The Domestic Man’s Caldo de Langostinos (Mexican Squat Lobster Soup)

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I’m excited to welcome my friend Russ Crandall to Nom Nom Paleo as a guest blogger! 

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Russ is a Paleo-friendly home chef and blogger who writes under the name The Domestic Man. After suffering a number of medical hardships, he regained his health through changes in his diet in 2010. He offers a unique culinary approach in the Paleo world: The Domestic Man is less a place for new kitchen experiments and more a site dedicated to re-popularizing traditional heritage foods that are either already healthy or easily modified to meet his dietary parameters.

Russ’s culinary chops and clean, beautiful photography are a constant source of inspiration for me. If you’re not already a huge fan of The Domestic Man, it’s time to catch up: Go bookmark his site, like his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter!

So without further ado, here’s Russ with a lip-smacking recipe for Caldo de Langostinos!


First of all, I want to take a moment and say thanks to Michelle for letting me write a guest recipe. I’m a huge fan of her site and it’s a little nerve-wracking to think that one of my dishes is going to be on her page! For today’s post I thought I would do something unique by showcasing a criminally-underused seafood that I’ve recently fallen in love with.

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Whole30 Day 28: Chile Lime Chicken Wings

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A confession: I’m not much of a football fan. But this year, I vow to pay closer attention to the Super Bowl — mostly ‘cause the Niners are in it.

I was a kid during the San Francisco 49ers’ heyday in the 1980s, and watched football on TV every Sunday (and Monday night) with my dad and my grandpa. We’d cheer on Joe Montana (who lived nearby) as he lofted perfect spirals to Dwight Clark, Roger Craig, Jerry Rice. Our family rooted for the home team in each of their five Super Bowl victories — and why not? I mean, who could possibly root against players who recorded songs like this?

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(I’ll admit it: I bought the cassingle of this song at the supermarket. But I wasn’t the only one, as evidenced by the fact that Henry started serenading aurally assaulting me with this song yesterday. HE STILL REMEMBERS ALL THE LYRICS.)

These days, football’s not exactly top-of-mind. I have a hard time distinguishing between Jim and John Harbaugh, and Ray Lewis’s dancing skills are more interesting to me than his linebacking skills. Henry’s forever rolling his eyes at my lack of pigskin knowledge. Sue me: I don’t know (or care) what a pistol formation is, or when it makes sense to attempt an onside kick. If you start jabbering about a “pick-6,” I’ll assume you’re referring to lottery tickets.

But without fail, at the end of every January:

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During the shindig, I typically keep an eye on the score, and occasionally ask questions that expose my ignorance of the game. But mostly, I’ll chat with friends, pick apart the million-dollar commercials and the halftime show extravaganza, and eat.

You see, football is only a small part of the equation for me. I’m really there to kick back with a bowl of (Paleo) chips, some sliders, and a whole mess ‘o chicken wings.

Specifically: Chile Lime Chicken Wings.

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This recipe’s new to this blog, so keep reading for the details!

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Whole30 Day 27: Paleo Chips (Including a New Recipe for Crispy Mushroom Chips!)

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Doing some party planning? Don’t be caught unprepared, gang; you don’t want to find yourself elbow-deep in buckets of sickly-sweet buffalo wings and face-planting into gigantic bowls of Cheetos.

Instead, with just a bit of time and a handful of real, whole ingredients, you can make a delicious assortment of—

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Whole30 Day 9: Soup’s On!

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Despite working all day at the office and coming home to demanding in-laws and bickering children, my mom somehow always found the time to whip up an elaborate supper. Our spread would predictably include at least four entrées, steamed white rice, and a pot of simmering soup to end our meal. And on weekends, when all of my uncles and aunts would gather at our house for dinner, my mom would make a feast of ten or more dishes — but she never forgot about the soup.

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She did this every night. All from scratch. Her epic meals were one of many ways she showed us her love.

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Now that I’m a mom, I’m taking a page out of my mother’s playbook and fixing up steaming bowls of homemade soup for my family. And when I do, I get the warm fuzzies, thinking back to my mom’s nightly kitchen ritual. (Ai ya! Did I just admit that I want to be like my mother? Shhh! Don’t tell her.) Melissa Joulwan recently described soup as a “big pot of warm hug,” and I couldn’t agree more. Everyone should take the time to cook a nourishing meal for their loved ones — and luckily, a pot of soup is a simple and economical way to do it.

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Whole30 Day 5: Slow Cooker Chicken & Gravy

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Being stuck in the kitchen is no way to spend your Saturday. Especially if your mood is: KILL ALL THE THINGS! So today, I’m featuring a miraculously easy, set-it-and-forget-it slow cooker recipe that’ll yield a moist, tender chicken and a thick, savory gravy. That’s right: I said gravy.

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Serve this for supper, and everyone’ll lick their plates clean. Just be sure to save some gravy for later — I promise it’ll come in handy.

Keep reading for the details!

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Paleo Shrimp-Stuffed Mushrooms

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Need party food? Bacon-wrapped figs are tasty, but they’re not the only hors d’oeuvres in the Paleosphere, you know. Want to try something different?

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I grew up eating Chinese dim sum, but I can no longer tuck into a basket of dumplings without feeling grossed out about the soy, vegetable oil, cornstarch and MSG in every bite. Thankfully, Paleo-friendly dim sum can be whipped up in a hurry. This recipe, from our best-selling Nom Nom Paleo iPad® app, is a great party dish ‘cause it’s simple, crowd-pleasing, and stealthily Whole30-compliant.

Keep reading for the recipe!

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Pressure Cooker Lamb Shanks

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On blustery nights when my teeth are chattering, there are few things that make me happier than tucking into a steaming bowl of braised lamb shanks. It’s not just because it’s rib-sticking comfort food, but also ‘cause it reminds me of my dad and our shared love for lamb dishes. I don’t, however, share his stoicism and zen-like patience, so I’m always on the lookout for quick and easy ways to prepare lamb.

Here’s a recipe that fits the bill. Thanks to my pressure cooker, I can get a hearty winter meal of lamb shanks onto the dinner table in less than an hour.

Follow the jump for the recipe!

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Paleo Sriracha (Homemade 20-Minute Sriracha)

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Question: Who doesn’t love sriracha?

Answer: People who haven’t tried it yet.

But I know you. You’re a sriracha connoisseur. The first time you spied it on the table at your favorite Vietnamese joint and squirted some onto your spoonful of phở, you were hooked. You squealed when you spotted little squeeze packets of sriracha at the food truck near your office. You sought out the rooster-emblazoned bottle with the green top at Asian supermarkets. You stockpiled the stuff in your pantry and ate the spicy, umami-packed condiment with, well, everything.

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You even got yourself a T-shirt with the Huy Fong Sriracha Sauce logo on it. Also? A matching iPhone case and tattoo. And why not? Sriracha’s been called The World’s Greatest Condiment and The Most Amazing Condiment on the Planet and “a delicious blessing flavored with the incandescent glow of a thousand dying suns" — and you know that’s no hyperbole. Sriracha is magic.

But then you went Paleo. And for the first time, you read the ingredients on your store-bought squeeze bottle of sriracha. You saw that it contains stuff you don’t recognize, like potassium sorbate, sodium bisulfite, and xantham gum. And it felt like someone let all the air out of your balloon.

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You couldn’t bear to toss out your sriracha. But you ate it less frequently. And when you did, you felt a gnawing guilt about ingesting all those chemical preservatives. Every time you passed by your pantry, you eyed that bright orange bottle with longing — until the little voice in your head whispered: “Faileo.”

Yeah, after some furious Googling, you found a detailed recipe on the Internet for D.I.Y. sriracha — but it calls for a week of fermentation and daily stirring. And sadly, patience isn’t one of your virtues. You want sriracha today. Sad face.

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I know how you feel. I felt the same way…until now.

For a while, Henry and I have been testing and re-testing various ways to make a quick, real-ingredients-only version of the world-famous “Rooster Sauce.” There were plenty of challenges: Getting the right balance of spice, tang, and sweetness. Mastering the texture. Achieving a deep, rich, satisfying umami without a week of fermentation. Not rubbing capsaicin into our eyes.

After tinkering with the formula for months, we knew we were close to unlocking the ancient Asian secret of sriracha. (Actually, what we all think of as “sriracha” — the Huy Fong version — is an Asian-American concoction. Just like modern ketchup, it was first made in the U.S.A. by Vietnamese immigrant David Tran. And it’s not all that ancient, either, having been birthed in the 1980s.)

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After a long shift at the hospital yesterday, I came home with a bag of fresh red jalapeños, and decided to stay up until the code was cracked. Henry and I rolled up our sleeves, and soon enough, we captured lightning in a (squeeze) bottle.

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That’s right: In our hands is the Holy Grail of Condiments: Paleo Sriracha.

Want the recipe? Well, I’ve decided to offer it only in my iPad cookbook app.

KIDDING! Really — stop screaming at your computer screen, and check out the recipe after the jump. (Though if you own an iPad and have more than five bucks in the bank but still haven’t bought my app, I have a bone to pick with you, buster.)

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Pressure Cooker Porcini and Tomato Beef Short Ribs

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In the kitchen, one plus one can equal much more than three. By combining ingredients packed with umami (mushrooms! beef! tomatoes!), you can exponentially increase the mouth-filling savoriness of your final dish. Here’s an example in the form of a comforting, fork-tender stew — and with a pressure cooker, it can be on the table in less than an hour.

Here’s what to gather to feed 4-6 people:

  • 5 pounds grass fed short ribs, cut into 3- to 4-inch segments
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • ½ ounce porcini mushrooms
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon lard or fat of choice
  • 1 large onion, chopped medium
  • 3 carrots, chopped medium
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped medium
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 cup marinara sauce (I like Rao’s marinara sauce)
  • ½ cup bone broth
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
  • ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
Here’s how you make it:

Season the short ribs liberally with salt and pepper.

If you’d like, you can do this step the night before and store the seasoned ribs in the fridge. Salting early helps amplify the flavor.

Place the porcini mushrooms in a bowl…

…and cover with boiling water until softened (15-30 minutes).

Take out your 8-quart or larger pressure cooker and melt the lard over medium high heat. Sear the ribs in batches until well-browned…

…and transfer them to a platter.

While the ribs are browning, chop up the veggies…

…and toss the onions, carrots and celery into the empty pot. Lower the heat to medium, season with salt and pepper, and sauté the vegetables until softened. 

Fish out the softened mushrooms and squeeze out the liquid. You can reserve the mushroom water to use in place of broth, but I personally find it a little muddy tasting.

Coarsely chop up the mushrooms….

…and toss them in the pot along with the garlic. Stir the pot for another minute…

…and add in the marinara sauce, broth, and 1 tablespoon of the balsamic vinegar.

Add the ribs back into the pot, mixing well.

Increase the heat to high and bring the stew to a boil. Cover the pressure cooker with the lid and let the contents come to high pressure.

Once the pot reaches high pressure, decrease the heat to low and maintain on high pressure for 30 minutes. Then, take the pot off the heat and let the pressure come down naturally (10-15 minutes).

When the pressure is released, add the remaining tablespoon of vinegar and check for seasoning. You can eat the stew right away, but I think it tastes much better after the flavors have had a chance to meld overnight in the fridge. Plus, it’s easier to peel off the layer of fat when it’s hardened.

To reheat the stew, dump it in a pot, and bring to a boil. 

Simmer the stew for at least 20 minutes and top with minced parsley.

Try this recipe — I guarantee you’ll like it. There’s no need to be afraid of pressure cookers! 

Easiest Roast Chicken Ever

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…especially if you live near a Trader Joe’s

TJ’s has been in California for almost half a century, but in recent decades, stores have been sprouting up all over the U.S. Each store opening has been met with rabid excitement, and it’s not hard to see why. As Fortune Magazine once put it, ”Trader Joe’s is no ordinary grocery chain. It’s an offbeat, fun discovery zone that elevates food shopping from a chore to a cultural experience.”

The success of the chain is due in large part to its offerings: A tightly-curated selection of budget-friendly upscale goods, gourmet staples, and time-savers like pre-washed bagged kale, trimmed leeks, hardboiled eggs, you name it.

Of course, like just about every other big grocery chain, there’s plenty of super-processed Frankenfoods in the shopping aisles, too. Not everything that TJ’s carries is awesome (or awesome for you), but after two decades of shopping at Trader Joe’s, I still supplement my farmer’s market and CSA hauls with a weekly visit to the friendly workers at TJ’s. After all, there’s always something new to discover.

In fact, just last week, my super chef sister alerted me to one of TJ’s newest items: Organic brined whole chickens!

With this bird, it takes just ten minutes of hands-on prep time to make a complete supper that’s satisfying and flavorful. (A caveat: the chicken ain’t Whole30-approved ‘cause the brine contains some sugar.) While you’re waiting for the chicken to cook in the oven, you’ll have time to cuddle on the couch with your kids — or spend quality time surfing the interwebs. No judgment, I promise.

Here’s what to gather to feed 4-6 people:

  • 1 whole organic brined chicken (5 pounds)
  • 4 trimmed leeks, sliced
  • 4 organic carrots, cut medium
  • 8 ounces of cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons of softened butter or ghee, divided
  • Aged balsamic vinegar
Here’s how to get dinner on the table in an hour:
You can get all your ingredients at your neighborhood Trader Joe’s. If you don’t live in one of the 35 states where TJ’s operates, I’m sorry. Your dinner won’t be as quick and easy as this one, but you can always plan ahead by brining your own chicken and still follow along with the rest of this recipe.

The brined chickens at Trader Joe’s are about 5 pounds each, and will easily feed 4 to 6 people. 

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Although the instructions on the packaging tell you to rinse the bird, just blot it dry with a paper towel. (It won’t end up too salty, I promise.)

With a sharp pair of kitchen shears, cut out the back bone…

…and trim away excess fat and skin. (Don’t forget to save the carcass and back bone for bone broth.)

Then, spatchcock the bird: Flip the chicken over and open it up like a book. Using a kitchen knife, cut a ½-inch through the cartilage on the breast bone and firmly press down with your hands to flatten it.

Next, prepare the veggies that will line the roasting pan.

Even though the trimmed leeks from TJ’s look clean, there’s still lots of dirt hidden in the folds. Keeping the root end intact, cut the rest of the leek in half lengthwise.

Give the leek a quarter-turn, and then slice it lengthwise again (at a right angle from the initial cut). Keep the root end intact!

Fan the leaves under running water to release the sand and mud.

Once the leeks are cleaned, flick off the excess water and slice ‘em crosswise.

Chop the carrots in uniform medium chunks…

…and toss them on a tray with the leeks.

Add the quartered mushrooms and toss on some salt and pepper. 

Dot the vegetables with half of the softened butter or ghee (2 tablespoons).

Lay the chicken on top of the seasoned vegetables, breast-side up.

Smush on the remaining two tablespoons of butter or ghee.

Roast the chicken in the oven for 45 minutes or until the breast registers 150° F on a meat thermometer and the thigh meat hits 170° F.

(As you can see, I cooked my chicken in my amazing toaster oven. Yes, my regular oven remains broken. Boo!)

Brined chicken skin doesn’t get as toasty and crispy as a dry-rubbed chicken — but I’ll trade perfectly bronzed skin for juicy meat any day. 

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving it. In the meantime, toss the vegetables in the pan with a splash of balsamic vinegar.

While you’re waiting to cut the chicken, sauté some greens to go with your chicken and roasted veggies.

Voilà!