picky palate... finally!

Chicken 3-bean chili from Picky Palate CookbookI'd complain about not being able to attend the photoshoot for The Picky Palate Cookbook by Jenny Flake, which means I can't write a behind-the-scenes blog post, but I'm just so happy how the book turned out. These are some of my snapshots from making the recipes at home, but the amazing Matt Armendariz took the real photos for the book. You can read more about it on Picky Palate, and you can enter some giveaways Jenny is doing for the book right now! As for me, I'll just be minding myself and cooking my way through this book. The chapter I like best is called Slow and Low Recipes. There are a few recipes just for slow cookers, but not this one (phew, because I don't own a crockpot). Now that it's turning a little chilly where I live, food like this is just about perfect. But just because Jenny put this in the "Slow" chapter, don't think you're going to be slaving over the stove all day long. The actual cooking time for this Southwest Shredded Chicken 3-Bean Chili is about 11 minutes. No really, 11 MINUTES! The trick is that you start with shredded meat which is easiest to get if you buy one of those rotisserie chickens at the supermarket. (Hey, it's practical!) Technically I roasted my own chicken, and that's totally fine too.Chicken 3-bean chili from Picky Palate CookbookSo what makes this recipe so great besides how easy it is? There are black beans, kidney beans and cannellini beans, and Jenny strikes just the right balance of flavors with fire-roasted diced tomatoes, hot sauce, chili powder, and lime juice. In fact, you might alter the lime juice and hot sauce measures to taste. If you've got kids in the house, then maybe a bit less spice. I went for extra lime juice. Topping it with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and some scallions adds a nice touch too. And though it's not likely you'll have any leftovers, this tastes even better the next day! I'll let you check out the actual book for the full recipe. And don't forget to visit Picky Palate for some fun giveaways.

chilly weather cooking

bean stewIt's Fall today, and it's been chilly in the city overnight for the past few days. Sure it's supposed to hit 80 degrees here tomorrow, but I'm convinced it's time to go back to making soups, stews, and that kind of thing. So that makes it all the more funny that I made this dish back in late June when it was way too warm for slow cooking in my sunny, top-floor (aka hot!) apartment. I was cleaning through some old photos and realized I'd never posted anything about this dish. Now I wouldn't mind having a pot of it on the stovetop.bean stewThe other funny thing is that I can't remember where the recipe came from. I searched through all my books, but you know... it may have come from a web site, or maybe it came from a book I'm still editing like One-Pot Wonders by Clifford Wright which isn't due out for another five or six months. Does that ever happen to you? When you look through your old photos, you can't quite recall what the dish was or where you ate that meal? I need a new strategy -- maybe I'll take a snapshot of the recipe before I start cooking. Well, looking at the pot, it's easy enough. I see sausage, kidney beans, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers. With ingredients like those, I could just wing it, and that's one of the things I love best about cool-weather cooking. If it's not quite right, just cook it a bit longer to richen the flavors. Now I'm hungry. Happy Fall!