Monday, March 27, 2017

LCHF Russian Salad Dressing

Some people have described Russian dressing as Thousand Islands with a 'kick', and for the most part they are very similar. Russian dressing gets it's so called 'kick' from the use of horseradish and hot sauce. And while it has about 75% of the same ingredients as Thousand Island, it is not a sweet style salad dressing. In addition to being a salad dressing, Russian dressing is used to make Reuben sandwiches as well as being a great veggie dip! Created in the early 20th century (about 1906), it is of course 'Russian' in name only and is not associated with the country of Russia at all. According to an article in the Washington Post, one theory on how Russian dressing got it's name is that the original dressing contained Russian caviar, but this is often debated.

Regardless, Russian dressing was eventually superseded by the sweeter Thousand Island dressing (one of my favorites) which is very similar in color and texture. Personally, I think this is a shame. Today many more Americans are expanding their palate and I think many people would enjoy Russian dressings unique depth of flavor and spiciness given the opportunity. That is why I wanted to write this article so that I could share my low carbohydrate high fat (LCHF) / Ketogenic (Keto) version of this classic salad dressing for you and your family to try.

The Recipe

Many recipes call for ketchup or ketchup style chili sauce (Heinz) but these have added carbohydrates in the form of sugar, mostly high fructose corn sugar which are not LCHF / Keto friendly. I generally make my Russian dressing with plain tomato sauce, but if I have some LCHF ketchup in my fridge I will use it in place of the tomato sauce. This recipe works well as both a sandwich style dressing and a salad dressing. This recipe is for a good, solid Russian style dressing, but you can add any of your own additions. Occasionally I add 1 - 2 tablespoons dill pickle relish to my dressing; minced pimentos and minced garlic are other popular additions, but I like to keep it pretty simple.

1 cup LCHF or prepared mayonnaise
¼ cup tomato sauce
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
2 teaspoons Louisiana hot sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 drop liquid sucralose
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper (optional)

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Place in the fridge overnight to chill.

Chef's Note: Any hot sauce will do, I like Louisiana hot sauce, but Frank's Red Hot, and Siraiacha are popular choices. Tabasco can be used, but it has a harsher bite and in my opinion is not as smooth as a Louisiana style hot sauce.

Full Recipe (About 1 1/3 cups or 23 Tablespoons)
Calories – 1532, protein 2.6 grams, fat 165 grams, carbohydrates 7.5 grams

Per Tablespoon
Calories 67, protein 0.11 grams, 7.27 grams, carbohydrates 0.32 grams

Ken's Steak House Russian Dressing (1 Tbsp)
Calories – 75, protein 0 grams, fat 7 grams, carbohydrates 2.5 grams

Kraft Russian Dressing (1 Tbsp)
Calories – 60, protein 0.1 grams, fat 4 grams, carbohydrates 5 grams

Wishbone Russian Dressing (1 Tbsp)
Calories – 55, protein 0 grams, fat 3 grams, carbohydrates 7 grams

As you can see, commercially prepared Russian dressings vary quite a bit when it comes to nutritional information with Wishbone having a whopping 7 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon. If you put 3 tablespoons (21 carbohydrates) of Wishbone Russian on your salad you just used up all of your carbs for the day if you are on a strict (20 carbs or less per day) eating regimen. While the Russian dressing recipe in this article has only 0.32 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon or 0.96 total carbs for 3 tablespoons. That's 20 times less carbohydrates than Wishbone. Even Ken's Steakhouse variety which has the least amount of carbohydrates per tablespoon would be a total of 7.5 carbohydrates for 3 tablespoons which is still 7.5 times more carbohydrates than the home made Russian dressing.


This home made LCHF Russian is another great dressing to add to your LCHF and Keto eating regimen. After all eating green salads is a good way to get the extra vitamins (vitamin C and K), minerals (folic acid, iron, potassium, magnesium) and fiber. Making LCHF dressings helps you to maintain a low carbohydrate intake as many of us just like more dressing than the traditional serving size of two tablespoons. I hope that you will try making your own Russian dressing and that you and your family will enjoy it's bold, spicy, and unique flavor profile as much as I do. As always, I hope that you have found this article informative and beneficial for you and your family, if so please take the time to share it with your friends so that they can benefit as well. Don't forget to follow us on out Facebook Page 'CulinaryYouLCHF' or add us to your circle Google+.

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Ken's Steakhouse: Russian Dressing

Kraft Foods: Russian Dressing

Holl, John, America Was Sweet On It's Spicy Russian Dressing – Until Thousand Island, Washington Post, December 22, 2014

Wishbone Foods: Russian Dressing

Friday, March 17, 2017

LCHF French Dressing

Since I eat a chef salad everyday at work, we rotate salad dressings about once a week in our house. If you have read any of my other articles on salad dressings then you know that there are few low carbohydrate high fat (LCHF) or Ketogenic (Keto) dressings on your local supermarket shelves. Many years ago when I was in culinary school, making salad dressings was one of the first things that everyone learned to do. After all most restaurants at the time made their own dressings.

The great thing about making your own salad dressings at home is that you control both the amount of carbohydrates and fat that the dressing contains. Back in the 1950's this classic French dressing was created from and oil and vinegar vinaigrette by adding tomato sauce and a pretty hefty amount of sugar. This combination of tomatoes and sugar make the commercially produced variety of this dressing relatively high in carbohydrates (2 to 3 carbohydrates per tablespoon). In our LCHF/Keto version of this classic dressing the total carbohydrate count is 0.4 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon. So making your own French dressing has about 73% less carbohydrates.

Classic French Dressing

Originally this recipe called for 1 cup of granulated sugar (200 gram of carbohydrates). In our ketogenic version we are to eliminate the sugar and replace it with liquid sucralose. You can use liquid stevia if your prefer, or in a pinch Splenda or other low calorie sweeteners. Having said that, all the nutritional information for this dressing is for liquid sucralose or stevia, both of which contain zero carbohydrates.

I recommend starting out with ¼ teaspoon of liquid sweetener and taste the dressing, if it is not sweet enough for you then add and additional amount of sweetener. Using ½ teaspoon liquid sucralose (equal to 1 cup) makes for a pretty sweet dressing, so start out light and adjust as necessary to meet your personal tastes.

1 cup (8 ounce can) tomato sauce
½ cup olive or canola oil
½ cup apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
¼ to ½ teaspoon liquid sucralose
½ teaspoon celery seed
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon dried mustard
½ teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon paprika

Total Recipe (2 cups)
Calories – 1092, protein 1.5 grams, fat 112 grams, carbohydrates 15.75 grams

Per Tablespoon
Calories – 34, protein 0.04 grams, fat 3.5 grams, carbohydrates 0.49 grams

Wishbone Deluxe French Dressing (1 Tbsp)
Calories – 60, protein 0 grams, fat 5.5 grams, carbohydrates 2.5 grams

Creamy French Dressing

A variation of the classic French dressing is the 'Creamy French' dressing. By adding ¼ to ½ cup of mayonnaise to the original recipe you get a slightly smoother and creamier dressing. The addition of mayonnaise helps to cut down some on the sweetness from the sugar and the tartness of the vinegar. In addition the mayonnaise also gives the dressing more body and a slightly lighter orange color. While the classic French dressing is closer to a vinaigrette style dressing and will separate some when left to sit in the refrigerator, the creamy French will not do so.

1 cup (8 ounce can) tomato sauce
¼ to ½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup olive or canola oil
½ cup apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
¼ to ½ teaspoon liquid sucralose
½ teaspoon celery seed
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon dried mustard
½ teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon paprika

Total Recipe (2 ¼ cups)
Calories – 1467, protein 1.8 grams, fat 154 grams, carbohydrates 15.3 grams

Per Tablespoon
Calories – 41, protein 0.05 grams, fat 4.27 grams, carbohydrates 0.43 grams

Kraft Creamy French Dressing (1 Tbsp)
Calories – 60, protein 0 grams, fat 6.5 grams, carbohydrates 1.5 grams

Chef's Note: The nutritional information for this recipe is based on using ¼ cup of homemade LCHF mayonnaise. To learn how to make your own mayonnaise check out my article 'Condiments the Diet Killers: Making Your Own LCHF, Keto, and Paleo Condiments'.


Homemade LCHF French is another great dressing to add to your LCHF and Keto eating regimen. After all eating green salads is a good way to get the extra vitamins (vitamin C and K), minerals (folic acid, iron, potassium, magnesium) and fiber. Making LCHF dressings helps you to maintain a low carbohydrate intake as many of us just like more dressing than the traditional serving size of two tablespoons. I hope that you will try this ketogenic twist on a classic dressing and that you and your family will enjoy it as much as mine does. As always, I hope that you have found this article informative and beneficial for you and your family, if so please take the time to share it with your friends so that they can benefit as well. Don't forget to follow us on out Facebook Page 'CulinaryYouLCHF' or add us to your circle Google+.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Texas Style Brisket

This article was originally from a section in the book I am currently writing called 'The Barbecue Smoker Cookbook'. The primary emphasis was on how to properly smoke a brisket. Not everyone has access to a smoker, and to be honest, smoking a brisket takes a lot of time and attention. So I wanted to write an article so that the average home cook could make a delicious brisket without having to stay up all night to tend the fire of the smoker. Having said all of that, smoking a brisket is still my preferred method of cooking, however this brisket comes out nice and tender and it takes almost no effort on the cooks part once it goes in the oven.

Brisket can be a great low carb high fat (LCHF) and Ketogenic (Keto) protein source if prepared and cooked properly. What I mean by that is, by using the proper rub (minimal, or no sugar) eliminates most of the carbohydrates that are typically found in commercial barbecue rubs. Now, I do not propose the use of erythritol or other sugar substitutes in the use of my barbecue rub. They may work great, but I am not a big fan of the cooling effect (after taste) that some of them have. To be honest, I have not wanted to try using erythritol in place of sugar simply because I do not want to waste a brisket just in case it comes out tasting like crap. Erythritol may be a good brown sugar substitute, but I have simply not used it.

So as a LCHF eater, I now make my rub with either 2 tablespoons of sugar, or simply omit it altogether. Using 2 tablespoons of brown sugar makes the rub 9 grams of carbohydrates per pound of cooked meat (for the whole recipe), while the rub without the sugar is 8 grams of carbohydrates per pound (for the whole recipe). The other carbohydrates come from the spices which are used in the rub. Remember, if you have read any of my other articles, then you know spices contain small amounts of carbohydrates that many LCHF and Keto eaters forgot to account for. So in this article I have listed the nutritional values for making the rub with and without brown sugar so that you can make an informed decision as to the way you want to make your barbecue rub.

Selecting A Brisket

A brisket is essentially two types of meat, the skirt and the lifter. The large piece of meat that runs along the bottom of the brisket is called the skirt or flat. The meat towards the top side (fat side) is called the lifter or point. The skirt of the brisket is the leaner portion of the cut with almost no fat. The lifter on the other hand is the opposite having a large amount of fat or marbling. There is a distinct layer of fat in the middle of the brisket that separates the skirt from the lifter. In addition the grain of these two cuts of meat run in different directions and should be separated before carving (See Serving Your Brisket).

When choosing a brisket, you want a whole, untrimmed beef brisket. This is going to weigh in at between 10 and 20 pounds depending on how it is cut and where you get it. Buy your brisket based on the number of people you wish to feed, a typical portion being about 6 to 8 ounces of cooked brisket per person. On average, a smoked brisket is going to give you about half the weight in meat of the original piece of meat, meaning if you bought a 12 pound brisket you will get about 6 to 8 pounds of meat when you are done (based on the 8 ounce rule, enough brisket for 10 to 12 people as there is some wastage). This is due to two factors, first because there is is so much fat in a typical untrimmed brisket, about 10 to 15% of total weight. Second, because of shrinkage during cooking process, although the low and slow process of cooking does inhibit this somewhat.

You do not need to spend a fortune on brisket. In fact, the brisket we purchased for this article was $1.76 per pound at my local Walmart. Last week, Walmart was out of brisket and my local Brookshires supermarket had them for $4.99 per pound (a 12lb brisket was $59.88) that's just ridiculous. No matter what you my have read or seen on YouTube, even the cheapest brisket when cooked long and slow will be tender and juicy, that's the benefit of long, slow, low heat cooking.

Trimming The Brisket

As mentioned earlier a whole brisket can run anywhere from 10 to 20 pounds, and if you are planning on cooking a brisket it is best (in my humble opinion) to buy an untrimmed brisket as this gives you more control on what you want to trim. To prepare your brisket for cooking you need to trim away some of the excess fat. For lack of a better term, we will call the fat side of the brisket the top and the non-fat or meat side the bottom. The top side of an untrimmed brisket has a thick layer of fat that runs the entire length of the brisket with the fat layer being thicker over the lifter. When trimming your brisket the key is not to remove too much fat as this will help keep the brisket from drying out as well as add flavor to the meat during the cooking process. So let’s get trimming.

First, you will want to remove any excess fat or loose pieces of meat that may be hanging from the side of the brisket. Now, I'm not suggesting that you carve off all the fat or cut it up, but I find it easier to work with if you get it prepared just right. Second, remove some of the fat layer of the lifter or fatty cap of the brisket. Removing about 30% of the fat layer should be sufficient. Remember, you do not want to cut all the way down to the meat, you just want to remove some of the excess fat.

Once you have trimmed the brisket, I suggest that you weigh the fat and subtract that amount from the initial weight of the brisket before cooking in order to arrive at a proper expected cook time. Remember you only want to smoke your brisket for 1 to 1 ½ hours per pound of meat. Cooking the meat any longer than this will cause it to dry out and become tough. Don’t be surprised if your trim job reduces the total weight of the brisket by 1, 2 or even 3 pounds, anymore than this and you have probably trimmed off too much fat. Once you have completed trimming the fat and loose pieces off the brisket you are ready to prepare the brisket for cooking. 

Preparing the Brisket (The Rub)

It takes a long time to properly cook a beef brisket and applying a good barbecue rub to the meat and placing it in the refrigerator to rest overnight, is essential to cooking a great brisket. When applying your BBQ rub to the brisket you want to cover the entire brisket even the fat. You need to make sure you cover the entire brisket so that it can take on the flavor of the rub and this is what you are going to be eating. So why season the fat? Well the fat is going to help keep your brisket moist, and fat is an integral portion of the meat (lifter) used when making chopped beef sandwiches. So do yourself a favor and coat the entire brisket fat and all.

When I rub a brisket I place it on several sheets of plastic wrap laid on top of sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil (the 20 inch side stuff is the best) so I can simply wrap the brisket first in the plastic wrap and then the foil after liberally applying my rub. The brisket is then placed in the refrigerator overnight or up to 24 hours before being cooked. The moisture from the wrapped brisket is going to turn the rub into a paste that will help it stick to the meat and help the meat absorb the flavor. You can skip this resting period, but your brisket will not be as flavorful.

5 tablespoons chili powder
4 tablespoons garlic powder
4 tablespoons onion powder
4 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 teaspoons red pepper
2 teaspoons cumin, ground
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground

Mix all ingredients together and apply generously to brisket. This rub recipe makes about 1 ¼ cups of rub and should be enough to liberally cover a 10 to 12 pound brisket.
Whole Recipe (with ¼ cup brown sugar)
Calories – 654, protein 19.4 grams, fat 10.9 grams, carbohydrates 112.3 grams

Whole Recipe (with 2 tablespoons brown sugar)
Calories – 479, protein 19.4 grams, fat 10.9 grams, carbohydrates 66.8 grams

Whole Recipe (with no brown sugar)
Calories – 445, protein 19.4 grams, fat 10.9 grams, carbohydrates 57.8 grams

Chef's Note: The brown sugar in a traditional barbecue rub helps your brisket develop that nice dark caramelized coating known as 'bark'. However, sugar is extremely high in carbohydrates and is therefore not ketogenic. I have included three nutritional values for this rub it you wish to use a small amount of brown sugar in your rub. This particular 12 pound brisket yielded about 7.5 pounds of meat (about 63% yield). So if you used ¼ cup brown sugar that would be about 15 grams of carbs per pound, 2 tablespoons brown sugar about 9 grams of carbs per pound, and without brown sugar about 8 grams of carbs per pound. Granted a lot of this will be lost in the carving process, I just wanted you to have the information.

Cooking Your Brisket

Preheat your oven to 225 degrees F (107 degrees C) for the whole cooking time. Remember that your brisket is going to need to cook for somewhere between 1 ½ to 1 hour per pound. Not all briskets are created equally so the cooking time is going to vary, but I have found that in our oven a 12 pound brisket (before trimming) is nice and tender when cooked for 12 hours.

If you placed your brisket in the refrigerator overnight, then remove it about two hours before you want to place it in the oven. I unwrap my brisket and place it in a large disposable aluminum roasting pan as we do not have a large enough regular pan to accommodate a 10 – 12 pound brisket. BTW, if you cover it with plastic wrap and foil, you want to remove this before placing the brisket in the oven. I put my brisket in the oven before we go to bed and cook it for 12 hours. No need to turn or flip the brisket, just let it sit in the oven undisturbed for 12 hours (make sure to put it fat side up in the pan).

Once your brisket has cooked for the estimated time based on it's trimmed weight, it's time to check the temperature. Because a brisket is composed of two different types of meat as mentioned earlier (lifter and the skirt) taking the final temperature of this mixed meat and fat structure of isn't as straightforward as you might think, however it's not rocket science either. Fat heats faster than meat so you will find that the internal temperature of your brisket is very different depending on where you take your reading. In order to ascertain the proper temperature of the brisket, you will need to take the temperature in several places, aiming for a thick piece of meat. By this point the fat is about as solid as warm butter. The meat on the other hand should give you some resistance as you insert the probe. You are ultimately shooting for an internal temperature about 185 to 190 degrees.

Carving and Serving The Brisket

Carving a brisket is more art than a science, and an art that requires experience more than technique. If you go slow, and watch what you are cutting, however, you shouldn't have much trouble getting a large number of good slices that are perfect for serving. Start by cutting back or trimming the fat layer on the top of the brisket to expose the meat. Then working from the thin, square end of the brisket (the skirt), cut long thin slices about the thickness of a pencil. If you find that the brisket is a little tough, cut it thinner. If the brisket starts to fall apart cut the slices thicker. As you work your way along you can trim off any large pieces of fat. Once you get to the point end of the brisket you will find a second layer of meat on the top of the skirt known as the lifter. You should now be able to see the strip of fat that divides these two cuts of meat. Cut through this fat separating the lifter from the skirt. The grain of the lifter runs differently from the skirt so you will want to cut it in the other direction.

Like anything, the more brisket you cook, the better your slicing technique will become, and soon you won't have any trouble carving up a perfect brisket. Remember, you are cooking for friends and family so relax, enjoy yourself, besides your friends and family won't care about your carving as your brisket will be so tender and delicious.

In many restaurants the lifter which has a high fat content is chopped with any trimmed portions from the skirt to make chopped beef sandwiches, while the leaner skirt is used for sliced brisket sandwiches or plated entrées (which is what I do). The skirt can be used for chopped sandwiches, but the moisture, seasoning and fat content of the lifter make it the perfect meat for this technique; whereas the skirt easily becomes dried when chopped and is often layered in a heavy amount of sauce to overcome this. In my opinion this defeats the purpose of cooking and or smoking the brisket if it is hidden under the flavor of the sauce, rather a good barbecue sauce should accentuate the flavor of the brisket not overpower it.


Do I prefer a smoked brisket over one cooked in the oven, well duh… But let's face it, we all do not have the time to stay up all night and tend the fire of a smoker to keep the temperature in the sweet spot (225 – 250 degrees). However, placing a brisket in the oven overnight to cook is just about as easy as it gets, and the results are quite phenomenal given the fact that you do not have to mess with the brisket once you throw it in the oven. This recipe is quite literally a set it and forget it type of recipe.

Remember a brisket is going to yield about 60 – 65% of it's cooked weight. Our 11.58 pound brisket yielded just a little over 7 pounds of meat after trimming and cooking, making our final cost $2.81 per pound of edible meat. Had I purchased the brisket from Brookshires at $4.99 per pound instead of $1.76 per pound the final cost would have been $7.97 per pound. Yes, my family loves brisket, but I am not paying eight dollars a pound for brisket (BTW, that's about what you pay at the restaurant).

If you need a good 'Texas Style' barbecue sauce check out my article 'Condiments The Diet Killers' for my version of LCHF/Keto barbecue sauce that is only 1 gram of carbohydrate per tablespoon. There are several other LCHF/Keto barbecue sauce options listed below that you can access from our blog by simply clicking on the article heading. As always, I hope that you have found this article informative and beneficial for you and your family, if so please take the time to share it with your friends so that they can benefit as well. Don't forget to follow us on out Facebook Page 'CulinaryYouLCHF' or add us to your circle Google+.

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Gamel, Todd, The Barbecue Smoker Cookbook, Currently in Editing

Monday, March 13, 2017

So What Is Bulletproof Coffee?

If you haven't read the article on our blog about making your own bulletproof coffee, well now you can watch the video.