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.
So, So Wrong
Once again, Jimmy Kimmel challenged mean parents everywhere to lie to their children about eating all their Halloween candy, and to capture their horrified reactions on video. The results are both incredibly hilarious and soul-crushingly disturbing (on multiple levels).
Does this make you laugh or weep? (Or both?)
Speaking of Family Conflict…
A few months ago, I shot a tweet to Ottavia Bourdain, the MMA-fighting spouse of Anthony, when I saw her exchanging vegan recipes online.
Well, Ottavia’s article—detailing how she went vegan for a couple of weeks—was published a few months back, and it’s a fun, raucous read. My favorite passage:
During the meal my husband looks up at me over his sludgy brown rice and says, “We’ve never been so close to divorce.” I hope he’s kidding, but looking at him, I’m not so sure. After we get home he elaborates:
“It was an appalling dinner. And depressing. First of all, how about cooking something? Can these people cook anything? Certainly not vegetables! Or rice! Everything was underseasoned. Every self-respecting steakhouse could serve better vegetables. They use broccoli in every single course. It’s asparagus season; there’s fava bean and peas. If you choose to embrace vegetables there’s still a lot of room to work with. Every single dish tasted the same, a mix of ginger, garlic, soy, and tamari. I’m furious. They choose not to cook vegetables well or celebrate vegetables at all! They are completely impervious to the seasons. That sizzling soy cutlet, that fake chicken—makes me want to kill myself thinking about anyone eating it. To celebrate the natural world and then serve something so grotesquely artificial is a disgrace. That was one of the worst meals in history. It tasted of hippie. It tasted of my last weed dealer’s apartment. I hate the world now. Please kill me.”
Worse Than The Hamburglar
Detectives in England need your help: they’re looking to talk to “anyone who is offered large quantities of cheap beef.” Apparently, thieves in Northamptonshire made off with over a TON of beef from a warehouse.
But don’t worry—the culprits clearly aren’t Paleo eaters. The stolen beef was grain-fed.
What Does Fish Sauce Have In Common With Champagne and Prosciutto di Parma?
My personal patron saint of artisanal, Paleo-compliant fish sauce, Cuong Pham of Red Boat, makes his umami-packed condiment on Phu Quoc Island, off the southern coast of Vietnam. And earlier this year, fish sauce from Phu Quoc became “the first product from Southeast Asia to receive Protected Designation of Origin certification from the EU Commission"—a status accorded to high quality goods that are authentically made within a designated geographical region. Woo hoo!
As this article from The Atlantic points out, "European PDO products, including Prosciutto di Parma, Balsamic vinegar and Champagne, often enjoy a global reputation.
“We think of ourselves like a fine Bordeaux,” Cuong told me. “The things that make Phu Quoc fish sauce special—the anchovies, process, and climate—are quite different in Phu Quoc than in other fish sauce producing areas. The new designation recognizes these terroirs.”
I’m an unrepentant fish sauce snob—but at least it’s not unjustified!
Gut It Out
Ever wonder what’s going on with the "trillions of friendly microbes that live in and on our bodies”?
Watch this little animated video introduction to your microbiome (by NPR)—it’s a great reminder that we should all incorporate more kimchee, sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir, and other probiotic goodies into our daily eats. (Plus: yay for cartoons!)
Pay It Forward (For MeeNut Butter!)
Admit it: You love MeeNut Butter, as much as I do. So don’t you want to lend Mee a helping hand? She need 250 votes by November 15th to be considered for a small business grant through Chase Bank. This would allow her to build a production facility, hire employees, and decrease lead time on orders. Let’s help Mee out! Please vote for my gal by clicking here.
As you all know, I love dining out. Wouldn’t it be great to eat at a restaurant where you didn’t have to modify the menu to fit your Paleo needs? If you agree, check out these two Indiegogo campaigns:
Iva Paleckova is launching Blooming Beets Kitchen, the first 100% Paleo restaurant in Boulder, Colorado! Check it out here.
And E.A.T Marketplace, an awesome eatery in Temecula, California, needs your financial help to move to a new location. E.A.T stands for Extraordinary Artisan Table and they have a great food philosophy:
Embrace and glorify seasonal produce, locally procured meats and wine that is made in our valley, whenever possible. We produce our cuisine with the best to ensure that the flavors and quality of our ingredients make your taste buds pop. We believe in Good, Clean & Fair food…because there is no time for short cuts when it comes to our health! Good food in the body makes a mean, lean running machine!
Word. Click here to learn how you can contribute.
Adios, amigos! Have a great weekend!