Saturday, July 23, 2011

Turkey, White Bean and Corn Chili


Ingredients:
  • 2 strips of bacon (diced)
  • vegetable oil
  • 2 lbs of ground turkey (dark meat)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1/2 green bell pepper (diced)
  • garlic powder
  • black pepper
  • marjoram
  • celery salt
  • cumin
  • red chili flakes
  • hot paprika
  • 1 quart of chicken stock
  • 2 cans of canellini beans (drained)
  • 1 bag of frozen corn
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • salt
  • lime wedges


In a large pre-heated pot (this makes a lot of food - enough to freeze even), add the bacon and begin rendering the fat. Drizzle a couple swirls of vegetable oil and add the ground turkey. After a couple of minutes, add the diced bell peppers and all of the seasonings except for the salt, which we'll add after everything else has joined the party. Next, add 1 quart of chicken stock, the drained cannellini beans, frozen corn, and 2 bay leaves. Bring pot to a simmer. I decided that I didn't really like the consistency and wanted it to be thicker which is the reason for the following step.

Now introducing (drumroll please) - beurre manie! It's simply a mixture of roughly equal parts butter and flour that you can add to thicken soups and sauces and such. It's very similar to a roux, except you would find preparing a roux as the first step in a recipe, whereas you can add beurre manie at any point. The key is that you MUST bring the liquid to a simmer/low boil after you add it in order to activate the starch and allow it to work its thickening magic.


Now you can begin to taste and adjust any of the seasonings. It's also at this point when you can add any salt, if needed, because there may or may not already be enough depending on the chicken stock you used. Leave the pot on low heat for approximately two hours. (No, it may not really need to cook for that long, but you definitely won't be disappointed because of it.) Be sure to stir it (and maybe sneak a spoonful) every now and then - the bottom may burn if left alone for too long (I think you can see a few dark specs in the pictures above...). When ready, serve with lime wedges to add a little extra oomph to the chili. This recipe makes a good amount of food so I froze some when I made this back in February (I can't believe it was that long ago). I just pulled it out of my freezer earlier this week and it was still as delicious as I remembered.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Beef and Black Bean Rice Bowl

Beef, beans and rice (and cheese) has got to be one of my most favorite (yes, most favorite) food combinations (why is Blogger telling me that "combinations" is not word?). I digress, but I seriously think I could live off of these base ingredients for at least a week and not get bored with them. Something about mixing them all together creates a delicious bowl of food that is oh so satisfying. Perhaps it's the combination of carbs and fat and the like. As I'm typing this I of course realize that this isn't necessarily the healthiest of meals, but it'll never leave you unsatisfied. (Unlike some other aspects of life - let's not even go there...)

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 cans of black beans
  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes
  • approx. 2 cups of cooked rice with shallots (thank you leftovers)
  • seasoned salt
  • garlic salt
  • black pepper
  • chili powder
  • paprika
  • cumin
  • red pepper flakes
  • cheddar cheese (for serving)

Start by browning the ground beef in a pot large enough to hold everything and then just throw everything else in to join the party. I love how the rice absorbs all of the wonderful flavors from what's going on in the pan. Be sure to taste and adjust the seasonings as desired. Top with a healthy sprinkling of cheddar cheese for serving. Goes well with chips, guacamole and a bottle of beer.