I’m almost afraid to admit this because it seems like such a trendy thing, but for many reasons I’ve been moving towards a more paleo/primal diet. Cutting down on grains has been a gradual process but for the last two and a half weeks I’ve been strictly following a grain-free, dairy-free, legume-free diet. I’m not sure if I always will be this strict – I’m doing this as an elimination diet and plan to later experiment with adding in various foods to determine what really does bother my gut – but for now I can report that I’ve been feeling better than I have in years.
I have, however, been craving a treat. For my elimination diet I’ve decided to give up all added sugar, even things like honey and maple syrup (which paleo people eat), so I thought I’d try to use naturally sweet ingredients to make muffins. That’s how I came up with these sweet potato muffins, which are studded with raisins and subtly spiced for a taste and smell somewhere between pumpkin pie and oatmeal raisin cookies.
I went to Tenerife at Christmas with my family, which is where I first heard of conejo (rabbit) al salmorejo, a traditional Canarian dish. To be honest, I never had it there. We rented self-catering apartments and didn’t eat out much, in part because of my dietary restrictions, but if I’d had the opportunity to try this dish in a restaurant, I would have, as it’s normally gluten-free. Also, I would have loved to have tried rabbit. Sadly, it didn’t happen, so I decided I’d have to try to make it on my own.
Unfortunately, it’s not all that easy to find rabbit in England, so since I heard rabbit tastes like chicken, I decided to make it with chicken instead. Apparently I’m not the only one who’s ever had this thought, as pollo al salmorejo is an easy enough recipe to find on the interwebs. However, all the recipes I found, both for rabbit and chicken, varied considerably. I’ve tried it a few different ways and have found it’s definitely a recipe you can modify to fit your own tastes. However, this is the version I like best.
I discovered papas arrugadas, wrinkly potatoes, on a trip to the Canary Islands, where they are ubiquitous. Partly because they’re gluten-free but partly because they’re really tasty, I had them almost every time we ate out. At first I thought they might be difficult to make. I also thought they might take a special kind of potato, since some websites said they’re made with special Canarian potatoes. Nope on both counts. In supermarkets I saw bags of very ordinary new potatoes, grown in various locales around Europe, marked “papas para arrugar” (potatoes to wrinkle). Maybe the Canarios don’t want the word to get out but the fact is, papas arrugadas are very easy to make and taste the same in England, made with English potatoes, as they did in Tenerife.
Initially I felt a little foolish when I found out how papas arrugadas are made – they’re simply boiled in heavily salted water (originally sea water, apparently). Easy, right? I couldn’t believe I’d never thought of making potatoes that way before. However, having actually managed to screw them up a few times, I’ve discovered a few techniques for making them properly. I’ve also developed a low-FODMAP sauce that loosely approximates mojo, the garlicky sauce normally served with papas arrugadas. Continue reading →