Friday, 29 July 2016

Pheasant and Bacon Salad with Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you decide to go ahead and click on them and make a purchase, I might receive a small commission that goes back into keeping the blog going. Thank you for your support. 

Pheasant. It's probably a bird that we don't regularly cook and eat. Not really. 

While a chicken can be rubbed with oil or butter and roasted for an hour and a half pretty effortlessly, pheasant is a bit more of a diva. 

The meat is famously dry. Do you roast it, boil it, or chuck it in the slow cooker? And it looks so small - is there any point? 

Well I'm here to tell you that cooking pheasant is easy. And it doesn't have to be dry and chewy. 

It has a beautiful gamey, quite complex flavour that pairs well with anything sweet or tangy. There are recipes online for pheasant with blueberries or cherries - and it's usually wrapped in bacon to help stop the dryness, because pheasant is very lean. You can indeed roast it (I'd probably go for the bacon-wrapping for this), boil it in water in a pot on the stove - or you can cook it in your slow cooker. 

Like this. 




Slow cooking pheasant, I think, is the easiest and most stress-free way of getting some on your plate. And thanks to Farmer's Choice, who sent me this pheasant to try out, you can enjoy it any time of the year because they supply it frozen. 

What I've done here is toss the slow cooked pheasant into a salad of colourful leaves like spinach, chard and rocket and add some roasted carrots. Butternut squash would also be beautiful here. Or sweet potato. 

There's crispy bacon, which gives crunch and smokiness, and then this raspberry balsamic vinaigrette which is tart and sweet at the same time. It just works really well with that deep-flavoured pheasant meat. 



Pheasant and Bacon Salad with Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
Serves 2-3
Ingredients
1 whole pheasant, defrosted
1 garlic bulb, whole
2 bay leaves
water
two handfuls of salad leaves
2 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
handful of peeled and diced vegetables (butternut squash, sweet potato or carrots) 
10 fresh raspberries, washed
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt

Method
First, check there are no giblets inside your pheasant (mine didn't have any) and place it in the bottom of your slow cooker's pot. Tumble in the garlic bulb and the bay leaves and then pour in enough cold water to just cover the pheasant. Replace the lid and cook on 'high' for 3-4 hours, until the meat can be easily shredded off the bone. Lift it out and leave to cool slightly on a plate or board. 

Once the pheasant is cooked, you can roast your veggies. Put the oven on to gas mark 6/200ºC/400ºF and get out a shallow roasting tray. Peel and chop the butternut squash, carrots or sweet potato and cut into small, bite-sized dice. Scatter onto the roasting tray, drizzle with a little olive oil and salt and roast for 20-25 minutes, stirring them occasionally, until golden, sizzling and tender. 

Grill the bacon until crisp and roughly chop. 

Next, make the dressing. Combine the raspberries, balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and the salt in a blender and blitz until smooth. 

To serve, arrange the salad leaves on the plates. Pick the meat from the bones and scatter this all over the salad leaves. Crumble over the bacon pieces and then scatter over the roasted vegetables. Finish with a pinch of salt and a drizzle of the raspberry balsamic vinaigrette. 

Disclosure: Farmer's Choice sent me the pheasant provided a contribution towards the ingredients used in this recipe. They're a supplier of fresh free-range meat, fish and game. I've been cooking with their meat and fish for over year now and I've been really impressed with the quality. Check out their website for more details. 

Are you interested in other ways to use herbs and spices on the autoimmune prototcol (AIP)? I wrote a 90+ recipe ebook especially to highlight herbs and spices on the AIP, called SPICE
Download it now on your Amazon Kindle device or Amazon Kindle app. 





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Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Lamb, Tarragon and Mint Koftas - My Guest Post on The Paleo Mom

This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you decide to click on them and make a purchase, I might receive a small commission that goes back into keeping the blog going. Thanks for your support. 

Well, we've had quite a few days where the temperature has stayed above 20 degrees, and I reckon that means it's well and truly summer. And we've had the barbecue out quite a bit. 

The thing with barbecues is that the usual burgers and sausages can get a bit samey. Sometimes you just want something a bit different. 

Like these koftas. 



Goodness these are gorgeous.

I love these lamb koftas, which I was kindly asked to guest post over at The Paleo Mom's website. They're herby - clean, aniseedy tarragon (which works beautifully with lamb - it's my new favourite thing), grassy, almost citrussy parsley and cool, refreshing mint. Seriously, they're so good. Especially with the extra layer of flavour the smoke from the barbecue provides as they sizzle on the bars of the grill.

I photographed them with my red cabbage and carrot salad, some watercress and some chimichurri on the side. The chimichurri has an AIP compliant option for those of you avoiding nightshades. 

I hope you love these as much as we do. They're also beautiful cold, the next day, and crumbled in a leafy salad. 

Barbecue on. 

Get the recipe over at The Paleo Mom

Are you interested in other ways to use herbs and spices on the autoimmune prototcol (AIP)? I wrote a 90+ recipe ebook especially to highlight herbs and spices on the AIP, called SPICE
Download it now on your Amazon Kindle device or Amazon Kindle app. 


Monday, 25 July 2016

Bacon Wrapped Artichoke Hearts with Rosemary

This post contains some affiliate links. This means that if you decide to click on them and make a purchase, I might receive a small commission that goes back into keeping the blog running and providing free recipes for you all. Thank you so much for your support.

Are there any foods that can't be improved by wrapping them in bacon? 

Asparagus, boiled eggs, broccoli, sweet potatoes, onions, sausages, burgers, chicken, scallops... 

I mean seriously - STREAKY BACON RASHERS. 



I was making a salad one day using canned artichoke hearts and ham and I suddenly paused and looked at the two together on the chopping board. Artichokes. Bacon. I looked out in the garden at the rosemary bushes. 

Yes. This would work. 

And it did. 

The artichoke hearts have a really savoury flavour, and when they're roasted like this, it just makes that flavour that little bit deeper and earthier. The bacon adds a smoky saltiness. And the rosemary sprig pushed in the centre just gives it a fresh, pine-like scent. 

It's a bit weird, but in a way, these bacon-wrapped artichoke hearts taste a bit like sausages. It's just something about how the flavours all mingle together. And they'd be a great alternative to those bacon-wrapped mini sausages that get served with the Sunday roast or Christmas dinner. 

Artichoke hearts are a good source of magnesium, potassium and Vitamin C, among other things - so adding a few to the side of your plate can only be a good thing. Unless you're watching your FODMAPs, that is, in which case you could make these but use slices of parsnip maybe instead of the artichoke hearts. Just roast until softened, or pre-boil them beforehand and cool and dry them before wrapping the bacon around them and roasting. 


I love these. 

They're great for serving alongside roasts or just for fun - take a batch to a party or barbecue as an appetizer. I hope you love them as much as we do. 

Bacon Wrapped Artichoke Hearts with Rosemary
Makes 8
Ingredients
8 artichoke hearts, from a can
6-8 rashers of streaky bacon
8 small sprigs of rosemary, washed
1 tbsp olive oil

Method
Drain the can of artichoke hearts and place them on a board, patting them dry with kitchen paper or a clean towel. 

Have a pile of 8 cocktail sticks handy and then take the bacon and wrap it around the outside of the artichoke heart. You might not need the whole rasher of bacon, depending on how long the slices are, in which case cut the bacon off and use to wrap around the next one. Secure each bacon-wrapped artichoke heart with a cocktail stick, to stop it unravelling in the oven. Poke a rosemary sprig in the centre of each artichoke heart and drizzle with the olive oil. 

Roast the artichoke hearts for around 15 minutes at 200ºC/400ºF/gas mark 6, until the bacon is golden and cooked through completely and the artichoke hearts are sizzling and softened. Take out and leave to cool for a couple of minutes and then serve straight away. 

Are you looking for ways to spice up your AIP cooking with herbs and spices allowed on the paleo autoimmune protocol? I've written an ebook, SPICE, which contains over 90 recipes for using herbs and spices in your AIP cooking. Download it straight away on Amazon Kindle. 



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