My apologies for the late posting, but the holiday season has begun and we had two guests for dinner on Sunday. This got me to thinking about holiday parties and how to cope if you are on Keto and want to host a small party (depending on your local restrictions during COVID 19).
This year in lieu of a larger party which usually sees us having 40 plus guests, we have had to make significant changes in how we entertain. In our region, we can have 6 people together and for the next four December weekends, we will be entertaining four other people beside ourselves each Saturday.
The easiest way to handle this is to avoid cooking!
Charcuterie is a way of entertaining in France which involves presenting a variety of cold meats and cheeses, along with some fresh fruits and nuts and a selection of breads and crackers. Keeping in mind KETO, a charcuterie can easily be assembled on a lovely wooden cutting board or two or just spread out on a layer of butcher block paper on a convenient hard surface, along with paper plates, napkins, etc. Make it finger foods by cutting up your items in bite sized portions in advance. BYOB means you don’t have to supply alcoholic drinks!
The trick is to choose KETO items ONLY , especially with the breads and crackers!!!
FYI… no two are ever alike! It all depends on what items you wish to choose. Vary the amounts depending on the number of guests you are contemplating. Whatever you choose be sure to carefully check the contents label for the total percentages of carbs, protein and fats !!!
A charcuterie can easily be modified for those who are not on a Keto program, by including non-KETO items.
The following is a suggested Keto board I came across on Pinterest. There are many more to view on that site.
INGREDIENTS for 5 servings…
6 ounces sliced prosciutto
6 ounces genoa salami
5 ounces spicy capocollo
4 ounces herbed chevre
6-ounce sliced Manchego cheese
5 ounces sliced peppercorn white cheddar
4 ounces garlic white cheddar
¼ cup Sugar-Free Dried Cranberries
1/2 cup mixed nuts
½ cup fresh blackberries
10 strawberries hulled and halved
½ cup pickled artichoke hearts
10 garlic stuffed green olives
½ cup pitted Kalamata olives
¼ roasted red peppers
½ cup Low Carb Pickled Red Onion
20 pickled asparagus spears
¼ cup stone ground mustard
1 sleeve low carb crackers
Select a large platter from the list of options in this post and carefully arrange all of the ingredients on top.
With both American Thanksgiving and Christmas forthcoming, I am noting a few previously posted recipes which newer viewers may not have seen. Amongst these – what to do with leftover turkey? (Turkey Divan), an awesome Cranberry Chutney for either holiday, old-fashioned Hasty Pudding, a Christmas Morning Wife Saver which can be prepared the night before, as well as a few scrumptious cookies, like Biscotti with Ginger, Cranberry, Orange and Cashews for that after dinner coffee, Brandied Fruit and Nut Shortbread, and Cranberry Pistachio Salted Caramel Bars. Simply enter the names in the GO box to find them. Some might even be great for New Years.
Please observe social distancing and limit your dinners to local recommendations. Wear masks in public at all times!There will always be a next year if we observe the prescribed recommendations…
By now you know me well; I am always searching Pinterest for new recipes to try. In this case, it was to do with pork chops which I had already thawed. This one caught my eye as we both love capers. And no, they are NOT fish! They are berries from a bush. It turned out great or else I would not share it with you. I quickly steamed some cauliflower to accompany the chops. The flavour was really good. You could omit the capers but it really adds to the flavour.
Pork Chops with Caper Sauce
4 1-inch thick center-cup, bone-in pork loin chops (allow chops to sit at room temp for 30 mins)
2 tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium shallot, diced
2 tsp garlic, minced
1/2 cup capers, drained
2 tbsp Sherry vinegar
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp heavy cream
Pre-heat oven to 200°F.
Pat chops dry with a paper towel, and then generously sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
Add the chops and sear on one side for about 4 to 5 minutes, until golden brown on the bottoms. Flip the chops over and sear the other sides for another 4 to 5 minutes. (The chops should be firm to the touch, but still have a little give).
Transfer the chops to the oven to keep warm while preparing the sauce.
Pour all but about 1 teaspoon of oil from pan and reduce the heat to medium.
Add the shallots and garlic and cook until soft, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the capers and cook for 30 seconds
Add the vinegar and cook until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes.
Add the stock, mustard, a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until slightly thickened, about 2 – 3 minutes.
Hope it is not to late for you to get these ready? The recipe makes about 4 breakfasts. Simply portion the ingredients into 4 small jars, refrigerate overnight. Come morning, dump the ingredients into a mug, add two slightly scrambled eggs, stir and microwave according to the directions!
Make Ahead Breakfast Scrambles
2 oz. ham, diced(I used a strip of bacon per jar).
1/2 cup diced bell pepper
1/4 cup diced onion
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
2 tsp butter
1/2 tsp seasoning salt
8 large eggs
1. Divide the ham, bell pepper, onion, and cheddar between four resealable containers*. Cut the butter into 4, 1/2 teaspoon-sized pieces, and add one to each container. Sprinkle about 1/8 teaspoon seasoning salt into each container.
2. Seal the containers and store them for up to 4-5 days.
3. When you’re ready to prepare a microwave breakfast scramble, pour the ingredients of the container into a ceramic mug, add two large eggs, and stir to combine.
4. Loosely cover the mug with a paper towel or another microwave-safe object and microwave on high power for 30 seconds. Stir the contents of the mug and microwave for 15 seconds more. Stir again and continue to microwave for 15 second intervals, stirring after each, until the eggs are mostly set, but still moist. Serve immediately.
I am always looking for new stir fry sauce recipes and I came across this one on my favourite sites, Pinterest. I almost always use peeled and deveined shrimp to simplify cooking prep and this suited what I had on hand. Since we began a KETO diet years ago for the most part, we avoid rice and pastas, with some exceptions. You do not need to have rice with this, and thus, it becomes a shrimp “stew”…LOL. We always have a stir fry blend of vegetables on hand in the freezer, so you can substitute these with the frozen vegetables.
Shrimp Stir Fry
1 lb large shrimp(I usually buy peeled and deveined)
1 bunch broccoli
8 oz baby Bella mushrooms or other variety
8 oz snow peas
1/2 cup diced green onion
2 bell peppers
Stir Fry Sauce:
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 cup chicken broth can also use vegetable broth
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1/4 cup honey
6 garlic cloves
2 tsp chili paste more if you want spicier
2 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
Peel and de-vein shrimp if needed. Whisk all ingredients for the sauce together and set aside. Chop vegetables and set aside.
Preheat a large cooking pan or a wok over medium heat and add peanut oil.
Sauté vegetables, mixing often, until start to soften. Don’t cook vegetables all the way because it will continue to cook after you take it out of the pan and later with sauce.
Take veggies out of the pan and add a little more oil to the pan.
Sauté shrimp over medium-high heat until just turns opaque on each side.
Add vegetables back into the pan and stir.
Whisk the sauce again and pour it into the pan. Stir well and cook for a few minutes, just until sauce thickens.
Stir in green onions and serve right away.
You can serve shrimp stir fry over rice, with noodles, or just on its own.