Turkey Chili Layered with Smokey Rich Flavors

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Did everyone try the South Beach Diet ten years ago? My close friends and I surely did. I couldn’t imagine starving myself and depriving myself of much of the food they said we couldn’t eat in those first weeks. So, naturally I modified and scoured the internet for food they considered acceptable; turkey chili was top of the list. Soon all my guy friends were ordering batches of it from me on a weekly basis. I don’t think I ever lost weight from the diet, probably didn’t need to at the time, but these guys sure did and they loved the chili.

So here’s my recipe but first, full disclosure: this recipe is kicked up a bit by roasting, sautéing and grilling my veggies before they go in with the turkey just to give them an extra layer of smokey rich flavors. I never did this for the boys back in the day.

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large white onion chopped
  • 1 cup celery stalk finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic oven roasted and chopped
  • 2 pounds ground turkey 70% lean
  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes chopped with seeds kept in
  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh or dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons of hot Hungarian paprika
  • 2 to 4 small sweet red peppers or 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 jalapeño pepper (optional)
  • dash or two of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup of bone broth
  • 1 32oz. can of tomato sauce
  • 1 to 2 15 oz. cans of beans depending on your preference (kidney, black or pinto)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a large heavy pot or dutch oven heat the olive oil and sauté the onions and celery. Fire roast the peppers or grill on pan while oven roasting the garlic. I oven roast the garlic by wrapping it in aluminum foil with a little olive oil and place in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes or so. Once those two are done, add your garlic and peppers to the onions and celery. (You may want to do this ahead of time). Add your spices and herbs and sauté for another 5 minutes until mixed well. Add the ground turkey and cook until lightly brown breaking down the meat with a wooden spoon.

Add the tomatoes, broth and tomato sauce, bringing to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the beans (do not strain) and salt and pepper to taste. Stirring, cook for another 10 minutes. Serve in bowls with grated cheddar, fresh oregano and green onions – or any combination you prefer. I sometimes top mine with homemade tortilla chips and a slice of avocado, lime and cilantro.

I should note that I also like to make my bone broths ahead of time (following Thanksgiving and Christmas I had a lot to work with) and freeze them in ice trays, ziplock bags and repurposed quart containers. I also slow-cooked this for another 4 hours in the oven on low (about 275 degrees Fahrenheit) just to be sure all of those flavors get married, make love and have babies! If you do this too you may want to add another cup of broth, it’s up to you!

I hope you and your friends enjoy this recipe as much as we will tomorrow in the snow!

Happy eating and stay warm!

I still get orders for this dish and when I do, I usually get about 4 quarts out of the recipe. I will add more broth as needed if I’m slow cooking it in the oven as liquid tends to evaporate. This batch is filled to the rim and topped with chopped green onions and flat leaf on parsley!!

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Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Almonds & a Twist of Coconut & Rum

img_20171222_173337-01783599703.jpegOne of my favorite classic treats are Nestle’s Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies with walnuts.  Another favorite of my sweet treats is coconut with chocolate and almonds (as a kid it was the Almond Joy).   On this day I was craving the comforting feeling of those treats and with a freezer filled with almonds and a vat of coconut oil, I came up with a new twist on a classic:  Chocolate Chunk-Almond Cookies with a Twist of Coconut & Rum.

I don’t know about you but I like my cookies gooey in the center with a crispy edge butter edge and lots of chocolate. In this recipe replaced the butter for coconut and well, you get the rest.  These are now my new favorite and quickly becoming a classic with my family.  They came out perfect, gooey, oozing with melted chocolate and dough in the center and a crispy edge – just the way I like them.  So here’s the recipe with my tweaks and twists on the classic Nestle’s recipe.

Ingredients:

 

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Toasted Almonds

Fernandes Rum Trinidad

Fernandes Rum of Trinidad

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TBT: La Romana Coconuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. I sift mine to ensure its smooth and their are no funny things in my flour.  Beat coconut oil (don’t let this liquefy prior to using), granulated sugar, brown sugar and rum in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.  I use an ice cream scoop.
  3. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
  4. Enjoy with your favorite milk or ice cream or just alone.  I like them best warm, right out of the oven!!

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Who am I kidding? I ate more than two. These little babies are my weakness!