Sorry I’ve been MIA – I just spent 10 days at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge for their oh-so-awesome annual Christmas in November event. Hanging with the most amazing Anna Olson and her equally amazing husband, Michael. And of course Michael Smith and his new family. And Karl Lohnes, and so many others.. not least of all the 300+ guests who came up for a good time in each of the three packages – one last weekend, one midweek, and one this past long weekend, including Monday. It was, as it always is, a total blast. It included 13 cooking demos, buffets, fancy meals, wine & martinis, breakfast pastries with coffee served out of silver urns, forest walks, wine & martinis, warm cookies, turndown service, enormous stone fireplaces, wine & martinis, gala dinners with live bands and dancing and conga lines (I led one that gathered over a hundred the other night!) and singing Christmas carols and an outdoor swimming pool under the stars. And when it snowed, there were snowball fights in the pool. And Santa came too – the real one. He didn’t go in the pool though.
Each November I have a hard time with re-entry into normal life. For one, my whole bedroom is sadly sub-par. And I always come home to all that Halloween candy that came home days before we left. Tonight, after a particularly long haul home, I was cooking within 20 minutes – not because I missed it, but because I have to go do CBC in the morning. I made mulligatawny. I put chickpeas in it.
Speaking of beans – I don’t think I’ve really, officially announced that our book is out! It is. It’s here! And it’s already sold out. Yes it is! Thanks for all your lovely comments about it – you guys always make my days.
Stores do have stock – Chapters and independent booksellers and even Costco, I hear – but that’s all there is is what’s out there, and the second printing isn’t expected until January. Which is great, of course – it means it’s already a best-seller! (In Canada, that means 5000 sold.) It unfortunately also means I don’t even have any copies myself. I did manage to get my hands on one copy – the JPL had bought 400 to give away to the midweek package attendees – and I snagged one. To give to one of you, of course. Throw your hat into the ring here. Comment away.
Also? I keep forgetting we have a book launch planned for this Wednesday. It seems like it’s so far away – mid-November! That’s ages from now! Except that it’s not. So if you’re in the ‘hood and in the mood for a drink and some beany snacks, Sue and I will be at the Cookbook Company Cooks, 722 – 11th Ave SW, this Wednesday the 16th at 6:30.
So. The mulligatawny. I sent Mike out for a roasted chicken as soon as we walked in the door – starting with a roasted chicken seems to add more flavour from the start than if you began the process with a raw chicken. Adding chiles, ginger, garlic and curry helps with the sniffles. Chickpeas boost protein and fibre. Cilantro is just yum. Unless you hate it.
from Spilling the Beans!
1 small roasted chicken (a deli rotisserie chicken works well)
canola or olive oil, for cooking
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 fresh jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed or chopped
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 Tbsp curry paste or powder
1 tsp cumin
1-2 cups cooked chickpeas (half to a full 19 oz can, rinsed and drained)
1 tsp salt
1 14 oz (398 mL) can coconut milk (optional)
1 tart apple (such as granny Smith), finely chopped
steamed rice, for serving with
chopped cilantro and/or chopped salted peanuts, for garnish (optional)
Pull the meat off the roasted chicken, eat the crispy skin and put the carcass and bones into a saucepan. Set the meat aside and just barely cover the carcass with water. Peel the onion and add the outer layers of skin to the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook for about half an hour. Strain into a bowl or pot and set aside. You should have 4-6 cups of stock.
Meanwhile, chop the onion and sauté it in a drizzle of oil in a large soup pot set over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, jalapeño, garlic and ginger and cook for a few minutes, until soft. Add the curry paste, cumin and chickpeas and cook for another minute or two.
Add the chicken stock, salt and chopped chicken and bring to a simmer. Cook for about ten minutes, then add the coconut milk and apple and heat through.
Put a scoop of rice into each bowl and ladle the soup overtop. If you like, sprinkle with cilantro and/or chopped peanuts. Serves 6-8.