Martha Stewart Living (October 2010)
We'll end October with what is likely our favorite recipe from this month's crop of food magazines.
But first, a side note. Earlier this week we wrote about Fine Cooking's excellent recipe for Classic Buttermilk Cornbread that so excellently walked the Mason-Dixon line. When we made that recipe, we really had no intention of writing about it. In fact, we didn't even make it to eat it as cornbread. Instead, we made it as a topping for this Chicken Chili. But after one taste of the cornbread, we knew we had to share it with you. It was that good.
We get a lot of questions from friends and people we meet about how and why we select certain recipes. Is it a random selection? Is there a process? Enough people ask, so maybe you're curious too. So here's what we do.
The food magazines for an upcoming month generally start arriving in the middle of the previous month. At least that's the case for most of the magazines. Cook's Illustrated arrives the earliest, while Saveur comes last, arriving closer to the actual start of each month.
As each month's food magazines roll into our mailbox, we spend time going through each one, and we make 'the list,' which is kept in a little black book that we keep. Some people's little black books are filled with phone numbers, ours just happens to be filled with recipes.
So Zach selects dishes, Clay selects dishes and the list is made. We'll typically select many more items than we actually end up having time to make, even if we were cooking every day. With some magazines, we end up with an entire page full of recipes we'd like to try; others, just a handful. We select recipes that we think sound good, but we also try to select recipes that are outside our cooking comfort zone. Maybe they're a new spin on a dish, or something really outlandish that we think will just be really fun (we're looking at you, Deep Fried Bacon and Eggs).
And from there, we just start cooking. Some dishes are selected for nights we know we'll be eating in. Other times, we invite friends over for dinner and cook multiple dishes from the list. A curse of eating at our house is that we rarely make the same dish twice (though there are recurring exceptions).
So some dishes get cooked. Others linger on the list and get left behind. And now November beckons, leaving October's orphans left behind.
So back to the cornbread. Funny enough, it wasn't on the list, which in most months would mean that it wouldn't get made. But this chili was on the list (a Zach selection), and we loved how Martha Stewart Living styled the dish, with big cubes of cornbread croutons. We wanted to make the chili and happened to remember that the October/November Fine Cooking had a cornbread feature, so we went back, pulled out the magazine and went to making the cornbread.
That's one very long introduction to what is the larger point of this post:
This chicken chili is well worth your time.