Our cookbook—our baby!—hits shelves in just thirty-something days, which means that (in addition to work, kids, cooking, and blogging) I’m up to my eyeballs in frantic preparations, from planning a super-duper book release party in San Francisco (mark your calendars for Saturday, January 4!) to lining up events and swag for my book tour. (Stay tuned for details—I think you’re going to go bonkers for the fun surprises we have in store!)
But that doesn’t mean I can’t find the time to pull together my favorite links from around the Weird Wild Web! (Besides, it’s a great excuse for procrastinating.)
Thai Me Up, Thai Me Down
Believe it or not, we won’t even be in the country on our book release date—we’ll be in Thailand. In fact, our little family will be hanging out in Asia for most of December, eating our way through Hong Kong and Chiang Mai on official Nom Nom Paleo business.
Okay, maybe we’ll just be sampling local delicacies for 90% of the trip. But that’s important business to me!
My parents are insisting that I try the local seafood while I’m in Hong Kong—but all I can think about is the prospect of eating swamp eels and penis fish. I’m already bracing myself; the last time I was in China, I was taken to a restaurant and served turtle soup and bear paw stew.
This trip, we’ll be spending most of our time in northern Thailand—Chiang Mai, to be precise. And I’m already looking forward to eating authentic Thai cuisine, which is nothing like the sickly-sweet, greasy Americanized fare found in the States. In fact, Serious Eats just debunked a bunch of Thai food myths with Chef Andy Ricker of Portland’s Pok Pok.
One important lesson I learned from this article: “Chopsticks are only used in Thailand when you’re going to a Chinese restaurant or a noodle restaurant.” So next time you hit your favorite Thai joint, pick up a fork and spoon instead.
A Solution to the Problem of Contaminated Spices
Remember when I freaked you out last week about the prospect of consuming dried herbs and spices contaminated with bug parts and salmonella? Don’t fret! There’s a simple solution: Use fresh herbs!
According to this oldie-but-goodie from The Kitchn, you can easily substitute fresh herbs for the dried variety:
[F]resh herbs tend to have a more delicate flavor than dried, so I tend to use more of it. My general rule of thumb is to use 1½ times the amount of fresh as I would dry. Meaning that if the recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of dried thyme, I’d start with 1½ teaspoons of fresh thyme. Remember, you can always add more, but you can’t take it away once it’s in there!
Of course, if you want to just make an incredible meal featuring the bright flavors of fresh herbs, my sister’s Green Chicken is a can’t-miss dish.