When I started paleo 6 or so years ago, one of the first blogs I came across was NomNomPaleo.com. The recipes on the site were approachable and the multiple images of the cooking process for a single recipe made it unlike any other website out there. Then not long after I found NomNomPaleo.com, I was lucky enough to meet the power couple Michelle Tam and Henry Fong. Power couple sounds extremely pretentious and a bit hollywood, but Michelle and Henry are far from that. No Brangelina here, pre break up. They are a badass couple, with 2 boys, who are just completely passionate about whatever they are doing. And they’ve created an empire around cooking creative food and writing books that no one else could ever come close to imagining.
In 2014, they came out with their first cookbook Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans and I did a review of their book and Michelle’s fantastic Mexican Chocolates Pots de Creme so I was wondering how they could get any more creative with their newest book. Well, the Ready or Not! cookbook is even better than their first book. Hands down. The graphics are stunning, it’s filled with SO MUCH helpful information, and their photos continue to get better and better. What’s amazing and so different about their book compared to others is you can read the instructions for each recipe or you can just follow along with each individual photo to make sure you’re not missing a step. For a person who is a visual learner like I am, this book is pure magic.
The Ready or Not! cookbook is broken up into “readiness” level. Since all of us have such crazy schedules that seem to change at the drop of a dime (whatever that saying means), Michelle and Henry break their book chapters into sections. So if you are good on time, start off at the Get Ready (purple) section to stock up your kitchen and get it prepped for the future. Then when you’re prepared to make something special and little more elaborate, turn to the Ready (green) section for more make-ahead cooking. Then if you’re Kinda Ready, turn to the orange section to turn your pre-made components made into new and exciting meals. And last but not least, if you’re completely NOT READY, flip to the red section that is filled with quick recipes that take 15-45 minutes from start to finish! They also packed their book with some “no recipe” recipes and a recipe index for special diets and allergy information.
Ready or Not! cookbook is also filled with other helpful info such as 10 Things You Should Know About Pressure Cooking. When I got my first pressure cooker this year, who did I turn to make sure I didn’t kill myself while using it? Well Michelle, of course! And she lists tons of her favorite products with photos, like Primal Palate spices, Red Boat fish sauce, Epic Provisions Duck Fat, and Thrive Market coconut aminos. It’s always cool to see someone who is a total badass promoting companies that are making a difference in our paleo community.
So let’s talk about the best part of this book…the recipes. Michelle makes stunning food. Period. But she makes that stunning food doable for anyone. Especially if you’re willing to try something new, like her XO Sauce that’s filled with dried scallops and shrimp. I can’t handle how good it looks in the photos. That’s something I love about Michelle so much; she creates recipes I’ve never even heard of while also having comfort-style recipes I can’t wait to try. Like her Sriracha Ranch Dressing or her Bacon Apple Smothered Pork Chops. But I’ve also sticky-noted a ton of other recipes I can’t wait to try:
- Roasted Carrots w/ Ginger Sesame Sauce
- Mexican Watermelon + Cucumber Salad
- Duxelles Chicken
- XO Pork with Blistered Green Beans
- Weeknight Meatballs
- Asian Citrus Brussels Sprouts Slaw
- Seared Scallops with Orange-Shallot Sauce
- Simple Egg Drop Soup
- Pressure Cooker Kalua Pig
- Chicken Breasts with Ginger Scallion Pesto
Ok I’ll stop.
Here’s the thing – Michelle and Henry are extremely good people who work harder than anyone I know. Writing a cookbook is exhausting and time-consuming, then to add the graphics and the 4 million step-by-step photos into the mix…well, it would be impossible for any other person out there. I mean that. I’ve come across a lot of cookbooks, especially paleo cookbooks, and theirs is a step above the rest. These two lovely humans work tirelessly to come out with content that they are proud of, and it shows in every detail of every page. I feel very honored to know them and I definitely don’t say that about many people, being an hermit introvert, and all. If you’re looking for a cookbook that you are proud showcase on your bookshelf while getting dirty as you cook through every recipe, this cookbook is for you. And right now you can get it for 40% off the original price on Amazon! PLUS, Michelle is on book tour! She’s already stopped by a ton of cities, but she has a lot to go! Go see her in Texas, California and in Oregon before the tour ends! And don’t forget, once you try the book, leave a review!! They deserve a million positive reviews!
Michelle and Henry deserve all the success in the world and you deserve to have this cookbook. Because you’re going to truly love it. I mean it! Now go try this recipe out from the book because it’s BOMB!
- 8 thin-cut, boneless pork chops (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons coconut aminos
- 1 1/2 cup lard, duck fat, ghee or coconut oil
- 1/2 cup potato starch
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper or freshly round black pepper (I used both)
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 4 hot peppers, thinly sliced crosswise
- Using kitchen shears or knife, trim the fat from the pork chops, then, cut each chop in half.
- Smash the chops with a meat pounder until they're each about ¼-inch thick.
- Transfer the pork to a medium bowl, and add the coconut aminos, coat the chops well, and let them marinate for 10 minutes or up to 1 day.
- Add the cooking fat to a high-sided pot or frying pan. (It should reach about ½-inch up the side.) Cook over medium heat until the fat reaches 375 degrees F on a meat thermometer.
- Meanwhile, mix together the potato starch, white pepper, and 1 teaspoon of salt in a large, shallow bowl.
- Toss a few pieces of pork in the potato starch mixture to coat, shaking off any excess.
- When the oil is hot, carefully add the powder-coated chops, making sure not to overcrowd them. To make sure your pork gets crispy, don't coat each chop until immediately before frying.
- Fry the chops for 2-3 minutes on each side or until they're crispy, golden brown, and cooked through.
- Gently blot the chops with a paper towel, and then transfer them to a wire rack. Repeat steps 6-8 to fry up the remains pork chops.
- Turn down the heat to medium-low, and add the sliced garlic and hot peppers to the oil.
- Fry for 1 minute or until the garlic turns a light golden brown and the peppers are brightly colors. Use a slotted spoon to removed the fried garlic and peppers from the hot oil.
- Top the chops with the fried garlic and peppers, and serve.
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