This week's Sunday Supper features a completely paleo menu, although it's so delicious that no one will notice that it is grain-free, sugar-free and super healthy.
The star of the show are some slow braised citrus lamb shanks that are fall-off-the-bone tender. We'll serve these with dark roasted spiced cauliflower and a perfectly roasted beet salad.
To start the evening, we'll begin with some tasty smoked salmon salad in crunchy little cucumber cups. There's a ridiculously tasty gin based cocktail with kumquats and sage to wash that down.
Dessert is simple yet addictive: dark chocolate almond clusters. We'll be putting down a plate of these in the centre of the table and letting everyone nibble as we keep chatting and laughing.
Spicy Salmon Cucumber Bites :: by Nom Nom Paleo :: This little appy has it all: crunchy, creamy, spicy and totally yum.
The recipe calls for paleo mayo, which is really just regular homemade mayo made with paleo friendly oil. If you haven't made mayo before don't be intimidated, it's really really easy. You can find out how easy it is by checking out a post I did for Allrecipes here or by watching a video that Nom Nom Paleo did here.
The Fortunate Few :: by Apartment 34 :: This cocktail is all kinds of delicious. Make sure you use a good gin in this recipe, it will make a huge difference.
My newest favourite gin is Wallflower from Odd Society, although it is only available locally. If you don't live near Vancouver try to find a small-batch distillery near you.
Citrus Braised Lamb Shanks :: by Williams Sonoma :: These lamb shanks have a beautifully subtle orange flavour. One of the things I love about braising any meat is that it is really a foolproof method of cooking. The only thing that can possibly go wrong is that you don't cook it long enough.
The recipe calls to braise the lamb for 2 ½ hours, but if it works better for your schedule to leave it longer it'll just keep getting better.
Roasted Beet Salad with Pea Shoots :: by Adventures in Cooking :: I have a huge crush on beets and sometimes have to stop myself from serving them at every meal. What I love about these beets is the light dressing they're tossed in. If you'd rather not have the pinch of sugar you can always swap it for honey or maple syrup.
This recipe does call for goat cheese, which many people do not include in their paleo diets. If you'd rather not eat dairy than simply leave it out.
Roasted Cauliflower with Red Chili, Cilantro and Lime :: by REM Cooks :: Roasted cauliflower is one of my favourite things ever. If you haven't tried it yet you will be blown away. I'm a big fan of the extra spices in this recipe.
You will need to make this earlier in the day, unless you have one of those fancy ovens that have more than one oven. (if you do I'm totally and completely jealous.) Once you roast it just leave it at room temperature and pop it back in the oven for 5-10 minutes to reheat it before you serve it. It reheats beautifully.
3 Ingredient Chocolate Almond Clusters :: by Creme de la Crumb :: These almond clusters are the perfect after dinner nibble. Most of the time I prefer when dessert is a simple affair and I love that guests can indulge as much or as little as they want with these. Don't skip the sea salt, it makes these.
Note: make sure you enter to win a copy of The Essential Paleo Cookbook by visiting the post Cauliflower Fried “Rice” and leaving a comment!
Get it done on time:
The timetable is based on your guests arriving at 7pm and you sitting down to start dinner at 8pm. If you like to eat earlier or later just adjust the time to fit your schedule.
This week’s paleo Sunday Supper will take you 4 hours to prepare, but some of that is hands off time while you wait for the lamb to braise.
Make sure that you do all your grocery shopping either in the morning or the day before. Also, make sure to read over all of the recipes before you begin.
Click here for a printable version of the timeline.
Wash and dry all the dishes and wipe down your counters after each hourly section in the timeline. This will help keep the mess to a minimum and make your work more efficient.
Early in the day make sure your house is clean and pull out any serving dishes, utensils, napkins and barware that you will need.
- Toss the cauliflower with all of the seasonings then pop it in the oven to roast for 1 ½ hours. Make sure not to crowd your pan.
- Roast the beets. You can roast them at the same temp as the cauliflower; they’ll just take a little longer. Or you can turn up the heat and roast everything a little faster, your choice. When they’re finished cooking leave them on the baking tray and set them aside.
- Take the cauliflower out of the oven and set it aside. Keep it on the baking sheet and, when it has cooled, loosely cover it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Keep it on your counter.
- Sear the lamb and put it in your oven to braise for 2 ½ hours.
- Make the chocolate clusters.
- Make the dressing for the beets.
- Make some paleo mayo by whisking together a room temperature egg yolk with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a bit of Dijon mustard then slowly whisking in some neutral flavoured oil until it thickens.
- Make the spicy salmon.
- Hollow out the cucumbers and fill them with the salmon. Place them on a serving tray, cover them loosely with plastic wrap and store them in your fridge.
- Relax and make yourself a cocktail.
- Make some cocktails for your guests.
- Pull the spicy salmon out of the fridge and serve.
- Remove the lamb shanks from the pot and reduce the cooking liquid.
- Put the beets and cauliflower back in the oven to warm up.
- Serve the lamb shanks with either the reduced sauce drizzled over top or pool the sauce in the middle of a wide bowl and stack the lamb on top.
- Squeeze the lime juice over the cauliflower and garnish with cilantro.
- Toss the beets with the dressing and assemble them on a plate with the pea shoots.
Dessert this week couldn’t be easier; just put it on a plate and set it down in the middle of the table.