Here’s a dressing that’s sure to add zing to your next Rueben, salad or most any sandwich. We’ve lightened up the traditional version by swapping out the mayo for greek yogurt so the taste is rich but now with a cleaner fat and a boost of protein. Also, we left the pickles off but added a sour crunch with fresh preserved lemons. We think even the Kremlin would approve of our modern recipe!
1 C Greek Yogurt—2% or full
1 T Red Onion, finely chopped
1/4 C Ketchup
1 1/2 T Fresh Horseradish
1 t Worcestershire
1 1/2 t Pure Paleo
1 T Olive Oil
1 - 1 1/2 T Preserved Lemon, Minced (more/less to your taste)
1/2 t Sea Salt
Squeeze of Fresh Lemon
Fresh Cracked Pepper to Taste
In a medium mixing bowl, add yogurt and all ingredients in order. Stir well to incorporate flavors. Serve immediately with your favorite sandwich or salad. Or let stand for 1-2 hours as taste will develop over time.
INDIAN CREAMED SPINACH — SAAG
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Cook Time: 30-45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
1 lb. frozen Spinach or 2 lbs fresh washed and air dried in salad spinner
1 T unsalted butter or Ghee
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 t fresh grated ginger
1 t fresh garlic, minced
1 tomato, chopped
2 t ZEN Seasonings
1 t Paleo Seasonings
1 t whole cumin seeds
1 T fresh fenugreek (if unavailable, use 1 t dried fenugreek)
1/2 cup coconut milk or heavy whipping cream
Dash of Cayenne Pepper
Sea Salt to taste
In stainless steel or enamel saucepan, melt butter or ghee over medium to high heat and add cumin seeds frying until fragrant and lightly toasted, about 2 minutes.
Add onion; cook and stir until onion begins to soften, 4 to 5 minutes.
Stir in ginger, garlic, tomato, Zen, Paleo, and cayenne pepper; cook and stir until tomatoes break down and onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.
Add spinach and fenugreek and cream. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Adjust any seasonings and add a sprinkle of sea salt.
Serve with Chicken Makhani or solo atop your favorite rice for a tasty vegetarian entree.
Nothing says rich like a thick, juicy freshly grilled steak served up with a side of sinfully, creamy spinach. We started making this classic side dish decades ago with a recipe from Julia Child but over the decades of use it’s truly become our own and we vary the basic cream making ingredients depending on what we have on hand in our fridge. That being said, we rarely use Swiss cheese as she suggests as we almost always have parmesan and heavy whipping cream on hand or in a pinch have even crafted this dish with Neufchatel.
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
1 lb. frozen Spinach or 2 lbs fresh washed and air dried in salad spinner
2 T unsalted butter
1/2 c grated parmesan or pecorino romano or cream cheese
1/2 c heavy whipping cream
1/4 t Paleo Seasonings
pinch of nutmeg
Sea Salt and Fresh Cracked Pepper to taste
In stainless steel or enamel saucepan, melt butter over medium heat and add spinach. Cook for five minutes until most moisture has evaporated. (This time will be longer with fresh spinach—add the leaves handfuls at a time making sure you do not over fill your pan and then adding more as they begin to cook down.) When spinach has wilted, add the Paleo Seasoning and nutmeg along with cheese and whipping cream. Reduce heat to low and stir until all cheese melts and is well incorporated into spinach, another 5 minutes. Check taste and adjust accordingly with a bit of sea salt and pepper. Serve with steaks, chops, chicken or even folded into your favorite pasta!
Tip: To really kick up the sin factor, top with a generous flourish of fresh cooked and crumbled bacon right before serving.
Variation: For a twist on the classic, add fresh tomatoes. Just chop up about a cup and add them to saucepan after spinach has wilted and water has cooked off. Then, proceed with remaining directions.
SLOW COOKER CHICKEN MAKHANI
Ah winter…from the lack of sunshine, to the daily battles with wind, rain and snow it’s no wonder we feel battered and exhausted. And why it’s so important to take time to retreat and renew our senses. One of the best ways we’ve found to take off the chill and warm our souls is with a piping hot bowl of Indian Restaurant comfort food. Now, sure, you could grab some take out, but if you’ve got a slow cooker or crockpot, you can get this dish prepped and cooking in about 15 minutes then sit back and relax knowing that in about two and a half hours your belly will be filled with spicy deliciousness!
(No extra charge for the heavenly smells that will fill your home!)
Chicken Makhani, which has its flavor origins in Northern India is not really a traditional Indian recipe but likely a dish that evolved through Indian migration to the west and uniquely concocted in small Mom and Pop restaurants. So, while it can be classified as a curry, the recipe is as original as it’s chef. One thing that is a fact though is that Butter Chicken contains NO BUTTER! Typically, it gets its richness and fat from either sour cream, or as we use, 2% Greek Yogurt, which also tames the heat of the curry. But TRUST us, one bite and your taste buds will be fooled from the super creamy flavor explosion in your mouth.
So, grab the ingredients, set up the crockpot or slow cooker and get this spice party going. It only takes about 15 minutes of prep so you'll have plenty of time to unwind. And, when your Makhani gets down to the last hour of cooking you can craft some classic and healthy sides like rice, Saag and grilled garlic naan for the full Indian take-out experience. (Thankfully, you can pick up some great ready-made naan at your local market, along with your favorite beer so it’s just a matter of steaming rice and making the spiced and creamy Indian spinach.) Remember when choosing rice, select a high quality basmati for a traditional side that’s light and fragrant but if you want to add a little a different texture to the meal, experiment with brown rice or even quinoa.
SLOW COOKER CHICKEN MAKHANI
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours and 15 minutes
3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 2-inch chunks
One 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
1 T lemon juice
1 T ZEN Seasonings (maybe more to suit your tastes)
1 t lemon zest
1 t cornstarch
¼ t ground cinnamon
1 1/2 t garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, finely minced
One 1½-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 small Serrano Chile—stemmed, seeded and minced
Sea Salt to taste
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, for garnish
2 cups steamed rice, for serving
Optional Sides: Garlic Naan & Saag
Add all of the ingredients, except the cilantro and rice, to the slow cooker or crockpot and stir to combine. Cook on high until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has slightly thickened, about 2 hours. Garnish with cilantro leaves, then serve over rice with Saag, Naan and a chilled beer.
Tamales…If you are not Mexican, or living in an area that has traditional Mexican fare, chances are you’ve never tasted the pure comfort and flavor that oozes from a homemade tamale fresh from the steamer at a holiday feast. That cornhusk wrapped bundle of fresh masa filled with many delicious ingredients ranging from meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, chilis and more is a traditional holiday meal in Mexico and many parts of the American Southwest. Some say Christmas just isn’t Christmas without tamales.
Looking deeper into tamale history we learn that this handy, naturally wrapped food was more like the original “to go” meal. Because they were easily portable by hunters, armies and travelers tamales were popular in the Aztec and Mayan civilizations diet where they became a food staple and can be found in history dating back more than 7000 years. Today, with meal prepping more popular than ever, we say, why wait for a holiday, make tamales for packed lunches, quick dinners, snacks and more.
Our tamale recipe is based on a classic with a light herbed masa and rich pork filling and will yield approximately 50 finished tamales. It’s a very labor intensive culinary undertaking, but we promise, worth the work so if time is tight break the recipe down into manageable tasks by prepping meat one night, making sauce the next and then doing the assembly. Or, just gather together a group of friends or family and enjoy a festive cooking session, or “tamalada,” that will result in tasty “to go” meals for everyone.
3 1/2 LBS. pork shoulder or pork butt trimmed of fat
10 Cups water
1 onion, quartered
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoon Sleeper’s Ole Ole Seasoning
1 Teaspoon kosher salt
4 Cups Red Chili Sauce (see full recipe below)
In crockpot or dutch oven, bring pork, water, onion, Sleepers Seasoning, garlic and salt to boil.
Simmer covered for 2-3 hours, until meat is fork tender. (This time may vary in length with crockpot.)
Remove meat from broth and allow both to cool.
Shred meat using 2 forks, discarding any fat pieces.
Strain the broth and reserve 6 Cups of liquid for masa.
Add the meat to prepared Red Chili Sauce, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Red Chili Sauce
15-20 Large Dried Chilies — California, Anaheim or New Mexico
2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin
1 Tablespoon Sleeper’s Ole Ole Seasoning
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
2 Teaspoons All Purpose Flour
2 Teaspoons Olive Oil
NOTE: Double this recipe if you want more sauce for later and to serve with the tamales.
Heat oven to 350º.
Remove stems and seeds from the dried chili peppers.
Place peppers on an un-greased baking sheet in a single layer.
Roast in oven for 3-5 minutes until the peppers start releasing a sweet roasted aroma—check regularly to avoid burning.
Remove from oven soak in enough water to cover them for about 30 minutes or until completely cool.
Remove peppers reserving soaking liquid.
Put peppers and 2 1/2 Cups soaking liquid into blender with Sleepers seasoning, garlic, cumin and salt.
Cover and blend until smooth.
In 2 quart sauce pot heat olive oil and stir in flour over medium heat until it begins to brown—this is a classic roux.
Carefully, stir in chili mixture.
Simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes or until slightly thickened. If sauce becomes too thick, add a little more of the reserved chili soaking water.
CAUTION: When working with chilies, use rubber gloves to protect your hands and skin. Avoid touching your eyes. When done, thoroughly wash your hands with soap and warm water to remove any remaining chili oils.
3/4 Cup Unsalted Butter or Pure Pork Lard
6 Cups Masa Harina (corn flour)
1 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt
1 1/2 Tablespoon Parsley
1 1/2 Tablespoon Cilantro
6 Cups Broth from cooked pork
50 dried Corn Husks
Prep corn husks by soaking in warm water for at least 20 minutes until very pliable. Rinse and remove any silk and pat dry.
In bowl or with stand-up mixer beat butter on medium speed until fluffy, about 1 minute.
In separate bowl, mix together masa harina, baking powder, cilantro, parsley and salt.
Alternately add masa mixture and broth to butter beating well after each addition until all dry ingredients are incorporated and you have a thick, creamy paste, the consistency of peanut butter is perfect.
To assemble tamale take one corn husk and place rough side on counter.
Spread approximately 2 Tablespoons masa paste on the center of the corn husk—ideally the husk is approximately 8” long by 6” wide. When spreading masa make sure you spread evenly and all the way to the top of the husk.
Spread approximately 1 1/2 Tablespoon meat & sauce mixture in center of masa.
Fold in sides of the husk and then fold up the bottom and place tamale upright open end up in steamer basket.
Continue assembly until you are out of masa paste.
If you do not have a traditional tamale steamer use a regular vegetable steamer basket placed inside a large dutch oven filled with water just to the bottom of the basket. To keep tamales upright, place a mound of extra husks or a ball of foil in the center of the basket and lean the tamales around it. Bring the water to a boil and reduce heat. Cover the pot and steam for approximately 40 minutes adding water as required.
To eat top with your favorite sauce or salsa, sour cream, cheese, jalapenos or any other toppings. Serve with rice, beans or a green salad.
To freeze for future meals, remove tamales from steamer, cool and with their husk, place them in a freezer bag. To thaw or reheat, wrap in wet paper towel and reheat in microwave for 1-2 minutes until just hot or re-steam as instructed above.
Julia Child once said “the best way to execute French cooking is to get good and loaded and whack the hell out of a chicken. Bon appétit.”
Well, with our original recipe, the only place anyone will get whacked is right in the tastebuds! Once you see how eazZzy it is to roast your own bird, you will make this regularly for dinners and use the extra meat for other delicious meals.
This recipe can be used with any of our seasonings so be bold and experiment!
Makes 4-6 Servings
1 6-8 lb. Whole Chicken*, thawed, rinsed, dried
2 T Your Favorite Sleepers Gourmet Seasoning
½ C Butter, unsalted & softened
1 Granny Smith Apple, quartered
1 Lemon, roll on counter to release oils then quartered
1 Onion, peeled & quartered
Preheat oven to 450º. Mix "Fowl" Seasoning w/softened butter to make paste. Loosen the skin of the bird and massage Fowl Butter Paste under and on top of skin and around the inside cavity of the bird. Be generous-don't miss a delicious spot! Make sure you have removed all organs & gizzards, then insert quartered apple, lemon and onion into the bird cavity. Truss the bird with string so it holds its shape better. Tuck in the wings to keep them from burning.
Note: If you select Herbs of Summer™ or Pure Paleo™, add fresh cracked black pepper and Rose Mountain™ sea salt or another of our gourmet salts for a kick of flavor after covering bird with butter paste.
Put chicken on a rack in an open roasting pan and place in oven. Roast for 30 minutes. Then, reduce oven temperature to 375º and continue roasting for another 1 - 1½ hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the inner thigh registers 175º and juices run clear.
Remove from oven and lift bird tilting slightly to allow the liquids to empty into the roasting pan. (You can use these later for a delicious gravy.) Transfer the chicken to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm.
Serve with a side of fresh steamed vegetables and some spicy whipped mashies!
This is a GREAT recipe to make ahead of time, chill and then serve at a picnic!
Makes 4-6 servings
1 t Sleeper's Gourmet "Fowl" Seasoning
1 T olive oil
1 T unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped
1 lb frozen chopped broccoli or spinach
½ to 1 C of any other favorite fillings (try like chopped tomatoes, colored peppers and zuccinni!)
crumbled crispy bacon
½ C heavy cream
1 C grated cheese---swiss, cheddar, mozzarella--mix it up!
¼ C parmesan cheese
pinch of nutmeg
sea salt & fresh cracked pepper
Preheat oven to 375º. Preferrably in a large cast iron skillet, melt butter and add oil and chopped onion and sauté until translucent. Add MAGIC RUB™ Fowl and cook an additional minute. NOTE: If you are using mushrooms, peppers or zucchini, you can sauté them together with onions. In large bowl, crack eggs and whisk together until fluffy with cream. Add a pinch of nutmeg and 2 pinches of salt and a few good twists of fresh cracked pepper. Make sure the onion and other sauteed veggies are spread evenly in skillet. Top with broccoli or spinach and any other fillings you are using. Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly over filling. Pour egg mixture over cheese and filling. Top with parmesan cheese. Cover skillet and insert in oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake another 5-7 until golden brown. (Frittata will fall slightly when lid is removed.)
ENJOY with a crisp green salad, a crusty slice of bread and your favorite wine!
Makes 4-6 servings
Christina's "Ma" is a woman of simple tastes so when she gets it right, she just repeats! We love that about her. So, in her own words here’s that deliciously eaZZZy recipe. Thanks Ma! Enjoy all!
OK Chrissy, here it is........
5 lbs Beef Stew or Chuck Roast (preferably the less-fatty meat)
8 oz Horseradish
2 - 3 large onions, finely chopped
5 T "The Original" Seasoning
First, brown your beef--taste better if u do.
Next, add all ingredients to crock pot & let cook 3 to 4 hours, or until u can tear apart with fork or with hand potato masher. It might take longer.
Remember, if u let it cook too long it gets mushy & u don't want that. Don't let it dry out either--if it does, add a little water.
Add your favorite BBQ sauce if you like or make your own.
Want a brisket so juicy it will melt in your mouth and so EASY it seems effortless?
Our California inspired recipe immersed in homemade BBQ sauce goodness will give your friends and family something to savor. Even better the next day in sandwiches!
Makes 6 - 8 Servings
5 lbs. Beef Brisket
5 Large Cloves Fresh Garlic, chopped
1 Large Onion, coarsely chopped
1 14 oz. Can Tomato Sauce
2 T "The Original" seasoning
1 Cup Brown Sugar
3 T Red Wine Vinegar
3 T Worcestershire Sauce
Preheat oven to 250ºF.
In saucepan on medium heat, mix together tomato sauce, "The Original," vinegar, sugar, mustard & Worcestershire. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer and let cook until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary to your taste---add more seasoning if you like it spicier, or sugar if you like it sweeter. Put brisket in shallow baking pan and sprinkle with chopped onion and garlic. Slather with BBQ sauce. Cover and place in oven for 5 hours. Remove and let rest before slicing.
In honor of Julia Child’s 99th birthday we took her classic Coquille St.Jacques recipe and spiced it up. Our creole french version is gluten free and can be ready in less than 30 minutes cook time!
Enjoy with a side of red quinoa, creamed spinach and heirloom tomatoes.
Makes 4 servings
1 T "The Original" Seasoning
½ C Minced Onion
5 T Unsalted Butter
1 Clove Minced Garlic
1 ½ lb Fresh Jumbo Scallops, Washed and Patted Dry
1 C Rice Flour
1 T Olive Oil
Sea Salt & Pepper
⅔ C Dry White Wine
½ Bay Leaf
¼ t Thyme
Lay out the scallops and cut them crosswise into ¼” slices. Sprinkle them on both sides with "The Original". Roll lightly in rice flour shaking off excess. Let stand. In a small saucepan, cook the onions and 1 T butter until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for an additional minute. Set aside.
In a 10” skillet, melt 2 T butter and 1 T olive oil. Sauté the scallops quickly in this very hot mixture for 2 minutes to brown them lightly. Pour wine into skillet with scallops. Add the herbs and cooked onion mixture and adjust seasonings to your liking. Cover the skillet and simmer for 5 minutes. Then, uncover and reduce sauce to thicken slightly---about a minute. Adjust seasoning and remove bay leaf. Set aside.
Spoon scallops and sauce on to bed of prepared quinoa. Serve with creamed spinach or a simple crisp green salad!
1 cup Sour Cream or Plain Greek Yogurt
1 - 2 Tablespoons "The Original" Seasoning
In a small bowl, mix seasoning into sour cream or yogurt. Blend till well incorporated. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. The flavor intensifies as it melds so if you have time, make at least 30 minutes before you plan to serve or the day before. Serve with chips, crackers, pretzels or veggies!
Note: For a cheese spread, omit sour cream and add 1 cup softened cream cheese to your favorite Sleepers seasoning.
Perfect as a topping for salads, soups and a great snack on the go... Toasted pepitas are one of our favorite ways to munch on the delicious Sleeper's Gourmet seasonings! Not only are they delicious, but also very good for you and will keep the hunger at bay!
1 cup large raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 t Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1-2 T "Paleo" seasoning
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Toss the seeds with EVOO. Spread in an even layer and roast the seeds in the oven, stirring occasionally, until golden, 13 to 15 minutes. Remove the pepitas from the pan and immediately toss the seeds with "Paleo" or another Sleeper's Gourmet seasoning! Let cool for 10 minutes.