Posts by zenbellyblog

Crispy Skin Sous Vide Salmon

Posted by on Aug 18, 2015 in Dinner, Fish/Seafood | 3 comments

Crispy Skin Sous Vide Salmon

I was pretty sure I didn’t need another kitchen gadget, but it appears I was mistaken. For my birthday last month, my wonderful mama bought me an Anova Culinary Precision Cooker, which is an immersible sous vide machine. Until recently, sous vide cooking required a big old contraption that took up a bunch of counter space, and that was only when the method started to become popular in home kitchens. Before that, you’d really only find them in fancy restaurant kitchens. The incredible thing about the Anova Culinary Precision Cooker is that it doesn’t take up a single square inch of counter space. Want more pros? It’s easy to use, and it makes a simple salmon supper otherworldly. Seriously, I’ve never had better salmon than salmon that was cooked with this method. Crispy Skin Sous Vide Salmon prep time: 5 minutes cook time: 15 minutes, plus time to brine serves: 2-4 (for a main course, 6 oz per person is a good portion) For the brine: 1/4 cup sea salt 1 tablespoon honey 1/2 cup boiling water 2 cups ice water 1 pound salmon, cut into portions 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (I love Kasandrinos*) 1 tablespoon ghee (I love Tin Star Foods) Dissolve the salt and honey in the boiling water. Add the ice water. Place the salmon in a shallow baking dish that it just fits in and pour the brine over it. Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes. After 30-60 minutes, remove the salmon from the brine, give it a quick rinse and pat dry. Gently vacuum seal each portion in its own bag, dividing the olive oil among them. Notes: 1. If using a vacuum sealer that doesn’t have different settings, stop the vacuum action before it compresses the salmon too much; the flesh is delicate and you don’t want to break it.  2. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, you can simply use Ziploc bags and squeeze as much air out as possible.  Set the sous vide to 125° F / 52° C. Once the temperature is reached, submerge the salmon for 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Once you see the albumen (white protein) start to release from the fish, it is done. Remove the fish from the bags and pat dry. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the ghee. Once shimmering, add the salmon, skin side down, and sear for 2-3 minutes, or until crispy, and releases easily from the pan. Serve skin side up over your favorite veggies or salad. Pictured here is a simple zucchini noodle salad made with early girl tomatoes, white balsamic, extra virgin olive oil, basil, garlic and sea salt. * Save 10% on your entire order at Kasandrinos when you enter zenbelly at checkout!   All of the links on zenbellycatering.com are for information purposes, however some are affiliate links to books, products or services. Any sponsored posts are clearly labelled as being sponsored content. Some ads on this site are served by ad networks and the advertised products are not necessarily recommended by Zenbelly...

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Grain-Free Chocolate Zucchini Bread from Down South Paleo

Posted by on Aug 10, 2015 in Book Reviews, breads & muffins | 8 comments

Grain-Free Chocolate Zucchini Bread from Down South Paleo

I’m super excited. My good friend and work wifey, Jennifer Robins of Predominantly Paleo fame releases her first cookbook TOMORROW! Down South Paleo is the mother lode of your Southern Food favorites, adapted to fit a gluten-free or Paleo lifestyle. It’s got comforting southern dishes like Home-Style Chicken Fried Steak + Cream Gravy, Down Home Chicken + Dumplings, Soulful Collard Greens + Crisped Bacon and Deep South Grain-Free Grits. But she didn’t stop there, and included Cajun classics such as Gulf Coast Fried Shrimp + Remoulade Sauce, Creamy Cajun Chicken + Pasta, and Cajun-Spiced Chicken Wings. And since Jennifer is a Texas girl, you know she included some Tex-Mex favorites, too: Chile con Queso + Grain-Free Tortillas, Lone Star Huevos Rancheros, Gringo’s Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup, Tex-Mex Taco Salad + Chipotle Ranch Dressing, just to name a few! But what about desserts, you ask? Oh yeah, there are desserts. Bourbon Street Bread Pudding + Caramel Sauce, Emerald Coast Key Lime Pie + Coconut Whipped Cream, and Mixed Berry Cobbler are on my list to try. Today, I chose to make the Grain-Free Chocolate Zucchini Bread, and have to say I’ve got no regrets. It was incredibly simple to make (hello, blender!) and I even had all of the ingredients on hand. (Gotta love that!) And of course it made the house smell amazing, and tastes spectacular. Perfect with tea, and a great way to use up your summer zucchini harvest! Jennifer graciously gave me permission to share this exclusive recipe with you- enjoy! Grain-Free Chocolate Zucchini Bread from Down South Paleo Yield: 8 servings 4 pastured eggs 1 banana 2 tablespoons cocoa powder 1/4 cup (60 ml) pure maple syrup 1/2 cup (60 grams) coconut flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted 1/4 teaspoon sea salt 1 teaspoon (3 grams) ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 medium zucchini, shredded 1/2 cup (90 grams) dairy-free chocolate chips (optional- I opted!) Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4) In a blender, combine all the ingredients except the shredded zucchini and optional chocolate chips. Blend well until combined and then pour the batter into a mixing bowl. The batter will thicken slightly over the next few minutes. Fold in the shredded zucchini and chocolate chips (if using) and stir well. Pour the mixture into a greased loaf pan (glass preferred) and bake for about an hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool, then gently pry it away from the sides of the pan and invert onto a plate. Invert again. Slice and serve warm. ORDER DOWN SOUTH PALEO BY JENNIFER ROBINS HERE!  All of the links on zenbellycatering.com are for information purposes, however some are affiliate links to books, products or services. Any sponsored posts are clearly labelled as being sponsored content. Some ads on this site are served by ad networks and the advertised products are not necessarily recommended by Zenbelly...

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Cucumber Martini

Posted by on Aug 6, 2015 in cocktails | 3 comments

Cucumber Martini

I am not a martini drinker, nor am I a girly drink drinker. I’m somewhere in the middle- I like my cocktails booze-forward, but not necessarily ALL booze. A dry martini is a tough one for me to get through. But a martini that is infused with some interesting and balanced flavors that don’t overwhelm or make it too sweet? That’s my kind of drink. This cucumber martini is just that; Being mostly gin, it’s definitely still a martini. But the muddled cucumber brightens it up, the St Germain adds just a touch of floral sweetness, and the olive oil adds an unexpected touch of richness. You might think adding olive oil to a cocktail is just crazy-talk; I’ll admit I was skeptical at first too. But definitely give it a try. It rounds out the drink quite nicely, and if you’re using good quality olive oil, it will add some great flavor, too. Lost in a sea of olive oil and not sure which one is best? That’s easy. It’s Kasandrinos. And you can get 10% off your order this month when you enter zenbelly15 at checkout. SHOP HERE. St Germain is an elderflower liqueur that has the incredible ability of making just about every drink better. It comes in a large bottle that will last you a very long time, and is absolutely worth adding to your liquor cabinet. You’re going to need a good muddler for this- you want to basically turn the cucumber into juice. If you don’t have a muddler, but you do have an immersion blender, feel free to give it a few pulses with that instead. The Cucumber Martini for one drink: 3 1-inch slices cucumber 1/2 ounce (2 teaspoons) lime juice 1/4 ounce (1 teaspoon) St Germain 1.5 ounces gin (I like Hedricks) 1/2 teaspoon Kasandrinos extra virgin olive oil a handful of ice cucumber ribbon or slice, for garnish Chill a martini glass. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the cucumber until it’s just about liquified. Add the ice along with the lime juice, St Germain, gin and olive oil. Pop on the lid and give it a good shake. And then shake it some more. You’ll want to get the olive oil as emulsified as possible, which will take some serious shakin’. Strain into the chilled glass and garnish with the cucumber ribbon. PIN THIS RECIPE: All of the links on zenbellycatering.com are for information purposes, however some are affiliate links to books, products or services. Any sponsored posts are clearly labelled as being sponsored content. Some ads on this site are served by ad networks and the advertised products are not necessarily recommended by Zenbelly...

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Chili-Lime Wings

Posted by on Jul 15, 2015 in Chicken, Dinner | 6 comments

Chili-Lime Wings

WINGS! I get excited when I remember they’re a dinner option. Too often I forget, unless I’m thinking of what to make for the Super Bowl or some other big sportsing day. But why should we only eat them when there are really good commercials on TV? That’s silly. They’re cheap and delicious, and there are practically endless ways to prepare them. Take this preparation, for example; They get crispy in the oven thanks to a blend that includes salt and tapioca starch, and then tossed in a super flavorful sauce that gets mixed together in about 45 seconds. (All credit goes to Predominantly Paleo for the tapioca starch idea) All in all, you’re looking at about 45 minutes total time with only 5 of that being active. So you’ll have more than enough time to throw together a salad or slaw to serve them with. Chili-Lime Wings prep time: 5 minutes cook time: 45 minutes serves: 2  for the wings 2 pounds wings, separated into drumettes  and wingettes (save the tips for broth!) 1 rounded teaspoon salt 1 rounded teaspoon tapioca starch 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander 1/8 teaspoon paprika for the sauce 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger 1 tablespoon coconut aminos 1 tablespoon honey 1 teaspoon lime zest (about 1/2 lime), plus more for garnish 1 tablespoon lime juice (about 1/2 lime) 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce 1/2 teaspoon chili paste Preheat the oven to 450. Line a metal rack in a rimmed baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine the salt, tapioca, ground ginger, coriander and paprika. Toss the wings in a ziploc bag and add the salt mixture. Close the bag and give it a good shake to coat. Arrange the wings on the rack, spacing them out as much as possible. Roast for 20 minutes and then flip and roast for another 20. Meanwhile, to make the sauce, combine all of the sauce ingredients except for the additional lime zest in a large bowl. Once the chicken is cooked through, add to the bowl with the sauce and toss to combine. Place them back on the rack. (Use your hands or tongs to pull them out of the bowl, as opposed to dumping the extra sauce onto the pan- it will just burn) Roast for another 5 minutes. Transfer to a platter to serve, and pour any remaining sauce over them. Garnish with additional lime zest. PIN THIS RECIPE: All of the links on zenbellycatering.com are for information purposes, however some are affiliate links to books, products or services. Any sponsored posts are clearly labelled as being sponsored content. Some ads on this site are served by ad networks and the advertised products are not necessarily recommended by Zenbelly...

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Crispy Chicken Thighs with Spicy Peaches

Posted by on Jul 5, 2015 in Dinner | 5 comments

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Spicy Peaches

When I run into the store unsure of what to make for dinner, seven times out of 10 I’ll grab some bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. They’re just so simple and versatile- you can simply roast them on high heat rubbed with your favorite seasonings, pan roast them with bacon and apples, or you can get them extra crispy one the stove top, which happens to be my new favorite method.   The key here is to walk away from the pan while the chicken is cooking. This is not a stir-fry; you don’t want to mess with it. If you try to turn the chicken too soon, you’ll wind up flipping a skinless thigh, while the skin remains adhered to the pan. Not what you want. If you practice your patience on this one, you’ll be putting unbelievable crispy chicken thighs on the table, no breading or deep frying required. Heads up: There will be splatter. If you have a splatter guard, now’s the time to use it! The quick peach compote adds a wonderful sweet & spicy dimension to this dish, and I love crispy chicken thighs with some kind of sauce. But if you’re going for easy peasy weeknight dinner, the chicken is still delicious on it’s own. Either way: Winner Winner Super Crispy Chicken Dinner. If you’re following the autoimmune protocol, feel free to omit the chipotle, cumin and coriander and add some freshly grated ginger instead. Crispy Chicken Thighs with Spicy Peaches prep time: 5 minutes cook time: 35-40 minutes serves: 4 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 6-8 thighs) 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon ghee (or coconut oil) freshly ground black pepper 3 peaches (about 3/4 – 1 pound) 1 teaspoon ground chipotle 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1 tablespoon lime juice small handful cilantro, minced, plus additional for garnish Melt the ghee in a large skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle half the salt on the skin side of the chicken and add to the pan, skin side down. Once in the pan, sprinkle the exposed side with the remaining salt, and some freshly ground black pepper. Allow to cook for 10 minutes without moving. Rotate the pan if need be, but it’s important to let the fat render from the chicken skin; it will stick if you move it too soon. After 10 minutes, check the skin and rotate as needed. (If it’s still sticking, let it be for a few minutes longer) Cook for another 10-12 minutes, again moving as little as possible, or until the skin is evenly deep golden brown and crispy.  Once crispy, flip the chicken and cook for another 10-12 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove to a plate. Drain all but about 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pan and return the pan to the heat. While the chicken is cooking, dice the peaches into 1/2 inch chunks and toss with the chipotle, cumin and coriander. After removing the chicken, add the peaches to the pan and sauté for 3 minutes or until soft, but not mushy. Stir in the lime juice and cilantro. Serve the chicken over the peaches, garnished with additional cilantro. PIN THIS RECIPE:    All of the links on zenbellycatering.com are for information purposes, however some are affiliate links to books, products or services. Any sponsored posts are clearly labelled as being sponsored content. Some ads on this site are served by ad networks and the advertised products are not necessarily recommended by Zenbelly...

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Free eBook: Essentials

Enter your email address to get Chef Simone's Free eBook: Essentials; Zenbelly's guide to mastering the basics. 11 simple recipes to boost your kitchen confidence and help you cook like a pro