Happy Birth-Day, Date Night In
Today is the day that makes the book officially a full-fledged book; it’s publication day.
I’m not quite sure what I expected this day to feel like but so far it feels very normal. I’m still in my pajamas sitting on the couch with three little ones surrounding me being entertained by various means (mostly technology related) and the house is completely cluttered with the remains of the holidays.
And in other ways it is completely abnormal. Today I’m a published author. I wrote a book that is sitting on shelves all over the country so anyone could potentially walk over to the book, read some of my most personal thoughts and glance over the recipes that fed my relationship over the last couple of years, then hopefully they’d buy it (or multiple copies) and tell all their friends about it. Or they could go to Amazon and write a scathing review. Somehow either option makes me terrified.
What helps with all that terror are the amazing comments, texts, emails, and photos I see of the book on Instagram. It is such an incredible feeling to see something I’ve spent over three years on finally out in the world, being used, read and loved. So thank you. There are so many words but I’m having a hard time finding them in the midst of the fear, pride, anticipation, exhaustion, and downright giddiness that apparently accompanies one’s pub date.
So rather than a lot of words I thought we’d celebrate the day with a recipe from the book. It’s a favorite of ours (honestly, they all are) that is not only perfect for a date night but really for any night and as an added bonus, it’s pretty healthy too. If you’re like me, after all those cookies, cocktails and cream-filled dishes a broth-based, vegetal, stew-like soup is just what is needed. The bonus of this soup is that you can practically build a salad of cilantro, radish, avocado, and onion right on top.
But before that, a few housekeeping items. I’ll just go ahead and put these here:
Book Larder (order here for a signed copy!)
Powell’s (the cover here is not the most recent edition)
Also, if you are in Seattle I believe there still are a few tickets to our Date Night In at Delancey dinner. Check out BookLarder.com for more informations and tickets.
PORTLAND – don’t make any Valentine’s plans, I’ve got you covered. More soon!
And this is for those of you in LA and NYC: I’ve had to postpone my trip to see you all as we’ve come across a bit of a book shortage (thanks for all the orders!!) but I can’t wait to see you in March! Details coming soon.
Okay. Enough. Go make some Pozole and let’s all raise a glass to a beautiful start to 2015. Thanks, as always, for being here.
Roasted Green Pozole with Chicken
By the time our date rolls around, the sun is nearly set and there’s a slight chill in the air that makes this roasted, fragrant stew a perfect late-summer (or anytime, really) evening meal. It’s vibrant and fresh yet pleasantly hearty from roasted and ground pepitas.The original recipe comes from Gourmet magazine, but I’ve since made many changes throughout its life in our home.The biggest change being the pan-roasting of the tomatillos and garlic, which gives the soup a soft smokiness and a bit more complexity.
1⁄2 cup / 60 g roasted, salted pepitas, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted (technique in the book)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
10 ounces / 280 g tomatillos (about 4 to 5 medium size), peeled and quartered
3 garlic cloves
1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped, plus more for serving
1 jalapeño pepper, halved and seeded
1⁄2 cup / 10 g chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1 to 11⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
21⁄2 to 3 cups / 590 to 710 ml chicken stock, homemade (recipe in the book) or store-bought
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, thinly sliced
1 (15-ounce / 430 g) can hominy, drained and rinsed
To serve: any combination of thinly sliced radishes, sliced avocado, chopped cilantro, pepitas, lime wedges, diced onion, crumbled Cotija, and sour cream or crema.
Grind the pepitas and cumin seeds in a spice grinder or blender until finely ground.
Add 1 tablespoon oil to a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
When the oil is hot, add the tomatillos, garlic, onion, and jalapeño to the pot, along with a pinch of salt. Roast in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are charred, caramelized in parts, and tender.
Carefully transfer the roasted vegetables to a food processor or blender and process along with 1⁄4 cup / 5 g chopped cilantro and 1 teaspoon salt.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pot over medium heat. Return the purée to the pot and cook, stirring frequently until thickened, for 5 to 7 minutes. Scrape up the deeply flavored browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Stir in the ground pepitas and cumin seeds, along with the oregano and 1 cup / 240 ml stock. Bring to a simmer and then add the remaining 11⁄2 cups / 360 ml stock, chicken, and hominy.
Let this simmer, mostly covered, for 20 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1⁄4 cup / 5 g chopped cilantro. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt if you feel it needs it. I prefer the pozole to be thick, like a stew, but if you want it thinner, add more stock. Pozole can be made 1 to 3 days in advance, and in fact the flavor improves after a rest in the fridge. Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Serve with the accompaniments.