One of the foods I really miss since giving up bread is Argentine Milanesas. My mother in law taught me how to make them. They're basically thin beef steaks that are covered in dipped egg and breadcrumbs and then fried.
You can eat them as they are, with salad - or the Argentines eat them with mashed potato or fries or with a fried egg on top. We like the fried egg option.
I'd thought about this for quite a while. What exists that's paleo but could replace breadcrumbs?
And then I saw a post written by Laura from Sweet Treats showing a recipe for Plantain Chip Chicken. Basically, chicken covered in crushed plantain chips and cooked.
So I set about making my much-loved milanesas in a similar way.
I pulverised the salted plantain chips in a food processor into very fine, sandy crumbs. As I wanted to make the recipe AIP-compliant, I didn't dip the beef in the usual egg, but gave it a coating of coconut milk to help the chips stick to it.
Also - if you blitz the plantain chips to a finer, more sandy consistency, you'll find it'll coat the steaks a lot easier and more evenly. Having said that, there's something to be said for the crunchy texture of the milanesa, along with the deep, browned flavours of some of the exposed steak hitting the pan. We actually tried this recipe again later on but preferred the chunkier texture. But it's up to you.
I fried them and served them up to my Argentine husband. He loved them. Actually, he said he loved them more than the breaded milanesas I used to cook for him. But don't tell his mum. (Shhh!)
AIP Paleo Argentine Milanesas
2 x thin frying steaks
a few tablespoons full-fat coconut milk
1 x 75g packs salted plantain chips
good pinch of dried parsley
1-2 tbsp mild, unflavoured coconut oil, for frying
First, take the steaks out of the fridge to get to room temperature. Pour the coconut milk in a small, shallow bowl and put to one side.
Tip the plantain chips into a food processor and add the dried parsley. Blitz until the chips are turned into fine, sandy crumbs. Finer crumbs will make it easier to coat the steaks later on - chunkier pieces will leave more of the beef exposed to the pan and result in a crunchier, grainier but more intensely charred steak-like finish. It's just whatever you like best.
Lift each steak and dip it in the coconut mixture and then into the plantain chips. The coconut milk will help it to stick. Press the plantain chip crumbs onto the steak to cover it evenly and then fry in the coconut oil until cooked to your liking.
If you like, and if diet allows, place the milanesas on a plate to rest while you quickly fry up a runny-yolked egg to plonk on top. Beautiful.
I received the beef steaks and a contribution towards the ingredients for the recipe from Farmer's Choice, an online butcher specialising in free range meat, game and fish. Go check them out. I've always found their meat of fantastic quality.