Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Dinner

Merry Christmas everyone!

I thought I'd do a quick post on my Christmas Eve dinner, since I like hearing what others are making and hopefully, you guys are interested in what I'm making. I've never actually had a real Christmas dinner in my adult life, so I'm really looking forward to it. Honestly, I look forward to any excuse to cook a nice dinner and have people over (it forces me to clean my house, heheh.)

I'm not having a big to-do; it's just me, the husband, his mom and my mom (the other PIP sister, Rose, is way up in the Great Frozen North a.k.a Northern Michigan). We're actually supposed to have a white Christmas here in Nashville for the first time in 17 years! Although I don't miss four-ish months of snow like I grew up with in Michigan, I do miss having SOME snow! I hope we get snowed in on Christmas day- it makes being lazy and watching movies and episodes of Mad Men all day seem more justifiable.

So, here's the dinner rundown- I've decided to go kind of traditional English with the main course and dessert.

Starter: pressed walnut-prune rounds (a new item that Trader Joe's just got in) with manchego cheese (my favorite:-) and freshly roasted chestnuts

Salad: mixed greens with walnuts, dried cranberries, sliced fennel bulb, goat chevre and citrus vinaigrette

Main course: roast beef with roasted root veggies (carrots, onions and fingerling potatoes) and Primal Yorkshire Pudding

Dessert: plum puddings with vanilla sauce

My English Christmas soundtrack will be the very English Cambridge Singers. You can't not be in a holiday mood when the Cambridge singers are singing. On Christmas morning, I'm going to make another cherry clafoutis. It smells amazing when it's baking. I think it might become a Christmas tradition for me:)

Hubby and I are going to do Christmas dinner with just us two and he's making a lamb roast and I splurged on a couple of quinces. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them yet, but I was inspired by some baked quinces with nuts and whipped cream that I recently had at a Turkish restaurant. Wow, were they good (and not too sweet- the perfect kind of dessert for my diminished sweet tooth!)
I'm not going to cheat and have any gluten free grain-based goodies like I did at Thanksgiving. My health always seems to take a dip if I do that, so it's just not worth it (and gluten is absolutely out of the question, as I'm intolerant). I'm more than content with using almond flour or making fruit desserts and keeping the sugars fairly minimal.

Once January comes, it's Whole30 time for me (which I'll be blogging about for the duration of the month). Who wants to join me??

I hope you all have a very happy (and a very yummy) Christmas! I'd love to hear what you're having;)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Yorkshire Pudding (it's Primal, yo!)

I had a birthday brunch recently for my 33rd birthday and I made the Elana's Pantry clafoutis recipe, with traditional (morello) cherries instead of pears. It was fabulous and everyone devoured it, including my non-Primal, gluten loving friends:) It was almost a like a very eggy bread pudding and the texture lead to a stroke of genius inspiration: I thought "hey, I could totally adapt this recipe into yorkshire pudding!", and so I did!

Yorkshire pudding might not be familiar to a lot of you, but it was one one my favorite foods as a kid. My mom would make the classic British meal of roast beef with yorkshire pudding. Talk about comfort food. I usually requested it for my birthday dinner.

Yorkshire pudding is not sweet, nor is it "pudding", but rather an eggy batter baked (traditionally) in the drippings from roast beef. The batter is quite similar to popover batter, but it's baked in a pan and is a little more dense, but still fluffy, rich, eggy and a little crispy on top. I've aways had a hard time not stuffing my face with it. I have no control around it, it's THAT tasty. I'm not exaggerating.

This version is very close to the real deal; it's not one of those recipes that's a stretch, where you feel like you're "settling". Although it's not quite as tall as the regular version (I may work on that) the basic eggy texture and rich flavor is all there. I haven't tried doubling up the recipe, but that would be one way to make it taller.

It makes a great side dish for all kinds of food and it's perfect for when you want something bread-y and warm. It also happens to be an efficient way to up your healthy saturated fat consumption and uses ingredients that are probably already in most Primal cooks' kitchens, so it's convenient to make on a whim.


So, without further adieu, here is my ridiculously easy recipe for grain/gluten-free Primal Yorkshire Pudding:

Preheat the oven to 325ยบ
Beat well together:
4 large eggs
1/2 cup cream
1/3 cup melted unsalted butter
1/3 cup almond flour
1 TB coconut flour
1/2 tsp. sea salt

Pour into a greased casserole or 8x8 pan (you could melt beef drippings in the bottom of the pan to make it really authentic)
Bake for 45 min. or until a knife comes out clean when pierced in the center.

Go ahead- stuff your face!! I won't tell (because my own mouth will probably be too full to say anything...)