Love is in the air

My husband has been super supportive in my new blogging efforts.  He’s my proof reader and first follower. Thanks honey!!  So I guess I’m feeling a little romantic today.  What about a little early Valentine Day menu?  Sure!

I’ve made a couple really traditional dishes that are Paleofied, grain free and dairy free.  They do however make use of wine and chocolate so these are not Whole30approved.  When I was doing the Whole30 a little over a week ago my husband and I went to a super fabulous restaurant here in town that boasts a fabulous Paleo menu, Corner Table.  He had the bolognese over spaghetti squash.  I took pics of our food and posted them to Facebook.  A few people asked me how I made them which I didn’t do.  I have however made bolognese, a classic Italian meat sauce many times and love to cook a big batch for freezing.  This makes 4 dinners (minus the squash) for two adults and two kiddos.  This recipe will take 30 minutes hands on time and 1 hour hands free cooking.

Bolognese with Spaghetti Squash

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1 spaghetti squash

2 lbs grass fed ground beef

2 lbs grass fed ground pork

2 medium yellow onions, chopped small

4-5 garlic cloves, minced

4 large carrots shredded (in a food processor for time)

1 C homemade chicken stock

3 jars tomato paste

2 cups red wine

1 tsp red chili flake

2 T fresh minced oregano

salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Heat oven to 350 degrees and place whole spaghetti squash in oven for about an hour.  This can be done ahead of time, even the day before.  While the squash is cooking, brown the meat in a large Dutch oven on medium high heat.  Add the onion, garlic, carrot and large pinch kosher salt and cook, stirring occasionally until onion is translucent.  Add in tomato paste and stir to incorporate evenly for 3 minutes.  Deglaze with red wine and chicken stock.  Add in oregano and chili flake and a few turns of fresh ground pepper, bring to a simmer for 1 hour (or all day), check for seasoning and adjust accordingly.  Bolognese should be thick.  After your squash has been in the oven for an hour, check for softness. It should easily be pierced with a knife.  Let the squash cool before cutting it open.  Gently scoop out the seeds and then scrape the ‘spaghetti’ into a bowl, toss with good quality olive oil, a pinch of salt and top with your bolognese, garnish with chiffonade (French word for cut into ribbons) basil.  As always, check for seasoning first.

So now I’ll tell you about the chocolate.  I’ll bet you’ve been wondering about that.  I made dairy free dark chocolate pot de creme.  I got the inspiration to make this from NomNom Paleo and adapted a recipe from an old culinary school textbook.  It’s been said custards are the ‘chef’s dessert’.  They don’t require exact measurements and are usually fool proof, unlike baking.  This is a standard ratio recipe and can be adapted for a variety of recipes, including creme brûlée.  A custard, is a custard, is a custard.  This recipe will take 10 minutes hands on time and 30 minutes total time.

Dark Chocolate Pot De Creme

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500 ml full fat coconut milk (slightly more than 1 can)

7 egg yolks

1tsp vanilla extract

2 bars 85% dark chocolate (180 g total)

Method:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and prepare a tea kettle of hot water.  Heat coconut milk in a small sauce pan until just simmering and remove from heat.  Add in broken up chocolate and vanilla and stir until chocolate is melted.  Whisk egg yolks in a heat proof bowl (glass or metal).  Slowly drizzle in the chocolate mixture, whisking constantly until all is mixed together.  This can get tricky because you obviously only have two hands.  Place a kitchen towel in a drawer and put the bowl in it, shutting the drawer so it holds it in place and while leaning against the drawer you can then use one hand to drizzle in and the other to whisk.  Clever, right?  Place 6, 2oz ramekins in a shallow dish.  Pour custard through a fine mesh strainer into a Pyrex cup.  Use the cup to fill the ramekins– it may take two fills depending on the size of your Pyrex.  Place the pan with ramekins in the oven at 325 degrees and pour hot water around the ramekins after they are on the oven rack to make a water bath.  Cook until the center is just ‘jiggly’ or 175 degrees on an instant read thermometer, about 18 minutes.  Cool for 4 hours in refrigerator.  Top with whipped coconut cream and berries or nothing at all.

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