Cosmopolitan Reviews Chrissy Teigan’s New Cookbook in Mott50
February 27, 2019
I Cooked My Way Through Chrissy Teigen’s New Cookbook Exactly How Chrissy Teigen Would
by MIA LARDIERE for Cosmpolitan (SEP 18, 2018)
The only thing I love more than Chrissy Teigen is the cheese-oozing dishes she creates. Her concoctions satisfy the tastebuds of your inner child as much as they fulfill the grease quotas required to survive an epic “adult” hangover.
Because she ranks in my holy trinity of culinary goddesses, I wanted to celebrate the release of her second cookbook, Cravings: Hungry for More, available today, by testing a few of her new recipes.
And because Chrissy lives for a good gimmick (same, TBH), I decided to complete my four fave Chrissy Teigen recipes, each in different Chrissy Teigen-style: with my mom, while completely naked, with the help of social media, and while gleefully intoxicated. Here’s how it went.
1) THE MOM CHALLENGE
My mom and I have a special bond over food, just like Chrissy and Pepper Thai. (OK, so she never taught me how to chop a papaya with a cleaver. She did show me how to bread Italian chicken cutlets the “right way.”) That’s why I decided that I would show my mom how to make Pad Thai Carbonara, a Cravings 2 recipe inspired by Chrissy’s mom, over FaceTime as my first Chrissy-inspired challenge.
As soon as my mom appeared on my screen, I knew this challenge was doomed. She was in bed wearing her muumuu, which is her nonverbal cue that she is ready to check out socially for the evening.
I tried to revive her by sharing nuggets of gossip until she announced that she was watching a new episode of her favorite show, 90 Day Fiancé. She continued to respond to me half-heartedly in between commercial breaks and 20 minutes later, I lost her to the reality TV dementors at TLC.
The pasta came out great: Imagine if al dente spaghetti, thick-cut bacon, and crunchy stalks of broccoli took a dive into a pool of a soy sauce-based mixture together and then showered off under a stream of silky beaten eggs.
2) THE NAKED CHALLENGE
The only time I’m ever inclined to swipe out of Chrissy’s Instagram stories is when she’s cooking in a towel or completely naked because it causes my empathetic anxiety to skyrocket. Having endured a sufficient amount of culinary wounds, I’m well-aware that oils fly in errant directions and mandolins slice off nerve endings. This is all to say that my nipples worry for Chrissy’s sometimes. But carpe effing diem! If Chrissy can survive cooking naked, I can too…right? The only way to find out was to schedule a time where I could be nude in my apartment, which I share with three roommates and two cats who enjoy scratching skin for fun.
After the initial shock and confusion of this request passed, it was decided that I could have the kitchen to myself on Friday night so I could prepare Chrissy’s Roasted Butternut Squash & Pomegranate Salad in the nude.
Come Friday night, I sheepishly shuffled out to my kitchen while carrying a towel under one arm and Chrissy’s cookbook under the other. I don’t know what prompted me to undress in the kitchen as opposed to in my room, but I did, and now I must live with the memories of this choice. I politely alerted my roommates that it was game time and sent this commemorative Snapchat to my best friends.
Don’t get me wrong: I love being naked when the vibe is right, but here, in this shared kitchen, I felt very paranoid. What if my male roommate forgot that I was Bareboob Contessa-ing and walked into the kitchen to get a beer from our fridge???
I prepared my mise en place with my body in the shape of an S, with my head jutted out toward the communal hallway and my ass pushed towards our prison-sized kitchen window, just in case anyone walked by. My lack of clothing also engaged my most primal instincts. For instance, I sat my hips back into a very deep squat every time I opened the 425-degree oven. I became extra cognizant of where I put my hands after I pinched cayenne pepper between my fingers.
I succeeded in surviving this challenge physically unscathed, and I wasn’t interrupted by roommates at all. The resulting salad was a raft ride for the tastebuds, smooth through the earthiness of goat cheese and squash with blips of excitement provided by poppy pomegranate arils. Wins all around.
3) THE SOCIAL MEDIA CHALLENGE
Chrissy once summoned six brown bananas from Twitter to make banana bread, so I wanted to summon six brown bananas from Twitter to make banana bread for this challenge. The problem is that I’m rarely active on Twitter, so I decided to put out a call on all the social media platforms I use, including Instagram, Facebook, and, lol, LinkedIn.
Despite a decent amount of engagement on my posts, I only ended up with three donated bananas—none of which were adequately ripe!! I ended up buying my own, and guess what, haters? The bread was moist AF and melted in my mouth when I rage-ate the whole thing in one sitting. (Maybe.)
4) THE TIPSY CHALLENGE
Remember that time in 2014 when Chrissy convinced the internet to get drunk and make Emeril Legasse’s jambalaya recipe together? Well, the lasting solidarity of this boozy dinner party inspired my final challenge in this cooking series: assembling Chrissy’s Hollowed-Out Italian Sandwich while a little bit drunk.
I cheated a bit by preparing the garlicky mayo for this Gobstopper of a hoagie one day in advance so I could eat it as my celebratory dinner right after completing my first half marathon. Running 13.1 miles primes your body to reach a buzzy state of intoxication very quickly, so I was lit AF after ingesting three post-race drinks (OK, some Champagne, too).
I was drunkenly determined to trudge to three stores on my post-half marathon hamstrings to locate a sourdough loaf. All three of my local supermarkets were sold out of sourdough, so I reasoned that salami and challah could be friends.
The first step of this recipe was to cut off the top two inches of the bread before hollowing out the middle of the loaf. Had this been a lobotomy, my patient would have been dead within the first two minutes of the surgery. Not only did I attack the top like a chainsaw murderer, but I also managed to stab a hole in the bottom of the loaf. I patched it up with bread that was hollowed out from the middle and kisses.
I stacked the meats and cheeses wrong the first time around, so I pulled everything out and did it again until it was the sodium castle of Chrissy’s dreams. The good thing about building a massive sandwich while hammered is that you will sober up after you eat all of the bread leftover from the inside.
It tasted like the meaty, salty, slimy, hearty Italian subs my mom would pick up for me and my sister in between school and soccer practice, except the ~gourmet~ garlic mayo and basil made it feel a little more refined. Also, extra-large sandwiches just taste better. Don’t ask me why.
SO WHAT DID I LEARN?
Everyone should aspire to cook like Chrissy Teigen but if you want to cook naked like she does, you should only do it in a kitchen where you’re most comfortable…and maybe only with whole, raw foods if you’re still an amateur with a chef’s knife.
Assemble easy foods like sandwiches or salads while you’re drunk to avoid setting your living space on fire. (Bonus points if your drunchies are carb-heavy and will soften the blow of your impending hangover.)
And finally—always, ALWAYS donate your overripe produce to friends on social media during their time of need. Good karma will return to you in the shape of a glorious, chocolatey bundt cake. Cosmpolitan.