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Archive for the ‘Sauces and Gravies’ Category

I made some Moo Shu Pork for dinner tonight.  We love the stuff!  But I needed some Hoisin Sauce to go with it and had none in the pantry.  All the commercial stuff either has sugar, high fructose corn syrup or molasses in the ingredient listing.  I checked my several recipes for this sauce (gathered around the net over the past 9 years) and the only two I had actually tried before were annotated “not so good” and “nothing special”.  :{

So I set about creating my own instead.  Since Hoisin is basically a seasoned plum jam/sauce, and I had an open bag of no-sugar-added prunes (which is just dried plums) in my pantry, I started with 10 of those.  Then I added a few ingredients that store-bought brands mention on their labels, guessing the amounts for those items, tasting as I went along.

Well, I’m here to tell you the final sauce came out pretty darn good!  Not exactly like the high-sugar stuff right out of the jar at the store, but I suspect it will taste much better and closer to that flavor when it has “aged” a bit.  We ate it while it was still warm tonight, so the cloves flavor in the Chinese 5-Spice Powder was pretty pronounced. The aroma and taste of the cloves is already mellowing, after just a few hours, actually.   All in all, not bad for my first shot at a low-carb version of this essential Chinese condiment. Most commercial hoisin sauce has around 8 carbs per tablespoon, so this number is trimmed down in mine.  Using liquid Splenda lowers carbs a tad, but not that much.

I’ll post the Moo Shu Pork recipe as soon as I can calculate nutritionals and get it typed up.  That dish I have been cooking for years, using Gloria Bley-Miller’s marvelous cookbook The Thousand Recipe Chinese Cookbook  as my “Bible” for Chinese cooking.  I can cook Moo Shu pork blindfolded but have been holing off to obtain a couple ingredients I can’t get locally.  This sauce is suitable once you get to Phase 2 of Atkins, since it is used in such small amounts on the “pancake” that you will use to roll up the Moo Shu Pork.  This sauce is totally unsuitable for Primal or Paleo due to the soy beans, as all legumes are eschewed in those food plans.

INGREDIENTS:

10 large dried prunes, Delmonte brand has no sugar added (around 4 oz.)

½ c. water

1 T. rice wine vinegar

3 T. low-sodium soy sauce (use regular if you prefer)

¼ tsp. Chinese 5-Spice powder

3 T. granular Splenda (liquid Splenda will lower carbs a smidge)

2 T. Eden soy black beans, well-mashed to a paste (or fermented black bean paste)

DIRECTIONS:  Place prunes in small saucepan with about ½ c. tap water.  Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer until they are soft, or about 5 minutes.  Mash well into the water with a fork until pretty smooth.  You can puree in a blender or food processor if you like, but I did not think this necessary.  Remove from heat.

Mash the beans on a paper plate to as smooth a paste as possible and stir into the prune mixture.  Add vinegar, soy sauce and 5-Spice powder to the pot and stir well.  Spoon into a serving dish or lidded jar and store any not used immediately in your refrigerator.  I do not know how long this keeps yet, and it sure has no preservatives in it.  But since it’s just made from dried fruit+vinegar (a preservative by nature)+soy sauce (fermented), I suspect a pretty long time.  Perhaps 2 weeks?  Maybe longer?  Just don’t know.  The soy beans will be what spoils first in this combo.  I’ll try to remember to post back my findings on that when mine no longer seems to smell/look right to me and I toss it out.  🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes about 1 cup (16 Tbsp.).  Each tablespoon using granular Splenda contains:

17.2 cals, 0.1g fat, 3.65g carbs, 0.51g fiber, 3.14g Net CARBS (2.89 NC with liquid Splenda), 0.45g protein, 101 mg sodium

 

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Chicken in Shawarma Cream SauceThis moist, delicious, quick dinner was all that I hoped it would be.  I seared off butterflied chicken breasts in butter and made a delicious sauce of a cream reduction of a mixture of cream and homemade mayonnaise along with some of my tasty Shawarma Spice Blend.  This simple recipe is perfect for a week night when you’re tired from a hard day at work.  But it would be good enough to serve guests as well!  And of course this is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal and even Paleo if you sub in coconut milk for the cream.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own cookbooks from LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS, by Jennifer Eloff and low-carb friends.  Chef George Stella also brings you a wealth of delicious recipes you will love!  Order yours TODAY! from Amazon or our direct order site: http://amongfriends.us/order.php.DISCLAIMER: I do not accept payment for this book promotion. I promote the books because they are GREAT cookbooks anyone would be proud to add to their cookbook collection.

INGREDIENTS: 

2   8-10-oz.  boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied

2 T. unsalted butter

Dash each coarse black pepper and sea salt

½ c. heavy cream (coconut milk for Paleo version)

1/3  c. homemade mayonnaise

½ tsp. my Shawarma Spice Blend

Water (just a bit, if needed to thin sauce if too thick)

DIRECTIONS:   Butterfly the chicken laterally almost through, spreading the two halves of each breast out to form 4 smaller, thinner fillets.  Alternately, you can leave them butterflied and whole and let your diners cut them as they wish at the table when serving themselves. Melt the butter in a large non-stick skillet over high heat.  Sear the chicken on all sides until the meat is no longer bleeding out pink juices and is done.  Remove meat to your serving platter while you make the sauce.

Lower heat to lowest setting and add the cream, homemade mayo and Shawarma spice blend.  Sprinkle on a dash of coarse black pepper and sea salt.  Allow to simmer stirring constantly, to de-glaze any brown bits off the pan into the sauce. Pour sauce carefully around (and a little bit down the middle of) the chicken fillets and serve at once with your favorite green veggies.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 4 servings, each contains (using 10-oz breasts):

385 calories, 31 g fat, 1.07 g carbs, 0.30 g fiber, 0.77 g NET CARBS, 26 g protein, 374 mg sodium

 

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This wonderful blending of herb flavors is a favorite of mine. You just can’t go wrong with cilantro, jalapeno and parsley in my book.  I just throw in some kale or occasionally spinach because it is so darn good for you and can’t be tasted as such in this sauce!  I don’t always include the vinegar usually found in Chimichurri Sauce…..it kind of depends how I’m going to use the sauce.  I usually do add some wine vinegar if it’s destined for grilled meats; I omit the vinegar for lots of other uses of the sauce like my Chicken Quesadillas.  I like to freeze any leftover sauce in a flattened ziploc bag so I can just break off a small piece for use in recipes.   This is OK for all phases of Atkins, Paleo and Primal fare as well.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented chefs to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Even a few of my recipes are in her cookbooks! Order your 5-volume set TODAY! (available individually) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS:

1 c. loosely packed kale, stemmed and chopped (or fresh spinach)

½ c. parsley

½ bunch cilantro

1 clove garlic

½ seeded jalapeno

Dash sea salt

¼ c. extra virgin olive oil

OPTIONAL:  2 T. red wine vinegar and dash of crushed red pepper flakes

DIRECTIONS:  Place all the ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until well-mixed.  Serve with your favorite Mexican dishes or in recipes that call for Chimichurri herb mixture.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes about 10 T., each tablespoon contains:

52.3 calories, 5.48 g  fat, .85 g  carbs, .33 g fiber, .52 g  NET CARBS, .34 g  protein, 21 mg sodium

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Since there are just two of us now celebrating Thanksgiving, I decided to roast a duck this year so I wouldn’t be eating turkey for days and days.  🙂  My duck tonight was truly the most moist duck I have cooked in a long time.  I served a traditional cornbread stuffing and green beans with this delicious bird and my husband LOVED it!  We both forked up seconds.   I have never liked orange sauce on duck, so I decided to work up a blueberry sauce with a hint of herbs and that turned out to be a good decision.  The herbs and bacon in the sauce brought so many flavor layers to the table.  We served this with a glass of red wine, but rose and white wines are good with duck as well.  This recipe is suitable once you reach the berry level of Atkins (OWL Phase 2).  It is suitable for all Keto diets, Primal Blueprint and Primal if you omit the wine in the sauce.  This Tipsy Blueberry Sauce would be good on turkey, roast port or probably any wild game.

Many more delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own cookbooks from LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS, by Jennifer Eloff and low-carb friends (me included).  Chef George Stella of Food Network fame, also brings to the table a wealth of delicious recipes added to the collection!  You’ll LOVE these recipes!  Order your copy today from Amazon  or our direct order site: amongfriends.us/order.php.

INGREDIENTS FOR DUCK:

5½ lb. duck

1/4 tsp. each onion powder, dried thyme and rosemary, crushed

Dash my Seafood Spice Blend (optional)

¼ tsp. salt

1 T. butter

DUCK DIRECTIONS:  Remove sauce packet (I throw it away) and the innards.  Boil the innards in 2 c. water for your dog.  🙂  Save the broth for your sauce.  Preheat oven to 375º.  Rub your fingers over duck checking for pinfeathers and remove any you find with the tip of a knife.  Mix the herbs and spices in a small dish with the salt.  Rub over duck skin all over.  Place duck on a grate that is then set down in a large roasting pan.  Baste with melted butter and pop into hot 375º oven for 1 hour.  Remove from oven, baste skin with remaining butter and return to oven for 30-45 minutes longer or until skin is brown, crisp and the duck read internal temperature of 180º.  While duck is roasting, prepare sauce.

SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

3 green onions, chopped coarsely

1½ oz. bacon (3 slices), chopped coarsely

1 c. blueberries (dried, fresh or frozen)

1 c. broth (or a little more if you simmer too long)

2 T. Port wine or Sherry

Dash each thyme, rosemary, onion powder and salt

¼ tsp. xanthan gum or your preferred thickener

SAUCE DIRECTIONS:  Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium-high heat and add chopped bacon, brown it nicely.  Add onion and saute until onion is very tender.  Do not drain off grease.  Add all remaining ingredients but the thickener.  Allow to simmer until berries begin to burst open and turn the sauce blue.  Here, I go by smell, and appearance, but when all appears to be cooked and it smells wonderful, thicken to desired level with your preferred thickener.  Allow guests to serve atop roasted duck slices at table.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 8 servings, each contains:

385 calories, 31 g fat, 3.82 g carbs, .81 g fiber, 3.10 g NET CARBS, 20 g protein, 277 mg sodium

 

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cranberry-sauceWhat Holiday feast would be complete without a bowl of fresh cranberry sauce?  Most often I make cranberry sauce in the traditional manner, no frills, as shown in the photo above.  But occasionally, I like to add a touch of bourbon and pecans, turning it into almost a chutney, which certainly takes it up a notch or two in flavor!  It’s delicious made this way so I hope you try it some time.  It has proven to be very popular with my holiday guests. This recipe is not suitable until you reach  Atkins Phase 2 “OWL”, when alcohol, nuts and berries are permitted.

Many delicious low-carb recipes like this can be at your fingertips with your very own cookbooks from LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS, by Jennifer Eloff and low-carb friends (me included).  Chef George Stella also brings you a wealth of delicious recipes you will love!  Order yours TODAY! from Amazon  or our direct order site: amongfriends.us/order.php.

INGREDIENTS:

½ c. water

1 c. fresh cranberries

½ c. granular Splenda (or equivalent sweetener of choice)

½ stick cinnamon or ¼ tsp. ground

1½ tsp. orange zest/peel

1 T. bourbon

½ c. (about 20 halves) pecans, coarsely chopped

DIRECTIONS: Cook all ingredients but the nuts over medium heat until all berries’ skins have popped open.  Remove from heat, stir in the nuts and chill until ready to use.  Remove and discard cinnamon stick just before serving.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes about 2 cups or 16 servings.  Each serving has:

16 calories, 1.28 g fat, 1.03 g carbs, 0.48 g fiber, 0.55 g NET CARBS, 0.19 g protein and negligible sodium

 

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Momma's Baked ChickenThis was the baked chicken I was raised on.  Throughout my childhood, I disliked intensely the taste of vinegar.  Wouldn’t eat pickles, wouldn’t eat pickled vegetables, wouldn’t eat salads or even condiments that contained vinegar.  But man, when my mom made this baked chicken, I just could not believe I watched her douse it with such an “evil” ingredient  and LIKED IT!!!  The natural red grape sugar in the red wine vinegar caramelizes under high heat and gives the chicken skin such a sweet, tangy taste.  The pan juices make a lovely gravy/baste for the drier breast meat.   Fortunately, my taste has changed over the years and I will now consume vinegar without hesitation, provided the food isn’t drowning in vinegar.  🙂

This recipe can be used on a split/butterflied/spatchcocked chicken as pictures, or you and cut the chicken up into pieces.  This method is delicious on Rock Cornish Hens, too.  It is also excellent for BBQ’ing of the chicken, and even for BBQ pork.  This recipe is perfectly suited to all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal and Paleo as well.

Many more delicious recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own cookbooks from LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS, by Jennifer Eloff and low-carb friends (me, included).  Chef George Stella also brings you a wealth of delicious recipes you will love!  Order yours TODAY! from Amazon  or our direct order site: http://amongfriends.us/order.php. DISCLAIMER: I do not accept payment for this book promotion. I promote the books because they are great cookbooks anyone would be proud to add to their cookbook collection.

SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

6 T.  melted butter

3 T. red wine vinegar

1/4 tsp. salt (omit if using salted butter)

1/4 tsp. coarse black pepper

THAT’S IT!!

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 400º.  Place butter in baking pan (I use a metal pan) as the oven is heating up.  Remove pan and add red wine vinegar to the butter, as well as the salt and pepper.  Prepare the chicken.  You can either split the chicken up the back with kitchen shears and spread it out as shown above, or cut the bird up into quarters or single pieces.  Using a brush, baste the pieces of chicken all over.  Sprinkle lightly with the salt and pepper and pop into hot oven for about an hour (less time for smaller birds, a little more for the butterflied bird shown) or until golden brown and reaches internal temp of 170º at the joint where the thigh meets the torso and in the thickest part of the breast.  I like to baste the chicken once or twice during cooking for the tastiest result on the skin.  I’m a skin fan, so that’s real important to me.  My husband just rips it off and hands it to me.  That works out just great, huh?  🙂 Remove from oven and serve at once with your favorite sides.  Be sure to put a spoon or brush into the pan for diners to baste their meat with the buttery juices if they wish (or pour the juices into a gravy boat).

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  These numbers are for the baste/sauce only.  You will have to add in the values for whatever pieces of chicken you eat.  Makes enough for 10 pieces of chicken (1 whole l cut-up chicken).  Each portion of the sauce, assuming you even eat that much of the sauce, has:

62 calories, 6.9 g fat, 0.02 g carbs,  0.00 g fiber, .02 g NET CARBS, 0.13 g protein (add in your piece of chicken)

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Spaghetti Bolognese

Shown on spaghetti squash threads which are NOT included in the nutritional numbers below.

This is the spaghetti sauce I have been cooking for nearly 50 years and my mother for probably that long before me.  🙂 Haven’t found one I like better.  I usually double or triple the recipe and freeze some for convenience.  This recipe is acceptable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal-Paleo as well.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS. She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented chefs to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try. Even a few of my recipes are in her cookbooks! Order your 5-volume set TODAY! (also available individually) from Amazon or here: http://amongfriends.us/order.phpDISCLAIMER: By personal choice, I do not get paid for this book promotion or for the inclusion of my recipes therein. I do so merely because they are GREAT cookbooks any low-carb cook would be proud to add to their cookbook collection

INGREDIENTS:

1 ½ lb. lean ground beef

½ c. green pepper chopped

½ c. parsley chopped

1 c. celery chopped

6 garlic cloves minced

6 oz. yellow onion chopped

2   14-oz. cans crushed or diced tomatoes (kind with no added sugars)

1   small (8 oz.) can tomato paste

½ tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (less if you don’t like it very spicy)

1 T. dried crushed oregano

1 bay leaf

1 T. fresh rosemary (or ½ tsp. dried)

1 T. fresh basil leaves, chopped (or ½ tsp. dried)

½ tsp. fennel seed, crushed

VARIATIONS:  add diced eggplant, mushrooms, or chopped, browned Italian sausage

DIRECTIONS:  Brown meat in large stew pot.  You may need a little oil if your meat is real lean.  Chop all veggies and add to meat and stir well.  Now add garlic, seasonings, tomatoes and tomato paste.  Simmer covered for 1½-2 hours on lowest heat possible.  Will yield about 8-9 cups of sauce, or 8-10 servings, depending on how saucy you like things and how you plan to use the sauce.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 10, each serving has: (excluding any added items mentioned in VARIATIONS)

295.3 calories

20.75 g  fat

13.18 g  carbs, 4.48  g  fiber, 8.7 NET CARBS

18.3 g  protein

116 mg. sodium

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