Ruhlman on Paleo

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Last year, I struck up a friendly correspondence with Michael Ruhlman, about our respective food apps. For me, this was a Big Deal; after all, Michael’s been one of my one of my cooking and writing idols for, well…forever. He’s penned many of the best food books around (including Ruhlman’s Twenty, Charcuterie, Ratio, Ad Hoc at Home, and The French Laundry Cookbook), and I love his blog. I mean, who can resist his rants about everything from the uselessness of wooden spoons to cooking your own food and thinking for yourself?

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Naturally, I was floored when Michael agreed to write a blurb for the back cover of my cookbook last year, and I was honored when he recently invited me to guest post on his blog about Paleo. When I finally met Michael in person a few days ago, I think my knees actually buckled. I definitely need to work on my flop-sweat fangirl tendencies.

Check out my guest post on Ruhlman.com here.


Looking for my recipes? Head on over to the Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my New York Times bestselling cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel 2013).

How Green Was My Chicken

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Scratching your head about what to make for St. Patrick’s Day? Try my sister’s phenomenal Green Chicken. It’s not exactly a traditional Irish dish, but it’s butt-kickingly delicious. 

Plus, it’s green! (Hence the name.)

This stuff’s even greener than the Chicago River right now!

If you don’t have chicken at the ready, you can use the emerald-green marinade as a sauce — just drizzle it in soups or on grilled meats for an instant boost of flavor (and color).

One more reason this recipe’s perfect for St. Patrick’s Day: my sister’s (married) name is Fiona Kennedy, which is just about as Irish as a Chinese-American gal can get.

Convinced? Then go get the recipe here!

(Want more Paleo-friendly St. Paddy’s Day recipes? Check out these recommendations from the Philadelphia Inquirer, A Girl Worth Saving, and Against All Grain!)


Looking for more recipes? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my New York Times bestselling cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel 2013).

Forky Friday: 3/15/14

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Forky Friday 3/15/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I thought it was going to be teeth-chatteringly arctic in Chicago today – a stinging reminder for this California girl that spring has not yet sprung in all parts of the US of A. But happily, it’s not nearly as frigid as I expected. Yay!

Forky Friday 3/15/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I’m in town for the weekend to attend a conference, eat my way around the city, and do two joint book events with my gal pal, Diana Rodgers. (If you’re interested in coming, go RSVP for our free book events at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville and CrossFit 312 right here in Chicago!) 

Forky Friday 3/15/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

But before I do, I suppose I better get caught up with another edition of Forky Friday. Are you ready?

Reading is Good For You

Forky Friday 3/15/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I know that Paleo books are hitting shelves at a fast and furious pace. Yes, our cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans, is my personal favorite (shameless plug alert!), but there are two brand-spankin’ new books you really must check out:

Joshua Weissman, the talented young man behind the gorgeous Slim Palate blog, has just released his first cookbook, The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook. I’ve hung out with Josh a few times, and each time, I’m awestruck that he’s already figured out – at the tender age of 18! – what most folks never get: that the key to good health is getting into the kitchen and cooking nourishing food from scratch. Heck, it took almost 40 years on this planet for this old lady (I’m pointing at myself) to come to that realization.

When I was a senior in high school, I was still buying lunch from the school vending machines (Doritos and Hawaiian Punch, thankyouverymuch) and mainlining non-fat frozen yogurt. Josh is a wonderful role model for eaters of all ages – and he has amazing skills behind the stove and camera to boot. 

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Fish en Papillote (in Parchment) with Citrus, Ginger, & Shiitake

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Fish en Papillote (in Parchment) with Citrus, Ginger, & Shiitake by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

By the time I get home from a long nightshift, I’m hungry for “dinner”—even if it’s 8 in the morning. While it’s mighty tempting to just mash up some canned tuna with avocado, the food snob in me sometimes demands a fancier meal. One that doesn’t come out of a can. 

In an ideal world, someone else would cook for me (and clean-up, too), but with the kids at school and Henry at work, I’m left to my own devices. Luckily, what I’ve devised for this type of occasion is a frou-frou fancy-pants dish that’s a breeze to assemble: Fish en Papillotte with Citrus, Ginger, and Shiitake.

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The name may sound complicated, but it really doesn’t get much simpler than this: fish and vegetables are steamed in a tightly sealed paper packet with aromatics and a bright, tangy sauce. (Not sure what kind of fish to buy at the market? Check the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch.) 

Fish en Papillote (in Parchment) with Citrus, Ginger, & Shiitake by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

After all, even if you’re cooking for just one, you deserve to eat something special. It’s important to practice self-love, right? In fact, as you’re preparing this dish for your seafood-loving self, I insist that you belt out The Greatest Love of All by Whitney Houston and/or chant this daily affirmation:

Here’s what you’ll need to feed one lucky person:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 2 teaspoon freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 2 fresh shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 6 ounce skinless white fish fillet (like cod, which is what I used)
  • kosher salt (I use Diamond Crystal brand)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 thin orange or lime slices
  • 1 green onion, trimmed and cut into 2 inch sections

Fish en Papillote (in Parchment) with Citrus, Ginger, & Shiitake by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Garnish

  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion

Here’s what you do:

Preheat your oven (or toaster oven) to 450°F. In a small bowl, combine the coconut aminos, orange juice, rice vinegar, fish sauce, and sesame oil.

Fish en Papillote (in Parchment) with Citrus, Ginger, & Shiitake by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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Paleo Eats: 3/1/14

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The kids spent the night at their grandparents’ last night, but we didn’t have the luxury of sleeping in. At the crack of dawn, Henry and I rolled out of bed, made a quick breakfast of scrambled eggs with furikake (I use Urashima All Natural) and homemade sriracha

Paleo Eats: 3/1/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…and headed out to San Francisco to meet up with Chef Pete Evans at the Ferry Building Farmers Market.

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Pete’s visiting from Down Under, where—as my Aussie readers know—he’s an acclaimed mega-celebrity chef, having launched the hugely popular and award-winning Hugos restaurants before becoming a cookbook author and television heartthrob. For the last few years, Pete’s been a judge on the TV cooking competition show My Kitchen Rules—a ratings monster for Channel Seven. Americans may recognize Pete as the host of his PBS series, Moveable Feast.

Best of all? Pete cooks and eats Paleo.

Paleo Eats: 3/1/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Pete’s newest book, Healthy Every Day—which makes its debut next month in Australia—is filled with delicious and nutrient-dense real-food dishes. Yes, quinoa makes an appearance here and there, but even the most fanatical orthodox Paleo eaters will heartily agree that the pages of Pete’s cookbook offer brilliant, creative takes on the healthy, nourishing foods we all enjoy.

Paleo Eats: 3/1/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

And let’s face it: his dishes are pure eye candy.

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Pete and I have corresponded via email for months, but we hadn’t met in person until today. In town to shoot footage for his new “Recipes for Life” series, Pete asked me to accompany him on a trip to the San Francisco Ferry Building Farmers Market. Our plan was to pick out some fresh, local ingredients (with a small camera crew in tow), and then head back to our house to film our cook-a-thon for his show.

Paleo Eats: 3/1/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Paleo Eats: 3/1/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

We got to the Ferry Building early to avoid the crush of the Saturday morning crowd. As I chatted with Pete, his producers and camera-wielding geniuses, Rob Tate and Gustavo Monroy, circled and swooped around us…

Paleo Eats: 3/1/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…while I did my best to avoid looking awkward.

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Giveaway! Signed Copy of Eat The Yolks, Lodge Cast Iron Skillets, & Nom Nom Paleo Swag!

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My pal Liz Wolfe is one of the coolest people on the planet. It’s easy to feel inadequate around her; after all, she’s the brainy beauty behind one of my favorite blogs, Real Food Liz (née Cave Girl Eats), co-host of the ultra-popular Balanced Bites podcast, loving wife to the equally awesome Spence, and a homesteader who raises chickens, guineas, and goats. What can’t she do? Liz is the complete package: whip-smart, outrageously witty, naturally gorgeous, and pee-your-pants funny. Best of all, she’s one of the most sincerely kind and generous people I know.

Eat The Yolks / Nom Nom Paleo Giveaway! http://nomnompaleo.com

And now, my overachieving friend has just raised the bar. Liz’s new book, Eat The Yolks, was just released TODAY! I love this practical, myth-busting book because it’s just like Liz: hilarious, smart, sensible, and completely relatable. There were so many times when I was reading the book when I’d exclaim out loud, “OMG, me, too!” 

Liz’s passion for real food comes across on every page. With humor and style, she pokes holes in conventional wisdom about health and nutrition, tackling all the questions that all Paleo eaters are asked by curious friends and family: Why are whole grains not so wholesome? Won’t eating meat make your arteries explode? Aren’t egg yolks bad for you? 

Eat The Yolks / Nom Nom Paleo Giveaway! http://nomnompaleo.com

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Bacon Apple Smothered Pork Chops

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Bacon Apple Smothered Pork Chops by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

With its Creole heritage, smothered pork chops is hearty comfort food at its most straightforward. Just brown some chops and cover ’em with a thick, savory layer of sautéed onions and gravy; you’ll have a satisfying meal in no time. But don’t mistake easy for bland. My flavor-first version of this southern dish will satisfy even the most ornery eater—guaranteed.

The secret to a smashing onion gravy, of course, is the roux—the thickening agent traditionally made from approximately equal amounts of fat to flour. My Paleo roux substitutes arrowroot powder for the flour, and uses bacon drippings as the fat of choice, which adds a wonderful smokiness to the sauce.

Bacon Apple Smothered Pork Chops by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

And what goes better with pork chops than apples? Answer: nothing. 

Bacon Apple Smothered Pork Chops by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

The sweetness of the fruit and onions strikes the perfect counterbalance to the bacon-y richness of the gravy. An apple a day doesn’t just keep the doctor away—it also takes these pork chops from good to great. 

Bacon Apple Smothered Pork Chops by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Is your stomach growling yet? Then let’s get down to business!

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Upcoming Book Events in Corte Madera, Denver, and Chicago!

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After a couple of months of travel and book promotion, I’m back to alternating between weeks of hospital night shifts and full-time mommy duty. Still, I’ve managed to squeeze in some recipe testing (I have some tasty dishes coming to the blog soon!) and to do a smattering of book events during the weeks when I’m not slinging drugs in the middle of the night.

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Coming up:

Corte Madera, California

I may have done a few San Francisco Bay Area events already this year, but this’ll be my first signing in the north bay! On February 28, I’ll be appearing with Chris Kresser at Book Passage in Corte Madera, where we’ll be taking questions from the audience before attacking your books with Sharpies. (RSVP by clicking here). If you can’t make it to sunny Northern California to attend our talk, watch this virtual joint book event that we did with BookTalk Nation yesterday:

Technology is pretty cool: At the link above, you can order a personalized signed copy of my cookbook, too. Just enter the name of the recipient of the book, and I’ll write a note to him or her in the book before it gets shipped to you from one of my favorite indie bookstores, Kepler’s Books. (This was the bookstore I used to walk to from my parents’ house when I was a wee lass.) You gotta hurry though, ’cause the offer ends TONIGHT (Thursday, February 20, 2014).

Denver, Colorado

I can’t believe it’s been over a year since I visited Colorado. Where did the time go?

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I’ll be heading out to Chicago next month, and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to pop into Denver to hang out and sign books at CrossFit Verve, home of the amazing Matt and Cherie Chan.

I’ll be in Colorado for one night only on Thursday, March 13, 2014, at CrossFit Verve from 7 to 9pm. At the start of this free event, I’ll host a Q&A—you can ask me ANYTHING!—as well as a giveaway filled with Nom Nom Paleo swag and Hamilton Beach slow cookers. Boulder Bookstore will be selling books at the signing, so if you don’t already have a copy (or if you want more!), you can easily pick one up at the event. Plus, there’ll be lots of local Paleo-friendly businesses at the event sampling their wares, so my one-and-only stop in Rockies is sure to be a rollicking good time. Learn more about the event and RSVP by clicking here!

Chicago, Illinois

From Denver, I’ll be flying to Chicago to attend a conference, eat my way through the city, and sign books at two free events with my gal pal, Diana Rodgers, author of Paleo Lunches and Breakfasts On the Go and the coolest nutritionist/organic farmer on the planet.

On Saturday, March 15, we’ll be taking questions, doing giveaways, and signing books at the venerable Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville starting at 11am. If you’re reading this right now and live in or near Naperville, you better get your rear end over to Anderson’s next month, or I’m going to have Diana sic her farm animals on you. We don’t expect to draw anywhere near as many readers to Anderson’s as Weird Al did, but still. Click here to learn more and RSVP!

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Finally, for you city-folks who can’t be bothered to make it out to the ‘burbs, Diana and I will be coming to see you at Chicago’s CrossFit 312 on Sunday, March 16, from 1 to 3pm, where we’ll host a Q&A and raffle off free stuff before getting to the serious business of personalizing your books with misspelled non-sequiturs and bad puns. Click here to read the deets and RSVP. 

See you soon!

Forky Friday: 2/14/14

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Forky Friday: 2/14/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

Forky Friday: 2/14/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Because I heart you guys so much, I’m going to treat y’all to a special Forky Friday roundup of recipes from my new cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans, that have been reprinted (with permission!) around the web. Some of ’em (like my Bone Broth and Slow Cooker Kalua Pig) are classics that are familiar to loyal readers, but many of these recipes have never before appeared on my site, including my umami-packed Magic Mushroom Powder and Macadamia Nut “Ricotta.” You won’t find these exclusive recipes on my blog’s Recipe Index, so bookmark this post and share it with your friends.

Forky Friday: 2/14/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Alright—enough of the jibber-jabber. On to the recipes!

Asian Cauliflower Fried “Rice”

This is one of my signature dishes, so there was zero chance of me leaving it out of my cookbook. Since the book’s release, I’ve loved seeing how my fried “rice” has been re-created (and in some cases, re-imagined!) by some of my favorite bloggers, including Diana Rodgers of Sustainable Dish, Kate Williams at Serious Eats, and Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

Check out this video of Jaden’s wonderfully pared-down riff on my recipe:

(Can’t view the video? Click here!)

Bone Broth

Are you sick of hearing me extol the virtues of meaty bone broth?

Well, too bad, because I’m here to tell you to read this Serious Eats article about my recipe, in which my bone broth is put to the test. 

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Pressure Cooker Mexican Beef

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For the past couple of years, I’ve been making Oven Braised Mexican Beef at least twice a month because it’s simple and delicious—and because the kids’ll actually eat it. But here’s a dirty little secret: these days, I rarely braise it in the oven ’cause I can get similar results in a fraction of the time using a pressure cooker.

I’ve extolled the virtues of pressure cooking before, but it’s truly become one of my favorite cooking methods. (I love pretty much anything that helps me get satisfying meals on the table before I have to rush off to the hospital.) My trusty stovetop pressure cookers have been workhorses in my kitchen for some time now, but I recently treated myself to an Instant Pot because I’d read so many great things about this electric programmable multi-cooker. Also: I’m a gadget hoarder.

In fact, I’m such a hoarder that I’d neglected to break out my Instant Pot for months after buying it. It sat in a box in my garage for months before I managed to de-clutter my kitchen enough to make room for it.

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And now, I’m totally crushing on my Instant Pot. I love that I can make bone broth at a moment’s notice without having to babysit it like a stove-top pressure cooker. Also, the sauté function lets me brown aromatics or meat right in the pot before I throw in the rest of the ingredients. Yippee!

One thing to note: The Instant Pot cooks at a slightly lower pressure (11.6 psi) than my stove top pressure cookers (15 psi), but that just means having to add a few minutes to the cooking time. I increase the cooking time by 7 to 15%, and refer to my friend Laura Pazzaglia’s Hip Pressure Cooking website and charts for specific cooking times. If you’re at all a fan of pressure cooking, I suggest that you do the same. One more thing: even though the dish is finished in about an hour, I often don’t serve it ’til the next day. There’s a scientific reason why stews and braises taste better as leftovers.

So with all of that out of the way, wanna see how I’ve modified my Mexican Beef recipe to work in a pressure cooker?

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