The birth of a new child is usually heralded by the delivery of clothes, bibs, and other soft pastel things. In my experience, what most moms really need during those early weeks is a hot meal and long shower, not another outfit to wash and put away. It’s not that I didn’t love getting adorable clothes and blankets for my kids, but I wasn’t able to appreciate them for a couple months. I had to wait for life to settle back into a routine and for sleep lasting longer than two hours at a stretch. Since I can’t help out with the long shower, I try to deliver a home‐cooked meal for my friends with new babies.
I especially like this menu for gifting. You can easily double the chili and split the batch of muffins — an easy way to make a meal for your family and theirs at the same time. I recommend adding a tossed salad. This week, a salad was out of the question as the meal was traveling too far (a three‐hour ride to Chicago due to construction). Instead, I included a ziploc bag of fresh corn, already cooked but still on the cob. As mentioned in previous posts, the corn can be cut off the cob and used in a salad or reheated in a pan with butter and salt and pepper.
White Chicken Chili
adapted from my cousin Bridget’s recipe
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 lb/680 g), diced into 1/4‐inch cubes
1 onion, diced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
1 x 14 oz (400 g) can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 x 4 oz (110 g) can diced green chilies
14 oz (400 ml) chicken broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
8 oz (225 g) sour cream
1/2 cup (120 ml) half and half (or whipping cream)
Brown the chicken and onion in the oil over a medium‐high heat, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the beans, chilies, broth, and seasonings and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the sour cream and half and half. Heat through, but do not boil.
Bacon Corn Muffins
adapted from Gourmet, January 2005
Makes 12 muffins
1 1/4 cups (300 ml) whole milk
1 large egg
6 tablespoons (90 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup (155 g) yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup (90 g) all‐purpose flour
1 cup (75 g) chopped scallions
8 bacon slices (1/2 lb/225 g), cooked and crumbled
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
Put the oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
Whisk together the milk, egg, and butter in a small bowl. Whisk together the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, then add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Divide the mixture among 12 greased (1/2 cup) muffin cups. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the muffins are golden and a tester comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes before turning out.