herbs

Beef Patties with Garlic and Cilantro

ImageMaking beef patties with ground beef, bacon, garlic, chopped onions, nutmeg, dried basil & rosemary, butter, some eggs, pepper and lots of fresh cilantro. Lots of bacon, too. Oh, I already said that. Served with asparagus, homemade coleslaw, stewed spinach and mustard.

I made these patties quite large and liked it. How long you work the batter makes a lot of difference – I usually take my time and the texture is amazing. Gave them a real fry on both sides before turning down the heat and covering the pan to let them cook without losing much water. Another cool secret to get them real juicy is put some extra water and fat into the batter – I used unsalted butter in this case, you can use coconut oil. This makes the patties a solid meal that will nourish you for days! I didn’t need so much salt because of the bacon, but a little is required, though – they will be best that way.

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In Chile where I live now they tell me that most of the chilean beef products are grassfed (i.e., not fed corn or soy, only grass) – so the ground beef I bought today probably is. Gotta dive deeper into that, only reason grassfed could be the default is if chileans have, well, a lot of grass. All the beef I’ve tried so far, be it filet or ground beef; grilled, roasted or boiled, have been delicious.

A Taste of Provence

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French cuisine always had a special place in my heart. No, it’s not all about baguettes – it’s much, much more. Ingredients are mostly local: fish from the Mediterranean Sea; tomatoes, squash and salad from local farms; olive oil from centuries old mills; local wine and cheese; high quality meat etc. I love the fact that they don’t seem to save the good stuff in restaurants – whenever you get a salad, even just a couple of leaves next to the main course, it’s always sprinkled with a homemade vinaigrette. France is actually quite paleo friendly as long as you refrain from eating all the bread they keep throwing at you during restaurant visits. And the croissants. And the pain-au-chocolats. And the crêpes. But yes yes; very paleo friendly.

Here are some of the highlights from my very recent (in fact I am still there) gastronomic tour of southern France. Bon appétit!

Roasted, locally farmed chicken w/ratatouille:

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Selection of grilled mediterranean seafood w/salad and mashed potatoes w/olive oil:

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Salad of tuna and celery sprinkled w/olive oil and balsamic vinegar:
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Salad w/grilled squid:

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Omelet w/bacon and emmetal cheese, salad and a beautifully viscous vinaigrette of lemon juice and olive oil:

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Salmon mousse w/cream:

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Lamb w/herbs, mushrooms, vegetables and carrot purée:

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Chicken w/vegetables and a chive cream sauce:

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Salad of cured duck, fried duck, foie gras and roasted potatoes:

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… and the obligatory glass of rosé wine.

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I use Trip Advisor and instantly find the best restaurants nearby. I have been in the area before: see this delicious recipe for quail in raspberry vinegar that I made as a participant of a five day cooking school the last time I was in France.

Not paleo, but just I want to show you our breakfast table at the guest house. Isn’t it cozy?

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Scrambled Eggs w/Arctic Wild Chives

2013-08-08 11.29.35… or Allium sibirica, “siberian onion”; larger and milder than regular chives. We picked these right outside our rental cottage in Honningsvåg, Norway! The eggs were whisked up with ham, cheese, chopped cherry tomatoes, black pepper and a generous load of these chives. I used them as I would scallions.

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Garden Update: Crops Coming On

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Time for an update on my newbie botanical project! Trying to keep track of everything I’ve learned this year proves a challenge. I document some things and trust my memory with others, but … I’ll probably have to make some of the same mistakes again. And that’s ok. I have a lifetime for that.

And boy is this fun! Feelin’ dat dirt on my fingers, like there’s sum connection to mother earth, a greater meaning to it all, yo? No? I’m a huge fan of geometry and the slightly ordered chaos, so I’ve arranged my kitchen garden as a double hexagon – by way of digging down planks of appropriate length and at proper distance so I can reach out from both sides. The plants are somewhat arbitrarily placed in the resulting lanes, but as long as there is some framework it’s easy to maintain. Works like that with most things, really. And of course it looks good.

Earlier this year:

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Vegetables

I’ve exclusively chosen to grow what I would later like to eat. I always keep that in mind when caring for my veggies. Here are some of them:

2013-07-30 15.00.21Fennel.

 

2013-07-30 15.00.28Arugula.

 

2013-07-30 15.01.56Pumpkin. Hoping for a big one.

 

2013-07-30 15.05.03Strawberry.

 

2013-07-30 15.00.59Green squash.

 

2013-07-05 12.16.40Baby leaf salad.

 

2013-07-30 15.00.36Spaghetti squash. I have never eaten it, and can’t wait till they’re ripe. I shall make ALL the pasta sauces!

 

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Kale.

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Carrot.

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More salads: baby leaf, spinach and arugula.

 

2013-07-05 12.27.10Tomatoes. Not cultivated by me.

Herbs

My herbs are mostly perennial. I just love to bring a basket and scissors to collect some thyme, mint and oregano for the stew!

2013-07-30 15.04.08 2013-07-30 15.04.01Thymes.

 

2013-07-30 15.02.33Peppermint.

 

2013-07-05 12.16.33Flat leaf parsley.

 

2013-07-05 12.36.46Chives.

Nasturtium Love ❤

Ever since I saw The Hobbit I wanted to recreate a Shire garden. The flowers most notable were nasturtiums and hollyhocks. I ordered several strains of nasturtiums, and they’re doing well! Their flowers are edible too, and give a salad or dessert a beautiful finishing touch. Not exactly Bag End yet – but we’ll get there, we’ll get there.

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