Fermented Currant, Pear & Horseradish Chutney

Sautéed Mushrooms

Mushrooms

Mushrooms and I have enjoyed a whirlwind love affair that has simmered down into a warm fuzzy appreciation. As a kid I would not touch a mushroom for money and the idea of consuming a fungus on purpose completely grossed me out. Times have changed and it was a creamy mushroom pasta that first helped me leave my childhood mushroom hating foolishness in the past, mushroom pizza’s inspired the first flickers of a crush and it was perfectly sautéed mushrooms over a steak that finally ignited my obsession.

 

Now I eat mushrooms pretty much every day, mainly the humble brown cremini. I like them all different ways in soups, as side dishes and in sauces. You will never see me pass up an opportunity up to peruse the mushroom stand at the farmers market. Foraging for my own mushrooms is a dream that I hope to pursue as soon as I find a willing guide, but for now I must be content just to enjoy cooking, eating and sharing the shroomy love.

 

I eat mushrooms because, they taste awesome, but they are also super nutritious! Not only are mushrooms powerful antioxidants they are loaded with selenium, folate and vitamin D. Mushrooms are the perfect assistant to our bodies way of repairing itself: nourishing our cells, DNA and liver. Depending on the variety, certain mushrooms are recognized for powerful medicinal properties, but like anything with the power to heal, mushrooms also have the power to hurt: so never eat a mushroom you are not sure is safe. That said, fall is a great time to dive into the land of cultivated and wild mushrooms and this easy recipe will be an elegant side dish for your holiday meal. We served these delicious sautéed mushrooms with our Revivalist Kitchen Harvest Dinner. Read all about that lovely meal here!

Ingredients

2 pounds assorted mushrooms of your choice: I used 1.5 lbs of cremini, bunashimeji also know as brown beech and king oyster mushrooms

6 Tablespoons butter

1 tsp sea salt

Chopped parsley or chives for garnish

Octavia Klein Photography

 

Wipe the cremini mushrooms off with a damp towel and trim the stems. Cut the base off the bunch of bunashimejis to free them from the clump they are usually sold in and trim the bottom cut end of the king oysters. Cut the cremini’s into even sized wedges, depending on the size quarters or sixths usually works for me. Rough chop the bunashimejis and slice the king oysters.

 

Warm a large saute pan over medium high heat. When hot, add the cremini mushrooms first, then the butter & salt and allow to cook, stirring occasionally. To get a nice brown crust on the mushrooms they need to be cooked in one layer in a pan large enough so they are not over crowded. Mushrooms contain a lot of moisture and you want to let the moisture be released and evaporate. Once the creminis have began to color add the other mushrooms and sauté until brown, about 5-8 minutes. Top with herbs to serve.

 

© Copyright 2015 Revivalist Kitchen. All rights reserved.

How did the recipe turn out? Got any questions? Leave a comment below!

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Pumpkin Custard

Pumpkin Custard

I am officially over pumpkin spice everything but even during these times of severe pumpkin abuse, I just cannot resist making a few pumpkin desserts, like this delicious pumpkin custard. While I could house an entire pumpkin pie and call Thanksgiving done and dusted, in honor of Revivalist Kitchen this recipe was created to feature a not over sweetened, reasonably spiced dessert that is the perfect end to a rich meal but with the liberal use of farm fresh eggs, a slightly larger portion could be a nutritious and satisfying cap on a lighter meal. Featuring fresh roasted pumpkin, creamy naturally sweet raw whipped cream and spiced pumpkin seeds; this pumpkin custard will make a beautiful addition to your holiday table. We featured this desert at our Harvest Dinner. Read all bout what we served up here!

Octavia Klein Photography

Pumpkin Custard

2 cups pumpkin puree

1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar

1 T Molasses

1 Tsp fresh grated nutmeg

1 Tsp fresh grated cinnamon

1 Tsp vanilla, scraped from vanilla bean

8 Eggs

1/2 Cup Milk or if Paleo use coconut Milk

1/4 tsp Sea Salt

Pumpkin Custard! Gluten free & refined sugar free! Traditional food & Paleo friendly recipe! Click through to get recipe.

Pumpkin Custard

Roast the pumpkins in 350° oven until soft. Scoop out flesh, reserving seeds to be toasted and blend all ingredients in food processor, except for eggs. Pour blended mixture into heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat. Taste for seasoning and turn off heat once mixture is at a simmer. Off the heat whisk in the eggs one at a time and then bring the mixture back up to a simmer. Pour into individual serving vessels and chill in refrigerator. Top custard with raw whipped cream and the toasted spiced pumpkin seeds.

 

Toasted spiced pumpkin seeds

1 C pumpkin seeds, rinsed

1 2 T coconut sugar

1/4 tsp each cinnamon & nutmeg

2T melted butter

1 tsp sea salt

Octavia Klein Photography

 

Pre-heat the oven to 300°. Mix together all ingredients except seeds, once mixed, toss in pumpkin seeds. Spread seeds over a baking sheet and bake. You will want to stir the seeds every five minutes and bake until crispy. This process takes about 25-35 minutes.

© Copyright 2015 Revivalist Kitchen. All rights reserved.

How did the recipe turn out? Got any questions? Leave a comment below!

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 Keep on cooking!…Click through below for more real food recipes!

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Duck Confit

Duck Confit

Octavia Klein Photography

Eating duck for the first time was not the most memorable experience of my culinary life, while eating duck confit for the first time will forever be seared into my brain. It was, Walter Manske’s, duck confit at Church & State that did me in. I was a server there and had the good fortune of being handed the remnants of a crispy golden duck leg by another server, to wolf down as we stood near the dish tank, hovering over the garbage cans. Holy cow, that duck was good.

 

Next time I had duck confit, I actually ate it off a plate and the crispy outside and meltingly tender inside was accompanied by a chutney like fruit sauce. It took a good duck confit for me to get duck. Never being blown away with duck breast, I have had duck dishes other than confit that I enjoyed: chef Ericka Lins formerly of Campanile, makes a wicked duck meatball, the duck pancakes at Chi Dynasty in Los Feliz are tasty other than that I don’t really go out of my way to make, buy or order duck. The exception is duck confit for me, and the duck confit recipe from the Zuni Cafe Cookbook by Judy Rodgers has become my most beloved holiday meal.

 

Including this Thanksgiving I have made the entire traditional holiday meal for one of the wonderful families I have cooked for, five years running. That is a lot of turkey and I think I’m just kinda over serving turkey as a festive holiday feast for my family meals, so I have decided to bring on the duck confit! Don’t get me wrong, I like turkey and one of my favorite guilty pleasures, other than bean burritos on a soft flour tortilla, is a post Thanksgiving turkey sandwich: white meat, white bread, mayo, salt & pepper. This year Revivalist Kitchen hosted a Harvest Dinner, non-traditional take on Thanksgiving! Read all about what we served up up here.

 

I cook turkey on a regular basis for many clients and while my husband and I will eat turkey, rarely do I go out of my way to cook or eat it (collard green turkey enchiladas being a firm exception). The bonus here is the duck confit can be mostly prepared well ahead of time and only needs to be finished by warming & crisping up in a pan. The leftovers can be kept refrigerated submerged in cooking fat for long periods of time and that fat is a wonderful medium to roast & sauté other meats and vegetables. Leftover duck confit is a delicious Real Food answer to my appallingly pale colored turkey sandwiches of the past but I suspect this recipe is so good; there won’t be too many leftovers to speak of.

 

One of the best lunches of my life was with my then finance now husband Andrew at Zuni Cafe on a rainy San Francisco afternoon. We ate roast chicken and drank Burgundy and it was soul satisfyingly good eats. I have never had duck confit at Zuni Cafe but the recipe in Judy Rodgers life changing cook book is about as perfect as a recipe can get. This book was suggested to me as I was being rung up at a used bookstore in Hollywood by now obviously brilliant guy working the register. He saw my hodgepodge of books: a paperback filled with traditional Greek recipes, a banged up copy of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison, and something by Alice Waters. The clerk at the bookstore grabbed the copy of the Zuni Cafe Cookbook that just happened to be within his arms reach and he said that I just had to get it. He sold me on the book long before I had heard of the legendary Zuni Cafe or the now departed Judy Rodgers, who sadly passed away from cancer in 2013.

 

Buying that book both simplified and elevated my cooking in a major way and I am very grateful to that dude for being a really great bookstore employee. I am also grateful to Judy Rodgers for writing her book, as I love what she shares, how she talks about her process of recipe development and how she tells her story. The best advice on properly seasoning and salting protein I have ever read came from that book and I was shocked to learn how much of a difference proper salting techniques can make in all dishes, not just confits and cures. So with deep respect to Judy Rodgers, here is her perfect recipe for duck confit. Her instructions are wonderful and I have paraphrased them here. I highly suggest you go out and buy or borrow a copy of this wonderful book and look at the full Zuni recipe for duck confit, as well as enjoy all the other cool ideas.

 

Duck Confit a la Judy for a party of 8

12 duck legs, approx ¾-1lb each preferably from McCall’s Meat & Fish if you live in SoCal

2 large 3.5lb buckets of duck fat

9T of salt: I used a combination of maldon flake and fine sea salt

 

This recipe clearly makes duck for a crowd: it can be scaled back following a ratio of 2tsp of salt per pound of duck legs and around 2 cups of fat per pound of meat. Duck fat is expensive so I try to buy the minimum amount I need just to cover all the duck legs.

 

Start this recipe at least two days before you want to serve it, but three is even better. Weigh duck legs and measure out salt. Trim any lose bits from the duck and pull out any feathers that may remain in the skin. Sprinkle the salt over the duck legs and massage in. Lay duck in one even layer and cover with plastic wrap (not foil as the salt can corrode aluminum, even in 24 hours.)

After 24 hours rinse salt off duck legs and gently massage the legs. Cut a slice of meat off the duck and fry it up in a little oil to test for salt. It should be salty but not crazy, crazy, salty. If it’s super gross salty rinse the duck legs again and repeat the test. Allow the meat to rest for another 24 hours to redistribute the salt.

To cook the duck, melt the fat in two large dutch ovens or sauce pans, add the duck legs and bring up to a simmer. I used my thermometer and tried to keep the heat around 200 degrees F, for an hour and a half. I was able to do that by having the burners on their lowest setting with the pots pushed all the way against the back of my stove versus directly over the center of the burner. The cooking is pretty much hands off, I stick my tongs to the bottom of the pot a few times to make sure nothing was stuck and potentially scorching and I push down a few stray legs that wanted to pop up out of the fat but otherwise I let the fat gently simmer and cook the meat until it was soft but not fall off the bone tender. You can also do the cooking in a crockpot, on the lowest setting for six hours, pull out early if meat starts to fall off the bone. Turn off the burners or crockpot and allow the meat to cool in the fat, then store in the fridge until ready to serve.

One hour before cooking the duck legs remove them from the fridge and let them get to room temperature. It works best to brown the duck in a medium not giant frying pan, around two to three at a time. Just make sure it’s one even layer and they don’t crowd each other. Pre-heat the oven to 220 to keep the duck warm as you finish the batches and turn the frying pan or pans up to medium high heat. Once the pan is heated pull your duck out of the fat and place directly into the hot pan, skin side down and allow to cook around 5-8 minutes. VERY CAREFULLY, using tongs and a spatula try to ease the duck up without damaging the skin and flip it over and cook an additional 4-5 minutes. If the duck skin resists, allow it to cook longer. Be very careful, the duck fat is hot grease it will spit and spatter a lot during cooking. The duck skin should be a burnished golden color with a crispy crust. Finish browning the rest of the duck and keep crisp duck warm in the oven until serving.

Leftover duck confit can be shredded and mixed with cooking fat and spices for a beautiful rillette, shredded as a wonderful addition to tacos or salads.

© Copyright 2015 Revivalist Kitchen. All rights reserved.

How did the recipe turn out? Got any questions? Leave a comment below!

Octavia Klein Photography

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Pumpkin Cupcakes

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Tis’ pumpkin Season and with all the lovely visuals going around social media I got a mean craving for a pumpkin cupcake, but I did not want to blow my diet! So I knew in order to steer clear of refined white sugar and white flower I needed to come up with my own recipe.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cupcakes. Grain Free, refined sugar free, gluten free. Click through to read recipe!

 

The base of my creation was inspired from Erin’s Birthday Cupcakes! Really I just needed to add pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice (which I blended myself from a Betty Crocker recipe) and a little more coconut flour to thicken it up.

For the frosting it was super easy just organic cream cheese with maple sugar and a little raw cream to thin it out.

These cupcakes turned out amazing! My friend Mike said so many cupcakes the frosting overtakes the cake, but he said mine were a perfect balance! Hey! Now that’s a perfect compliment!

Pumpkin Cupcake Recipe

1 Tsp Baking soda

1 Tsp Sea Salt

2 Tsp Pumpkin pie spice

1 Tsp Vanilla

1C Coconut flower

9 Eggs

1/4 C Coconut oil

1 C Coconut Sugar

1C Pumpkin Puree*

First, pre-heat oven to 350°. In a blender, pulverize the coconut sugar until fine. If coconut oil is solid, gently warm until liquid, but not hot.

I found this super easy to do with two mixing bowls and a hand mixer, but a stand mixer would also work.

Whip the coconut oil and pulverize coconut sugar until combined. Add vanilla extract and pumpkin puree. Break all the eggs together first and then incorporate into mixture, one at a time to incorporate each egg. When all the eggs are added, blend until creamy.

Sift the coconut flour into another bowl and add the salt, pumpkin pie spice & baking soda. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and blend. Line a cupcake pan with un-dyed parchment muffin liners and scoop in 1/4 C of the batter to each one, an ice-cream scoop works well for this. Conveniently this recipe makes 12 cupcakes, perfect for a traditional muffin pan. Put cupcakes in oven on the middle rack and set your oven timer for 10 minutes. After 10, turn the tray in the oven, keeping them on the same oven sheet and bake another 15 minutes. Making total bake time a total of 25 minutes. Ovens vary, but after the first 10 minutes the cupcakes should be firming up and lightly browning at the edges. The middles will still look a little soupy. After the pan rotation and 10 more minutes the cupcakes will be just cooked and not dry or heavy. Do not over-bake! Use the timer or they won’t turn out well. Allow all cupcakes to fully cool before attempting to frost. Cupcakes can be frozen but will dry out a bit.

*For the pumpkin puree you can use canned, but I personally don’t like canned food. So I roasted fresh pumpkin in the oven and pureed it myself. Set oven on 400°, slice open pumpkin, scoop out the guts, reserve the pumpkin seeds to roast later. Then cut into 4-5” square chunks and roast for 20-30 minutes until soft. Let them cool and then spoon out all the meat from the skin and puree in blender.

Octavia Klein Photography

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

1 Package organic cream cheese

½ C Maple sugar

¼ C Raw Cream

 

Let the cream cheese get to room temperature. Then pulverize the maple sugar in a blender­–I used my Magic Bullet. Then add all ingredients in a bowl and blend with hand mixer. If it’s too thick still just add a bit more cream. After frosting my cupcakes I dusted the tops with cinnamon.

Octavia Klein Photography

 

© Copyright 2015 Revivalist Kitchen. All rights reserved.

How did the recipe turn out? Got any questions? Leave a comment below!

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Caramel Corn

Caramel Corn

We all love caramel corn, but as a kid, due to some dental misfortune, I had silver caps on all of my teeth. This led to my parents being very careful about what I ate, fearing I would damage my shiny chompers. Sticky caramel was for the most part off the table, leading me (of course) to develop a lifelong affinity for the stuff. At that time the mysteries of caramel never compelled me to look farther past the sticky substance wrapped in cellophane papers made by Brach that was quickly confiscated from my plastic trick or treat pumpkin. Post baby teeth, but not many Halloween’s later, I decided to make caramel apples and bring them to school for my class.

Making caramel for the first time I did not need to consult a recipe, I just unwrapped around 100 little squares of purchased caramel and melted them, but I had a pot of caramel filled with unknown ingredients that took forever to make, while driving me crazy. At the time I just figured that caramel apples were way too much of a pain in the booty and while they sure were tasty, not worth the trouble. However, caramel is really just melted cooked sugar. For the kid in us all, I have adapted my forbidden childhood sweets into a real food Halloween treat that features organic popcorn, pistachios and a spiced up coconut sugar caramel made with grass-fed butter. A spicy-sweet treat without scary, tricky ingredients.

Octavia Klein Photography

 

Recipe:

1 C unpopped popcorn

2 C Coconut Sugar

1 C Butter

1 T Sea Salt for caramel, additional salt to finish.

1 tsp cayenne

1/8 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup toasted chopped pistachios

 

Prepare popcorn either in air popper or on the stovetop. To make popcorn on the stovetop use a dutch oven or other heavy bottomed large pot with a lid and warm over medium to medium high heat. Coat the bottom with a little heat friendly oil or ghee. Once the pan is warmed put in three popcorn kernels and close lid and allow to pop. If kernels look over browned turn pot down. If they took forever to pop and came out soggy, then turn down the heat. Remove those three kernels and add the rest of the popcorn and cover with lid. Once the popcorn begins to pop vigorously I crack the lid a tiny bit to let excess steam out and keep popcorn crisp. You will also want to continuously shake the pot so that they kernels don’t stick and burn. Once the popping seems to be slowing down turn off the heat and leave it covered for a moment so stray pops don’t shoot popcorn all over your kitchen, then transfer to a large mixing bowl to cool.

Make caramel by heating butter and coconut sugar together over low heat. When sugar melts add salt, vanilla and cayenne and turn up heat to medium high, bring mixture up to a boil and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently so mixture doesn’t burn. Caramel should smell awesome and look thick and bubbly.

Octavia Klein Photography

While cooking caramel you can prepare your pistachios. A lot of bulk bins at major markets sell pistachio meats out of the shell. If you buy these they will probably be un-toasted so you will want to put them in a 350 degree oven for around 12 minutes to toast, stirring occasionally. Or you can do what I had to do with my last batch of caramel corn and shell toasted and salted pistachios. If toasting your own pistachios you may want to add more salt to the caramel. No matter your method, after toasting or shelling place your pistachios in a dishtowel and rub the majority of the skins off the nuts. You may want to work in handful-sized batches at a time and rub until at least the larger loose chunks of the papery skin are removed. Roughly chop the pistachios and reserve.

Octavia Klein Photography

Be careful to let caramel cool to a reasonably warm not scalding temperature before adding to the popcorn so you don’t burn yourself. It helps to have another person to toss the caramel corn as you slowly pour the caramel over popcorn to ensure it is evenly coated. Next add pistachios, sprinkle with additional salt and toss mixture gently. Using your perfectly clean hands make balls out of the mixture, I think large fist sized caramel corn balls are the best. This caramel corn will keep well tightly covered in a cool dry place for a few days.

© Copyright 2015 Revivalist Kitchen. All rights reserved.

Coconut Sugar Carmel Corn! Gluten free & refined sugar free! Traditional food & Paleo friendly recipe! Click through to get recipe.

Carmel Corn

How did the recipe turn out? Got any questions? Leave a comment below!

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Birthday Cupcakes

Birthday Cupcakes

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Some of my most vivid memories from childhood storybooks are food related. I’ve always  been particularly fascinated by the seemingly ubiquitous pink layer cake with a berry or cherry or whatever on top. Strawberry Shortcake, the book about the school teacher elephant who lives the good life in her classroom, after hours, has a particularly inspiring bathtub tea party picture that as I recall featured pink cakes. 

Octavia Klein Photography

This year my birthday falls on a Friday and I teach a 10:15am spin class in Silverlake. As bribery to my friends and students for coming out to ride with me for my birthday class, I used the fantasy cake from my childhood to create a tasty example of 80/20. The cupcakes are a sweet treat but not junk food and the pink comes in the form of my personal favorite: cream cheese frosting. As an adult who is very into fitness and wanted a cupcake I felt good about feeding to a room full of people after they just exercised for 45 minutes, I kept away from some of the higher glycemic ingredients: refined wheat flour & white sugar. Coconut came to the rescue here and gave the cake a nice fluffy texture while providing protein & fat. A whole bunch of eggs boost the protein content and give the cupcakes some serious richness and contribute to their golden color. 

Birthday Cupcakes with Pink Frosting *grain free, dairy free*

3/4 Cup Coconut flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp vanilla powder

1 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup coconut oil 

9 large eggs

Pre-Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a blender, pulverize the coconut sugar until fine. If coconut oil is solid, gently warm until liquid, but not hot. I found this super easy to do with two mixing bowls and a hand mixer, but a stand mixer would also work. If you are looking for an upper body workout, you could do it by hand.

Whip the coconut oil and pulverize coconut sugar until combined. Break all the eggs together and mix into the coconut oil and sugar, one at a time to incorporate each egg. When all the eggs are added, blend until creamy. Sift the coconut flour into another bowl and add the salt, vanilla & baking soda. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and blend. Line a cupcake pan with undyed parchment muffin liners and scoop in 1/4 C of the batter to each one, an ice-cream scoop works well for this. Conveniently this recipe makes 12 cupcakes. Bake the cupcakes for 20 minutes. Set your oven timer for 10 minutes. After 10, turn the tray in the oven, keeping on the same oven sheet and bake another 10 minutes. Ovens vary, but after the first 10 minutes the cupcakes should be firming up and lightly browning at the edges. The middles will still be kinda soupy. After the pan rotation and 10 more minutes the cupcakes will be just cooked and not dry or heavy. Do not over-bake! Use the timer. Or they will suck. Allow all cupcakes to fully cool before attempting to frost. Cupcakes can be frozen but will dry out a bit. I plan to leave them to cool and store on the counter overnight, unfrosted and have zero leftovers as I only made 12

Birthday Cupcakes! Grain free, gluten free, refined sugar free, protein packed, made with whole food ingredients. Click through to read recipe.

Pink Strawberry Frosting 

 1.2 oz freeze dried unsweetened strawberries

1/4 C Coconut Sugar

2 blocks full fat cream cheese, room temperature 

1/4 to 1 C heavy cream (start with 1/4 C increase in incremeants until consistency is acheived)

One at a time pulverize the strawberries and coconut sugar in a blender until fine. Beware of breathing in a strawberry  and/or coconut sugar dust cloud when opening lid. In a deep bowl whip together the strawberry powder, fine coconut sugar and cream cheese. This may make a tiny mess but don’t sweat it. Thin the mixture with the cream and it will also help keep your frosting in the bowl. Whip it up until it’s fluffy. Boom! Pink frosting for any occasion.

 

© Copyright 2015 Revivalist Kitchen. All rights reserved.

How did the recipe turn out? Got any questions? Leave a comment below!

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Fish Broth

Fish Broth

Unlike meat & poultry stock, fish broth is quick to make from start to finish. Using milder flavored fish such as cod, bass, snapper, sea bream or branzino, make the best broths in my opinion. I find broth made from oily fish way to strong for my tastes. The heads, collars, and bones make a gelatinous broth that can be used to cook legumes, (I cook lentils in fish broth and serve with the filets of the fish I reserve and pan sear) or used as the base of a soup or sauce. Shrimp, crab and lobsters shells are a great flavorful addition to fish broth and are an economical way to get the most out of your fish counter investments. I always look for wild caught fish from abundant species. Bright eyes and red gills are a sign of freshness but I usually ask to give the fish a sniff before it’s wrapped up. Your friendly fish monger may also be willing to save you bones from whole fish they break down into filets, so go ahead and ask and you may even score some for free.

 

Octavia Klein Photography

Fish Broth

1 whole fish, gutted with head and tail intact (around 2 pounds)

Fresh clean water, around 2 quarts

Aromatics such as bay leaves, peppercorns, and my personal fave, fresh horseradish

1 carrot

1 onion

2 stalks of celery

2T sea salt

 

Add ingredients to pot and bring up to a simmer. If using whole fish, after 15 minutes pull out fish and remove cooked meat. Return bones to pot, add additional ingredients and simmer 30-45 minutes more, strain and reserve broth.

 

Gelatinous Fish Bone Broth and Erin's fish soup recipe. Paleo, GAPS, AIP, & Ketogenic diet friendly! Click through to access your FREE bone broth tutorial video!

 

Erin’s Favorite Fish Soup

1 whole tai snapper or black cod, cooked according to above directions. Cooked broth & fish reserved.

2 leeks. on the smaller side

2 carrots, peeled and sliced

1 small bulb fennel, chopped

2 Tablespoons grated fresh horseradish root (but feel free to go nuts or scale back depending on your horseradish tolerance) ginger is a good substitute here if horseradish is not your jam.

2T celtic sea salt (I love my salt)

 

Cut leeks down the middle and rinse away any dirt or grit. If leeks are really dirty, rinse then slice leeks halves again, chop leeks roughly and put into a bowl of water, leeks will float & dirt will sink. Skim leeks off the surface of the water (don’t dump into strainer as all the dirt will just go back on top of your leeks). Peel and grate your horseradish root. Bring your strained fish broth up to a simmer and add the sea salt, carrots, fennel, leeks and horseradish. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Simmer until leeks look translucent and vegetables are soft. Add reserved fish, return to simmer for one minute and serve. Soup can be finished with more grated horseradish and some chopped fennel fronds.

© Copyright 2015 Revivalist Kitchen. All rights reserved.

How did the recipe turn out? Got any questions? Leave a comment below!

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Oysters with Fermented Kumquat

Oysters with Fermented Kumquat
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While tearing into a plate of $1 P&J Oysters at a happy hour in New Orleans, to my delight I pulled a small, misshapen pearl out of my mouth. Not the most beautiful of pearls, or the biggest but you would have thought I found an entire pearl necklace with all the hollering I did about it.

To date, that has been my best oyster experience by far but I would not be lying to say that experience only deepened my fascination with oysters. I can count myself in good company, as a waitress in LA I have served dozens of oysters to celebrities such as the smoking hot Emma Stone and stone cold fox Ryan Gosling.

Coming in at around a gram of protein each and loaded with minerals like muscle building zinc & blood enriching iron, these mollusks are not only beautiful to look at and just as delicious to eat but oysters are a diet secret of the stars. For a non-diet busting appetizer to dinner out look no farther than a half dozen on the half-shell. Oysters are a traditional food that have a history of nourishing everyone from humble native populations to the fanciest of fancy pants gourmands.

 

Like the British condiment Marmite, oysters are a polarizing food that many either love or passionately hate. Everyone who hates them seems to claim that it’s the texture that the problem. Allergies can also be a concern and my oyster allergic pal has coined a truly revolting nickname for the “mucus pies” that can make her itch and scratch if even a drop of oyster “liquor” hits her skin.

So for those who look at oysters and see either a briny death or a mucus pie I say so sad for you and all the more for me. If you want to give oysters another go, I highly suggest seeking out the freshest oysters you can find, ones that are on the smaller side & are shucked right before you eat them. Avoid oysters from warmer waters or during times of spawning. A spawning oyster is unpleasant to put it mildly.

Bubbly wines, stout & vodka are traditional beverage pairings for oysters and will enhance the subtle flavors of the oyster while red wine will only make “fishy” flavors stand out even more strongly. As I often have a few oysters for a light post market breakfast I find them delicious on their own and the only beverage I need is the gorgeous liquor contained inside the shell.

 

A past boyfriend described oysters as a vehicle for horseradish-y cocktail sauce, with hot sauce & lemon being my personal fave closely followed by traditional mignonette (essentially shallots & red wine vinegar). When at home I make the most of all my ferments and top oysters with ‘kraut juice, preserved lemons or one of my favorite ferment brines: kumquat & jalapeño.

Straight-up no chaser is another way I go about it and I reserve that for liquor rich oysters that are only the freshest of the fresh, such as the Luna oysters I was introduced to by Christophe Happillon, LA’s Oyster Gourmet. When buying oysters you want to make sure they are from a reputable supplier. In California it is law for establishments selling oysters to keep the shellfish tags on file and it is within your rights to ask to see them.

 

Last time I bought oysters at Wholefoods Market the young man commented to his co-worker that “you gotta love a woman who shucks her own oysters”. As much as I know the kid was awkwardly trying to flirt or compliment me I bristled at his sexist comment. It does not take a genius, a penis or a culinary degree to shuck your own. There are a zillion instructional posts & videos out there and an most places that sell oysters also sell oyster knives. That is in only pre-req: an oyster knife.

I like to use my hubby’s technique to hug the oyster in a towel as you open in but in reality an oyster knife is all you really need, not a kitchen knife, not a screwdriver (unless a trip to the emergency room is your idea of a good time). Get yourself a real designated oyster knife and do some research. Sitting at an oyster bar like the Oyster Gourmet at Grand Central Market is a great way to watch a pro in action and more than likely they will give you a few of their tips. Here are a few of my own:

 

  1. Buy the freshest oysters available from a reputable source. Keep oysters refrigerated in a colander filled with ice, on a dish to collect melting water.
  2. Obtain an oyster knife.
  3. Fold a kitchen towel in half lengthwise once, then one more time, then fold both towel ends in towards the center. Fold that in half, in essence creating a little pocket to hug and stabilize the oyster while protecting your hand.Octavia Klein Photography
  4. Insert the oyster with the larger bowl shaped shell on the bottom, head first into your towel pocket with the bottom pointy edge sticking out about an inch.
  5. Securing the oyster by pressing down on the towel, nose the oyster knife into the apex of the point, where both shells come together. Avoid stabbing the oyster, ease the knife in.
  6. Once the tip of your knife is in, it’s like using a key in a lock. Using an upward twisting motion, unlock the top shell and use the flat part of your knife on the inside top of the shell to release the oyster and lift the shell. Try to hold the oyster as still as possible to avoid losing the precious liquor.Octavia Klein Photography
  7. I run my finger around the edges of the oyster, feeling for debris such as shell fragments for removal.
  8. Give the oyster a sniff: it should smell fresh and of the sea. A dead oyster smells bad and a bad oyster is not something you want to tangle with. Any doubts, chuck it out.Octavia Klein Photography
  9. Run your knife under the oyster to free it of the bottom shell. You will need to cut through the adductor muscle otherwise when you slurp your oyster, it will stay firmly attached to the shell. I like to flip the oyster over to reveal what I consider the prettier side, and to ensure it is released from the shell.
  10. I immediately dispose of the shells & rinse the towel before I launder it to avoid any surprise kitchen stank.
  11. Repeat with your remaining oysters, top with your condiment of choice and enjoy!
    © Copyright 2015 Revivalist Kitchen. All rights reserved.

    How did the recipe turn out? Got any questions? Leave a comment below!

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Avocado Popsicles

Avocado Popsicles
Avocado Popsicles by Revivalist Kitchen. Paleo, Ketogenic, AIP, & Gaps diets. Click through to read recipe!

My husband loves very few things more than an avocado and I must admit the man has excellent taste. Avocado Popsicles is a great way to use up avocados that are on their way out (rarely happens around here as they just don’t last) but more importantly, these frozen pops keep perfectly well in in the freezer (I’d use within a month for maximum taste). Other than this, I just don’t know many other ways to store avocados for more than a few days.

 

This recipe was created after I catered a graduation party with a menu inspired by Mexico and I was left with nearly half a case of very ripe avocados and a quart of fresh squeezed lime juice. Guacamole is not the kind of dish that improves (or gets any prettier) with time and while I have read countless recipes for avocado soup I remain firmly unconvinced. Probably for the best as these avocado-pops are a nutritious way to cool down on a hot day and no matter the weather, these treats are not gonna knock you off your wagon or program if you happen to be on one.

 

Stevia is my zero glycemic load sugar replacement of choice: it’s from a plant not made in one and I find the taste satisfying as long as it’s used with a light hand. I prefer natural sweetners on the regular for flavor reasons and I do not mind the extra energy in the form of calories in the least, most of the time. However, sometimes I want to trim up a bit and when on the first stage of the BFF Diet, theses popcicles will taste like tasty cool squares of bright green heaven.

Octavia Klein Photography

Avocado Popsicles

3 Ripe Avocados, medium size

1/2 Cup Coconut Oil 

3/4 Cup Lime Juice

1/2 Cup Pure Clean Water

1 1/2 Tbs. Stevia

1/4 C Chopped Mint

Pinch of Sea Salt

 

Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Taste for sweetness, the pops will taste less sweet when frozen, so you may want to add up to 1/2 teaspoon more stevia. This nutrient dense mixture will be thick and result in a hard pop when frozen. If you prefer a lighter texture (it will also make the molds easier to fill) you can thin the mixture with more water or even coconut water for added electrolytes.

Freeze mixture in popsicle molds if you have them, if not paper cups and plastic spoons frozen in as the stick, work just fine. A quick dunk under running hot water will make the avocado-pops easier to unmold. These are best enjoyed anytime you are looking for a little something something to make your day just a little bit brighter.

© Copyright 2015 Revivalist Kitchen. All rights reserved.

 

How did the recipe turn out? Got any questions? Leave a comment below!

BFF diet free resource library

Keep on cooking!…Click through below for more real food recipes!

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