Everyday Entertaining: A Whole30 pot roast recipe you can serve to friends on or off the plan
ILEANA MORALES VALENTINE | Special to the Times
Mashed cauliflower, which is Whole30 compliant, makes for a surprisingly rich companion to cookbook author and blogger Adrianna Adarme’s Peruvian-ish Pot Roast.
Whole30, a monthlong elimination diet geared toward identifying how certain foods affect your body, was not something that appealed to me when I first read about it. No sugar. No booze. No grains. No beans. No gluten. No dairy. No fun, it seemed.
But when cookbook author and blogger Adrianna Adarme said she was trying Whole30, that's when I paid attention. Adarme is someone I've followed for a long time, and I know she loves to eat. If she could do it, maybe I could, too. She's a creative recipe developer and frequently shares layer cakes and pies on her blog, A Cozy Kitchen. After a holiday season of countless pies, she needed a break. A reset. So did I.
Two weeks in, I felt great. But Adarme's nickname for the elimination diet, Hell30, rings true at times. Whole30 calls for several dietary restrictions, including foods I regularly eat as part of a healthy diet: legumes and grains.
I found a pretty good daily rhythm with Whole30, but the hardest thing about it was hanging out with friends and family while sticking to the rules. So much of my social life revolves around food and drinks.
As I got deeper into Whole30, I wondered, could I still share a meal with friends while seeing this thing through? The answer is yes. Just have your friends over to your place.
My husband and I now have a weekly wing night. Baked chicken wings are seasoned with Old Bay spice mix one week and a simple lime, salt and pepper seasoning the next. This can easily translate to having friends over for dinner, especially if we cook the wings and other vegetables on the grill. Gin and tonics for friends if they'd like. Club soda or LaCroix with lime for me and my husband.
Adarme inspired me again recently by sharing a few compliant recipes she developed. Her chicken picatta coated in almond meal quickly became a staple. In my favorite version, I added marinated artichokes and cauliflower rice to the pan sauce to create a whole meal. It's an easy weeknight dish or a fantastic casual dinner to share with friends. Adarme's harissa meatballs served over spaghetti squash fit the same bill.
For a dinner party, her Peruvian-ish Pot Roast With Silky-Smooth Cauliflower Puree will impress those on Whole30 and those who don't know what it is. The meat is fork-tender and the mashed cauliflower makes for a surprisingly rich companion. A spicy parsley sauce keeps everything bright and irresistible. Bacon-wrapped dates would make a great starter.
There's still no sugar and no booze for a couple more weeks, but fun? It's possible.
Ileana Morales Valentine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2017 Tampa Bay Times
Peruvian-ish Pot Roast With Silky-Smooth Cauliflower Puree
For the pot roast:
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed
1 yellow onion, quartered
1 (3-pound) chuck roast
Freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ bunches parsley, plus more for garnish
2 jalapenos, ends discarded
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground paprika
2 cups chicken broth, divided
Green onions, for garnish
Limes, for garnish
For the cauliflower puree:
1 large head of cauliflower broken down into florets
1 tablespoon ghee
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Heat oven to 300 degrees.
To make the Peruvian-style pot roast: In a Dutch oven set over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the onion and sear on first side for 1 to 2 minutes, until browned. Flip pieces of onion and cook on other side for about another minute. Remove onion from the pot and set aside.
Add another tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle both sides of the chuck roast with salt and pepper. Adjust heat to high and, once the oil is hot, use tongs to place the chuck roast in the pot; brown on first side for about 5 minutes. Flip roast over and cook on the other side for another 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, add parsley, jalapeno, garlic, cumin, salt, coriander, paprika and ½ cup of chicken broth to a food processor or blender. Pulse until very smooth. Reserve about ¼ of the parsley mixture in a bowl for later use. Pour the rest of the mixture into the pot with the roast, the reserved onions and the remaining 1 ½ cups chicken broth. Transfer pot to the oven to braise for 3 to 3 ½ hours, until the meat is very tender and is easily pulled apart.
To make the cauliflower puree: Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets and cook until very tender, about 5 to 6 minutes. Drain and run the cauliflower under cold water. Add cauliflower and ghee to the bowl of a food processor or a high-powered blender. Pulse until mostly smooth, about 1 minute, stopping and scraping down the sides as needed. Pulse on high for about 2 minutes, until silky smooth, adding a teaspoon or two of ghee, if needed. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to the puree and blend once more until combined.
To serve, gently warm the cauliflower, if needed, in a pot set over low heat. Divide puree evenly among four plates and top each with a quarter of the pot roast, a drizzle of the reserved parsley mixture, green onion and a squeeze of fresh lime.
Source: Adapted from Adrianna Adarme, ACozyKitchen.com