Monday, 1 March 2010
My culinary contribution: primitive sprats a la Grok
There are many wonderful paleo cuisine resources on the net, some simple, some for the more refined palate. There is no way I can measure up with Stone Age chefs, such as Richard Nikoley. For me, there are two problems with cooking: time (opportunity cost) and laziness.
For those two reasons, I value simplicity. My ideal paleo foods, if I am to cook myself, are minimalist, yet tasty. Bought unprocessed and minimally processed in the kitchen. Having been vegetarian for 15 years, I had plenty to (re)discover. One discovery was venison: deer hunch braised in the oven with no spices at all. Just put the meat in the casserole dish with a little water and voila, after 90 minutes it was served. And tasty it was. The same could be said about leg of lamb, though here slivers of garlic were added. Wild mallard duck was great with water alone.
But one can not live off meat alone. Fish is essential as well. And there is one kind of fish that is probably ideal for this approach: sprat. It can be eaten whole, with some bones as well as with brains. Not easy to get hold of deer brain. But sprat brains - no problem. And you also eat the gonads with countless nutrients cheaper than caviar. Their tiny stomach contents can add some greens as well.
Here is the minimalist recipe:
* Buy 1lb of fresh sprats
* Stick them in the oven at 100C (212F) - not higher to keep those omega-3s (for this reason sprats from the can don't measure up); no oil necessary, just plain baking sheet (stone?)
* bake for about 30-40 min
* eat them ad libitum (there is an internal set point for them, you can't eat more than 1lb at one go); backbone is not for the uninitiated
* Enjoy the time saved on preparation
Spices are optional: turmeric, chili, allspice, ginger.
The photo is of the raw material from Google. I was too lazy to take one of the finished product, and besides, it was too late. Will try next time.