why they are even called Cauli-tots. They are nothing like tater tots in taste or texture or appearance or anything........except in their horrible addictiveness. I just ate half a head of cauliflower and had to carefully count the tots so I saved exactly half for El Hubbo. Sort of. There was an ugly partial one, so I ate that to keep the number of tots divisible by 2. I even put Otterkit in the dreaded Jumperoo that I keep saying we shouldn't use because it will screw up his walking mechanics. However, if you park it by the kitchen, he will bounce like a maniac while laughing hysterically leaving you enough time to make cauli-tots (but not enough time to eat them, darnit!)


                              1. Cut up a head of cauliflower into florets and steam them well
                              2. Run them through the food processor until fairly fine. You want them fine, not mashed-potato-fine, but finer than rice. I've tried them chunky and they didn't hold together that well.
                              3. IMPORTANT: put them in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out as much moisture as you can
                              4. Add about 1/3c freshly grated Parmesan (probably optional), 1 egg, 1/4t salt, some black pepper, maybe some garlic, whatever floats yer boat and stir well to combine.
                              5. Prepare cookie sheet with a WELL-GREASED piece of aluminum foil. I suspect you wouldn't get the beautiful brown crust if you put them on parchment. For the LOVE OF JEBUS, don't put them on a naked cookie sheet! Really grease up the foil good, these things are totally unforgiving. I used a 375 oven, I'm sure anything between 350 and 400 would be fine
                              6. I used a cookie scoop to shape them
                              7. Just bake until golden brown and delicious!
                              Cooking Primal with Otter - Journal
                              Otter's (Defunct) Primal Log
                              "Not baked goods, Professor, baked bads!" ~ The Tick

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