Tuesday, July 14, 2015

continuing the archive-reading

I'm still working on the archives over at Hold the Toast -- what a pity Dana isn't blogging anymore, but ... so many people aren't.

Well, over the weekend I read the posting about "pork-rind cookies," and the idea just kept nagging at me, so yesterday I gave in.  I LOVE them!  :-)  "Cookies" isn't exactly how i'd describe them, though -- they're more like homogeneous Reese's.

I didn't have the sugar-free chocolate chips she used, and my pork-rind bag didn't contain 5 oz, and the peanut-butter left over from the grandkids' visit last year maybe wasn't the exact right amount (and I wanted to use it up), thus my concoction is a LEEEEETLE different.  SO!


3.5 oz. bag of nice fresh, plain pork rinds
~1/2 c. peanut butter
~4 oz. 100% (baking) chocolate
2 T. erythritol
2 T. bulk sucralose
1 bulb-squeeze-worth of vanilla flavored liquid stevia

In the top of a double-boiler I melted the chocolate and peanut butter together till smooth.  Meanwhile, I poured the pork rinds into my food-processor and rendered them into crumbs.  When the chocolate and peanut butter were homogeneous, I added the sweeteners to taste (knowing that the lightly-salted chicharrones would "dilute" the sweetness).  Finally, I stirred in the crumbs, and spooned the resultant mixture into those little Wilton candy-cups I bought on sale after Christmas....

They're delightful -- the candy which is real food!  The batch made 24 servings, and if it were later in the day i'd do the math for you.  ;-)  All the skin-y goodness which is the chicharron, plus nuts and chocolate....  Next time i'll use almond butter in place of the peanut, or -- hell! -- coconut butter would be even better!

It was nice to make something with erythritol that didn't come out bitter or over-sweetened;  I think the old Atkins trick of mixing the sweeteners is the very best way to go.

This also opens the door to other appetizer-like ideas based on pork rinds.  Salmon and cream cheese, plus the crumbs, rolled in more crumbs, chopped nuts or fresh herbs, maybe?  We all already know that the crumbs are the PERFECT substitute for bread or crackers in meatballs. 

There's every reason to believe that the "perfect amino-acid intake ratio" includes more glycine/leucine/isoleucine/valine and less tryptophan and cysteine -- two AAs which hit one's bloodstream en masse when:  1)  we eat only muscle-meat; and 2)  we break down our own muscles during starvation.  Ray Peat -- whose writings I take with a lot of grains of salt -- swears that the latter two AAs are inhibitory of the thyroid for that reason, which i'm willing to take as a working hypothesis.

Gelatin, collagen, and cartilage have a long and proud history of healing.  I'm going to be doing even more experimenting with both supplements and traditionally-made gelatinous foods, given my good experience with the former!  A few days ago, I got my husband (with his shoulder problems) started adding gelatin or collagen hydrolysate to HIS coffee too -- i'm hoping he'll see relief even sooner than I did, with my damned knee.  I'm going to start making more fish-head soup, too -- my first experiments have been encouraging.

Short version (too late) -- I've learned to welcome more foods into my diet which originate from connective tissues.  This recipe is a keeper.


  1. Hi Tess ... I like the idea of mixing the sweeteners, sweetness is such a personal taste. I find when you find something you are happy with stick to the mix (whatever that may be)

    Sorry to hear your knee is still troublesome and now 'J's shoulder problems. Is it a case of we are all getting that little bit older and just sometimes our bodies protest? I don't know ... but those aches, pains, niggles we can do without!

    Hope the rest of the week goes well for you.

    All the best Jan

    1. :-) My knee is better now than it has been in YEARS, but I admit I still baby it around a bit. J apparently damaged his rotator cuff back when he was working in a refinery, and was inspecting the inside of a tank being repaired during a "turnaround" -- those places are tricky! Maybe the gelatin will be good for his feet, too; he's had trouble with those big flat things all his adult life. I've noticed that my plantar fasciitis is significantly better than it was before, as well.

  2. Interesting synchronicity for me. I was just now reading a recipe for a cake which used whey powder to bulk it up but I find that unappealing and it's in the basket of chemical foods I'd prefer to avoid. So I was thinking of making a chicken and almond cake instead. Should work, more so if you cook up some chicken legs and wings with the skin on to the point where the skin and cartilage gelatinises and then mash it up with almond flour and egg. Could be cake could be meatloaf so there's a choice between sweetener+vanilla or herb+onion.

    But now this pork rind idea is interesting - I assume you mean 'crackling'?


    1. At the risk of sounding like a shill, I have to put in a good word for the whey protein over at Calton Nutrition; I've used various brands before, and you're right -- they reek of "chemical" -- but the stuff that came in my first package order from them really impressed me. I'm getting low, and NEED to order some more despite still having a canister of "body-builder grade" WP in the pantry....

      In this part of the world, "cracklin's" are smaller pieces of skin, fried harder -- some people love them but I don't. I prefer the delicately-crispy pieces that average about 2-3" square, which are labeled "pork rinds" or the Spanish "chicharrones." :-) We've even been known to take them to a favorite Mexican restaurant with us (after making sure they didn't have any to sell there, already), and using them in place of the ubiquitous tortilla chips, for their excellent queso, salsa and guacamole.

      You need to keep us informed, how your chicken cake turns out! :-D I've heard of such a thing, but never tried it!

  3. I made a baked analog of so-called "Atkins muffin" using crashed (I found out it is easier to start crashing in a mortar with a pestle) barbecue-flavored pig skins in a miniature 4" spring-form. I filed not to the top a 1/2 cup measurement cup with crashed pig skins, added to the measure an almond flour, mixed it together (in order to avoid caking), added two egg yolks, mixed, added two whipped egg whites. The texture turned as a very spongy, the resulting "bread" was one inch tall and 4" wide, with a very strong pig skins flavor. It was way too satiating and good with a salad for scooping juices. Probably, it is worth further experimenting. My guess, pig skin base could be a promising way to prepare a pizza crust, but it would be impossible to "inhale" the whole pizza in one setting.
    In order not to heat my house too much during summer I use only toaster oven which is stationed in a garage.
    I often mix a pocket of a bloomed gelatin into a ground meat - it contributes to a juiciness.
    Pig skins are a good substitute for croutons when pureed soups are eaten. There are varieties with added trans fats, so it is important to read the list of ingredients.

    1. yes, pork rinds are VERY satiating! one of my favorite of its qualities is what it does to the density of certain dishes....

      reading the ingredients IS very important here -- the plain ones frequently just contain pig skin (with its lard) and salt, but the flavored ones VERY often contain questionable ingredients and bad fats.

  4. Raw pork rind is one of the cheapest things you can get at the butchers around here, apart from suet which is free. Free food, how about that?

    FWIW I took two drumsticks and popped them in a pressure cooker with a little water and cooked them long enough that they disintegrated, then removed the bones and mixed the remainder with almond meal. When it cooled I beat in an egg. It was a good mix but a little too meaty so I probably will strain it next time and reduce the stock until it is very concentrated and use that. But this time with some seasoning it made excellent chicken patties.


  5. Good to read this recipe, thanks for sharing, I'm going to try it. I am in a major pork rind zone lately - went to Aldi today to stock up and actually bought 12 bags (to avoid making another trip soon, it's kind of out of the way for me). I got some looks, with that many pork rinds in my cart :)

    1. I really hope you like them! We gobbled up the ones i made, and i've been too busy to make another batch yet ... but i bought more chocolate and chicharrones, and dredged out the almond butter from the back of the fridge -- so GONNA make a batch tomorrow (knock on wood)!