How to host a Paleo-inspired dinner party
How to host a Paleo-inspired dinner party
The perfect combination of divine foods, a healthy appetite and friends bonding over a wonderful meal. A Paleo feast will have your dinner guests ravishing at the wholesome meats, salivating over the rustic garden produce and in the end, feeling full and satisfied. The flavour of the month is healthy and hearty food by nature.
A paleo feast should always include a meaty centerpiece – whether it’s a slow roasted shoulder or belly, or a hearty stew – this is your show-stopper and what your guests will rave about. To add some colour to the table, include some fresh, raw ingredients such as salads and relishes.
On the Hunt
The first thing you need to do is hunt down your dinner party ingredients. Plan a few days ahead – for instance your butcher may need to make a special order for premium quality cuts of meat and you may need to do some research to source freshest and best seafood or white meat.
Make sure your chosen butcher supplies pasture-raised (grass-fed) free-range meat and your fishmonger supplies wild, sustainable seafood. Ask where they source from to ensure it’s fresh and not frozen.
For the fresh ingredients, pick these up either the day before or the morning of the dinner party. Organic produce is best; not only will it be higher in quality, it aligns with the natural principles of paleo food. Some of the staples you will need include:
Cooking oils and fats – most oils have a fairly low smoke point, so for baking, frying or sautéing you will need something that can withstand the heat. Choices include duck fat (adds a wonderful flavour to meat dishes), tallow or clarified ghee. Coconut oil can also be used for cooking at lower temperatures.
Herbs and spices – it’s important to have a full range of herbs and spices on hand. If a recipe calls for a spice, don’t skimp on it or substitute it for something else. Flavour is paramount in primal cuisine.
Sauces and stocks – being paleo, it’s ideal to create all your sauces and stocks from scratch. This may require cooking a day ahead especially for creating bone broths and stocks. For sauces, you may need liquids including stock, purified water, coconut cream, organic butter, vinegar and wine.
Here is a suggested menu for your perfect paleo feast:
Starter: Slow cooked octopus with pear dressing, by Aussie Paleo Chef
Main: “Osso Bucco” with creamed fennel, spicy salad, by Aussie Paleo Chef
Dessert: Raw Choc Raspberry Cake, by The Merrymaker Sisters
Warm smoked trout salad, with creamed leek and parsley oil
This is a fantastic autumn dish. The earthiness of the trout and leek gives the salad a lovely warmth, yet the dish as a whole still remains light. It is surprisingly quick to make if you have all the ingredients on hand.
Smoked trout (enough for all your dinner guests)
Organic grass-fed butter
Creamed leek (see below)
Parsley oil (see below)
Preheat the oven to 100’C then proceed to make the sweet potato chips.
Sweet potato chips
1 sweet potato
Lamb / duck fat, beef tallow or coconut oil (see recipe below)
Shave raw sweet potato using a vegetable peeler. Cook the chips in hot lamb fat, beef tallow or coconut oil. Drain well and season with sea salt.
Before cooking a batch of chips, test the oil temperature by added one sweet potato slice (160-170’C). The chip should immediately begin to bubble and rise to the top of the oil. Cook in small batches, drain well and place on absorbent paper. Season with fine sea salt.
1 small clove of garlic (3g)
50g picked parsley leaves
100ml extra virgin olive oil
In a jug blender, puree the garlic, parsley leaves and olive oil. Taste, season as needed (it can take a good pinch of salt) and store in a glass jar. Keep refrigerated.
At this point, skin and debone the trout if required and place on a non-stick baking tray. Top with a few thin slices of grass-fed butter. Place in the pre-heated oven to heat through.
1 tbs coconut oil
350g leek, diced into approximately 1cm squares
160ml coconut cream
In a medium saucepan, melt the coconut oil and soften the leek for 3-4 minutes. Add the coconut cream, bring to the boil and reduce for 2-3 minutes. Taste and season as needed.
To assemble, place a bed of rocket in the centre of each plate. Place a mould of the creamed leek on top of the rocket. Lay a slice of the warm trout on the leek and then garnish the plate with parsley oil and salmon caviar. Finish with a few sweet potato chips.
“Osso Bucco” with Creamed Fennel, Spicy Salad
Osso Bucco is rustic, nourishing and your dinner guests will be licking at the beautiful soft marrow. Put this on in the morning and it will take no time to put together in the evening when you’re ready to serve.
Veal Osso Bucco
Lamb bone broth (or beef, chicken)
2-3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon mixed dried herbs
2 teaspoons chopped chilli
2 tablespoons dried wakame
After seasoning and browning the meat in a heavy based frypan, transfer the meat into a slow cooker and add the bay leaves, dried herbs, chilli and wakame. Cover in lamb bone broth and set the slow cooker to the lowest setting.
After about 9 hours the meat should literally be falling off the bone. Remove the meat, discard the bones. In a pan, reduce the liquid to a sauce consistency.
215g roasted fennel pieces (roasted as you would sweet potato until well caramelised)
180ml coconut cream
Puree the fennel and cream in a jug blender and season as needed. Reheat in a small frypan when needed.
Zest of half a lime
50ml lime juice
½ tsp organic Dijon Mustard
2 tsp raw organic honey
150ml Extra virgin olive oil
Place all the ingredients in a tall jug and using a stick blender, blend for 1 minute until thick and creamy. Refrigerate.
Mix the following ingredients in appropriate quantities to achieve a balance of colour and flavour:
Roasted broccoli florets
Baby kale leaves
Sliced spanish onion
Thinly sliced new season ginger
Deseeded small red chilli
Raw Choc Raspberry Cake
This recipe may appear long, but it’s quite simple and can be made the day before or several hours ahead.
For the base:
1 cup walnuts
1 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
100g pitted dates (soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes)
2 tbs. coconut oil
For the filling:
2 cups raw cashews (soaked in water for about 1 hour)
1 ½ cups coconut milk
½ cup coconut oil
½ cup fresh or thawed frozen raspberries
½ cup raw cacao powder
½ cup raw honey
For the topping:
¾ cup coconut oil melted
½ cup raw cacao powder
½ cup nut butter
¼ cup raw honey
Line the base of a 24 cm spring form cake tin with baking paper. Start with the base. In a food processor, place the walnuts, raw cacao powder and desiccated coconut. Whiz these ingredients until a fine meal forms. Transfer the meal into a large mixing bowl, leave this for now.
Drain the soaked dates and place them into the food processor, along with the coconut oil. Whiz these until a smooth paste forms. Transfer the paste into the mixing bowl with the meal and mix together (you may need to get your hands dirty for this job!) Once it’s all combined, press the base into the cake tin, making sure you press it out evenly, covering the entire base. Place this into the freezer.
Now for the filling: Drain and rinse the cashews and place them into the food processor. Whiz these until a crumbly, buttery paste forms. Now add the coconut milk, coconut oil, raw cacao and Natvia. Whiz on high speed until completely smooth (this takes around 5 minutes). Add the raspberries and whiz on low for around 1 minute (less time if you want the raspberries more chunky). Take out the base from the freezer and spread the filling on top of the base. Place the cake into the freezer, you could leave the cake as is or make it super special with our topping below!
For the topping: Mix all the topping ingredients in your blender until smooth, this will take around 5 minutes, the friction from the blender melts it all together nicely. Take the cake out of the freezer and drizzle the chocolate mixture onto the cake and place back into the freezer until the cake is fully set (about 1.5 hours). Store any leftover cake in the fridge.
For more information, visit:
Paleo Foodies: http://www.paleofoodies.com.au/
The Merrymaker Sisters: http://themerrymakersisters.com/
Aussie Paleo Chef: https://www.facebook.com/AussiePaleoChef