primal

Shrimp recipes generally fall into one of two categories: dead simple and fast, or elaborate and slow (with the shrimp thrown in at the end). This dish falls into both categories – you can whip it up in just a few minutes, or you could marinate it up to overnight for more flavor. Sky’s the limit. Not to be undone, there are also two variations of this dish you can prepare (Camarones a la Criollo and Mexican-style Camarones al Ajillo) if you’re up for the challenge — both variations add even more fun to this weeknight dish.

Clarified butter (or its toastier-tasting cousin, ghee) will allow you to cook the shrimp at a high heat without burning the butter. To make clarified butter, warm 3 tbsp of butter in a small saucepan over low heat for 15 minutes, skimming off any milk solids that accumulate at the surface. Alternatively, combine 2 tbsp butter with 1 tbsp olive oil to increase the butter’s smoke point.

Some of my other favorite shrimp recipes:
Bobó de Camarão (Brazilian Shrimp Stew)
Carolina Shrimp Bog
Bam Bam Shrimp
New Orleans-Style Barbecue Shrimp
Pad Priew Wan Goong (Thai Sweet and Sour Stir-Fry with Shrimp)
Hawaii-Style Garlic Shrimp

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Around the holidays, there are three dishes I like to prepare on certain days: turkey (smoked or roasted) for Thanksgiving, ham (citrus and honey glazed) for Christmas, and a rib roast for New Years Day. My traditional rib roast recipe is featured in The Heritage Cookbook, but last weekend I wanted to try out a smoked version of this classic dish, which I’m sharing today.

I tested this recipe on my new pellet smoker (full review here), but it would work well on a charcoal or gas smoker setup, too, which I detail at the bottom of this post. Don’t have a smoker? No worries, this is the exact method I make for an oven roast, and I simply put it in the oven at 180F for Step #2. It comes out great that way, too.

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For those of you who remember my Caribbean Sticky Wings recipe from last year, I jumped into the world of pellet grills about 18 months ago. Before then, my longtime grilling setup had been three-fold: a charcoal grill for direct-heat grilling, an electric smoker for low-and-slow BBQ, and a gas grill for consistent temperatures with minimal effort. After getting acquainted with that first pellet grill, I decided to sell my electric smoker and gas grill because the pellet grill provided the consistent temperature I like to rely on during recipe development, as well as low-and-slow temperatures for exceptional BBQ (see: my 3-2-1 Smoked Ribs recipe); I kept the charcoal grill on hand for high-heat direct grilling.

Recently, the team at Camp Chef offered to send me one of their new Woodwind 24 WiFi pellet grills, which seemed to be a significant upgrade to my current grill. So I thought I’d take a moment and run you through my impressions.

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These garlic pickles are a great introduction to fermentation. They’re a familiar flavor, and you can use the brine to marinate chicken breasts for my fan-favorite Gluten, Grain, and Garbage-Free Chick-fil-A Nuggets recipe (which is nearly seven years old – yowza!).

But really, this recipe is just the start of a beautiful relationship with fermented foods. In addition to those you can find in my books, I have a few on the blog. Here are some other fermented or pickled recipes if you’re ready to try out something new:

Kabees el Lift (Pickled Turnips)
Guineitos en Escabeche (Pickled Green Bananas)
Fermented Ketchup
Takuan (Pickled Daikon Radish)
Pickled Watermelon Rinds)

One last note – it’s important to seek out organic (or fresh from the farmer’s market) cucumbers for this recipe, because you want that natural Lactobacillus bacteria that forms on its skin to kickstart the fermentation process. Don’t have access to organic cucumbers? Just add a spoonful of that liquid that forms at the top of yogurt (aka whey) to your brine during step #1.

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Listen, I get it. Thanksgiving is in a couple days, and you already have your mashed potatoes recipe figured out. Or maybe you’re going nuts and trying out some smashed potatoes this year. But hear me out — if you’re preparing your turkey outside of the oven (say, in my Perfect Smoked Turkey recipe, or frying it), maybe think about making these Crispy Roast Potatoes with all of that free oven space.

This British-inspired version is very simple: just potatoes, salt, and a good animal fat like tallow, duck fat, or lard. There’s a bit of work involved, because you par-boil the potatoes, and “chuff” them by jostling them in a colander when draining. But it really shines by leaving them alone after that — you don’t want to turn them often, so that a nice crust forms. And these crispy chunks of deliciousness pair really well with gravy, if you’re interested.

I won’t hold it against you if you choose to cook your turkey the traditional way, which you can find here. And really, today’s recipe isn’t a holiday-specific endeavor (although now is a great time to share it, since potatoes are likely on your mind right now). Have a happy holiday, and see you next week.

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Hi everyone, starting today I’m reducing the price of The Heritage Cookbook from $14.99 to $9.99 — consider this my early Black Friday gift to you. This will be the new price point from here on out, so don’t worry about this discount expiring. This price reduction applies to all three electronic versions of the book: PDF, Kindle, and Apple Books formats should all now reflect the new price point.

I’ve also made some adjustments to each format — the PDF version is now an exact copy of the limited edition print version that I shipped last month, and all versions also sport the watercolor painting cover you see above.

If you’re having trouble deciding which format to buy, consider where you’re going to use the book. If you plan on using it on your home computer, the PDF is definitely the version to get (this version can also be ported to your phone or tablet if you’re tech savvy). If you primarily use Kindle or Apple Books to read your eBooks, then I would get one of those formats. The Kindle version has adaptive text, so you can adjust the text size on the fly; the formatting isn’t very pretty but it’s a very useful feature. The PDF and Apple Books formats are fixed, which means they reflect my intended page layouts.

Here is a link to the eBook’s landing page, where you can read more about it (and gaze at some tantalizing photos). Or you can use the buttons below if you want to just buy the darn thing already. Let me know if you have any questions, and happy reading!

also available on:

During the four years I spent writing and revising The Heritage Cookbook, I took it as an opportunity to redefine how I write recipes. I went back to the basics, and rediscovered the fundamental joy of writing a simple recipe. Now don’t get me wrong, I like a good challenge from time to time, but sometimes basic recipes really accent the beauty of simple flavors.

This Berry Preserves recipe highlights how sometimes, less is more. I have a more involved preparation of Cranberry Sauce here on the blog, which we often prepare for Thanksgiving. But lately, I’ve been falling back on today’s simpler version — not just because of its ease on a holiday when all that kitchen bustle can be a bit overwhelming, but because it really lets the berries be the star of the show. Moreover, this simple preparation allows you to plug-and-play various berries, to fit many different occasions.

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Hi, remember last week’s recipe, for Preserved Lemons? Let’s make good use of it with today’s recipe. We’re going to use some of the juice to make Chermoula, a relish used in Algerian, Libyan, Moroccan and Tunisian cooking (primarily with seafood), and then use one lemon to build a base tagine sauce and to garnish the end product. Combining those slices of lemon with a bite of fish…boom.

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Super simple recipe this week, for Preserved Lemons. The process highlighted in my recipe below is modeled after the North African tradition of preserving lemons in salt — salt helps prevent microbial growth, and the citric acid found in the lemon (and as a byproduct of fermentation) helps to further preserve the lemons. But what we’re most interested in — that is, the deep, lemony flavor that comes from cooking with preserved lemons — will be in next week’s recipe.

Don’t have three to four weeks to spare preserving your own lemons? Check your local Middle Eastern grocery, they often have these shelf-stable favorites. Or, they can also be found online at a surprisingly affordable price.

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Ah, casserole season. I don’t know what it is about this time of year that makes me want to layer a bunch of foods together into a large dish and bake them.

Moussaka is an eggplant casserole of various preparations and presentations. In the Middle East, Moussaka is a sauteed eggplant and tomato dish served cold; in Greece (as in this recipe) it is layered with meat and eggplants, then topped with a Béchamel sauce and served warm; in Turkey, it is not layered or topped with sauce, but served with rice pilaf; in the South Slavic states, it is layered with potatoes instead of eggplants, and topped with custard.

Looking for other casseroles? Here are some other casserole-like favorites:

Tuna Casserole
Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá
Tortilla Española
Ratatouille

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