11.02.2006

Day 2--Turkey Chili

Did I mention, posting every day? I believe I did. Let's not call that whining, shall we?

I used to get lots of grief from one of my (few) regular readers when I posted recipes. Just because my darling Mieke doesn't much like to cook, and I'm totally obsessive about it, is no reason to get all snarky about the validity of cooking discussion as blog content. Then again, I'm biased: I happen to be nearly as obsessed with cooking blogs as with cooking itself.

Though no one cares what I ate for lunch, parents might care about what my five year old ate for dinner. Parents, as Hugh over at GastroKid will tell you, especially those of us who are foodie-inclined, despair over the narrow palates of our offspring. Pizza, mac 'n cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches and the occasional carrot stick, broccoli "tree" or piece of fruit do not a gourmand make. (OK, it's arguably better than the "typical" American high fructose corn syrup/trans fat laden diet, but not by much.) My kids are not adventurous eaters, though in their defense, they love Thai (chicken sate, pad see ew, and steamed rice) and can be lured into Armenian (pita bread, kebab, borek.)

So tonight, I fed the kids organic Trader Joe's pizza margherita and apple slices, while I adapted this for the taller people. I served it with basmati rice cooked in plain, salted water in the rice cooker, sour cream, sharp cheddar cheese, chopped red onion and a little hot sauce. The chili was spicy, with a depth of flavor surprising given its low fat content and lack of beef, but not hot. ("Spicy" doesn't mean fiery. In the best of all possible worlds, it means complex.)

Apparently, it looked good as the adults (me, the H, my mom) devoured it, because lo and behold, Dido was distracted from flying his spaceship around the kitchen and asked to taste his dad's. (I think it was the sour cream that got him. He's obsessed with sour cream, unless it's on top of a baked potato, which is, to him, grosser than eating--oh, peas, which make him gag and puke. Really.) After rolling a small bite around in his mouth for a moment, he asked for, and ate a fair bit of, his own bowl. Score one for the chef.

Turkey chili (adapted from Bon Appetit's Turkey Chili with White Beans)

3 T olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 small red onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 small zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 - 1/4 lbs. ground turkey
1-1/2 t. ground cumin
1-1/2 t. dried oregano
1/4 c. chili powder
1 T. unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Scharffenberger)
1/4 t. ground cinnamon
1-1/2 t. coarse sea salt (I nearly always use Maldon)
2 bay leaves
1 28 oz. can chopped tomatoes
8 oz. tomato sauce (I shamefully confess that I used a cup of TJ's jarred organic marinara that was already open in the fridge)
3 cups chicken stock (um, yeah, Imagine, from a box)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can cannelini beans, drained and rinsed

For garnish:
1/2 a red onion, chopped finely
1/2 cup chopped or grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream

Some finely chopped cilantro and a sliced avocado would have been lovely additions to the garnishes.

Heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat and add the onions. Saute until they begin to go clear, and add the garlic and the zucchini. Cook over medium high heat until some of the liquid from the veggies begins to evaporate, and add the cumin and the oregano. Stir to combine. Add the turkey and cook until it's no longer pink, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon. Add the chili powder, cocoa, cinnamon, bay leaves and salt, and stir to combine. Cook for three or four minutes to allow the flavors to intensify. Add the tomatoes, broth and tomato sauce and bring to a brisk simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary to keep the simmer (but not a boil) and stir occasionally. The sauce should thicken. Add the beans, and cook for another ten minutes or so. Remove the bay leaves, and serve over rice and with the garnishes. Serves at least six.

3 comments:

Jefferson said...

You can talk about food as much as you like, as far as I'm concerned. Recipes, too. Mieke doesn't know anything. But seriously, what the heck is TURKEY chili? And why?

Whatever!

You write every day and I'll be happy.

Mieke said...

It's just because the recipes get in the way of my hearing about your LIFE!

And of course because I don't have the time to cook.

Mieke said...

Don't take Jefferson's comments to heart, he says the same thing to me if I use turkey -or worse- use NO meat at all. THE HORROR!