Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Thanks for Dinner, Michelle Tam!

We have Michelle Tam (Nom Nom Paleo) to thank for Monday night's delicious dinner.  Michelle didn't actually cook it (I wish), but she provided the tasty recipes.  The menu was Siu Yoke (Crispy Roast Pork Belly) from her new cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo Food for Humans, and Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad with Asian Citrus Dressing from her blog.

If you haven't bought Nom Nom Paleo Food for Humans, you should - step by step instructions and pictures so there is no guessing about technique, easy recipes with basic ingredients (for the most part), and cartoon drawings that are fun.  And, most importantly (to me!) a great index making it easy to find recipes by ingredients or recipe name.

The hard to find ingredient is Paleo-friendly fish sauce.  It's not actually hard to find - I know exactly where to get it, but it is expensive.  Amazon.com (US) carries Red Boat fish sauce which is Paleo-friendly if you have a budget for it.  If it was shoes or a new Paleo cookbook, I could probably put it in the budget, but I use a little anchovy paste instead.  You can find a tube of anchovy paste in the dairy cooler section of most grocery stores.  The fish sauce (or the anchovy paste) is for umami flavour.

Michelle also uses cilantro in the Warm Brussels Sprouts salad but, to me, it tastes like soap.  There is actually a scientific reason for this, and Julia Child was a famous cilantro-hater, so I am not alone.  I substituted parsley for the colour and because I had some in the fridge.

Note:  The Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad recipe calls for roasting the shredded Brussels sprouts at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.  My Brussels sprouts were browned at the 8 minute point, so watch them!  Next time, I think I would roast them at 400 degrees instead.  Paleo Grandad wasn't thrilled with this dinner.  He liked the Brussels Sprouts Slaw better than the pork - he said the pork didn't taste like pork because of the spices.  He gave the sprout slaw three bacon strips out of five, and the Siu Yoke pork only two and a half bacon strips out of five.

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