Back in March during our never-ending winter, I tackled Bon Appetit’s March cover recipe, Short Rib Pot Pie.
This recipe sounded intense: pounds of short ribs, onion and wine filling a flaky classic pie crust. I decided cooking such a beast should be celebrated. I invited over two of my dearest friends, for whom a month later I’d travel to Ireland to see married, for a pre-wedding feast.
I’m not going to lie, making the recipe was just as much fun as eating it was. Hunting down the short ribs, cooking the filling the night before and filling my house with a heavenly smell made me excited to finally eat it. The recipe certainly isn’t difficult, just a wee bit time-consuming.
The eating of the pie, on the other hand, took way too little time. Although extremely rich, both my guests and I devoured our slices. We washed the rib filling, sweetened with slowly cooked onion and enveloped in a salty crust, down with a strong Beaujolais.
The pot pie was just as good eaten cold, straight out of the fridge, the next day.
I wouldn’t have cooked this recipe without the cook the cover challenge, but boy am I glad I did. My mouth is just watering, months later, thinking about that meal.
I don’t do new year’s resolutions. However, I do like the odd challenge.
And I think I’ve come up with a good one for 2014.
I’ve been an avid Bon Appetit reader and subscriber for years. I read them front to back and back to front. I save them. Cook and bake from them – well, the recipes that catch my eyes (and stomach) anyways.
This year? This year I’m going to cook each and every cover recipe.
Yep. I may not like the cover, or be inspired to eat it, but I want to try. Just to challenge my palate and stretch my skills in the kitchen.
And I’m going to let you know what I think!
First up? January 2014’s cover recipe: spicy pork and mustard green soup.
I made it multiple times. I LOVED it.
I subbed in ground chicken. I used kale. One time I tried soba noodles. Another time I threw in homemade peanut sauce at the end to thicken it to a stew-like consistency.
I’ll be making this soup again, and again, and again.
I’m already looking forward to February’s cover – a chicken and dumpling concoction.
I’m all about quick snack food. Veggies and hummus? Check. Sweet potatoe fries and chile mayo? Check.
My favourite easy snack is roasted chickpeas. They are heaven. Or crack. You won’t stop eating them once you start.
I adapt this recipe depending on my mood. I love them fresh from the oven with black pepper cracked on them. Or tossed onto a salad for extra crunch. Or sprinkled in a soup.
Really, you should just eat them.
Here they are – ready to be roasted. I sprinkled them with ginger, cinnamon, salt and pepper.
Hot crispy roasted chickpeas. I ate a quarter of the tray before I managed to take a picture.