Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Still Cookin'

Somehow 16 days have passed since my last post. For shame!

Fret not though for I have not been idle! I've been cooking, cleaning, baking, redecorating and taking pictures along the way and hopefully I can get them up soon.

You see, Thanksgiving is quickly approaching! That's right, it's less than two weeks away already and this year my husband and I will be hosting in our home.

I'm thrilled. I really am. But being a perfectionist means that there is a lot of self-imposed stress about to come my way.

More on that later, but for now let's make a little Thanksgiving pre-gamer shall we?

How about some Turkey and Black Bean Chili?

Yeah? Okay. Let's do it!

Here's what you'll need:

  • Olive Oil
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Large Yellow Onion
  • 1 Carrot
  • 2 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste
  • Hot Peppers (optional, as many as you can handle)
  • 15 oz. Can of Black Beans,drained and rinsed
  • 15 oz. Can of Red Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tablespoon of Chili Powder
  • 2 Teaspoons of Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon of Smoked Paprika
  • A Dash or 2 of Cayenne
  • 28 oz. Can of Diced Tomatoes
  • 14-21oz. of Water
  • 1 Pound of Lean Ground Turkey
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • 2 Tablespoons of Masa (corn) Flour

Start by placing a large, heavy pot on the stove. Turn the heat on medium-high and add a couple of tablespoons of liquid gold (olive oil) into the pan.

Now start chopping. Chop the garlic...

And carrots.

And because onions make my eyes weep uncontrollably and it's never a pretty sight, I save them for last and chop them really fast only after the pan is good and hot and ready to dump them in as soon as they're done!

Whew. Made it. Hurry! Dump all the veg into the pot and stir it around a bit.

Let this cook for a few minutes until it begins to soften. You're not looking for color though so if you need to, turn your heat down a bit here.

Now. Verrry, very carefully chop up the hot peppers (if you're using them). I happened to have these three laying around so that is what I used. Usually I manage to chop hot peppers without touching them but if you can't do that, please do yourself and your sensitive parts a favor and wear gloves! No body wants to singe their eyeballs three hours later when you've forgotten that you chopped peppers and wipe your face. Trust me on this one.

Throw them into the pot and give it another stir. Cook for a few more minutes until onions are translucent and peppers are softened.

Look at those beautiful colors!

Now add the tomato paste. Stir it around and let it cook for a minute so that the "canned" flavor has a chance to cook out.

Add the chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika and cayenne.

Give it another stir and give the spices a few seconds to toast up a bit.

Dump in the diced tomatoes.

And the cleaned beans.

Now fill the tomato can about ¾ full with water and add it to the pot.

Give everything a good stir and let it come to a boil.

And now it's turkey time. Of course you could use ground beef here but in the spirit of being slightly more healthy in preparation for the enormous amount of calories we are all about to consume over the coming holidays, I chose lean turkey. Do whatever makes you happy.

Break the ground turkey up with your hands and add it to the boiling pot, bit by bit.

Give the chili another healthy stir and add a good pinch of salt and pepper.

Let it come up to a boil again and turn the heat back to a slow simmer.

Plop a lid on the pot and let it simmer away for a good 20 minutes or so or until the turkey is fully cooked.

Once the turkey is fully cooked and your stomach is audibly growling because it smells so dang good in here, grab a measuring cup.

Fill it with a cup of water.

Add the masa flour.

And give it a stir.

Now dump this mixture into your pot o' chili.

No I haven't lost my mind, just trust me. This will thicken your chili and make it velvety and delicious.

Just do it!

Let it cook for another 10 minutes or so and then prepare yourself.

Prepare yourself for some delicious grub!

And now because we live in the land of plenty.

And I am oh-so-thankful for that.

I decided to top the once healthful chili with crushed tortillas, sour cream, diced avocado and a sprinkling of cheese.

You can, of course, top your chili with all of this, none of this or whatever ingredients you decide but either way, you should definitely make this chili as soon as possible......or maybe with leftover turkey from your Thanksgiving bird? Hmmmmm.

Enjoy, folks!

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