What happens when you give a chef a slightly different set of restrictions within which to work, and let her get a good night's sleep first? You get crazy levels of creativity, that's what!
Today is a day I don't have all that much work to do, so I'm experimenting and planning ahead for busier days.
This morning we had banana souffles for breakfast. I did not invent this recipe; I based it on this recipe from Primally Inspired:
I omitted the molasses, of course. They were fantastic without it! Really sweet, actually. I got 5 small souffles out of the recipe - 4 regular ceramic ramekins and then a glass Pyrex bowl for the overage. I sliced one very ripe banana very thinly and divided it among the five dishes, so we each got about half a banana and about two eggs each for breakfast. So light, so delicious! (I also finished off the lettuce that was sitting in the fridge and had a crazy drink - soaked chia seeds, a splash of beet kvass, and fresh water to dilute it, to wash down my digestive enzyme supplement, vitamin D, and quercetin with vitamin C.)
Here they are right before coming out of the oven:
Lunch is in the oven now. Last night, I took some beef short ribs (from local pasture-raised beef) and rubbed them with a mixture of paprika, chili powder, cayenne, and sea salt. I wrapped them up and put them back in the fridge. This morning, after breakfast, I went out to get more veggies, including lots of carrots. I sliced the carrots the long way, and lay them in the bottom of a baking dish. They made kind of a rack, to keep the beef just above the juices. I covered the carrots with homemade beef stock, then lay the spice-rubbed beef ribs on top.
I covered that loveliness with a piece of parchment then covered the whole thing tightly with foil. I set it in a 295 degree oven and it's still there. My estimate is that it will take a total of 3 hours or a little longer - 2 1/2 covered, and the last 30 minutes uncovered. It's going to go until it is wonderfully tender, but not quite falling apart. If it takes longer, I am okay with that. Good food is worth waiting for! They'll be so tender and flavorful they won't need any kind of sauce, though I am considering maybe blending up the roasted carrots with the accumulated juices to make a sauce. Haven't decided for sure yet...
These ribs will be a great lunch for me and Earnest (and maybe dinner too!) with the roasted carrots and a big salad. I love salad! In fact, maybe I'll make a simple kale salad with some of the kale I picked up this morning. I think this one will only need olive oil, lemon juice, and sea salt to balance the richness of the ribs.
You guys, don't forget to eat tons of veggies! A pound or more a day of veggies is a totally reasonable amount. Don't skimp! Remember, on a Whole30 or other low-sugar plan, you're eating less fruit, you're skipping the grains and potatoes, so you have to eat even more veggies than usual. It's not all about the meat!
Speaking of veggies, I also got some sauerkraut started. I shredded up a cabbage that was hanging out in the fridge, and tossed it with lots of sea salt, some mustard seed, caraway, a tiny bit of celery seed, and shredded carrot. I let that sit and juice out for a few minutes, then I packed it with the juice into jars. It's going to sit and ferment and get very happy for a couple weeks, and then I will eat it!
I'm prepping a lot of things ahead today. I also made an herb rub for a beef roast and tucked that in the fridge for another day, and a spice rub for pork belly. The beef is rubbed with parsley, rosemary, thyme, sea salt, and black pepper. The pork belly is rubbed with sea salt, fennel seed, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, a pinch of clove, and some pepper.
Why do I do dry rubs and marinades ahead of time? Well, the flavor takes time to penetrate the meat. Some meats (especially fish) pick up flavors very quickly. Fish should be seasoned and cooked right away, or after no more than a half hour. Other meats are denser and take longer. Generally, count on at least an hour per inch of meat; less if you've got an acidic liquid marinade or one with lots of ginger. Very fatty cuts like pork belly can hang out in their rubs for two or three days!