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Hearty Fuel-For-Shopping Lunch

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Power up for those marathon holiday shopping trips with our chili-and-salad combo.

Planning a marathon holiday shopping session? Take a break to refuel, with this spicy, warming menu of favorites: a spinach salad with warm bacon dressing, a zesty chicken chili and cornbread spiked with cheese and green chiles. Finish up with jam thumbprint cookies to get in the holiday spirit.

Menu Timeline

Up to Four Days Ahead:

  • Make the Pecan Thumbprint Jam Cookies.

Two Hours Before the Meal:

  • Make the candied walnuts.
  • Make the bacon dressing.
  • Broil the tomatoes.
  • Spoon the tomatoes into the dressing and keep warm until ready to serve.
  • Make the avocado topping for the chili.

90 Minutes Before the Meal:

  • Start making the chili.

45 Minutes Before the Meal:

  • Make the cornbread.

Just Before Serving:

  • Assemble and dress the salad.

Shopping List

Fresh Produce:

  • 8 oz. (5-1/2 cups) baby spinach leaves
  • 1 large bunch fresh basil
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 large white onion
  • 2 limes
  • 2 ears of corn, or 1-1/2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 fresh jalapeno or 2 serrano chiles

Meat, Eggs & Dairy:

  • 1-1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, OR 1 store-roasted chicken
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 lb. unsalted butter
  • 4 oz. extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream (optional)

Pantry Staples:

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbs. white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbs. baking powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2-1/2 Tbs. brown sugar
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbs. chili powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 tsp. dried herbes de Provence
  • Pinch cayenne
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper

Other Groceries:

  • Sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 lb. walnut halves
  • 6 oz. pecans
  • 2 15-oz. cans cannellini beans
  • 1 14-1/2-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 1 bottle or can lager beer, such as Corona
  • 5 oz. (1 cup) stone-ground yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup red raspberry preserves with seeds

The Menu

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