I am a long-time fan of Simone from Zenbelly. When I heard that she was writing a cookbook, the fangirl in me totally squealed with joy. When my review copy arrived in the mail recently, I might've jumped up and down and giggled a little bit.
If you aren't familiar with Simone, she's a real-life chef who runs a gluten-free/paleo catering business in the San Francisco area. She also keeps up a fantastic paleo food blog. One of the things I have always loved about her is that she shares tips and tricks for how to cook like a REAL chef in the kitchen. You can learn a ton just by following her Instagram feed!
A huge problem in our modern culture is that people just don't know how to cook any more. Parents aren't teaching their children how to navigate a kitchen. Folks can't cook broccoli unless it comes pre-packaged in microwaveable plastic baggies. Broth comes from a can instead of from a pot of slow-simmered bones. You know what I'm talking about. I had to teach myself to cook as an adult, and I was so grateful in my journey for folks like Simone who take pleasure in sharing these arts with other people.
Not surprisingly, she's got a chapter in the intro of her cookbook called "how to cook like a pro", where she teaches you stuff like knife basics, how to cut up a whole chicken, how to do a julienne cut, how to supreme an orange, and so much more.
The rest of the intro is full of extremely helpful advice for setting up your paleo kitchen. She's got excellent lists of recommended tools and ingredients for stocking your kitchen as well as a section devoted to how to source high-quality, local ingredients.
The recipes are inventive and exotic, yet approachable for even a beginner cook or someone totally new to paleo. It's got classic recipes like Oysters Rockefeller, Eggs Benedict, Moules Frites, and Lemon Pound Cake as well as her own unique recipes, like Crispy Braised Duck Legs with Melted Shallots and Roasted Plums, Ginger Scallion Pork Meatballs (aka wonton stuffing! -- my favorite), Coffee-Rubbed Flat Iron Fajitas, and Citrus Herb Spatchcock Chicken. Of course, she's also got amazing recipes for paleo versions of things like biscuits, pizza crust, breadsticks, tortillas, and crackers, plus a lovely dessert section. The book is rounded out with chapters devoted to sauces and condiments, breakfast, appetizers, soups and salads, and veggies & sides. She's a caterer, so she knows how to balance out a menu! :-) There's no skimping on any of the chapters in this cookbook -- they are each full of delicious recipes to delight your tastebuds and impress your friends with.
Y'all know I am a huge fan of organ meats and odd bits. I did that gigantic recipe round up post a while back that covers nose-to-tail eating pretty well. Simone has a decadent recipe in her cookbook for chicken liver pâté that I am excited to share with you today. Note that it isn't an autoimmune paleo-friendly recipe, BUT I do have my own recipe in the pipeline to share with you soon that is AIP (and super delicious). So, be on the lookout for that recipe before too much longer!
If you can eat butter, though, this is the pâté recipe that you want to be eating. How can you go wrong with any recipe that calls for 8 tablespoons of butter??!
Oh yeah, AND you can enter to win a FREE copy of The Zenbelly Cookbook for yourself! Scroll down past the recipe for the Rafflecopter widget to enter.
Chicken Liver Pate from The Zenbelly Cookbook
From Simone: "This is the pate that I serve to people who are somewhat liver-phobic. Chicken livers happen to be incredibly mild. When they're whipped into submission with sweet sherry, sauteed shallots, and thyme, they're tough not to love."
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes, plus time to chill
Total time: 30 minutes, plus time to chill
Yield: 2 cups
- 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
- 1 cup sliced shallots (about 3 large)
- 1 pound organic chicken livers, tough membranes removed and patted dry
- 1/2 tsp finely ground sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup dry sherry
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Melt 2 Tbsp of the butter and add the shallots.
- Saute the shallots for 5 minutes, or until golden brown and softened, stirring often.
- Move the shallots to the perimeter of the pan and add the livers to the center. Cook 3 minutes per side, and sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
- Add the sherry and thyme, turn the heat to medium-high, and bring to a simmer.
- Cook until the liquid is almost gone, about 5 minutes.
- Remove the thyme sprigs and transfer the liver mixture to a food processor. Turn it on and add the remaining butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Process until very smooth. Chill before serving.
Want something paleo-legal and crunchy to dip into this pâté? Check out my recipe for the perfect paleo crackers - they are nut-free, seed-free, and autoimmune paleo! They've got the texture of real crackers, too.