Monday, October 22, 2012

My Favorite Chili

By popular demand, meaning one person asked me for a chili recipe on Twitter, here is my favorite chili recipe :)

Everyone loves chili right? It's hearty and comforting and you can put just about anything in it and it will still be good. My mom made chili and corn muffins (mmm I should have made some of those) all the time when I was a kid so I have a long-standing love for it. I can't remember what cook book her recipe came from, but I know that it was ancient. Which just means that chili has been loved and delicious for a long time. I use ground turkey in my chili instead of beef. Turkey is healthier and I don't really eat beef, but beef would easily work. Here's the rest of the recipe:

1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 tsp. salt
1 medium onion, chopped
4 tsp. chili powder
1 Tbs. cumin
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz. can white beans
1/2 cup water
2 medium green peppers, chopped
3 small zucchini (or equivalent), chopped

Makes 4 servings

First things first, chop the veggies. I was crying too much to photograph the onion (damn those things!), but you all know what that looks like anyway. To cut the zucchini I just lop off the ends, split it in half, half it again and then cut about 1/2 in pieces. All pieces should be the same size so they cook evenly.

Next peppers. I think everyone cuts peppers differently. Here's how I do it: first, lay it on its side and cut the top off. Then pull out the seeds and the ribs. If you're like me, then you're cursed by pepper seeds. Those little buggers get everywhere and it's really hard to get them all out. Here is my patented move for getting all the seeds out: Hold the pepper so the open end is over the sink or garbage can. Then knock on it like you're knocking on a door and the rest of the seeds will come out. I'm sure people have been doing this for centuries, but just let me feel special for a while here. The pieces of pepper you cut should be the same size as the zucchini. Even cooking is the name of the game.

Now we're ready to cook some turkey. Heat your olive oil in a big stock pot or Dutch oven over meduim-high heat. Add the turkey and the salt and cook it for 6-8 minutes.

Start breaking up the turkey with a wooden spoon. This will get easier once the turkey starts to brown.

See? Next, add the onions and let them cook for 4-5 minutes until they become translucent.

Next go the spices. Add the cumin and the chili powder, stir, and let it cook for another minute. This will smell delicious.

Next, everything else goes in. Easy! Pour in the tomatoes and the juice they're in, the white beans, the water, and the vegetables.

Turn the heat down to medium and let it simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes while you stir occasionally. It will look the same, but bubblier when it's done.

And that's it! It's super easy and the whole things takes less than half an hour.

I eat this all the time during the fall and winter. It's so good, totally affordable, and there is hardly any clean up. That's such a bonus in my dishwasherless kitchen. You can make so many different versions of this chili as well. Use ground beef or ground chicken, change out the white beans for kidney beans, throw in some quinoa for extra protein, or change up the vegetables and spices. The variations are endless, but I think this one will always be my favorite.

Tell me your thoughts on chili. Like it? Love it? Should I have made corn muffins too? I think we know the answer to that one.

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