Sunday, August 18, 2013

Oven Roasted Wings 2.0 with Honey Hot Sauce

My very first post was about oven roasted chicken wings. Ian grew up in South Carolina, and those crazy South Carolinians love their wings. I stopped making them for a while when we were in Danville, because our apartment's fire alarm would go off if I cooked anything over 400 degrees in the oven. It was irritating. So now that we are in a new apartment with a fire alarm that isn't so tempremetal, I started making oven roasted wings again. I have slightly improved the recipe from the orginial, so here is the 2.0 version, just in time for football season!

Oven Roasted Wings 2.0 with Honey Hot Sauce
Serves 2 Very Hungry Lovebirds


3 tablespoons of Katy's House Rub
24 chicken wings, mix of drumettes and flats
1/3 cup Tessamae's Hot Sauce
1/3 cup of melted Grassfed butter, such as Smjor or Kerrygold
2 tablespoons of honey, preferably local


1. In a large bowl, evenly coat all the wings in the rub, mix together thorougly and marinate in the fridge for at least and hour, and up to half a day.
2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, and spread the wings out on a cookie sheet.
3. Roast the wings for 30 minutes.
4. Flip the wings and roast for another 20 to 30 minutes until the wings are cooked through and starting to blacken on the edges a bit. If they are starting to look dry at the halfway point, brush them with a little melted butter.
5. While the wings are cooking, whisk together the honey, Tessamae's hot sauce and melted butter until thorougly combined.
6. When the wings are done roasting, toss them in a bowl with the sauce and serve with plenty of paper towels and lots of water!

** Want this recipe less spicy? Try using Tessamae's Medium Hot Sauce instead! 

I also suggest a nice crisp salad as a side item to this spicy dish! Maybe my Paleo Cuban Salad with Avocado Vinaigrette? Just sayin'!

Hope you guys enjoy this FANTASTIC wing recipe! Happy Sunday!

*Note: I have not received any commissions or compensation for the products I have suggested in this post. But I do highly recommend them!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Braised Grassfed Lengua with Cabbage and Tessamaes Hot Sauce

So remember when I went on a rant about the whole Sally Fallon WAPF thing and bragged about my grassfed cow tounge in my freezer? Well I guess it was time this week to step up to the plate and cook the damn thing.

I first heard of "lengua" when I was in culinary school. One of my classmates was Mexican, and she told us about how eating tongue was popular in most Central and South American countries. She shared this tidbit while we were in Meat Fabrication class, and most of the class balked at the idea of eating tongue. She claimed that when it was prepared properly, it tasted just like roast beef. Well, I really like roast beef, so I thought, "What the hell, I'll try it at least once!"

Her family owned a string of authentic Mexican restaurants in Atlanta, and she said that Tacos de Lengua was not only on their menu, but a very popular item. She offered to cook a tongue, and then bring it in to show us how it was done.

She didn't go into detail about her family's secret recipe, but I remember her saying that it braised for a long time. She brought it in after it was cooked and then she taught us how to slice through the outer layer, and peel off the taste buds. She said, "You know, just like a plantain." I know you are thinking what I thought at the time. A plantain doesn't have freaking taste buds! You are expecting me to eat that?!? Well, I had to prove that I was man enough, or well, woman enough to eat tongue, and what I found was that she was completely right. Lengua does taste exactly like extremely rich and moist roast beef.

Fast forward many years later and I find myself trying to include more offal into my Paleo diet. I walked into Virginia Organic Garden Grocery, where they have a whole cooler full of Polyface grassfed and pastured meats, and a little sign above it saying, "We also have tongue and other organ meats in our back up cooler. If you are interested, please ask us at the register." So of course I did. I came home with a huge freaking TONGUE, and promptly stuck it in my freezer. There it sat for a few weeks. After I made a batch of especially delicious bone broth, Ian looked at me and said, "It's time to cook that tongue."

So here is what I did:

Braised Grassfed Cow Tongue

1 grassfed cow tongue
8 cups of stock, preferably homemade (any kind will do, I used chicken stock, but you could also use pork or beef stock as well)
1 onion, any variety, halved
3 stalks of organic celery, chunked
3 organic carrots, chunked
1 head of garlic, cut in half 
2 tablespoons of sea salt
2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon paparika
2 teaspoons of chili powder
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
2 teaspoons of ground corriander
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
4 bay leaves


1. Place all of the veggies and seasoning in a large dutch oven. I used my trusty Le Crueset.
2. Place the thawed tongue on top, and fill the pot with the stock.
3. Braise in the oven at 225 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-9 hours. I put mine in the oven when I was headed to bed.
4. When you wake up in the morning, take the dutch oven out of the oven, and then place on a trivet in your fridge to cool. I left it there to cool all day while I was at work.

*** I bet you could do all of this in a crock pot, but I don't know because I don't have one. But I really bet it would work just the same. Just try it on low for the same amount of time, and please leave a comment if you try it in your crock pot and it works!***

Ok, now you've got your cooked and cooled tongue. Next, put your big girl panties on, and prepare to peel that tongue. You can do it, I promise. It builds character, and you will feel awesome for conquering your fear of the unknown.

So next, do just what my Mexican friend suggested, and treat it like a plantain. Using a paring knife, slit it lengthwise through the outer layer, and peel off that layer along with those icky taste buds. Underneath you will find BEAUTIFUL braised meat, that looks just like roast beef. Shred that and either set it aside, or store it until you are ready to cook dinner.

Now you are certainly welcome to use your shredded lengua and make tacos, but I had something else in mind. My MIL loves ground beef sauteed with cabbage, onions and drizzled with hot sauce. It's crazy simple, and also INCREDIBLY good. Doesn't sound like it would be, and certainly doesn't look like anything special, but it is really good. So I decided to step that idea up with my freshly braised tongue. I also decided to add some carrot ribbons to the dish for a few carbs, and for a little color. To make carrot ribbons, use your peeler to peel your carrot... and just keep on going with the peeler. Super easy, and no fancy tools required.

Braised Grassfed Lengua with Cabbage and Tessamaes Hot Sauce
Serves 4-6


1 braised grassfed cow tongue, shredded
1 organic head of cabbage, with the core removed, and sliced into shreds
1 red onion, juliened
4 organic carrots, ribboned (see above)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of grassfed butter (like Kerrygold)
2 tablespoons of lard, or other healthy fat
salt and pepper to taste
Tessamaes Hot Sauce to taste


1. Melt one tablespoon each of butter and lard in a very large skillet, or cast iron pan. Brown the onions on medium high for 5 minutes, and season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
2. Add the carrot ribbons to the pan, season again and cook for another 5 minutes.
3. Add the shredded cabbage, season with a LARGE pinch of salt, some pepper, and cook for about 10-15 minutes, until the cabbage has wilted and has started to brown.
4. Push all the veggies to the side, and add the rest of the butter and lard to the empty side of the pan. Once melted and bubbling, add the braised tongue and saute to heat the tongue through, and also to caramelize just a bit, about 3-5 minutes. 
5. Mix together the veggies and the tongue, and add the minced garlic and continue to cook for another 3-5 minutes until the garlic is cooked and fragrant.
6. Serve up this delicious, albiet seemingly humble and odd dish with a drizzle of your favorite hot sauce. I have recently took the plunge and jumped on the bandwagon and bought Tessamaes (sold at Whole Foods), and I highly recommend it! Not only is it Paleo friendly, but it is really tasty on any number of foods, from wings to eggs to lengua.

So there you have it! My take on tongue. Moral of the story? It's delicious and nutritious, so just man up and try it already. Ok, now I have to go to spend time with my man. I've neglected him long enough to share this recipe with ya'll, but even he agrees that it is the stuff that crazy dreams are made of, and it had to be shared. So man up and eat up, yo.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Macadamia Nut Cookie Sweet Potato Hash Browns

Have you tried Nikki's Coconut Butter? This stuff is truly awesome. This cool little company makes 5 really delicious flavors of coconut butter from wholesome, paleo-friendly ingredients. All of their flavors are naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and sweetened with only natural sweeteners like maple syrup, honey, and dates. Ian's mom is so sweet, and for my birthday she sent me (really she sent us) a sampler box of every flavor. So what did my creative chef mind come up with using this awesome ingredient? Um... nothing. The first sampler set we just simply ate with a spoon.... straight out of the jar. We. Just. Couldn't. Stop. True story. It's that good.

So she sent us another one as a house warming present when we moved into our new digs. I vowed to actually cook some things with this set, rather than eating it straight from the jar. I sorta suceeded. The Midnight Mocha flavor didn't quite make it. That's my favorite flavor by the way -- go order some right this second.

My second favorite flavor is the Macadamia Nut Cookie, and so I came up with this wonderful recipe. I hope you guys like it!

Macadamia Nut Cookie Sweet Potato Hash Browns
Serves 2-4


2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup of lard for frying ( you could also use coconut oil)
2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of Macadamia Nut Cookie Nikki's Coconut Butter


1. In a large cast iron pan, melt the lard (or coconut oil) to 350 degrees.
2. Add in the cubed sweet potatoes, and fry for 10-15 minutes, stirring often to promote even browning. It's ok if they aren't fully submerged in oil, just make sure to keep stirring.
3. When the sweet potatoes are done and browned evenly on all sides, remove to a large glass or metal bowl. It's ok if some of the lard comes with the sweet potatoes because you will need it.
4. Toss the sweet potato hash browns with salt, cinnamon, and the tablespoon of coconut butter.
5. Once the coconut butter hits the hot hash browns and lard, it will melt and you will be able to easily coat all the sweet potatoes in a thin layer of coconut butter. Trust me, all you need is that one tablespoon!

If you don't have Nikki's coconut butter, I suppose you could just use a plain coconut butter and then chop some toasted macadamia nuts to go with the dish. BUT Nikki's Coconut Butter will seriously change your life. It's very rich, so it will last you a long time, and you only need to add a spoonful to recipes to add an enormous amount of richness and flavor.

There are already some recipes on Nikki's site, and Ian's mom made the Mary's Carrot Cake which features the Honey Pecan Pie flavor in the cake and the Vanilla Cake Batter in the frosting. She came and visited us this past weekend, and was absolutely raving about that recipe, and in particular the frosting. I had already planned to make the Carrot Cake Cream Pies from Primal Cravings, and instead of making their recipe for a dairy free cream, I decided to be a little naughty and use the frosting recipe that Ian's mom raved about. OMG amazing. First of all, the soft cakes were so delicious. I won't reveal the recipe out of respect for the authors, but I highly suggest that book. So many amazing recipes. Someday soon I will do a full review of the book. Secondly, THAT FROSTING! Crazy fluffy and good. We thoroughly enjoyed this treat, and they were even better the next morning after they had been refrigerated.

I know, these aren't great photos, but I was more concerned with EATING the cream pies, than food styling and lighting. And I may have been drinking a little wine at the time too. :P Because what goes better with baking than wine, right?

Anyway, I hope you guys give Nikki Coconut Butter a try, and I also suggest you check out Primal Cravings by the cute couple at Health Bent. Nope, neither has paid me to say these things or create this recipe, they are just a few things I am interested in right now, and I wanted to share! Until next time...
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