Cherry Clafoutis (french custard)

Cherry Clafoutis

1 lb fresh cherries pitted and halved

1 cup whole milk

1/3 cup heavy cream

4 eggs

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp lemon zest

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

Bakes well in 10″ springform pan or ramekins, I have also  made this in a pie pan.

Mix milk and cream in saucepan. Simmer then set aside.

In a bowl mix eggs, flour, sugar, zest, vanilla and salt. Slowly whisk in the hot milk mixture.

Spread cherries in the bottom of your baking dish. Pour custard over cherries.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 45-55  minutes (30 for ramekins)

This is delicious warm or cold. I have made this with blueberries, peaches, strawberries, and diced apples. There are endless variations. I think next time I will try maple syrup in place of the sugar, and pecans instead of fruit. If you use farm fresh eggs and milk from grass-fed cows this is actually a healthy food!

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Lake Trout with Morels

Any fish will work for this recipe. Just pick your favorite fillet and go with it. We just happened to have a huge lake trout in the freezer, so this is what I used. It is finally mushroom season, and morels are my favorite. Time to stock up!

Lake Trout with Morels

1 lb fish fillets 1/2 to 3/4 thick

2 Tbsp butter

1 1/2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced

1/3 cup green onion, sliced

Sea salt

1 tsp fresh thyme, or 1/4 tsp dry thyme

  • Thaw fish if frozen. Pat dry and place in baking dish. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  • In a saucepan melt butter and add mushrooms, onions and thyme. Cook until tender.
  • Pour over fish and bake in 450 degree oven for 12-18 minutes. Fish should flake easily with a fork when done.

If you are lucky enough to have a surplus of morels this year there are many ways to preserve them. I have tried just about everything, and several methods work.

1. I thoroughly rinse the mushrooms in cold water. Then sauté in butter for no longer than 3 minutes. Let cool and place in a zip lock baggie with juices from pan. When you are ready to eat, cut off the plastic bag and place the whole frozen block in a skillet. Cover and cook on low. Tastes just like fresh, with a slight difference in firmness and texture.

2. I have dried them on a string in the attic for a month, I have laid them on the oven rack and dried them at 160 degrees for about an hour. I have laid them on window screens out in the back yard until dry. I have never owned a dehydrator, so that’s the only method I haven’t used. Of everything I’ve tried, threading them onto a string (like a little mini-clothes line) was by far the best. When rehydrated the taste and texture was exactly the same as fresh out of the ground. Maybe because no heat is used?

3. I have washed and drained the mushrooms so they are almost dry. Then laid them on a cookie sheet and placed them in the freezer until solid. Pack into bags and vacuüm seal. This method changed the texture a bit, but the flavor was the same.

4. My least favorite method was packing a mason jar (or other freezer container) with mushrooms, covering that with cold water and freezing. They would be ok for soup, but the texture was too mushy for my tastes. And a lot of the flavor gets dumped out with the water after thawing.

Happy mushroom hunting!

Ham and Asparagus Strata

This is an easy make-ahead breakfast. You can mix it up the night before and then bake it the next morning. It also makes a fast and easy dinner.

Ham & Asparagus Strata

4 English muffins, torn into pieces

2 cups cooked ham

2 cups fresh asparagus, cut up

4-6 oz Gruyère cheese, cubed

5 eggs, beaten

1/3 cup sour cream

1 1/2 cups milk

2 Tbsp onion, finely chopped

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp fresh black pepper

  • Grease a 2 quart casserole dish. Spread half of the english muffin pieces on the bottom.
  • Top with ham, asparagus and cheese cubes
  • Top with remaining english muffin pieces
  • In a bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, milk, onion, mustard and pepper
  • Pour this mixture over casserole dish, coating everything evenly
  • Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours
  • Bake, uncovered at 325 degrees for 60-65 minutes

There are a zillion variations on this recipe. I have replaced the ham with chicken before. I have used broccoli instead of asparagus. I have used swiss instead of Gruyère. Let your imagination go wild!

The Worlds Best Barbeque Sauce (sugar free)

It is grilling season, so it’s time to whip up my secret weapon. I have been adapting and changing this recipe for so many years that I don’t remember what I originally started with. All I remember is that I had a half used can of tomato paste in the fridge I was trying to get rid of, and this recipe was somehow born. I love that it has no sugar, but still tastes sweet and has this great spicy kick that goes well with just about any meat. I also really love the base of nourishing bone broth, which you can never have too much of.  Tonight we’re grilling bone-in pork ribs from our local farmer with some cornbread. Mmmm, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!

The Worlds Best Barbeque Sauce

makes 2 cups

1 Tbsp grass-fed butter or coconut oil

1 cup sweet onion, diced small

1 Tbsp soy sauce

3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp dry mustard powder

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp basil

1 tsp chipotle chili powder

1 Tbsp chili powder

1 can (6 oz) tomato paste

1 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock (or beef or vegetable)

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/2-1 tsp stevia powder (or sweetener of choice)

Heat butter/oil in sauce pan and sauté onion for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Add all remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. You can serve it just like this, but I like to boil it down to thicken it a while. I turn down the heat, cover the pan and let it simmer for 20 minutes or so. I also find the longer cooking time melds the flavors, and it turns out even more delicious.

I have used this sauce on every cut of pork, beef and chicken that I can think of. It is a great marinade, basting sauce, oven baking glaze and dipping sauce. If you are feeding young kids or someone who doesn’t like spicy food you may want to add the chili powder a little bit at a time and taste as you go.

If you want to make this even healthier, you could let it cool and add 2 tbsp of whey and leave it on the counter over night. Then you would have a sugar-free probiotic condiment.

This keeps for 3 weeks in the fridge, and also freezes very well. If you eat as much meat as we do, it won’t last you that long 🙂

Related Posts:
Coffee Spice Rub

Tender Grilled Brisket

Real Food Taco Soup (in the crockpot)

Real Food Chili (in the crockpot)

Real Food Lasagna (SO Simple)

Stuffed Green Peppers in the Crockpot

Country Fried Steak

Real Food Meatloaf

The Worlds Best Chimichangas!!

COMPLETE LIST OF REAL FOOD RECIPES

Coconut Banana Custard (with or without sugar)

I have made this as a dessert and omitted the sweetener and served it for breakfast. It is delicious either way. It tastes great warm or cold and is full of healthy fats, omega-3’s and protein.

Coconut Banana Custard

1 1/2 cups coconut milk powder (I buy mine from Wilderness Family Naturals)

4 cups very hot water

4 over-ripe bananas, mashed

8 free-range soy-free eggs (why soy free?)

2 Tbsp homemade vanilla extract

1/2 cup maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)

3 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp sea salt

Mix coconut milk powder and hot water. Whisk until smooth. Add all remaining ingredients and blend. Pour into a 11×13 casserole dish. Set the casserole dish into a larger pan filled with water. Bake in 350 degree oven for 55-65 minutes. Do not over-bake! Custard sets as it cools, and even more in the fridge. If cooked too long, the liquid will separate from the eggs, and it will turn out like a sweetened scrambled egg, with a bunch of excess liquid. You are looking for the edges to set, but the middle to slightly jiggle when you bump the pan. For the perfect custard, let it cool in the water bath for at least 30 minutes, then cover the dish with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 4 or more hours.

This can also be baked in individual ramekins or glass Pyrex dishes (for 35 minutes each). Pyrex dishes are very convenient if you’re planning to pack this in your lunch. You can just let it cool completely and snap on the lid and you’re all set.

I have made this with no sweetener before and it is delicious that way as well. It comes out slightly sweet and more eggy tasting and makes a great breakfast hot or cold.

You can use canned coconut milk (or make your own fresh), but I find it cheaper to use the powder.

For a more beautiful presentation, after the custard is finished baking place a layer of banana slices (or coconut flakes) on top and place under a hot broiler for 3-4 minutes. The bananas will carmelize and blacken and look beautiful on the plate.

Baked Beans in the Crock Pot

Baked Beans in the Crock Pot

This makes 1 quart of beans

1 cup dry kidney, navy or pinto beans soaked (see below)

2 sweet, yellow onions, chopped fine

1/2 cup raw maple syrup (or brown sugar)

1/4 cup molasses

1/3 cup organic or homemade ketchup

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp dry mustard powder

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 lb bacon (from pasture raised pigs)

To soak the beans: Place beans in large bowl or pot, cover with 1 quart of very warm water (110-130 degrees). Soak for 8-24 hours. I put mine in the oven with the pilot light and oven light on, to keep them toasty. They next day, drain the beans and rinse.

Place beans and all other ingredients EXCEPT SALT in the crockpot, laying the bacon across the top. Adding salt to dry beans, keeps them from getting soft. Always add salt to beans after cooking. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

These are very good and very filling. I serve them with fresh cornbread right out of the oven and we usually eat way too much. This recipe freezes and reheats very well. I have made a quadruple batch before and froze it in individual containers (back when I had a chest freezer, geez I miss that!).

Homemade Garlic Butter Croutons

Salad season is a lot of fun for me this year. I am having a blast coming up with all sorts of salad dressing and fun creations. But what is a salad without a crunchy, salty, buttery crouton? I had Rob time me, and these took exactly 3 minutes and 4 seconds to prepare, and 9 minutes to bake in the oven. Now, that’s what I call fast food! (and a great use for stale bread).

Homemade Garlic Butter Croutons

1 Tbsp Butter

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

2 Cloves garlic, crushed

salt and pepper

Dash of basil, thyme or parsley for color (totally optional)

4 slices bread, cubed

Preheat the oven to 425. Heat butter, olive oil and garlic in a skillet. Cube some stale bread (I used whole wheat sourdough, but whatever you have around will work) and throw it in the pan. Toss the bread around and stir to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread onto a cookie sheet and bake for 9-10 minutes. Let them cool completely and store in an airtight container. They will keep for 2-3 months.

 

Real Food Chocolate Filled Crepes

A hot crepe filled with warm chocolate pudding. Mmmm it doesn’t get any better than that. This  is surprising easy to make, and a very large batch can be made.

Real Food Chocolate Pudding

1/3 cup honey

4 Tbsp arrowroot powder (or organic corn starch)

2 Tbsp cocoa powder

2 cups raw milk (you can also use coconut milk)

1 tsp homemade vanilla extract

In a 3-4 quart saucepan whisk together the arrowroot powder, cocoa and milk. Turn on the heat to medium and stir in the honey. Continue to stir until pudding thickens. Turn off heat and stir in vanilla. Set this pan aside while you make the crepes.

Real Food Crepes

This is a double recipe and makes 16 large 12″ crepes

6 eggs (from the happiest hens you can find)

2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups water

2 cups milk

2 Tbsp raw honey

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

Lots of butter or coconut oil for frying

  • Mix ingredients together in a blender or with a whisk and let stand for 10-15 minutes. Heat a 12″ skillet to medium high heat. Melt 1 tsp butter in pan.
  • Pour 1/3 cup of batter into pan. Tilt pan to spread batter all around.
  • Immediately take your spatula and gently lift all around the edges of the crepe. This helps it from sticking, when it’s time to flip.
  • Cook for one minute. You will notice it starting to firm up, and you will see very small bubbles forming.
  • Flip over and cook for 1 minute.
  • Transfer to a plate and spread a thin 1-2 Tbsp of chocolate pudding onto crepe. Roll up and serve.
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar if you’re trying to impress someone
  • The first crepe always gets mangled. And the cook gets to eat it, so nanner nanner 🙂

These are excellent warm, and just as excellent the next day cold.

I have made many different variations of crepes, and have come to the conclusion that everything tastes amazing when rolled up in these delicate thin pancake-like creations. I have tried:

  • Smoked Salmon and Gouda Cheese
  • Strawberries and whipped cream
  • Blueberries and cream cheese
  • Bacon and Smoked cheese
  • Almond butter and honey
  • Ham and green peppers
  • Grilled pumpkin and cinnamon
  • Carmelized onion, tomato and swiss cheese
  • Roasted eggplant and mushrooms
  • Banana slices and yogurt
  • Cooked apples and nutmeg

What are your ideas?

Homemade Wheat Thin Crackers (soaked)

I am still playing around with cracker recipes! I have never eaten so many crackers in my life. But we all know that I am an absolute cheese-oholic. And what better to place under my cheese, then a nice crispy cracker. Why bother making them yourself you ask? This is the ingredient list from a regular box of plain Wheat Thins:

  • Enriched Whole Wheat Flour- enriched because they strip and extrude the grain at extremely high temperature and pressure, killing every vitamin and mineral naturally found in wheat. So synthetic  vitamins are added back in to try and fool you. I personally doubt that we absorb much, if any, of these synthetic vitamins.
  • Soybean Oil- from GMO soybeans. Don’t even get me started
  • Cornstarch-from GMO corn
  • Malt Syrup-sweetener made from GMO corn
  • Sugar- made from GMO sugar beets
  • BHT- added to the packaging to “preserve freshness” This is a fancy way of saying, “you are eating a rancid food and we added a deodorizer to the box so it doesn’t stink when you open it.

Sound appetizing? These crackers are really very easy to make. And the soaking step is ridiculously simple. I hate to shop, so for me this is actually a much easier option than going to a store and buying a box of premade crackers. Ha!

Homemade Wheat Thin Crackers (soaked)

1 1/4 cup organic wheat flour (freshly ground if you can)

1/4 cup water + 2Tbsp

4 Tbsp butter (unsalted)

1 1/2 Tbsp sugar

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt (plus more for salting before baking)

  • Combine flour, sugar, salt, and paprika.
  • Cut in the butter. I used a food processor, but you don’t have to.
  • Add water and stir to combine.

Wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap and place in a very warm location. Mine took a nice long nap over night on top of the fridge. The ideal temperature would be between 110 and 130 degrees. Maybe the oven with the pilot light? And ideas? Between baking and letting it sit out for 8-24 hours you are breaking down a very large portion of the phytic acid and pre-digesting the gluten. I also like soaking because it breaks your recipes up into two seperate days, which to me feels like less work for some reason….If you don’t care about soaking, then carry on with the baking right now!

Flour your counter top and roll out the dough. You want the crackers to be very thin, so they will be crispy. Transfer the dough to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Score the crackers deeply with a sharp knife. I make mine exactly the size of my mouth 🙂 Sprinkle with a small amount of extra salt. I over did it the first time and they were too salty, so beware.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 5-10 minutes. Check them after 5 and remove the crackers that are smaller or thinner and are browning too fast. You’ll know the ones….cool. break. eat.

For the sake of the experiment I actually “borrowed” some wheat thins from a co-worker and brang them home. I ate a real wheat thin and a homemade wheat thin and they tasted EXACTLY THE SAME. I made Rob test them both with his eyes closed and he couldn’t tell the difference. Success!

For the absolute best nutritional value, grind your flour fresh. I have not squeezed the grain mill into my budget yet, but I am almost there. I can’t wait!

P.S If you have a Kitchen Aid Mixer, you can buy a very inexpensive attachment for it that will grind fresh grain! I wish I had one…..but I am still using a good old fashioned wooden spoon 🙂

Homemade Seasoning Salt

When I’m in a hurry in the kitchen I like a fast all-purpose spice I can grab and sprinkle on a hunk of meat, and throw it in the oven. It took me a while to develop something that is truly all-purpose, but I think this is it! So far I have used it on chicken, fish, beef, bison, salad, hard-boiled eggs and pasta. I think that fits the bill of all-purpose don’t you?

All-Purpose Seasoned Salt

6 Tbsp Sea Salt

1/2 tsp Thyme

1/2 tsp Marjoram

1/2 tsp Garlic powder

2 1/2 tsp Paprika

1 tsp Mustard powder

1/2 tsp Onion powder

1/4 tsp Dill

1 tsp Celery salt

Mix all in a bowl and funnel into a shaker. I used this pretty ceramic shaker I found at a yard sale.

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