The Ancestral Table: A Mouthwatering Cookbook w/ International Flare! Plus Paleo Chicken Panang

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chicken panangOh Ancestral Table, how I love thee!

Russ Crandell, the man behind The Domestic Man blog has really knocked it out of the park with his debut cookbook, The Ancestral Table.  Highlights:

  • I have made 8 recipes, and they all have been stellar.  I have more earmarks in this thing…I could plan my menu for month!!  (see the things I made below with my feedback.)
  • Fun little bits of history behind a dish with each recipe.
  • One thing that really draws me in are the variety of recipes.  It is like a trip around the world in your very own kitchen, and you are in very capable hands with Russ’s recipe writing skills.  No one dish will seem too overwhelming.
  • I also love that Russ has a more moderate approach to the Paleo diet…he includes rice and potatoes on occasion.  While certainly not for everyone (don’t worry, he has all the ways to make something strictly Paleo carefully laid out in the back of the book) I appreciate the addition of rice and potatoes.
  • Russ also uses dairy in a few of the recipes, but again, that did not prove hard for me to circumnavigate, and he has another index for dairy free subs should you need them for each recipe.
  • Each recipe has full color photograph enticing you in…photographed by Russ himself!

Bottom line: this is an amazing resource for any family (Paleo or not) looking to put excellent meals made with real food on the table.  This will be a well worn and splattered cookbook in my limited collection of books, to be sure!  Pick up your copy of Ancestral Table today, you will love it too!

Look at all the recipes I have used so far:

  1. Tostones: Fried Plantains…an amazing party favor!  A bit indulgent with the frying, but SO good!  I used avocado oil to fry.
  2. Salisbury Steak:  Whole Family loved this one and it will be made again!  I did pan fry instead of baking the patties…I was roasting veg for a side and needed the oven!
  3. Loco Moco:  Again…this dish wowed everyone and my husband insisted this would be in his top 5 ‘ask for’ dishes!  THAT good, and simple to whip up!
  4. Beef Rendang:  A great Thai dish of slow roasted stew meat, not spicy and I left out the cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
  5. Meaty Collard Greens:  I used kale instead (4heads!!) and this was truly addicting as well.  I even adapted the slow and low coking time for my pressure cooker so this was done in a fraction of the time! YUM~!
  6. Roasted Chicken: I always like to try new roasted whole chicken recipes, an this one was easy and excellent results too!
  7. Smoked Turkey Legs (ever had one of these at a Renaissance fair??!) :  I was eager to try this recipe as my kids literally ATTACKED the leg we tried out at our first Renaissance fair last summer.  It was SO flavorful, but I had never even thought to try making them on my own until seeing the recipe here.  It worked like a charm, and was actually very hands off and easy.  I soaked the wood chips, double wrapped them in heavy duty foil, and stabbed the top al over for the venting/smoke holes.  This when right on the burner I left on, and smoked the legs perfectly!  So fun, and AGAIN…SOO good!
  8. Birthday Cake:  I made the frosting with some ghee….really ridiculous and good and RICH!  Sweetened only with maple syrup!

Russ has generously agreed to let me share a recipe from the book with my readers.  The recipe I am sharing with you today is one the many recipes found in the poultry section: Chicken Panang.  It is a flavorful, but not spicy Thai dish that has tender pieces of chicken swimming in a luscious Thai curry sauce.  It was excellent. like every other recipe I tried.  I have never attempted make my own curry paste before…but it was a snap to pull together thanks to Russ’s great directions, and I still have 2 more servings of the paste ready to go for another two dinners!  The only modifications I made:

  • Left out the cashews for garnish
  • I used brazil nuts in the paste instead.
  • I am not a huge fan of Thai basil, so I left that out and sprinkled a touch of cilantro.
  • Added fresh steamed veggies to the finished dish (broccoli and peppers)
5.0 from 1 reviews
The Ancestral Table: A Mouthwatering Cookbook w/ International Flare! Plus Paleo Chicken Panang
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
  • 3 large mild red chiles like guajillo or anaheim
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, toasted (I used ground coriander)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted ( I used ground)
  • 3" piece of lemongrass (white base of one stalk), coarsely chopped
  • 5 fresh kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste (I used 1T fish sauce)
  • 2 green cardamon pods (I left this out)
  • 2 small shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns (I left out)
  • ¼ cup coarsly chopped cashews (I used Brazil nuts)
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • ¼ cup panang paste
  • 1 13.5 oz can coconut milk, divided
  • 2-3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, sliced into bite size chunks
  • ¼ cup chopped cashews (I left out)
  • 10 Thai basil leaves ( I used chopped cilantro)
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 Bird's Eye Chile. seeds and ribs removed, sliced into rings (optional)
  2. Soak the chiles in warm water for 30 minutes, then remove the stems and seeds. Blend or process the chiles with remaining ingredients.
  3. This paste will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Before freezing, divided into ¼ cup portions!
  5. In a skillet heat the coconut oil on medium heat for 1 minute, then add the Panang Paste, stirring to combine.
  6. Saute until it becomes aromatic and the oil starts to separate from the paste, 3-5 minutes. Add a third of the coconut milk and simmer, stirring often, for another 2 minutes.
  7. Add in the chicken and stir another third of the coconut milk. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered, until the chicken is nearly cooked through, 8-10 minutes.
  8. Add in the chopped cashews, Thai basil leaves, fish sauce, and remaining third of the coconut milk. Add chile if desired. Raise the heat to medium and simmer for another few minutes until basil leaves are soft and slightly darkened. Serve with sticky rice or cauliflower rice.

The Ancestral Table by Russ CrandallThis recipe was shared on  Natural Living Monday, Mostly Homemade Monday,  Fat Tuesday, Hearth & Soul, Tuesday Talent ShowTotally Talented TuesdaysTasty TuesdaysTuesday Greens, Gluten Free Tuesday,  Waste Not Want NotGluten Free WednesdaysWildcrafting WednesdayReal Food WednesdayFresh Foods Wednesday,Frugal Days Sustainable Ways Wellness Wednesdays,,  Full Plate Thursday, Thriving on ThursdaySimple Lives Thursday,   Pennywise PlatterWhole Foods Friday, GF Friday,  Fight Back FridaySimple Meal Friday, Savoring Saturday

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When her third child was born with severe food allergies, Tessa took to the kitchen to figure out how to feed her family well. Always up for a culinary challenge, their journey has taken many twists and turns! Lots of Paleo, and lots of top 8 free. Good food for families, that's what she's about!

Posted in Reviews & Giveaways
9 comments on “The Ancestral Table: A Mouthwatering Cookbook w/ International Flare! Plus Paleo Chicken Panang
  1. Mike says:

    Is that birthday cake recipe anywhere on your site? My birthday is coming up soon and I want to try to convince somebody to make me that haha.
    Mike recently posted…Paleo DessertsMy Profile

  2. Miz Helen says:

    Great review and a great recipe! Happy St. Patrick’s Day and thank you so much for sharing your awesome post with Full Plate Thursday. Have a great week and come back soon!
    Miz Helen
    Miz Helen recently posted…Baked Creamed Cabbage and PotatoesMy Profile

  3. Karly says:

    Hi Tessa!

    I featured your recipe for this week’s Tasty Tuesdays!
    I hope you’ll stop by and link up again with me this week!

    Karly recently posted…Salsa Egg BitesMy Profile

  4. Oh my! This recipe is so perfect. I’ve been looking for an alternative for beef and pork meat lately since I’m in a low protein diet but can’t go with fish since I’m allergic. I totally forgot that chicken is totally a good one. This is gonna be awesome since Dad will be visiting here tonight bringing him few of my cousins. Hope that I’ll make the taste perfect. If it is, this is gonna be a grandslam! Thanks for sharing this. =D

  5. Raia says:

    Wow – those ingredients are intense! I’ve never heard of this dish – I’m definitely pinning it. Thanks for sharing it at Savoring Saturdays.
    Raia recently posted…Savoring Saturdays #8My Profile

  6. Thanks for sharing your review! Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)

    Hope your week is great! Can’t wait to see what you link up this week!

    Cindy from

  7. This looks amazing. I wasn’t aware of this book, so thank you for sharing your recommendation. Since going grain-free, I am always on the look out for dinner recipes and this one looks fantastic. Blessings, Kelly :)
    Kelly @ The Nourishing Home recently posted…Raspberry Crumble Bars {Guest Post at Deliciously Organic}My Profile

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My name is Tessa, and I have learned to cook without almost all major allergens! I have a focus on making family foods as healthy as possible. Real food is my obsession. Gluten free, casein free, vegan, Paleo, sugar free: I have a little of something for anyone with restrictions., Take a peek, you're sure to find something delicious, and if you need any help, I am always willing to help you tweak things to YOUR tastes and dietary needs!

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