Culinary Pairings Publishers Weekly August 27

It was a serendipitous honor to be included among the ranks of such great writers in this feature about cookbook coauthors that published two weeks ago Publishers Weekly. I look forward to returning to author collaborations, a role I enjoyed for 15 years prior to my tenure at Oxmoor House, which ended abruptly when the book division closed its doors last week. 18_08_27_F1 CookBooks

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Chili Con Venison

thumb_GG-Cover_2015Venison Chili Con Carne

We side with Texas when it comes to chili. No beans, thanks. Just meat, and lots of it. And if it’s venison, even better. Also nice? Plenty of kick, which, here, comes from the smoked chipotle chiles in adobo sauce. Be sure to pat the meat dry before browning to ensure good caramelization, which sears the essence of its flavor into the entire pot. That’s especially important here to help the flavor of the venison stand up against the spices.


Serves 6 – 8



2 1/2 lb. cubed venison loin (saddle), silverskin removed, cut into cubes

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup flour

3 tbsp. canola oil

3 tbsp. butter

1 large red onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp. chili powder

1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground allspice

1 cinnamon stick

12-oz. dark beer, such as Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale

Two (12-oz. cans) Ro-Tel diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained

2 cups beef stock

3 tbsp. dark brown sugar

1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced

2 tsp. dried oregano

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Garnishes: tortilla chips, sour cream, cilantro leaves, grated sharp Cheddar, chopped scallions, jalapeños, and lime wedges



Toss the venison in a bowl with a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. Put the flour in a shallow bowl and add half the venison cubes, tossing to coat. Place a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until hot; add 1 tablespoon of the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter to the hot pan. Put the floured venison in the pan and cook undisturbed for 2 minutes to develop a rich brown crust. (Be careful not to overcrowd the pan or you will steam the meat; work in batches if necessary.) Stir after well browned on one side and cook undisturbed 2 minutes more. Remove the meat from the pan with a slotted spoon to a plate and set aside, while you repeat with the remaining venison.

Reduce heat to medium and the remaining oil and butter to the pan and sauté the onion for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, allspice, and cinnamon stick. Sauté 1 minute. Add the beer and deglaze the pot, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. Return the venison to the pan and add the tomatoes with juice, stock, brown sugar, chipotle chile, and oregano. Cover and simmer over low heat 1 1/2 hours. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the cilantro.

To serve, arrange garnishes on the table. Ladle the chili into serving bowls and let each person garnish the chili to their liking.



My Southern Journey by Rick Bragg makes the New York Time Best Seller list!

Editor’s bucket list!! Barely 2 weeks out of the gate, Rick Bragg’s My Southern Journey has made the New York Times Bestseller List. Congratulations to Rick Bragg, Southern Living, Time Inc. Books and all who ushered it through from manuscript to printed best seller.

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My Southern Journey by Rick Bragg

thumb_RickBragg_2015In my role as Senior Editor at Time Inc. Books/Oxmoor House, I had the great honor to collaborate with celebrated New York Times best-selling author and Pulitzer Prize-winner, Rick Bragg, to curate this poignant and wryly funny collection of his essays on life in the South. Keenly observed and written with his insightful and deadpan sense of humor, he explores enduring Southern truths about home, place, spirit, table, and the regions’ varied geographies, including his native Alabama, Cajun country, and the Gulf Coast. Everything is explored, from regional obsessions about college football and fishing, to mayonnaise and spoonbread, to the simple beauty of a fish on the hook. Collected from over a decade of his writing, with many never-before-published essays written specifically for this edition, My Southern Journey is an entertaining and engaging read–especially for Southerners (or those who feel Southern at heart) or anyone who appreciates great writing.

Get your copy here!

The Art and Craft of Food

I’m late to the game, but the first episode of the Netflix Original Series “Chef’s Table” moved me to tears tonight…and to my laptop to look up roundtrip airfares from home to Bologna, Italy so that I could make the drive to Modena and experience Massimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana. We all are moved by something–a team that wins, an artist who inspires, a hobby that unleashes our passion and allows us to get lost in its doing. The art of food is what moves me. It’s my passion, my hobby, my sport. When I see others take it to a level I only dream of, I am spellbound. I’ve been lucky in my work to meet many game changers and artists, but watching this show makes me realize I’ve been the audience for too long and not the actor. See if you’re equally inspired.

Throw a Holiday Appetizer Party

It’s the time of year for celebrating, so do it tastefully with my appetizer recipes from Cooking Light’s November 2013 issue. Cin Cin and Cheers!

Holiday Appetizers

  • Melted Manchego Tortas with Romesco and Chorizo
  • Savory Crisps with Bacon and Rosemary
  • Pepita Pesto-Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Crisp Persimmon with Ricotta, Honey, Pecans, and Mint
  • Polenta Toasts with Balsamic Onions, Roasted Peppers, Feta, and Thyme
  • Smoked Salmon Salad in Cucumber Cups
  • Smoked Trout, Arugula, and Granny Smith Stacks
  • Meatballs in Brussels Sprout Cups

You can find the recipes listed above on their site.