I was telling a friend about this recipe and she called it Faux Paella because it doesn’t have any rice in it. Faux Paella, Low-Carb Paella, call it whatever you want, it’s delicious. And healthy, too.
This recipe was because I am in the process of cleaning out my freezers and pantry and larder. So this used up some of the things so I could clean and get things ready for the next growing season.
I keep forgetting to note how many stars these recipes have — each star representing something that I grew and used in the recipe. This one is tough. Some of the herbs in the dressing were from my microfarm. And the peas were from our last harvest. But that’s it. However, I also made the stock. So this does get a three-star rating.
Notes on this recipe:
You will need a balsamic dressing for this. Be sure that it is just oil, balsamic, and herbs — no sugar, please. Fortunately, you can get it already made, but it’s super easy to make your own. Just two parts oil and one part balsamic vinegar and your choice of herbs. I prefer parsley, chives, and basil in mine. But you do you.
The recipe calls for chicken thighs, but as I mentioned above, I was cleaning out the freezer/fridge/pantry. So, you’ll see in the photos I used chicken breast because that’s what I had on hand. With breast you’ll use more stock then with thighs, hence why the recipe calls for one to three cups of stock. Even if you don’t use all three cups while preparing, it’s nice to add a little stock to leftover container to keep the paella moist.
This recipe calls for shrimp. In a pinch you could skip this ingredient, especially if you’re planning to eat for breakfast or lunch the next day. Some people are not happy with a fried egg over the paella with shrimp in it at breakfast, but I think it’s delicious. Plus, traditionally, paella is going to have some kind of seafood in it. I had the small cocktail shrimp on hand that I needed to use.
A cast-iron dutch oven with lid
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 lb. of chorizo, either chunked or ground
1 carrot, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 cups of cauliflower “rice”
1 to 3 cups of chicken stock*
1 cup of frozen peas, thawed*
1/2 cup of Balsamic dressing*
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
salt and pepper
pinch of saffron (please don’t skip, it makes the dish)
1 pound of cooked shrimp
2 tablespoons of parsley, chopped
1 lemon, juiced
In your cast-iron dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and chorizo and brown on all sides for 3 to 4 minutes. The meat will not be cooked through. This is fine. This is a pre-seasoning of the pan and the a searing of the meat step. Remove chicken and chorizo from pan and set aside.
Heat remaining oil in pan and add onion, carrot, celery, and bell pepper. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until vegetables are translucent. Season with salt and pepper. Add cauliflower rice to the pan and stir to coat. Add saffron and stir.
Evenly distribute the “rice” around the pan and slowly pour in stock one cup at a time as not to disturb the “rice.” Only put in enough liquid to cover the vegetables and cauliflower ‘rice.” Next cover the dutch oven and cook for 7 to 10 minutes. Do not stir during this portion of the
Finally stir before adding chicken, chorizo, and shrimp back to the pan, carefully nestling the pieces within the vegetables and cauliflower “rice”. Cover dutch oven again and continue cooking another 10 minutes until meat is cooked through and cauliflower “rice” is al dente.
Top with peas and parsley. Stir. Drizzle with dressing and lemon juice. Serve immediately.
*denotes that it was homemade or homegrown or both
This week I’d like to ask for some reading recommendations for someone only a year into her #infosec exploration and education. What book, podcast, article, what should I read, digest, and devour? Leave your recs below.
As in weeks past, feel free to leave a comment here about any of those articles. Let’s learn from one another. Okay, have pity on the noob and let me learn from you.
Have another great week InfoSec geeks. See you next week.
One of my resolutions for the year is to try and celebrate every day. The Universe has seen fit to give me lesson after lesson of how precious life is and that even in the routine, even in the mundane, we must celebrate this beautiful gift of existence we have. This celebration should certainly include food.
This recipe is super easy and simple, yet seems so decadent and delicious. Every time I make it, my husband, bless his heart, says, “What’s the occasion?” And I get to wink and smile, and say, “Just cause.” But if I needed to make a meal for a special occasion, this likely would be my go-to. You know those memes that say you should have one recipe that you make to impress someone. This could totally be it. My go-to used to be Chicken Piccata. This kicks that poultry all over the kitchen and dining room and back to Thursday night. 😉
Cook’s Notes about this recipe:
Do not forget to take the roast out in enough time to not only be thawed, but be sure that it’s room temperature before you roast.
If you are planning for a special meal and need to do some pre-work on this recipe, feel free to marinade overnight. However, I like to just have it marinate as it gets to room temperature. If you do marinate overnight, again, be sure to allow the meat to rest on the counter and lose it’s chill before you roast.
Do not skimp on the ingredients here. There’s not a lot. But be sure to get the fresh rosemary. Don’t skip the nutmeg. It’s essential to the flavor. Feel free to up the garlic and cayenne to your taste.
If you need to “rush” the roasting process, you can cut cooking time down by having the ribs sliced ahead of time, instead of carving the whole roast. But you will need to turn during cooking. It turns out yummy this way, too.
Take the time to massage your greens, especially if you’re using kale or mustard greens. If you have baby greens, no need to massage.
For the greens this recipe details olive oil; however, feel free to use whatever oil you like. I love the flavor that avocado oil gives the greens, but it’s your decision which to use. Most folks nowadays have olive oil, hence the recipe’s status.
In the photo above, I had some leftover cooked bacon that I crumbled in the greens. Feel free to do that right before you add the salt, pepper, and lemon juice. But totally optional.
Every oven can be different and depending on how warm your lamb racks are before putting in the oven, your roasting time may vary. Get that meat thermometer out.
Cast Iron Skillet
2lbs frenched rack of lambs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 rosemary sprigs
4 cups of mixed baby greens (kale, spinach, mustard, etc.),
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 shallot, diced
half a fresh lemon
In a small dish, combine salt and spices. Sprinkle seasoning evenly all over the lamb.
Add olive oil and minced garlic in a large zip lock bag and spread it evenly inside the bag.
Put the racks of lamb into the bag and place the rosemary on each side.
Squeeze out the air and zip the bag. Massage it slightly so that olive oil, garlic and all other spices are evenly distributed.
Marinate the lamb for at least an hour, or overnight. Bring it to room temperature before cooking.
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
Place the lamb racks on a baking sheet lined with foil.
Roast for about 30 to 40 minutes depending how you like it done. The internal temperature should reach at least 130-140°F for medium rare. Broil for 2-3 minutes to add a little char before taking it out.
Cover with foil and rest for about 5 minutes before serving.
While the roast is charing and resting — work your greens in a big cast-iron skillet. Add oil to pan. Heat the pan to med-high heat. Then add the chopped shallots for one minute. Then add the peppers. Sautee for about 2 minutes. Add the greens and let wilt, stirring often. Salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze the lemon over the greens, remove from heat and serve immediately alongside the lamb rib roast portion.
So it’s the new year and you’ve promised yourself you’re going to eat healthier. But you love Pizza. Yeah, me, too.
Here’s the solution I’ve come up with: Chicken Pizza. No, the chicken doesn’t go on the pizza, it is the pizza, or rather, the pizza crust.
Notes about the recipe:
You may want to beat the chicken breasts a little thinner to make it more like crust. I have made it both ways and it is delicious either way and it just depends on how much time I have to make dinner or if I’m starting out with frozen or not breasts.
For the fresh basil leaves, you’ll need approximately two per breast, but depending on size of breasts and leaves you may need more/less. You can use fresh spinach if you don’t have basil.
Four boneless, skinless chicken breasts
olive oil and a bit of butter
Pizza Sauce (I recommend you make your own to cut down on salt and sugar; but can sauce works fine)
Provolone cheese slilces
Fresh Basil Leaves
Optional: mushrooms, sliced tomatoes, peppers — you know pizza toppings. In the photos there is sliced tomatoes. If you put more on the chicken than the basil and pepperoni and cheese, you will need some shredded Parmesan to help make the toppings “stick.”
Big Cast Iron Skillet with lid
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slowly heat your pizza sauce on the stove on low. You will use this like a marinara sauce for dipping as well as to put on top of the chicken.
Pound the chicken breast thinner, if desired, but optional. Season breast with salt and pepper.
Heat your skillet with some oil or a pat of butter on medium heat.
Once the oil heats or the butter melts, put the chicken breasts in and let cook on one side at least five minutes.
Then flip breasts over and cover skillet.
Cook for another five minutes or so. Flip back over, add a little bit more oil or butter, if needed (you don’t want the chicken to stick to the pan).
Turn off the stove heat. With breasts still in cast-iron skillet, put a spoonful of sauce on the chicken breast and spread around.
Put on your fresh basil leaves.
(At this point if you’re adding more toppings, sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese and then add the toppings. Mushrooms and peppers should be pre-cooked, so there’s not too much moisture pulling off the toppings off the chicken “crust.” Remember, the more toppings the longer it will need to cook in the oven, just like real pizza.)
Put one slice of provolone cheese on each breast.
Add pepperoni. Sprinkle with dried parsley if desired.
Put skillet in oven and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Be sure skillet is in the middle of the oven.
Serve one breast per person with a side of the sauce (like shown above).
You can even hand pepper flakes and grated Parmesan to everyone just like at the pizzeria. Enjoy.