I’m an experimenter; a tweaker. I find it difficult to follow a recipe exactly, unless it is for baked goods, which often don’t lend themselves to much tinkering. But my tweaks in early August were a pleasure free zone. I won’t waste your time.
Beef Cheeks Ragu over eggplant shards
Beef cheeks in slow cooker with stock
Shredding the meat
By the third week, however, I was number 1 with a bullet (read: top of the charts and ascending!). I decided to experiment by cooking beef cheeks. I’ve tasted them a couple of times and thought they were slightly stronger tasting than a normal roast. I decided the flavours would work well in pasta sauce. I slow cooked the cheeks first, and shredded them, then added to a very simple passata sauce. My husband had pasta, I had the sauce over eggplant that I had roasted in shards in the oven. Heaven on a shard! Two thumbs up from my husband. Four grass fed beef cheeks ($13.52) made enough sauce to feed 6.
The weather has a hint of spring in it here so I’m starting to get urges toward salad-y things. I thought I’d ‘lean into’ them a bit with a recipe I saw for Brussels Sprouts and Potato salad. Very nice ‘transitional salad.’
Cucumber and Corn salad with coconut bacon
‘Coconut Bacon‘ should just about offend everyone equally, I’m guessing. I’m not a vegetarian (see beef cheek paragraph above) but I used to be, for two years, and I still get curious to try things intended for vegetarians. Good food is good food. My curiosity was whether the crispy texture and savoury flavour would be nice in salads this summer. It is. Then I tried Cucumber, Corn and Coconut salad from a favourite blog I’ve been following for a while http://www.remedialeating.com/2014/08/in-the-weeds.html Except I tweaked. My version was to use a bit of dill and some chives instead of the herbs called for in the recipe, and because I couldn’t find dry roasted peanuts anywhere in Alice, I used straight toasted peanuts, and the Maple Coconut Bacon to add the savoury element. It did work perfectly. Two thumbs up from hubby again. That’s twice in space of a week, if anyone is keeping track!
basket of lemons
We have been picking lemons by the box and basketful! It’s such a shame to not be able to use more of them, but we give them away, so nothing is wasted. I have frozen some zest and juice in ice cube trays (zest and juice of 1 lemon per cube) for use later in the year. I wish you all were here so I could give some to you!
Also I have been soaking legumes and nuts before eating them, in order for the phytase to develop which lowers the phytates, which effects nutrient absorbtion. Because I drink almond milk much of the time, instead of dairy, I consume quite a few almonds. I soak them before whizzing them, the resulting milk tastes noticeably better, and hopefully, I’m getting more nutrients from them. I can now eat chick peas again, simply by soaking them for 24 hours before eating! Who knew? According to a Paleo site, ancient people used to soak most grains and legumes before eating them, but we got out of that practice somewhere along the way.
Grilled salmon, eggplant strips and cucumber/corn salad
Finally, Don cooked most of dinner on the grill the other night and it was amazing! He cooked the salmon filets simply, with olive oil and salt, and the eggplant strips I had simply drizzled with olive oil as well. You can also roast the eggplant in the oven, but it’s the dressing for the eggplant that made it special. As per usual, I did have to make a change in the recipe, omitting the garlic, but it was still a new favourite.
Will send him to your place for weddings, parties, whatever…
Have a delicious month!
Please check out the other IMK posts at figjamandlimecordial.com Thank you to Celia for hosting this monthly tour through kitchens around the world! Pop on over there and see what other interesting things are happening.