My wife and I are still reeling from the sheer amount of recipe testers who volunteered to tackle a recipe (or three) during this last stage of recipe tweaks for my next cookbook. We ended up sending out nearly 2,000 recipes, and we’re still parsing through all of the feedback and applying your suggestions to the manuscript – thanks to everyone who helped out!

I still have over a month of writing to go before I turn in the manuscript, then a few rounds of edits, so chances are I’ll be a little quieter than usual on the blog – case in point, I totally forgot to post a recipe last week. Yikes!

So this week we’re going to pull out an old favorite, which was published in Paleo Takeout but hasn’t made it to the blog until today. Although we love rice well enough, sometimes a plate of Cauliflower Fried Rice is just the ticket: we can clean out the fridge and the cauliflower sits a bit more lightly in the stomach compared to rice. I’ve found that baking the cauliflower “rice” ahead of time browns it nicely without making the end product all mushy. I prefer to use any leftover meat I happen to have in the fridge, but you could use fresh meat or shrimp, too (instructions below the recipe).

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The most visited recipe on this blog, by a long shot, is my old Perfect Eye of Round Roast recipe. It’s been read over 1.7 million times, which is pretty crazy. The recipe is unique because you basically blast the roast with a high heat for a while, then shut the oven off completely for a couple hours while you watch Netflix, build a snowman, fume at Twitter, or whatever else people do with their free time.

Last week, the old post celebrated its sixth birthday, so I figured it’s time for a bit of an update. In place of shutting the oven off completely, we’ll just reduce the heat to 170F, which will give you the freedom to check the roast’s temperature periodically with an instant-read thermometer to make sure you pull it out of the oven right when it’s ready. I also like to pair my roast with a wine sauce reduction, so I’ve included that as well.

This recipe is adapted from the one I used in my first cookbook, The Ancestral Table, which in turn was an updated version of my old blog post (we’re almost getting into Inception levels of cross-reference here). Fun fact: the photos from this post are actually from that original photo session from The Ancestral Table, back in March of 2013. They still hold up pretty well!

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Pork shoulder is great: often one of the most affordable cuts of meat, and it can be used in a variety of dishes, from Kalua Pig, to Pork Adobo, to hearty stews. But most preparations call for extended cooking times, to break down all of that connective tissue and create a very tender bite. We’re going to do things the Greek way this time around, and give them a quick pan-fry, followed by a simmer in a flavorful sauce.

This preparation visits the other end of the pork shoulder spectrum: cooking the meat just through, so it’s still tender and super juicy. We’ll keep the prep and cook time to under an hour, with lots of hands-off time so you can prep a salad and pickled veggies to go with the meal.

In case you missed my post from last week, I’m officially accepting recipe testers for my next cookbook, which will be entitled The Heritage Cookbook! Recipe testing is open to the public until January 28th (which is also when feedback is due), so don’t delay!

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Big news, everyone! I’m officially opening up public recipe testing for my next book, which will be called The Heritage Cookbook. I expect the cookbook to be released in 2018.

This book will focus on recipes developed to align best with your individual heritage and DNA ancestry results. As such, I’ve developed recipes from all over the world, highlighting the unique ancestral makeup of the US population (and giving similar consideration for readers living in countries with historically high immigration, like Canada and Australia). This book is a massive undertaking (300+ recipes!) and has taken over two years to put together – I’m excited to see how you like it!

Here’s the lowdown:
** Follow this link to choose a recipe and complete the submission form.
** Within 48 hours, my lovely wife Janey will email you the recipe plus a link to our feedback form.
** Please test the recipe and submit feedback by January 28th!

I’d love your help in sharing the word about this new book! Definitely share photos and your thoughts with family and friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and feel free to use the hashtag #heritagecooking. I only ask that you keep the actual recipes to yourself, since the final product may change before the book publishes.

If you are on Facebook, please consider joining The Heritage Cookbook Facebook group. There are over 3,400 members in the group, and we’ll be using this platform to share more info, respond to feedback, and answer any questions you may have.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you for your support, and enjoy the food!

*** Allergen information: please note that because this book is closely tied to genetic studies and food history, there is a likelihood that some ancient items native to a specific region (wheat in the Middle East, dairy in Europe, or corn in the Americas) will be included in recipes. This is not necessarily a Paleo, Primal, Whole30, AIP, or even gluten-free cookbook – instead, it will be focused on helping you find a personalized approach to diet for your unique heritage. To accommodate today’s evolving dietary challenges, I’ve listed common allergens in the Recipe List that you’ll find in the form (including annotation for recipes where gluten-free substitutions are provided). When developing recipes with wheat, I used ancient einkorn wheat (available on Amazon), which has a low gluten content.

Hi everyone, and welcome to 2018! It’s downright chilly across the US today, so let’s enjoy some stew.

Bigos is a Hunter’s Stew most associated with Poland, but likely of German origin. This dish, in one form or another, has been a part of Eastern European cuisine since at least the Middle Ages. The stew derives most of its flavor from a combination of meats, sausage, sauerkraut, cabbage, and mushrooms. I’ve found that adding dried plums (prunes) to the mixture adds a light sweetness to the dish that perfectly balances the sauerkraut.

It is likely that the original version of this dish was mostly meat, and reserved for the upper nobility; sauerkraut and cabbage were added to stretch out the meal, but eventually were incorporated into all preparations. Today, there remains significant variation of this dish – it is said that there are as many variations of Bigos as there are cooks in Poland.

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This past weekend was probably one of our last opportunities to grill in nice weather – it was a cool 45F outside, just enough to require my jacket and a careful eye on my charcoal. I’ll likely grill through the winter, but I figured now would be a good time to share this recipe for Inihaw na Liempo (Filipino Grilled Pork Belly).

Pork has a long history in Filipino cuisine; the Tagalog word for pig, baboy, is likely derived from the Indo-Malay babi/bayi, indicating that pork spread to the Philippine archipelago alongside its early inhabitants. For reference, there is evidence of humans living in the Philippines some 67,000 years ago, but they were likely displaced by several other arriving groups until about 6,000 years ago, when Malayo-Polynesians first arrived from East Asia. There is no perfect way to determine whether the pigs are an ancient member of the archipelago, but the fact that pigs have cultural significance on the islands is a good indication; for example, the seafaring Sama-Bajau, an ethnic group who live mostly in the Southern Philippines, used simple pig-shaped constellation clusters to navigate prior to the arrival of Europeans and their more advanced navigational methods.

Inihaw na Liempo is a more modern preparation of pork belly, using ingredients with both short and long histories in the Philippines. Many recipes today call for banana ketchup, which was a replacement for tomato ketchup invented during tomato shortages in World War II. Intrigued by the idea, I decided to mash a couple bananas into my marinade, and was pleasantly surprised by the fruity notes that complemented the crispy pork belly. Just be sure to keep a watchful eye on the grill – the natural sugars in the banana tend to encourage browning. For that reason, I like to slice my pork belly relatively thin, at 1/2″, to ensure the pork cooks through before getting too browned (plus, thinner slices = more crispy surface texture).

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As we enter into November, I have exciting news – I’m just about done with developing and photographing recipes for my next cookbook! I’ve been at it for nearly two years straight – researching, testing, and retesting. I’m looking forward to moving to the next stage of the book-writing process, as I organize the contents, design the layout, and edit the manuscript. To be honest, editing is my favorite part of writing books; I like making small, incremental tweaks to refine my voice, and perfectly lining up every little element of the narrative.

So in celebration of moving on to the next (and arguably the most complicated) stage of the process, let’s enjoy this simple Greek stewed okra recipe. These okra fall into the lathera (λαδερά), or oil-based, dishes commonly found among Greek home chefs – simple to prepare, but packed with flavor. This dish works well as a hearty side, but really shines during Lent or other fasts, since it is remarkably filling thanks to its generous helping of olive oil.

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Every once in awhile, I get a big craving for beets. The craving doesn’t hit me often, but when it does, I typically turn to my Vinegret (винегрет) recipe from The Ancestral Table. So without further ado, here is the text from the book:

Vinegret is the name of a Russian salad that is likely not of Russian origin, but rather borrowed from German or Scandinavian cuisine. In traditional Russian cuisine, salads were pretty rare. Vinegret is often cited as the first Russian salad, first mentioned in the 19th century.

Another Russian favorite is Olivier salad, which has a much more interesting history. It was invented by Lucien Olivier, a Belgian chef working in Moscow in the 1860s. The original recipe was a closely held secret and was never truly duplicated. Documents reveal that the salad likely included caviar, crawfish tails, aspic, and veal tongue. Over the years, these rare ingredients were replaced by common ones. Instructions for making Olivier Salad are also found below, as the method is similar.

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Salad Shirazi is a herb and vegetable salad from the southern Iranian city of Shiraz. It’s enjoyed year-round as a side dish, but is often served as a full meal during the hot summer months. While the vegetables are often diced – giving them an appearance not unlike Pico de Gallo – I have found that using larger chunks give each ingredient a bit more distinction, and results in a livelier eating experience.

There isn’t much to this recipe; theoretically, you could just throw all of the ingredients together and chow down. But I prefer to soak the onions in cold water first, which removes some astringency, and to salt the tomatoes and cucumbers to leech out a bit of their juice. That way, most of the salad’s moisture comes from more flavorful sources, like olive oil and lime juice.

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The weather is starting to cool down, so it’s time to share one of the many soups in my repertoire.

Caldo Xóchitl is a simple chicken soup from Mexico, a carryover of traditional, pre-Columbian fare, when soup (and corn) were dietary staples in the region. The word Xóchitl itself means “flower” in the Nahuatl (Aztec) language, but the original meaning behind this name is lost to history. I’ve read that this soup may have originally coincided with the daysign Xóchitl in the Aztec and Maya calendars; think of it like the astrological or Chinese zodiac signs, based off a specific day of the year that is governed by the goddess Xochiquetzal. Another, perhaps more practical theory is that squash blossoms may have simply been added to the soup when in season.

While chicken is more commonly served in this soup today, chickens were likely first introduced after Columbus’ voyage to the Americas in 1492 (there is some evidence that there were chickens in South America, via Polynesia, but that debate rages on). Either way, turkeys were available, so if you’re up for it, use turkey meat instead. We’re going to season the soup broth with a few New World spices, to give just a hint of depth to the recipe.

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