I seem to have a bad case of brain fog, and I cannot figure out why. Although it could be due to eating out this weekend and eating a good dose of Japanese and Chinese food… if there’s one thing I’ve been very strict about avoiding is gluten and sugar since I started Paleo. However, when eating out, it’s nearly impossible to avoid one or the other or both, which can be very frustrating especially at Asian restaurants. Thankfully, I don’t have a really bad reaction to gluten, other than brain fog and a little bit of bloating. (Both of these “symptoms” I’ve only really noticed recently. Before going gluten free, I never appreciated that these symptoms were possibly due to gluten.)
Anyway, it’s been hard getting back into the routine of things and blogging again. We were on a road trip for 2.5 weeks, and after getting home, I had to organise, clean and prepare the house for our family guests this past weekend. Needless to say, the blog was relocated to the back-burner (pun intended ;)).
That doesn’t mean I’m not cooking on a daily basis. It’s just that I don’t have time to photograph the food and write about it. But as I feel that I’ve been neglecting my readers, I made an extra effort this weekend to at least take pictures of a new recipe that I developed for our tapa lunch yesterday.
After the whole Saturday of sight-seeing in London and wonderful weather, yesterday we stayed home and shared some Spanish goodies and tapas made especially for our family. I made a sweet potato Spanish tortilla and some individual milhojas de berenjenas (layered aubergines), while my husband cut some raw-milk Manchego cheese and some Caña de Lomo (a type of cured pork loin, which is a delicacy in Spain), we recently purchased in Spain. We also enjoyed anchovy-stuffed olives and marinated capers. And to top it off, I created the following stuffed mushroom recipe.
We love mushrooms and have them often “al ajillo” or with garlic. I also incorporate them into a lot of dishes; but yesterday I wanted them to be the star on their own and decided stuffed would be a nice alternative and something a bit easier to make while we enjoyed the conversation with our guests.
These mushrooms are easy to make. The primary work is in the chopping and preparation of the ingredients; but once you do that, the rest can be done in a jiffy.
- 16 – 18 button mushrooms
- 3 pork back rasher or pieces of bacon, cooked and diced
- 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- a handful of raw, blanched almonds
- 10-15 black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons grass-fed butter
- Take the buttons off the mushrooms and set them aside. Clean out the mushrooms and rinse them in water to remove any dirt. Set upside-down on a paper towel to drain.
- Wash the stems and with a knife, chop into small pieces. Set aside.
- In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter in the olive oil and cook the onion until translucent.
- Add the garlic and mushroom stem pieces. Cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently, to release any liquid in them.
- Add the back rasher pieces and cumin and stir well. Cook about 1 minutes and remove from heat.
- Place the mushroom caps with the open-side up in an ovenproof dish.
- Fill with the bacon-onion mixture. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 180C.
- In the same saucepan, add a drizzle of olive oil and over low heat, brown the almonds, stirring constantly. Be careful not to burn them, as they will turn sour. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Pour the almonds and oil into a mortar with the peppercorns. Ground with the pestle into coarse pieces.
- Spoon the almonds-ground peppercorn mixture over the filled mushroom caps.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes and serve immediately.