Category Archives: recipes

Seared Sage Pork Chops with Apples and Cardamom, aka ENJOY DUCK FAT RESPONSIBLY

Mother Nature weeps.

She blows, gusts and storms, pounding through the east coast.

I hope you are all keeping safe while Hurricane Sandy thrashes about outside.

She’s clearly mad because she doesn’t have enough fat in her diet.

Rainy weather always brings a particular song to mind, from my favourite band of all time, James:

There’s a storm outside, and the gap between crack and thunder
Crack and thunder, is closing in, is closing in
The rain floods gutters, and makes a great sound on concrete
On a flat roof, there’s a boy leaning against the wall of rain
Aerial held high, calling “come on thunder, come on thunder”
Sometimes, when I look deep in your eyes, I swear I can see your soul
Sometimes, when I look deep in your eyes, I swear I can see your soul

I hope our power doesn’t go out as I type this.

As you all know, I’ve been on a super strict eating regimen since late July thanks to numerous food intolerances. This means no eggs, no dairy, no gluten (gee, that’s a hard one), and certain vegetables and spices. As per Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint, I could be eating dairy if my body allowed it.

But it sure doesn’t. Congestion follows; I really don’t need that in my life.

I feel like I should rename the site to PaleoPat, as I’m hardly scarfing any dairy. But alas, PaleoPat doesn’t have the same ring to it as PrimalPat, now does it?

Edited March 27th, 2015. It’s amazing what ‘symptoms’ we convince ourselves we have because we were told we have ‘intolerances’. I was never intolerant to anything. IgG tests are bullshit. I spent nearly $500 on mine.

Fall is upon us, and if it wasn’t screaming wind and hurling rain outside, it would be rather lovely: copper, scarlet and gold leaves teasing us from solemn trees.

This also means tucking in to a bowl of savoury stew, squash, ripe apples, and pumpkins. Flavours that harmonize well with cinnamon, cloves, and sage.

Okay. Are you sitting down?

Good.

You like pork, right?

Wait. Of course you do. You’re reading my blog.

I bought three mammoth sized pork chops with the bone-in from Medium Rare and created a dish that’s perfect for a miserable evening such as this.

But really. Any evening will do. Especially if you need cheering up. I promise: this meal will make you go “OH MY GOD” and “HOLY $#@!” because as usual, it’s luscious, rich, and if…if…you’ve fallen off the Primal/Paleo bandwagon, fear not. Despite your binge of processed white flour, sugar and rancid omega-6 laden fats… OMG PAT STFU. WHITE FLOUR, SUGAR AND ALL FATS ARE DELICIOUSABLE.  

you’ll feel like you came home once the combination of pork, duck fat, sage and apples flirt with your tongue.

I promise.

Or I’m not PrimalPat.

Dammit.

Now…

DUCK FAT.

Yes, there it is. DUCK FAT.

Can you dig it? I was passionately in love with the wild boar lard I purchase fervently from Medium Rare. I dream about it. I salivate just thinking about it.

(Okay, no I don’t…yes, I do…no…wait).

But after Canadian Thanksgiving, I stopped on by, looked in their fridge to happily embrace two tubs of it…

…but…

…THEY WERE SOLD OUT.

OH GOD!

Heart palpitations. Shallow breathing. Sweaty palms.

Okay, I need my animal fats, and I need them NAOW.

Wait. What’s this?

Duck fat?

Hmmmmmm. Okay, let’s do it.

I seared my pork chops in some duck fat when I made this dish. Later on that evening, when I was ravenous and needed something to eat, I dug in. That’s when my taste buds screamed:

“You’ve taken the exit from Same Ol’, Same Ol’ Highway into FLAVOUR CITY OH MY GOD!!!!11!!!1111!1!1!1”

So on, and so forth.

Please enjoy duck fat responsibly.

Seared Sage Pork Chops with Apples and Cardamom

Three mammoth sized pork chops with the bone-in, roughly 1″ thick
A very generous cracking of black pepper
Sea salt, himalayan salt, whatever
Generous amount of dried sage
A sprinkling of onion powder
5 cloves
5 cardamom pods
1 Royal Gala apples, cut into chunks. Use what you have.
THE MIGHTY AND SCRUMPTIOUS DUCK FAT…MAY INDUCE FOODGASMS ABOUND. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE IF YOUR WIFE/HUSBAND/SIGNIFICANT OTHER/CAT/DOG DISPLACES YOU FOR DUCK FAT. FAT LUST IS SERIOUS BUSINESS.

It happens.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Coat your awesome pork chops in all dried spices, except the cloves and cardamom. In a pan over medium high heat, melt your OHMAHGAWDSOAMAZING duck fat, roughly one tablespoon. Sear your pork chops until beautifully golden brown. Remove from your pan, and set these aside in a roasting pan.

Add your apples to the frying pan, and sauté over medium heat in the leftover fat and herbs for about 15 minutes. Add an extra dash or two of dried sage, and season with salt and pepper. Add in your cloves and cardamom pods*.

*Gently crack your cardamom pods before adding them; this way they can release their fragrant citrus notes and party hard with your pork and apples. Continue cooking for another 3 – 5 minutes, covered.

Add this glorious mixture to your pork. Now whack the whole thing into the oven for approximately 15 – 20 minutes. Don’t overcook your pork, or I’ll come over and slap you. Dried pork is shameful.

SHAMEFUL!

Don’t disappoint me. That hurts. Right here.

*points in general heart direction*

I should also let you all know…I’m currently out of duck fat…AND lard…

…OH GOD! THE END IS NEAR!

Remember: enjoy luscious animal fats responsibly. Now if you excuse me, I have to find something to eat…

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AHM SUCH A BIG DEAL MAMA MEATBALLS!

I know, I know. You’ve seen my post, and you’re mad.

“Pat, what the $%#@ took you so long?!”

In the past few months, I married, honeymoon-ed, and moved into a new house. It was a stressful, but a very exciting time. Also, MOVING SUCKS. Moving is like ONE LONG CROSSFIT WORKOUT. We’re never doing this again.

Linda and I were unpacking clothing in our dual walk-in closets, cursing like sailors.

“$#@! WE’RE NEVER, EVER MOVING EVER AGAIN”

But wait. I’m sure you want proof that we got married. I’m the blonde. Linda’s the hotter one 🙂

At the end of July, I discovered I have a ton of food allergies.

My naturopathic doc took a blood sample from me earlier in the month and shipped it off to Washington. I went in for a followup appointment the day after returning from honeymoon, which was in Los Angeles, by-the-way. We had an awesome time. I’d live there. Not permanently. The US lack of a health care system is ridiculous.

Back to my insane food allergies. LOOK AT THESE FOOD ALLERGIES:

Eggs…AVOID! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
Dairy….moderate…but it may as well say AVOID!
Gluten….moderate…oh well. I’ve been avoiding it anyway.
Brewers yeast….no beer for me. This is only slightly upsetting. BUT COME ON.
Spices like cumin, ginger, turmeric, vanilla, paprika, nutmeg. Vegetables like kale! KALE!

I very nearly cried in my doc’s office. What the %$#@ was I going to eat?

After a few weeks, I got over it. Symptoms I’ve had for years and years started disappearing: dark circles under my eyes, post-nasal drip. Discovering these allergies actually made things a lot simpler for me. I started eating a lot more seafood: canned sardines, canned wild salmon, shrimp. An entire avocado is usually part of breakfast.

In talking with my doctor, we realized I have a case of adrenal fatigue. Your adrenals are a major part of your overall health and well-being. They regulate your immune system and blood sugar levels. Food allergies, and being overly sensitive to certain scents are a typical symptom of adrenal fatigue. Never feeling well-rested no matter how much you sleep is yet another sign of adrenal fatigue. It’s a vicious cycle. For my readers suffering from candida, it usually arises because of adrenal fatigue. In fact, I’m confident in saying that if you treat the main source of your problem, which in this case, is adrenal fatigue, the rest should probably, well, EFF OFF.

At the suggestion of an herbalist, I’m now taking liquorice root powder a few times a day in some water. My sleep has improved, and I don’t really feel the need to drink tea in the morning as I normally would. I do anyway, because I love yerba mate. Things are not perfect, but they are a step in the right direction.

I’ll blog properly about the adrenals one day very soon. I have loads of ideas for upcoming blog posts. I promise I’ll behave.

Edited March 27th, 2015. OMG SO MUCH INCORRECT BS.

Maybe.

Now on to a stupendous meal. My cat Harry plays a part in the making of this meal. You’ll get to meet him. I sincerely hope you enjoy this as much as I did. It is intensely rich, incredibly flavourful, nourishing and delicious!

AHM SUCH A BIG DEAL MAMA MEATBALLS

2 lbs ground lamb
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons each: roughly chopped fresh oregano, fresh basil, fresh mint, plus 1 extra tablespoon each oregano and basil
1 whole head of garlic
1 700ml bottle pureed tomatoes (yeah, mine came in a BOTTLE)
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
Lard
1/2 large onion, roughly chopped

Combine lamb, salt, pepper, garlic powder, 2 tablespoons each fresh oregano, basil, mint. Mix this up thoroughly so everything is evenly combined. Roll into large meatballs. You’ll make 6 big ones.

Fry in lard until your meatballs are nicely browned all over. Set them aside.

Melt some extra lard in large pot over medium heat. Add onions, stirring until translucent and lightly browned. Add pureed and diced tomatoes. That entire head of garlic? I want you to smash it all up, but no chopping. Leave the cloves whole, but SMASHY SMASHY. Add to tomatoes. Add your 1 extra tablespoon oregano. Bring to boil. Turn down to medium low and simmer for about an hour to reduce. This sauce will get thick and concentrated with flavour. It’s food-gasmic. Don’t forget to stir frequently. You can burn tomatoes!

Harry doesn’t like it when I smash garlic. He scurries low to the ground and vamooses out of the kitchen.

OH MAMA AH DO NOT LIKE IT WEN U SMASH DA GARLIK. WAI U GOTTA B SEW MEAN. DAT GARLIK IS SEW NICE LIKE ME U NO.

Add meatballs to reduced sauce. Cook for about 20 – 30 minutes. Add the extra tablespoon of basil at the very end.

Serve this on top of baby spinach; the heat will wilt and cook them nicely. Or spaghetti squash. Or even a roasted sweet potato. The possibilities are exquisite!

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Blackened, Rich and Beautiful Chicken Thighs!

Le sigh.

I’m so sorry kids. I’m really, really frakin’ sorry for not having posted in weeks. It’s not that I haven’t been cooking. Food’s going down at this Primal-ites house…I’ve just been busy. Know what else?

We bought a HOUSE! I mean, we already have a house. But paying condo fees isn’t fun, and while we love the house, we have longed to move back to our old stomping grounds while we rented: Port Credit in gorgeous South Mississauga.

The Universe did us a solid: it found us a gorgeous, charming and very cute semi-detached home just west of Port Credit, in super-sexy, ultra-pretigious Lorne Park. Oh em gee. Everything came together beautifully. It was all just so easy. Our agent even grew up on the same street as wifey. Too many odd quirks and ‘coincidences’ popped up. I love when that stuff happens.

Now, we will be listing our town home for sale very soon. We have a wee bit of cleaning here and there to do, but our house is fabulous, and we have no concerns about it selling, and selling fast.

As I type this, I have a large chunk of beef roasting in the oven. I am starving. I’m super psyched to eat it with some squash I think I’ll boil up, mash with butter and herbs.

Also, my ass and hamstrings are killing me from the Crossfit WOD I did yesterday. It was insane. Walking, sitting, getting *up* from a sitting position: yeah, it HURTS!

SO MUCH PAIN!

My back is loving all of it. It feels one billion times better than it ever has, in that I am in NO PAIN whatsoever. Car accident? What car accident?

Let’s talk about food. I could write about a lot of things I’ve done over the last few weeks. I’ll space it out instead.

A few weeks back, wifey was battling some infection that comes and goes every year and attacks her vocal chords. Being the health nerd and food nut that I am, I prepared her an anti-inflammatory, immune-system boosting concoction that Mark Sisson of MDA calls Turmeric Tea.

This is a potent, rich, flavourful tea combining powerful anti-inflammatory ingredients such as turmeric and black pepper. In fact, the addition of black pepper is what actually gives the turmeric it’s inflammation-kicking qualities.

Combined with warm, intense, flavours of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, the turmeric blends into a smokey, lingering warmth on your tongue. The coconut milk is rich and smooth; it’s a perfect carrier for all ingredients , its silkiness cooling down the heat of the spices.

Edited March 27th, 2015. NOPE NOPE NOPE. I made said turmeric tea a few months back when I was down with a cold. And you know what? It’s fucking disgusting. Just…NOPE.

I had some boneless, skinless chicken thighs to cook. I wanted some deep, rich, flavourful blackened chicken. I knew what would achieve this for longer cooking times: lard!

I made a large batch of this spice mix; I continuously seasoned the chicken while it cooked. I don’t recommend cooking chicken thighs on high. They like long, low heat. These took about 25 minutes.

By now you know I eyeball everything in the kitchen. Take these as serious approximations, and feel free to experiment with amounts:

I used about 1.5 tablespoons of cinnamon as the main ingredient, with 1 teaspoon, maybe 2, each remaining ingredient. Maybe a little less for the nutmeg. Try for .5 teaspoon.

Cinnamon
Chipotle
Black Pepper
Garlic Powder
Marjoram
Turmeric
Paprika

mmm…spicy!

Combine all ingredients and generously sprinkle over chicken thighs coated with some olive oil. Heat a large frying pan on medium high heat, and add about 1 tablespoon of lard. You know me: I love my wild boar lard. It’s perfect for dark, flavourful chicken. Season chicken with sea salt prior to adding to pan.

When your pan is hot, add your chicken. Now, don’t crowd it. Meat that needs to sear and brown doesn’t like to be crowded. It’ll be all like:

“DUDE GIMME SOME ROOM MANG. I CAN’T FUNCTION IN THIS TIGHT SPACE OKAY?!”

Or something like that. Your meat will actually start to steam in it’s own juices. We don’t want that.

Let the chicken darken and sear for about 2 – 3 minutes on one side. Flip it. Turn your heat down, and cover. Check on this periodically, and flip every so often. Keep adding seasoning to both sides. Cook until chicken is no longer pink.

I enjoyed this with butternut squash. You can eat it with whatever you like. But please, enjoy it 😉

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