Friendly reminder that the Kindle version of my debut cookbook, The Ancestral Table, is available for $2.99 on Amazon for today (Nov 24th) only!

Jambalaya has its origins in European cuisine, and it is commonly believed that the dish is the result of Spaniards living in New Orleans attempting to recreate Paella using local ingredients. The word Jambalaya itself comes from the Provençal (Southern France) word Jambalaia, which means “mish-mash”. Some folktales posit that the word is a combination of Jamón (“ham”) and Paella, but that falls a bit flat when you consider that ham is not a traditional ingredient in Jambalaya.

But what are traditional ingredients, you might ask? Good question. First, there are two major types of Jambalaya – Creole (or “Red”) and Cajun. The main difference between the two is that Creole Jambalaya, the more popular version of the two, contains tomatoes (the Cajun version has more rural roots, where tomatoes weren’t readily available).

Aside from the standard “holy trinity” mirepoix of onion, celery, and bell pepper, there are plenty of proteins used in this dish: shrimp, sausage, alligator, chicken, crawfish, oysters, and nutria rat. For this recipe I used the most readily-available proteins: sausage, shrimp, and chicken; if you have access to some of the more adventurous ingredients from this list, go for it.

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I know what you’re thinking – two recipes in one week? That’s right folks, in anticipation of one of the biggest cooking days of the year next week, I’m providing you with 200% of my typical weekly recipe spread. Tuesday’s recipe for Devilish Eggs makes for a perfect appetizer, while this simple cranberry sauce is fitting for any Thanksgiving plate: Paleo, Primal, gluten-free, or even gluten-laden.

I’m going to be on the road for most of next week (one last family vacation before our second child arrives next month), so I want to give you a few news updates before your holiday shopping reaches full swing.

First, the Kindle version of my debut cookbook, The Ancestral Table will be on sale November 24th (this coming Tuesday) for $2.99, 66% off its normal price! This is part of a large-scale, one-day Paleo eBook sale; follow this link to sign up and be notified the moment the discount is available. Also, I’ll post the full list of eBooks on sale at the bottom of this recipe – it’s an excellent selection!

Next, the folks behind TX Bar Organics are offering 35% off all orders over $100, with free shipping on orders over $175 using the code “HOLIDAYS” (all caps). This is an excellent opportunity to fill your freezer with high-quality organic grass-fed beef.

Finally, I’ve recently started writing for Yahoo Food, which has been a lot of fun. Check out this recipe for New Brunswick-Style Potato Stuffing. This stuffing rounds out the perfect holiday meal, when paired with the cranberry sauce recipe below plus some other favorites: Devilish Eggs, Smoked Turkey, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, and Mashed Sweet Potatoes.

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Parties are the worst, right? All those new people to meet, the inevitable bad music that appears on the stereo, and figuring out what food to bring. Luckily, this week’s recipe will solve two party-related issues: bringing food and breaking the ice (there’s really no fix for bad music). You see, not only are these classically-prepared deviled eggs delicious, but they are a fun party trick, too.

While the name deviled eggs might lead you to think of something wicked, there is no association between this dish and Beelzebub. The term deviled first appeared in England in the 18th century, in reference to dishes that were highly seasoned (usually with mustard and black pepper). So while many folks will use the terms “stuffed eggs”, “dressed eggs”, or “angel eggs” to remove any perceived evil from this popular appetizer, there is none to be found. But this fact got me thinking – what if I could add a bit of mischief to these eggs?

So here’s the trick: place a random amount of Tabasco between the white and yolk of the deviled egg, then let the other party attendees guess how many drops of Tabasco are hidden within each egg they choose.

By the way, the concept of eating eggs before a meal is not new. In Ancient Rome, eggs were part of gustatio (the world’s first word for appetizer), and were so commonplace that a popular saying soon appeared: “ab ova usque ad mala”, which translates to “from eggs to apples”, or from the beginning to the end (apples were served as post-meal treats).

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Hi everyone, I’m doing something a little different for the holidays this year. Starting today, I’m offering what I’m calling the Paleo Takeout Holiday Package. Here’s what the package will include:

  • a personalized, signed copy of Paleo Takeout, addressed to whomever you’d like with a personal message of your choice (or I can just wing it if you’d like)
  • a copy of my unreleased Paleo Takeout Secret Menu Items list, which includes 32 new dishes you can make using the existing recipes and techniques in Paleo Takeout (bringing the total recipe count of the book to nearly 300!)
  • a coupon code for a free copy of my eBook, The Safe Starch Cookbook
  • five pairs of Paleo Takeout chopsticks

In addition, you will receive an email after ordering, with links to electronic (PDF) copies of the Secret Menu Items and The Safe Starch Cookbook. That way if you want to order the Paleo Takeout Holiday Package for a friend, you’ll still get those two items for yourself!

I’m limiting the deal to only 100 packages, and I’ll be selling the packages for $40 each, with free shipping (but limited to US addresses).

Here’s how the purchase works:

  • pay for the package via this link (using PayPal or a credit card)
  • you’ll be redirected to a Google Form where you’ll fill out the shipping and personalization information
  • you’ll be sent an email with links to electronic copies of the Secret Menu Items list and The Safe Starch Cookbook (as well as a link to the Google Form in case you weren’t redirected automatically)
  • I’ll ship the package to the address indicated on your Google Form entry

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Is gift-wrapping available?
A: Unfortunately, no. Gift-wrapping will require a different shipping envelope and will prohibitively increase my costs and efforts.

Q: No international shipping? What are you, some sort of a jerk?
A: Unfortunately, the shipping system we have set up doesn’t accommodate international shipping.

Q: What if I just want the Secret Menu Items list?
A: I will be offering the list at some point in the future (probably next spring), and it will be in a future printing of the book. But this will be the only way to get the Secret Menu Items for the time being. Also, please note that if you buy the package for a friend, I’ll still send you an electronic copy of the Secret Menu Items list (plus The Safe Starch Cookbook) for free.

Q: What items are on the Secret Menu?
A: First of all, it’s totally a secret, but I’ll give you an idea of what to expect: Asian-American Classics (4), Kid-Friendly Favorites (4), Southern Tastes (3), Restaurant Recreations (6), Salads and Dressings (4), More Pizzas (3), Seasoned French Fries (8). Favorites include Cheesy Garlic Bread, Hot Dog Buns, Fish & Chips, Spicy Chicken Sandwich, and Pizza Fries.

Q: How many packages can I order?
A: As many as you’d like – but please make a separate transaction for each package, thanks.

Q: How long will it take to ship?
A: It’ll take me about a week to get the package to you from the day you fill out the Google Form, so please plan accordingly.

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below, thanks!

Local friends: I’ll be having a talk, cooking demo, and book signing in a couple weeks – for more info, see the bottom of this post.

This little soup has made quite a journey over its lifetime. It was traditionally a sauce served over rice in its native India, but British colonials returning to England from travels abroad in the 19th century sought to recreate the dish at home. It eventually evolved into a mildly-flavored soup and spread as far as Australia, and there are now hundreds of variations of the dish.

While coconut milk was likely the original ingredient used to add richness to the soup, cream eventually took over in the UK. Personally, I like the exotic notes that coconut milk provides, so I reverted this dish back to its roots. This soup is typically thickened by adding rice and blending it with the other ingredients, but if you’re rice-free, don’t worry about it, the soup will still have a fairly hearty thickness to it thanks to the soup’s blended sweet potato.

One of my favorite aspects of this dish is that it imparts a slightly exotic flavor while using common ingredients (much like another favorite, Sukuma Wiki). Lastly, one fun fact: the name mulligatawny is derived from the Tamil (Southern Indian) words மிளகு தண்ணீர் (mullaga and thanni), which translate to “pepper water”.

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A favorite dish from Paleo Takeout is my Ramen recipe (page 112), which contains eight different types of Ramen and a variety of add-ins. It’s an excellent way to enjoy different takes on the same soup, while sneaking in a good amount of broth at the same time.

Like a lot of North America, we’re receiving a ton of rain right now, which always puts me in the mood for soup (admittedly, it doesn’t take much for me to get in a soup-eating mood). I figure some of you might be interested in soup right about now too, so here is my take on a simple pork-based Ramen, with some added curried winter squash to celebrate the coming winter season. Both pressure cooker and stovetop instructions are provided.

Ramen is a Japanese noodle dish inspired by Chinese cuisine (the word Ramen itself is borrowed from Lāmiàn, a type of Chinese noodle). Ramen is a relatively new phenomenon; it first started appearing in Japan during the early 20th century, but quickly gained ground after World War II, when soldiers returning from war in China had developed an affinity for Chinese-inspired cuisine (namely noodle soups). At the same time, Japan started importing American-grown wheat flour, which spurred the Japanese noodle-making industry. Ramen’s popularity was secured in 1958 when instant ramen noodles were invented, and later exported starting in 1971.

The impressive reach of Japanese Ramen can be neatly summarized by one fact: it has become very popular in China, where it is called Rìshì Lāmiàn (“Japan-style Lāmiàn”). That the soup can originate in one country, gain prominence in another, only to return to the original country with a new identity is both a testament to how delicious this soup is, as well as the ingenuity and adaptability of the human spirit.

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A few weeks back, my friend Stacy from Paleo Parents sent a text to me and our mutual friend, Jennifer from Predominantly Paleo, that went something like this: “Hey, I want to recreate this Red Robin Banzai Burger that I’ve loved for years and we should do a collaborative project because you two are pretty cool.” I liked the idea of teaming up with some other bloggers for something new, and I’m always game for recreating particular flavors (I did write a book of restaurant recreations, after all). So I jumped into the game.

While most folks associate Red Robin with burgers, they have an impressive selection of salads as well. This Caeser-dressed and fire-grilled salad, affectionately called “Insane Romaine”, is a favorite of mine, and I thought this was a great opportunity to recreate their dish plus finally try my hand at a homemade Caesar salad dressing.

Once we had our project in mind, we started talking to Chosen Foods, who recently debuted their avocado oil-based mayonnaise, and decided to take the collaboration one step further: we all featured the mayo in our recipes, too. Be sure to check the bottom of this post for the other two dishes included in our Red Robin recreation progressive dinner: the aforementioned Banzai Burgers plus some crispy fries and “Campfire Sauce”.

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Beef Stroganoff is a dish of Russian origin, most likely named after the Stroganov family, whose last member died in 1923. Members of the Stroganov family were some of the most successful merchants and businessmen in the Russian empire from the 16th to 20th centuries (think of them as enduringly popular Kardashians, albeit with a bit less drama). It’s hard to say how long this dish has been around, but the most popular Russian cookbook from the early 20th century, A Gift to Young Housewives (Подарок Молодым Хозяйкам), contains one of the oldest recorded recipes in its 1907 printing.

This is a dish I first tackled nearly four years ago, but my old version never sat well with me – the sauce was too thin, and used a bit too much sour cream. So I set off to redevelop the recipe by keeping it fairly close to the original (putting my Russian translation skills to the test, see my notes below the recipe); at the same time, I kept the modern American interpretation of the dish in mind, which uses wine, mushrooms, and onions (in my case, shallots) to add some complexity to the dish.

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It’s starting to get a little chilly here in the Florida panhandle, which is a welcome change from our typical summer heat. At the same time, this weather has me scrambling to do some last-minute grilling before the grilling season ends. This week’s recipe is perfect for that dwindling window of opportunity to spend time outdoors; it takes a few minutes to prep the marinade (which tastes best when left overnight), then you just throw the chicken on a grill and swing by later to pick it up when it’s done.

Pollo al Ajillo (Garlic Chicken) is a popular Spanish simmered chicken dish, characterized by its generous use of garlic. It is believed that the inclusion of garlic was because this dish was originally prepared with rabbit, and the garlic masked the rabbit’s gamey taste. Pollo al Ajillo also exists in some Caribbean and Latin American regions, and is especially popular in Cuba, where they tend to roast the chicken instead of simmering it. This recipe is modeled after the Cuban version, which also uses citrus fruit (in this case, orange juice) to help tenderize the meat.

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After first watching The LEGO Movie last year, our son Oliver started asking about the mysterious phenomenon known as “Taco Tuesday“. So we started a new tradition of what we call “Taco Bowl Tuesdays”; as you may have seen on my Instagram feed, we make them pretty regularly now. I thought it would be pretty fun to write up our Taco Bowl Tuesday recipe as a change of pace and a glimpse into our everyday lives.

The base of the recipe is simple: equal portions of seasoned ground beef, rice, and lettuce. There is some variation in which rice we use; sometimes we make Mexican Rice, and other times we make Cilantro-Lime Rice. The toppings themselves are usually a combination of what we have on hand and what we’re feeling at the moment.

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