This dinner we made whole chicken in the Schlemmertopf.
We started off with a nice mix of spices:
black pepper and
Together with that we cut a leek into three pieces and chopped a red chili, which we spread out on top of the chicken.
I have found that it makes for a better dish seasoning wise to decide on the amount of spices before one puts them in the pan or stew, etc. Putting them straight into the food I tend to be a bit restrictive, whereas if I place them on a plate or in the mortar and then pour them into the food I tend to be closer to the sweet spot. The past few times I have done this way I have ended up with close to perfect amount of the spices I selected. There is still a long way to go for me to get the whole composition between the tastes right, but in terms of using the spices to bring out the flavours of the food this seems to be working for me at least.
After pre-soaking the Schlemmertopf, mortaring the spices in need of that and chopping the chili it all was placed in the pot and put into the oven at 140 °C.
As sides we made white cabbage wedges that we roasted in the oven after taking out the chicken, that we left to rest in the Schlemmertopf.
Finally we served the chicken and the cabbage wedges with a few leaves of lettuce and some freshly grated carrots and red beets.
For Christmas Cecilia got these nice cast iron forms from her work and we thought is was high time to try them out!
We chopped up a portion each of beets and placed in each of the two forms, seasoned with pepper and topped with coconut oil. We then placed them in the oven for 30 minutes at 200 °C.
After those thirty minutes we added pieces of leftover chicken and matured feta cheese. The forms then went back in the oven for another fifteen minutes.
This is the first time we tried this particular brand and type of matured feta cheese. It is matured to give it a more intense flavour with quite a lot more character than the usual brand of feta cheese that we tend to buy. Definitely not the last time we try that out!
We were really happy with the final result. A simple meal, but with the matured feta cheese and the cast iron forms it kind of made it feel like a restaurant dish anyways. I guess it all comes down to the ingredients and that this feta cheese definitely was something extra!
The cast iron pans/form was really useful as well and a nice different way of serving. The really nice thing about them is that it is possible to use them both on the stove as well as in the oven, unlike many other ceramic oven ramekins. So, you will probably see more of them in the future.
Minute steak along with other “fine” cuts are, as I am sure you all have seen by now, quite rare in our kitchen. However, when we can find it on short expiration date for half price we just might buy it. This time it was a package of minute steak that we picked up.
The nice thing about minute steak, as the name suggests, is that it is quick to cook. Given our inexperience with cooking something for less than 25 minutes this dinner took its share of time to cook despite the minute steaks…
To go with the minute steak we made oven roasted beets of mixed colours, namely red and polka. After cubing them we placed them in a large ramekin, seasoned and topped with neutral coconut oil. The beets were then placed in the oven for roasting at 210 °C for 40 minutes.
We were also lucky to have some leftover capers from one of our boeuf tartares which we combined with the oven roasted beets together with some crumbles of feta cheese. To top it all off we added a small amount of sauerkraut.
Excluding the planning time to get the beets roasted and done the whole dish did not actually need that much preparation. Once the beets are in the oven one can pretty much do whatever one wants to for about 30 minutes before it is time to get back to the kitchen and finish the minute steaks, laying the table and planning the plating. So, in that regard it is quite nice to cook minute steak for a change. It was tasty for sure, but it is a long way from being comparable with slow cooked meats with marbled strains of fat. Like ox-tail or loin of pork. Anyhow, hope you enjoyed the inspiration for the side and happy paleo cooking.
An old classic from my (Magnus) childhood was the hasselback potatoe. It was a definitive Saturday dinner favourite for sure. After going paleo I have however completely forgot about it and it has actually not been something that I have missed, but the other day I got the idea of doing a hasselback variation on beetroots.
The great thing with the hasselback concept is that the small cuts in the top are roasted and creates a nice crispiness that is otherwise hard to achieve unless one cuts really thin slices and cooks them like chips… An other nice feature is that the cuts also increase the effective surface of the vegetable which in turn means that there are more opportunity to expose the vegetable for spices or butter(!) to really get out as much taste as possible.
Start by turning on the oven at 210 °C, then cut the beetroots in half. Next up is doing the hasselback cuts.
After having done some hasselback potatoes in my days I have come across a nice and simple way of efficiently making the cuts.
Pick a tree tool with a thin flat handle from the kitchen drawer (or wherever you have store your kitchen tools).
Place the the beetroot alongside the flat tree handle.
Use a sharp knife to cut down through the beetroot to the tree handle. Make sure to keep the knife level with the cutting board so that you don’t cut through the beetroot the whole way.
The tree handle is then helping to avoid cutting through the whole beetroot and creates a nice and even depth of the cuts.
Next, when all the beetroots are cut place them in a ramekin. This time we added some chopped garlic as well. Then season richly with salt and pepper and top with a click of butter on each beet root half. Place the ramekin in the hot oven for roughly 45 minutes.
To go with the beetroots we made some minced meat patties with fried onion and mushrooms together with a small green salad.
Do you have any old time favourites that might inspire your cooking? Please let us know!
We tend to eat a lot of beetroots, since it’s tasty, long-lasting, cheap and very nutritious food. Usually we cook them in the oven or steam them on the stove, but this time we tried something new! Sliced and cooked in the cast iron pan, covered with some rosemary and butter.
Cooking beets in cast iron pan
Salt & pepper
First, put the oven at roughly 225°C. Melt the butter in the cast iron pan on a low temperature on the stove, add some chopped rosemary to it. Pour aside in a small bowl while preparing the beets. Don’t bother to peel the beets, it’s perfectly fine to eat that as well. Just slice them thinly and place in the pan. Cover the slices with the herb butter, salt and pepper and place the whole pan in the oven for roughly 30 minutes until the beets are cooked. Simple as that. Cast iron pans are so nice to cook in and they actually increase the iron content in the food pretty much. Quite expensive, but they’ll last for more than one generation, which is good for all and everyone.
One of our favorite toppings to beets is bearnaise sauce! A fantastic combination.
In blogs and social media we tend to often see perfectly planned meals. But that isn’t the reality when you need to handle a full time job and other hobbies on top of that. It is indeed a struggle to cook enough food for both dinner at home and lunch boxes to work, but there’s no other option if you want to be in control of what you eat.
When there is no inspiration and little time available, one thing that always works is the classic stir fry!
Chop any vegetables that you find in the kitchen.
Here I started with beets and onion together with a large chunk of coconut oil.
Some carrots and parsnips found their way into the pan as well and the veggies was spiced up with some deer minced meat and herbs. Add some water and towards the end cabbage to fill it out.
When the veggies are soft, serve with some feta cheese and olive oil. Or a piece of butter if you prefer that! Save all the left overs for the lunch box.