Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I Cooked Chili! Without Chili...

9 weeks ago my mother bought a very expensive plane ticket to come see me three days earlier than her previously purchased plane ticket because Petra decided to be uncharacteristically Sheean/Northend and get borned early. A few weeks later my dad joined us and, with my mom, stocked our fridge and freezer with all kinds of food! One of these food items was a pound of ground turkey that, until last night, went unused.

In the past I have used ground turkey in a pseudo-Kenyan dish that my friend who dated a young Mossi man briefly described helping prepare at his home. That's not simply the most interesting way to put my original encounter with ground turkey - it's actually that vague... I remember her saying something about tomatoes and other vegetables simmering on top of the cooking turkey meat, and then later adding a bunch of seasoning and a lot of curry powder...
Anyway, it was different every time I made it, but this post is about CHILI!

I don't follow recipes very well, but I love them and, thus, have the app on my phone. I don't grocery shop very well either, and, thus don't use the app all the well. But this time I managed to get all the ingredients missing from my kitchen for our Black Bean Turkey Chili dinner! Unfortunately, I had mistaken one of my three bottles of Paprika for Chili Powder - a discover I made after having already begun cooking.... in any event, my last ditch effort to make a somewhat southwestern chili for the mouth-watering, fresh Whole Foods Bakery corn bread I had just bought resulted in, what Matt says, is the best chili he's ever had:

Chili without Chili


2 Tbs vegetable oil (we use olive oil for everything, in truth)
1 yellow chopped yellow onion
3-4 sliced fresh tomatoes
4 large cloves of garlic
1/2 lemon
1 lb of ground turkey
2 cans of black beans
1/2 Tbs of Paprika
1 Tbs of basil
1 Tbs of crushed red pepper (or to taste)
1/2 Tbs of ground Black Pepper
(and I bet you could add bell pepper in and that would taaaa-sty!)


in a fairly large pan, heat oil on medium and stir in onions and garlic until they become translucent (if desire, bell pepper can be cooked with the onions at this time). turn the heat up to medium-high and add in the turkey, stir until it browns. when it has mostly cooked, add all spices, stirring them into the turkey evenly.* drain 1 of the 2 cans of black beans. add the contents of the undrained can and mix over medium (medium-low it needed).

next (here is the kenyan cooking influence) add the drained can of black beans to the top of the mixture spreading it evenly, and as thinly as possible over the top. do the same with the sliced tomatoes, using enough tomatoes to cover the surface.

cover and let simmer for 30 minutes
remove the cover, squeeze fresh lemon juice into the mixtures and stir in all the ingredients, mixing the tomatoes and the beans into the rest of the chili.

return cover and let simmer for another 15-25 minutes, until ingredients have become pasty.

remove from heat and serve hot with cornbread, butter and honey!

*at this time, I should have added some kind of vinegar or wine (preferable red vinegar) to help slow the cooking process down while the more fresh ingredients simmered. Instead, I basically just burned and lost the bottom layer of turkey, which wasn't too much of a loss!

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