The name of this recipe doesn’t really do the dish justice. Prunes just aren’t sexy ingredients, even if you call them dried plums. But the way they meld with lamb, creating a perfect sweet and savory flavor, is nothing short of transcendent.
Every bite combines a meaty, tender morsel of lamb with a hint of sweet, soft prune. Saffron, turmeric, ginger, garlic and onion add layers of warm, complex flavor. This is a simple throw-it-in-the-pot-and-let-it-simmer kind of meal that’s dinner party and holiday worthy.
It’s two days away from Thanksgiving here in the United States, and that means a significant portion of my readership is scrambling to put together a Primal menu. Things are easier now with the rise of the ancestral health community and the growing preponderance of related recipe blogs, but a lot of you are still wasting precious time combing through their volumes or converting standard Thanksgiving recipes into Primal-friendly recipes. You have better things to do. You have family and friends to visit, footballs to toss (or kick, as the case may be), piles of polychromatic leaves to roll around in, and thanks to give. Even if you’re an international reader, don’t celebrate Thanksgiving or know quite what it’s all about, you still like to eat great food.
Turkey is a tricky bird to cook, requiring elaborate brining and seasoning rituals and a few Hail Marys to turn out moist and flavorful meat. Whether it’s for Thanksgiving or some other festive meal, you can take the pressure off by ditching the turkey for a smaller, moister and quite elegant little bird, the Cornish game hen.
Cornish game hens are single-serving birds that roast in an hour or less. In this recipe the hens are simply seasoned with butter, salt and pepper then stuffed with a rich and satisfying blend of eggs, sausage and herbs. This meaty stuffing makes regular old bread stuffing seem like a stale substitute.
Cuban Picadillo is basically a sloppy joe without the bun. But picadillo has a little more pizzazz, thanks to the sweet and piquant flavor combination of raisins and olives simmered with ground beef and tomato sauce. Picadillo is home cooked comfort food, the type of easy weeknight meal that both kids and adults love.
Like Filipino Kaldereta, the ingredients in Cuban Picadillo are a reflection of its history. Peppers, tomatoes and olives can be traced back to Spanish colonization. The blending of sweet and acidic ingredients is also a big part of Caribbean cuisine. Traditionally served over rice and beans (and sometimes, plantains) Primal Picadillo can be served over cauliflower rice or simply heaped in a bowl with nothing else. It’s also pretty great next to eggs for breakfast.
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.
The really ingenious ingredient in Kaldereta is puréed chicken liver.
Stirred in at the end, chicken livers give the stew a thick, creamy texture and super-meaty flavor. This technique can be used with any of your favorite stew, chili or curry recipes. There are more sneaky ways to work offal into your meals, but this is arguably one the easiest and tastiest methods.
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