Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Victory Belt Publishing (June 23, 2015)
Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.9 x 10 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (249 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #19,064 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #16 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International > International #32 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Asian Cooking #48 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Special Diet > Low Fat
A quick and preliminary disclaimer: I'm a bit of a Paleo skeptic. I eat like one with reluctance, not to return to the cave but to avoid returning into the ground. My nutritionist tells me to because it would be good for my health and keep me alive longer and better.Truth is, I'll enjoy a good grass-fed steak any day, but frankly turn my nose up at the plethora of Paleo pretend foods which have arisen in recent years and which bear as much resemblance to the real thing as a scratch n' sniff sticker.Until this book.They call him the Domestic Man, but he comes close to the Domestic Magician. These recipes are awesome!Russ uses real food ingredients to make real food versions of favorite take-out items, all of which are good first in their own right and second as "versions" of other things. He covers favorite dishes from many ethnic traditions, drawing on his experience and travels and a wealth of authentic flavors and techniques.I had long ago given up on good Buffalo wings that didn't come delivered in a Styrofoam box. Russ's were not only equal; they were in fact superior to local delivery. His pizza crust? Better than any gluten-free version in NYC (and that includes our fancy pants restaurants).Also tried to great delight: gyros (including homemade Tzatziki sauce made with homemade mayo and served on homemade flatbread). We had a gyro making party and the UPS guy stopped in and tried one, and even he rated it an A+! A note on the flatbread--it does not taste like pita; it does taste better! At first when we tried it on its own I was nervous, because while tasty it was "different"--chewier and a little sweeter.
Russ Crandall earned some serious cooking cred when he published The Ancestral Table about a year and a half ago. He proved himself to be the class of the paleo/ancestral food blogging world by steering clear of the crazy paleo gimmicks and, instead, synthesizing this new health movement with traditional cuisines. (That they can be synthesized is not a coincidence, Russ would tell you—there’s a reason cuisines evolved the way they did...)With this new book Russ lets down his hair a little bit and parties with the rest of us mere culinary mortals. The Ancestral Table is for when you have some more time to cook; Paleo Takeout is for when you want your food fast. (You probably will need less time than you would need to drive to a restaurant once you get the hang of it.) But don’t think that the meals you cook from the new book will be short on Domestic Man quality. Case in point: I just cooked the green curry for friends (with the beef meatballs—amazing) and one of them said: “this is the first time I’ve ever had Thai food outside of a restaurant that actually tastes authentic.” I of course put a cocky smile on my face as if I had had something to do with it. But it was actually Russ—spending all that time researching the history of food, and sneaking into the kitchens of Asian restaurants.OK, let me try to get some more information across here. The majority of the food in the book is indeed Asian, but if you think about it, that kind of makes sense: Asian fast food menus just have more items than “American” fast food menus. There are plenty of American standards on offer, though: interesting burgers (buns are mostly tapioca starch!), pizza (tapioca and potato crust!
I loved Russ Crandall’s The Ancestral Table and was delighted to have the opportunity to review Paleo Takeout. It’s good looking, the photos are wonderful and the recipes easy to follow no matter your skill level or whether you are new to Paleo or a long-time follower, as am I.Russ’ story of how he came to Paleo (stroke by age 25) is inspiring and a shout out for letting nutrition and diet do the work instead of over-medicating. As for the content, it’s everything you want to see in a Paleo takeout book—favorite restaurant recipes made Paleo, variations on a common theme (as in the recipes for Sweet and Sour Chicken, General Tso’s Chicken, Orange Chicken, etc) with the sauces, and a variety of themes ranging from Chinese to Japanese and Korean, to Southeast Asian and beyond, and ending with American classics.My first recipe from the book was the Sweet and Sour Chicken (p. 64), followed by Orange Chicken (p. 66). Both are taste sensations, and the leftovers are pretty darn good. Russ has perfected the art of Paleo breading. The trick is to flour the meat first, THEN dip in beaten egg and plop in the hot grease. Done this way, the coating stays on and has a soft, “bready” texture. I added the thinly sliced green onions and a sprinkle of sesame seeds but added some torn cilantro, a personal favorite with Chinese takeout.My next menu from the book is going to include a Greek Gyro (p. 256). There’s recipes for the gyro meat, a flatbread, Greek salad and Tzatziki Sauce. One of my pre-Paleo Santa Cruz treats was a visit to our local Greek restaurant for gyros in pita bread. I’ve been hungering for this dish and am ecstatic to know I can have it again in a Paleo-ized version. (All I need to make this Hellenic perfection is a bottle of retsina.
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