Practical Paleo Review – Part 3

Hey guys! Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to make anything too advanced from the book, but I did clarify butter, make baconnaise, and made the smoky spice mix for burgers again, so maybe three of the smaller recipes are like one big one? I also shared these delicious things with friends, which is what it’s really all about anyway, isn’t it? So here are a few quick and easy recipes from Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo.

Okay, let’s run down real quick:

Clarified Butter – This is pretty easy, though I will freely admit that I’m not all that great at it yet. It seems that my cheese cloth just doesn’t want to strain out the bottom sludge. So when you heat the butter, you get protein skim on the top, then some kind of cloudy nonsense on the bottom. I can skim off the protein or strain out the top stuff, but it seems like the bottom stuff always comes through. Not sure what I’m doing wrong, but I’ll keep experimenting and get back to you. It’s still delicious, so I’m not complaining, I’d just like to be able to clarify my butter to that it’s actually clear, you know?

Smoky Spice Blend – I got the idea to make this and mix it into burgers from Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations, though I think his palate must be a lot more durable than mine, or those of my friends. He recommends putting 2 Tbsp into 1 pound of ground beef for spicy, smoky burgers, but that’s pretty hot. I’ve determined that 1 Tbsp of the mix for 1 pound of is much more my speed. Okay ,here’s how to make the spice mix: 1 Tbsp chipotle powder, 1 Tbsp smoked paprika (I’ve used regular paprika up to now, because it’s what I had, but I bet the smoked stuff would be great), 1 Tbsp onion powder, 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon, 1 TBsp sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. That will make about 5 Tbsp of the spice blend, which is really tasty. Worked into burger meat, it makes very flavorful, smoky, spicy burgers. With 2 Tbsp per pound of meat, they’re right at the top of what I still consider tasty before they get into “more pain than they’re worth” territory. With 1 Tbsp of the spices per pound of meat, it’s a great flavor, but not too hot. They’re definitely good with some cheese or some sweet BBQ sauce to cut the heat (though I’m doing a Whole 30 right now and can’t have either of those things, so I used some of the next recipe).

Baconnaise – We eat a lot of bacon, so we always have bacon fat sitting around, waiting for us to do something with it. Bacon mayonnaise is one of my favorites. I’ve made it before in sort of a half-bacon, half-olive sort of thing, but this time I just went full bore and did all bacon. The mayonnaise is super tasty, and tastes very strongly of bacon. It also comes out extremely thick, especially once it’s refrigerated. Like really thick. It works well if you’re mixing it with something else that more liquidy (mustard for deviled eggs? oily Wild Planet tuna?) but as far as a base for salad dressing or dip, it might be a little too thick. I think I might try to go with 3/4 of the oil as a light olive oil, with 1/4 of bacon fat next time so I get the bacon flavor but get a bit more of a traditional mayonnaise texture. If it works, I’ll definitely let you know.

Okay, here’s how we do baconnaise, Practical Paleo style.

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp mustard (Diane recommends dijon, I do a stone ground brown, but pretty much anything should work)
  • 3/4 cup bacon fat, melted and cooled until room temp but still liquid

I do this in my food processor, because I’ve got a super-handy drizzling mechanism built into it. If you are not so lucky, you can drizzle from a measuring cup or a squeeze bottle or something. Okay, mix the yolks, the lemon juice and the mustard together until they’re thoroughly combined. Then start to drizzling the oil. Go slowly. If you rush it, you’ll end up with some nasty pile of things, none of which are baconnaise. So take your time. You’re just going to keep adding all the fat, slowly but surely, mixing it into the rest of the ingredients until it’s all gone. Then you scoop it all out, put it in a glass jar in the fridge, and there you go. Baconnaise. Super simple, super tasty.

There are so many other recipes in this book that I want to try, I just didn’t have the time to make it happen this weekend. Sorry, guys! Hopefully these three are enough to tide you over until you can get your own copy of the book tomorrow. I’m going to be going out and buying a couple extra copies to give to friends and family members, for sure. If it isn’t clear from me writing three blog posts devoted to it, I’m loving this book and I think you’ll love it, too. Enjoy, and thanks for reading!

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