On Friday evening, at 6:30 p.m. Central time, I will be parked in front of the TV — with Dave, Smudge, a handful of tissues for the inevitable tears of Olympics love, and our British feast — to watch the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics.
OMG. THE OLYMPICS ARE COMING! (In case you missed my previous exclamation-filled posts, you can read all my Olympics stuff here.)
You know I love theme dinners, so I’ve planned a paleo, British-inspired menu for our Olympics party so we can pretend we’re in a pub in London. I’ve shared the recipes below, in case you want to play along.
Faux-Pub, Viewing-Party Menu
- Crudité with Chutney Mayo
- Scotch Eggs
- Mashed Cauliflower
- Cumin-Roasted Carrots
- Raspberries and Cream
- Tea (I like this Rooibos Earl Grey.)
Crudité with Curry Mayo
Serves 2-4 | Prep 5 min | Cook 5 min
red bell peppers
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 clove garlic
1 medium apricot, finely diced
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1 1/2 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar
1/4 cup homemade mayo
1. Wash all the veggies, cut into appropriate shapes, and arrange on a platter.
2. Heat the coconut oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat, then add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the apricot and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and garam masala and cook 3-4 minutes more, mashing the apricot with the back of a wooden spoon to make “jam.” Place the apricots in a medium bowl and set aside until cool.
3. When the apricots have cooled, add the mayo to the bowl and fold gently until combined. Chill at least 30 minutes before serving. If you find it’s too thick for proper dipping, you can thin it with a little water or vinegar.
Serves 4-8 | Prep 15 min | Cook 30 min
2 pounds ground pork
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon dried chives
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
8 large eggs, hard-boiled and peeled
1 bag (2 ounces) fried pork rinds (optional)
2 large eggs, raw (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place the ground pork in a large mixing bowl. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, tarragon, parsley, chives, and garlic. Knead with your hands until well mixed.
3. Divide the pork mixture into 8 equal servings. Roll each piece into a ball, then flatten it in your palm into a pancake shape. Wrap the meat around a hard-boiled egg, rolling it between your palms until the egg is evenly covered. This is much easier than it sounds. If the meat sticks to your hands, moisten them with a little water. Place the meat wrapped eggs on the baking sheet.
4. If using the pork rinds, place them in the bowl of the food processor and process until they resemble bread crumbs; pour them onto a plate or in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, beat the raw eggs. Gently roll each meatball in pork rind crumbs; you want just a thin dusting. Then roll each meatball in the raw egg and roll a second time in the crushed pork rinds to evenly coat. Place on the baking sheet.
5. Bake for 25 minutes, then increase the temperature to 400 F and bake an additional 5-10 minutes, until the eggs are golden brown and crisp.
Note: You would not be wrong to dollop a little chutney mayo on your Scotch Egg… just sayin’…
Serves 2-4 | Prep 5 min | Cook 10 min
1 bag (16 ounces) frozen cauliflower florets
1 garlic clove, crushed (about 1 teaspoon)
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut milk
salt and black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons dried chopped chives
1. Cook the cauliflower according to the package directions until it’s very soft, but not waterlogged.
2. In a microwave-safe bowl or small saucepan, heat the garlic, coconut oil, coconut milk, salt, and pepper, about 1 minute.
3. Meanwhile, purée the cauliflower in the bowl of a food processor, scraping down the sides. Add the coconut milk to the processor, along with 1 tablespoon of chives. Process about 10 seconds. Taste and adjust seasonings. Sprinkle with remaining chives before serving.
Serves 2-4 | Prep 5 min | Cook 20 min
1 pound fresh carrots (about 10)
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 fresh lemon (optional)
a few leaves of fresh parsley and mint, minced, for garnish (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Wash and peel the carrots, then cut them lengthwise into thin strips, about 1/4-inch wide. Toss them into a large bowl.
3. With a fork, mix the cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper in a small microwave-safe bowl. Add the coconut oil and microwave until melted, about 15-20 seconds.
4. Pour the seasoned coconut oil over the carrots and toss with two wooden spoons until the carrots are evenly coated. Sing a verse of your favorite song so you don’t skimp on tossing time. Do a taste test and adjust the seasonings.
5. Spread the carrots in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes, until tender and slightly browned. Remove from the oven and squeeze the fresh lemon juice over the top. Sprinkle with the chopped herbs.
Berries and Cream
Serves 4 | Prep 15 min. plus 3-4 hours or overnight to chill the coconut milk
This is based on a raspberry brulée recipe which is basically berries and cream with caramelized sugar on top. As you can probably guess, we’re skipping the sugar.
1 can (14.5 ounces) coconut milk
2 cups fresh raspberries
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. This requires a bit of forethought: place a can of coconut milk in the refrigerator, ideally overnight, but 3-4 hours will do.
2. When you’re ready to eat, put the can, a metal mixing bowl, and beaters from the mixer in the freezer for 15 minutes. While the coconut milk is chilling out in the freezer, gently wash the raspberries and pat dry with paper towels.
3. When the coconut milk is cold, turn the can upside down, open it with a can opener, and pour off the watery liquid. Scoop the thickened coconut milk that remains into the chilled mixing bowl and add the almond extract. Whip on your mixer’s highest setting until the milk is fluffy and has taken on the texture of whipped cream, about 5-7 minutes.
4. Place the raspberries in a large bowl, then add half the the whipped cream and gently fold until combined. Add more whipped cream, if you
need want it. The idea is to encase the berries in the cream but not make it gloopy. (Leftover whipped cream can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for about 3 days.)
5. Divide the berries into four bowls. Eat with a spoon, lick bowl, as necessary.
It’s tricky. Much of the traditional British comfort food — cheese and onion tart, pasties, all manner of sweet desserts — is almost impossible to make truly paleo. But in addition to the recipes above, you might also like to try these…
Dave is not a fan of sardines or paté so they’re not on our menu, but if you like them, both would make lovely starters when added to the crudité plate.
Or try a classic Fry Up and have breakfast-for-dinner! The traditional Fry Up includes a fried eggs, bacon, sausage, a fried tomato, and fried mushrooms (and toast and baked beans, which you’ll be skipping, or course.)
Happy Olympics and British dining to you!
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