Deliciously Happy New Year!

Things have been getting a little crazy around here, what with my book poised for release and all the media attention I’m getting. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the great reviews and interviews- folks have been so kind (so far!). But what happens is I get fatigued after focusing on making sure I make sense, or cooking up dishes for the photographer. And by the end of the day, it’s all I can do to stop myself from collapsing and calling out to Jorge to just order a danged pizza.

Instead, I’ve taken to cooking up nice big pot au feu style dishes- not necessarily with beef, but using that means of cooking up dinner: a solid iron pot filled with fresh, locally grown winter vegetables, pork belly, beans, white wine and stock, all simmered for hours until the scent reaches out and grabs you by the throat, screaming “eat me!” Well, maybe not THAT intense, but so so tasty, you get the idea.

For new year’s day, I cooked up a pot of black eyed peas in chicken stock with sauteed greens, bacon drippings, peppers, and bourbon-glazed ham. You just can’t have a bad year with those ingredients to start you off right!

And right now, I have a stockpot of leeks, sweet potato, caramelized shallot, green beans, bacon, and flageolet beans simmering away in a vegetable stock with curry, raisins and peanuts. It’s all I can do to not tear myself away from my desk and run downstairs right now. Though I’ll wait. As with all things that simmer, the longer I wait, the better it’s going to be.

Deliciously happy new year to everyone! Keep it tasty, and I’ll see you somewhere down the road.

Published January 27, 2012 Associated Press