Thursday, February 28, 2013

ooooh, smoked duck!!

We recently got ourselves a cheap little smoker on Walmart clearance.  With some modifications made to it (online suggestions from others who own the same one) it's a nice little unit.  We've since smoked pork roasts, chickens, side pork, northern pike, and today: a duck.

I don't have too much experience with duck; so far I only have 1 recipe I really like.  I looked at a few online smoked duck recipes - one was as simple as just maple syrup, salt, and pepper.  Another called for honey, soy sauce, garlic, and red wine. 

So, today's creation:

1 whole duck
sweet cherry wine (my favorite, of course)
maple syrup
sea salt
garlic granules

I poured a little wine into the cavity of the duck, poured on the maple syrup (and rubbed to thoroughly coat), sprinked on the seasonings. I did prick the skin a little bit with a filet knife.  Lola will get the neck and giblets with her supper.

There was of course some liquid leftover in the pan, so I took some side pork, smooshed it all around in the seasoned sweetened wine, put it on a rack and added salt and pepper to the top.  This will be smoked along with the duck. 

We're using mostly hickory, but some apple wood in the smoker too.  Can't wait to eat this one!!!

Want more recipes?  Purchase Cavemom's Cooking on Etsy.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Oxtail Stew: my favorite winter comfort food

My mom likes to come over on grocery shopping day under the pretense she is "helping" me wrangle the kid.  I just really enjoy her company while shopping for food, food being one of our favorite topics of discussion.  For our lunch today, I made one of my all-time favorites, Oxtail Stew.  Now, this one is probably the most complex or labor intensive of all the recipes in my cookbook, but the flavors are well worth the effort.  It's messy - or maybe that's just me, since my stove looked like something exploded on it by the time I was done. 
I'm not really sure how I even came up with this recipe; in my original hand-written version, it's modified from an earlier original recipe of mine that was most definitely not paleo and certainly not Kaiden friendly.  Some of the original ingredients were carrots (instead of parsnips), corn, and barley.  For whatever reason, Kaiden can't have carrots; they - along with nightshade foods - triggered his seizures.  Since sweet potatoes did the same thing to him, the only thing I can think of is the high Vitamin A content.  Which, really, is fine with me - I've never liked sweet potatoes, and while I like carrots, I do not care for their flavor paired with beef.  Parsnips, now, that's another story.  I love parsnips with beef!
So, without further adieu:
Oxtail Stew
Diced beef, or left over beef roast, sliced
1 pkg oxtail
2 parsnips, chopped
1 onion, chopped
Honey mushrooms (oyster mushrooms would also work well; cremini mushrooms are a little too bland)
2 – 2 1/2 c cooked pumpkin or butternut squash
1 peach, chopped
Garlic cloves, chopped, slightly crushed
Olive oil
Sweet cherry wine
Sea salt
1/2 tsp homemade curry powder (I have a recipe in the cookbook for paprika-free curry)
Water, as much as you wish to make stew
Add veggies to water.  In a skillet, brown the garlic in olive oil with rosemary, salt, & pepper.  When browning, add a little sweet cherry wine and reduce.  When liquid is almost gone, add oxtail and braise.  Add contents of skillet to stew. Deglaze skillet with a bit more wine and add to stew. Then add rest of seasonings to stew.  Simmer 30 – 40 minutes.  If there is enough  meat on the oxtail, when the stew is done pull out the oxtails, cut meat off, and return the meat to stew.

Want more recipes?  Purchase Cavemom's Cooking on Etsy.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Today is a good day.

Well, actually, it's a FASTASTIC day!!  The whole reason we got into paleo was because of our son.  Kaiden is four years old now, and is special needs.  He has low muscle tone and poor motor planning skills as well as some other issues.  Most children begin feeding themselves early on; Kaiden, until today, had not ever, not even once, EVER finger fed.  He'd pick up food and squish it, feed it to the dog, or feed it to me . . . but he would never put food in his own mouth.  Which is funny, because his hands and toys are always in his mouth. He will willingly pick up a loaded spoon and feed himself, and can load the spoon himself, but if he loads the spoon, there's just no way he will put it in his mouth. No way, Mom, not gonna happen. As long as someone else loads the spoon, he'll happily feed himself.  It's always been a big huge tantrum-filled deal to do hand-over-hand finger feeding.  But today . . .

Today he did it.  And not just once.  He demolished the rest of a bag of grapes while sitting on my lap!  Did it like he's done it all his life.  Kids.  They sure suprise you!!

Anyway . . . today is the first day my cookbook, Cavemom's Cooking, is up for sale!  I'm pretty excited about that.  When we went paleo, I never thought about writing a cookbook.  But as time went on and Kaiden made so much progress, I knew his story needed to be told.  And what better way than with what helped him the most?  Food.  So far it's just the e-book version, but printed copies will be made.

In the meantime, please come visit; I'll be posting recipes and food photos - some will be old favorites, and some will be the "hey look at the tasty food I just threw together tonight" kind of meals. 

Happy cooking everyone!!

Want more recipes?  Purchase Cavemom's Cooking on Etsy.