Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Third Wheel

The thing about being a single 30-something (as Bridget Jones will tell you) is that sometimes you find yourself in the third wheel position. Hopefully you are lucky, like me, and you find yourself in the company of marrieds who are neither smug nor under the delusion that under your clothing, your entire body is covered in scales.

But I digress.

Being a third wheel is really not so bad. After all, the third wheel on a Big Wheel is the namesake wheel itself. Without that, it's just a plain old low-riding tricycle. Lame!

Here is a real chat conversation - unedited - that happened in the lead up to this dinner I'm about to share with you:

4:29 PM Kevin: hey, its christine
  we are thinking about making white chicken chili tonight
4:30 PM me: interesting
  it's so cold out!
4:31 PM Kevin: i know, its not fun
 me: when you say white chicken chili
  are you talking about the ATK recipe??
 Kevin: yep
 me: YES
  I have had that one saved in my tivo for a year
 Kevin: we just watched it this am
 me: have always wanted to make it!
4:32 PM Kevin: now is your/our chance!
 me: this is so perfect.

Yup, that's right. I've had the White Chicken Chili episode of America's Test Kitchen saved in my Tivo since April 12, 2010. (Yeah, I Tivo PBS and Martha Stewart. What of it?) I cannot emphasize to you enough how excited I was about this plan to cook it.

A little bit of thinking later, I realized I also had the copy of the Cook's Illustrated issue with the recipe in it - from January 2007. That was two apartments and three time zones ago. See, sometimes saving things is smart! Actually, I can't claim credit for this behavior. My mom used to save every Gourmet magazine - we had cabinets full of them when I was a kid. Luckily, the internet was invented (thanks, Al!) and now all those Gourmet recipes are free online at Epicurious. But the Cook's Illustrated recipes are not free online, which is why you should save them. And why I did.

Chris Kimball and his minions probably could have done a better job writing the title of this article.

This is a funny blog entry for me because I didn't actually do any cooking. I did a lot of wine drinking and some cheese eating, but mostly my job was "recipe reader" and "recipe re-reader" and "commentator" and "opinion-giver." I fairly well excel at all of these things, luckily.

Kevin tackled the chili, with assistance from Christine in the sous chef role. It came out great. Spicy but not too spicy. Somehow incredibly healthy.

Christine had the wise idea to steam some rice to serve the chili over and to use a little yogurt for a cooling topping, both of which were an excellent additions to the proceedings. I'm not typing out the recipe because ATK doesn't offer it up for free, but a little birdie told me you can find it here.

Action shot!

Here's the final product. My contribution was the wine, which was pretty tasty. I've been dipping into the "good" wine stash lately because...well, why not?

Looks amazing, right? Food styling credits to Christine. Poor photography/lighting credits to me.

Major thanks to Kevin and Christine for keeping me a well-fed and entertained third wheel. Sometimes I'm not sure why you guys put up with me, but I'm glad you do!


Please note the new barstools and table, and wildly apropos succulents.

Oh, p.s. - and this was a big bonus for me - this meal is totally gluten-free. Yeah, looks like I'm back on that wagon. For now, anyway. Sigh.

1 comment:

Chrissy said...

#1- I can't wait to give Will this recipe. (Since clearly I don't do the cooking in our house.)
#2- Yes for Gluten Free! Just keep at it! You can do it! It gets easier and less deprive-y. (I know that's not a word, but it's early and I can't think of the right one.)