It was unfortunate that I discovered lox bagels right before I went gluten-free. The taste form them has never went away. And, going over a bridge on the way to the store I had a vision of this recipe. I should have looked up the traditional recipe, because I like to keep the basics, modify for paleo, and then add a twist (or zest, or spice).
FULL DISCLOSURE: I wasn’t a huge fan, and I blame the kind of store-bought cured salmon. The first helping was okay, just kind of fishy, for salmon. But, I didn’t finish the plate, for the first time in a long time. My boyfriend, the gentleman he is, finished but agreed the last one was a bit hard to swollow. (Not to knock ’em because the salmon might taste better with a different recipe, but for the curious, I used Duck Trap brand Wild Sockeye Salmon.)
So, lesson learned, dear readers, is one of three things:
a. Use your own cured salmon or a trusted salmon brand
b. Substitute salmon with tuna
c. Bring these to a fancy buffet or use as a garnish to a delicious meal, or any other high class situation where the people you’re serving have the social restraint to not complain.
Edit: This inspired me to create a new part of my blog, “Faleo” where I document my paleo failures.
Faux Lox Bagels
Ginormous sweet potato, big enough to make your “patties”
Sliced lox (perhaps not Duck Trap)
Spreadable goat cheese
1 half onion, minced finely
1 ripe tomato, sliced thinly
Cut the sweet potato into wedges and bake at 400 for 20 minutes, or until cooked but firm
In honor of mother’s day, I’m going to give out my ma’s secret spinach ball recipe.
…just kidding, mom, your secret ingredient is safe with me.
Spinach balls are my mother’s go-to party snack for big family get togethers, and they are quite popular. She kept the recipe a secret for years, but recently her brothers and sisters harassed her into sending the following email to our family.
I can’t make her exact recipe, but I took all the good parts and made it paleo. Substituting bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese with riced cauliflower and sweet potato.
Mom’s (Not So) Secret Spinach Balls
2 10 oz frozen chopped spinach and kale, cooked and drained well (de-thawed, microwaved 6 minutes and squeezed)
3/4 C butter or ghee
1 large onion, minced
1 cup grated sweet potato (bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees for easier grating)
1 cup grated cauliflower
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon garlic
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon parsley
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
pinch of paprika
4 eggs, beaten
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate until it ‘sets up’, meaning it’s cold enough to form into balls.
On a greased sheet, make 1” balls with your hands or a fancy kitchen scooping device of choice
Bake 350 degrees for 20 minutes
This recipe makes a couple dozen balls, so be ready to throw some in the freezer – they freeze very well!
I topped mine with home-made mayo, found here. There is also a recipe for baconayse, which sounds interesting and sends my body into a simultaneous state of desire and repulsion.
Call them what you will: Scotch Egg, Savoury Eggs, Picnic Eggs, Party Eggs, Snack Eggs, even Narcissus Eggs – these little bundles of joy are the Pokemon of food. I like them because besides being delicious, they are super filling, reheat well, and give me a boost of energy I need in the morning to get things going. From the sounds of the wikipedia article, they are the overcooked hotdogs of UK convenience stores.
Traditionally, a scotch eggs are eggs covered in sausage meat, then battered and deep fried. Which, don’t get me wrong, sounds AMAZING. However, the healthy version is still pretty drool worthy. The key to flavor is to season the shit out of the meat. The other key to a successful Egg is keeping everything together by keeping everything nice and chilled until its ready to fry.
Scotch Eggs (makes 4)
1 lb ground beef
3 TBS Italian seasoning mix (or equal parts majoram, thyme, rosemary, savory, sage, oregano, and basil)
Salt to taste
Coconut oil, bacon grease or oil with a high smoke point
Okay, now stay with me, making eggs isn’t as complicated as making multiple jumps with Battlestar Galactica, but it requires temperature control and patience. Both of which are hard for me, so I’m sure anyone reading this will be fine.
Boil 4 eggs for ten minutes
While eggs are boiling, season the meat and knead in additional egg until the ground beef has a tuna salad texture to it. Seperate into 4 equal sized mounds and chill them out in the freezer
Take out the eggs and run them under cool water, put them in the freezer
Wait about 10 minutes before pulling the meat. On the wax paper, mash the chilly balls flat – enough to cover an egg, but noth enough that it tears apart.
Place eggs on top of meat mashes and cover. Thin back to making clay balls in art class. In your hands, roll the meat around until the entire surface is evenly covered, pat lightly to keep meat in place.
Return meat the the freezer while you prepare to fry.
Heat a large saucepan or pot and fill with half an inch of lard or oil. Heat until very hot. Slowly lower your first ball in. It should sizzle the second it hits the grease. let cook 2 minutes on each side. Be careful when turning as the ground beef sometimes sticks to the pan on my first ball. Balls are done when browned and bits of fat cling to them.
Cut in half or stuff the whole thing in your mouth if you’re talented, add dipping sauce or mayo. Goes well with Asparagus for a full meal.
Like some of the best things in life, I discovered this recipe accidentally, out of laziness, while hungry. I had asparagus but not oil, fat or whatnot to roast it in, and only a bit of orange juice in the fridge. But it did the trick. Gradually, I’ve been adding more OJ, refining this recipe as I go along, like most things on this blog. The taste is sweet but leafy, and the texture soft outside and crunch on the inside. Not really candied, but as close as you can get to sweetening greens.
Bunch of THICK asparagus spears
2 1/2 cups orange juice, or enough to cover what you’ve got
Salt to taste
Cut spears for cooking (FUN FACT! They naturally break where they should be cut. Much more fun.)
Place in sauce pan and cover with orange juice, making sure the leafy heads are just soaking in that shizz.
Heat on low and simmer the outside skin is soggy, but before they go limp
Pour out the majority of the OJ (it should have separated, try to keep some pulp) and place back on the range, this time a medium heat. Salt, and cook 2 minutes, turning occasionally.