Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How to Grill Lobster

Most seafood is on the list of anti-inflammatory goodness, with a few noticeable exceptions such as talapia, Mediterranean sea bass, and any fish that starts with the word, "cat." Stay away from those as a general guideline and eat the occasional lobster with gusto. Here's how to grill 'em.

Step one: butterfly your lobster tails by turning them upside down (lil' swimmers facing you), and make an incision from the bottom to the top. Then whack all the way through the top part leaving just the flipper flap holding it together. Following are pictures of all that just in case I made it too confusing.The whack

Next you want to pull the meat away from the exoskeleton, but not all the way, which means you'll still leave a connecting piece close to the end. You want to be able to get butter underneath the meat as well as on top of it. Same as with Cap'n Shrimpy's butterflied shrimp. While you're at it, make the same melted butter with garlic. You'll be needing it very soon. Here's what the "pulling away" process looks like.
So far, so good? Good! Because the next part is the easy part. Fire up the grill to medium hotish. My gas grill thermometer, which I'm sure is totally inaccurate, reads about 400. Get your melted garlic butter ready and give it all a good shellakin' before you even introduce your tails to the fire.

Throw 'em on, armor side down and watch very carefully. Shouldn't take more than ten minutes, and possibly way less. Baste with butter every two minutes. When your tails are almost totally opaque, flip them for the big finish for only a minute. Then take them off and baste once more, cause you just can't have too much butter when you're dealing with lobster.
I'm not suggesting you eat this much butter every day, but you probably won't have lobster every day, either. Just special occasions. Like when they go on sale. Or Sundays.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Coconut Flour Pancakes, Man

If you are looking for a truly guilt free way to eat pancakes that have the bonus quality of not putting you into a deep postprandial coma, you've come to the right place. Everyone loves them, see:

Coconut flour is gluten free, and high in fiber. It's also right tasty in certain applications, the following being one of my favorite. Here's what you need:
Three Tbs coconut oil or melted butter
Three Tbs coconut milk or heavy cream
Three Tbs coconut flour
Three eggs (notice a pattern here?)
Honey- probably about a Tbs, but I just squirt a big glop in the batter and it always comes out fine. Measuring honey takes too long.
1/4 Tsp baking powder (I've left it out and it still came out fine)
1/4 Tsp vanilla extract
1/4 Tsp almond extract (both extracts can be excluded is you don't have them, but it would be a lot cooler if you did)
A pinch of salt-- I prefer kosher salt or sea salt, but whatever.

That's it. I also tend to add pecans or blueberries or bananas or some combination (pecans and blueberries for today), but these things are great straight up.

Start with the eggs. I've discovered that whisking them until they're a pale yellow somehow makes them better in the recipe, although I'm not sure why. Next, whisk in the coconut oil. You really have to whisk it so it emulsifies with the eggs or you'll get solid chunks of coconut oil floating in the batter. Coconut oil solidifies at 75 degrees or so, and most people refrigerate their eggs. Whisk in the cream or coconut milk. Whisk in the flour, honey, and then everything else except blueberries if you're using them. I always add the blueberries a few at a time to the pancakes as I make them to avoid the batter turning blue, like that chick in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Heat up your pancake pan of choice. I have two. One is a giant cast iron griddle that takes a crane to get it out of the drawer, and the other is a non stick job that I usually end up using because it weighs less and I don't want to hurt my back making breakfast. That would be stupid.

A word on coconut oil-- there are multiple types and brands out there, so I've done some homework for you. As far as brands go, I don't think you can do better than Wilderness Family Naturals, which is a company that is owned and operated by a large homeschooling family in Minnesota. There are multiple types of coconut oil, and for the pancakes we use the extra virgin, cold pressed, centrifuge extracted oil, which has a coconutty flavor. There is also cold pressed extra virgin, but without the centrifuging, and it taste much more neutral for things that you don't want to taste like coconut. These oils are high in lauric acid, which is a saturated fat that has anti-microbial and anti-viral properties, and can be easily digested and turned into energy by your body. Lauric acid is one of the components of mother's milk, too. Feel free to check me on all of this...We also use WFN's coconut flour, too:After you get everything mixed, start making pancakes. I'm sure you know how, but here's some pics, just in case:The taste is definitely coconut tinged, and the texture isn't going to be what you're used to, but there is no doubt that they're delicious. Add that to the fact that they're good for you, and what you've got is health food for breakfast, which is a notoriously difficult meal for healthy choices. And the boys love them, just like they said.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tater Town

In my attempts to avoid grains (see here for why), and with my love of starchy carbs still fully intact, I've been eating more potatoes these days. And this has caused me to rip off things I've seen on the Food Network or in cookbooks or whatever. This is one of those recipes. I would give the appropriate credit, but I really can't recall the details. Just know I wasn't smart enough to come up with this on my own, and we'll go ahead and get on with it.

I also don't have many pictures of the actual process of this creation, but the final product should tell you all you need to know. Oh, I'll be giving you the usual descriptions with my cheerful interjections thrown in for free. Fear not.

First, get yourself a potato and make vertical slices most of the way through it. Leave it intact on the bottom so it will stay in one piece. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Get yourself some fat garlic cloves and cut them into thin slices too. Stuff these thin slices between the tater slices, dump olive oil over the top along with a good pinch of kosher salt and wrap the whole thing in some foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Open the foil and sprinkle with sesame seeds. We used black and white cause it looks cool. Cook for another 20 to 30 minutes. There you have it- a simple way to change up your usual tater routine. You should really click on these pictures to see the full sized versions in order to pump up your food lust. You know, if you're into that.