Issue 5: One Pot
There's an inherent simplicity - and comfort - to a one pot meal.
Whether it's a gathering of friends around a bubbling Asian-style hot pot, a bed of perfectly done paella, or a good 'ol chilli cookoff, the call of the one pot meal is there for you.
Chilli. It's about as crucial to the American identity as apple pie or baseball. While a bowlful of chilli can conjure up images of cowhands on an open range, what we're after is a simple one pot meal to stave of the Canadian cold. But with so many different recipes - some counter to 'tradition' - its hard to pick the right recipe. It's time for a good ol' chilli cookoff.
The best paella I’ve ever had is my Uncle Gerard’s. Growing up in the suburbs of Montreal, it’s really the only paella I was exposed to. His special seafood paella was reserved exclusively for our annual New Year’s Eve family dinner; an event that I, sadly, consistently missed for almost a decade. Meanwhile, over the past 10 years, I’ve tried paella wherever I could find it, and found it mostly to be dry and overcooked with little exception. I didn’t miss family dinner this last New Year’s Eve and when I finally bit into my uncle’s paella after all these years, I was finally satiated. It inspired me to try making it for myself … again. I’ve made an attempt once; it’s a dish that is more so intimidating than it is difficult, in part because it requires the confidence to overcome the fact that no matter what you do, your paella is likely to offend a Spaniard.
It's the doldrum days of winter. Chilly, grey days have replaced the bright lights of holiday festivities, and the novelty of snow and cold weather fashion has worn out its welcome. For days like these, nothing beats the chill like the warmth of good company around a simple one-pot meal. Today, we're making a hot pot.