Posts tagged ‘chili’

March 20, 2012

Turkey and Bean Chili

Brrrrr! It’s cold—okay, at least for San Diego it is. That means soups, stews and the crockpot. And plenty of leftovers. I was craving chili yesterday, but a slightly lighter version of one, so I decided on ground turkey. I had stray vegetables from my CSA, such as a couple zucchinis and some collard greens, so I decided to toss them in my chili.The recipe comes to me from my neighbor and friend, S. This recipe is very easy and quick, perfect for those evenings you really don’t feel like cooking. You can pretty much throw in whatever you have on hand, so it’s a great way to get rid of those lingering items in your fridge.

I sautéed ground turkey, chopped onions, peppers and garlic in a big pot with olive oil. After about 7 minutes, I added three cans of beans (two red kidney and one great northern), chopped tomatoes (I like the ones from Pomi that come in a box), 10 oz. strained tomatoes, 6 oz. tomato paste, a handful of chopped olives and all my chili spices— 2 TB chili powder, 2 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp dried basil and a pinch of cayenne for a little kick. Season with salt and pepper. I  brought it back to a boil and then added two zucchinis, sliced, and thin ribbons of collard greens, just the leaves. After 20 minutes of simmering, dinner was done! I served it with cornbread and shredded cheese, scallions and Greek yogurt. With all the veggies thrown in, it was the perfect one-pot meal.

November 17, 2011

White Bean Chili

I have a soft spot for this recipe. My friend, S, first made this for my family shortly after I had given birth to C. At the time, I was sleep deprived, failing at the transition to having two kids, and so mentally and physically exhausted that I couldn’t bear the thought of cooking. Thanks to the awesome moms in my neighborhood, I had dinners brought to me three times a week for a month.

I distinctly remember the evening S brought over this white bean chili. Everyone was starving, cranky and desperate for comfort and sustenance. In walked S with a big steaming pot of chili. I swear she had a halo over her. And she had an assortment of toppings for the chili: crushed tortilla chips, tomatoes, sour cream, cheese, etc. It was satisfying in all the right ways, and super fun for my daughter who got to piece together her own meal. That same week, I asked S for the recipe and I have been making it ever since. Sometimes, I add cumin-rubbed, grilled chicken; other times, I opt for cumin-spiced, grilled shrimp. In either case, it’s always a hit with the family. If you’re in a pinch, you could easily chop up some store-bought rotisserie chicken.

This recipe is very, very simple, and takes hardly any time to cook. The kids have a blast scooping chili with their chips and tailoring the toppings to their liking. When I packed it for S’s lunch this morning, I put all the condiments in a separate container, so she could create the perfect combination at school.

White Bean Chili

1 TB vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped (1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 – 4 cups chicken broth
2 TB chopped fresh cilantro or 1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 TB lime juice
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
1/4 tsp red pepper sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1 bag frozen whole kernel corn
3 cans (15-16 ounces each) white beans, drained (any variety will do — cannellini, Great Northern, white navy, etc.)

2 cups chopped cooked chicken (I just toss some olive oil, cumin, and salt on some breasts and throw them on the grill.)

Heat oil in 4-quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook onions and garlic in oil, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender. Stir in remaining ingredients except chicken. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 20 minutes. Stir in chicken; simmer until hot.

Garnish with shredded cheese, crushed tortilla chips, chopped green onions, diced tomatoes, chopped fresh cilantro, sliced avocado, or sour cream.

October 6, 2011

Cooler Weather Calls for Venison Chili

Soups and stews aren’t just great for cooler weather; they also pack really well as leftovers for lunch the next day. In general, S really likes soups and stews. But she burned out on them a couple of years ago, when I packed soup for lunch nearly every day. So, I’ve been slowly bringing them back in.

Yesterday’s cold rain, a rare occurrence in sunny San Diego but apropos for the day Steve Jobs died, was a good reason to make chili. I figured it would warm my hands and feet, and comfort my heavy heart after hearing about the death of the creative genius that changed the way I and millions of others thought about and used computers—as well as design.

Earlier in the week, I had scored some frozen ground venison at Sprouts for $7.99/lb., and it came in handy for this recipe. After a quick Google search, I discovered an easy recipe for venison chili from Emeril Lagasse. Initially, I followed the recipe to the letter, but after the tomato/beef broth/red wine base had simmered for 45 minutes, I realized there wouldn’t be nearly enough for the amount of ground venison I had. I quickly doubled the base and added a can of kidney beans, which was just the right amount of liquid. The recipe I’m including below is the original recipe. I recommend doubling the liquids and spices.

The entire family loved the chili, and the kids had no idea it was venison. I served it with a dollop of sour cream on top, cornbread on the side and sautéed kale. S asked for me to pack it in her lunch today, with a baked potato. I heated the chili and put it in a Thermos container for soups, and then I wrapped a baked potato (or in my case, microwaved) in foil and put it in a separate stainless feel container. That way, she can pour the chili over the potato at lunch.

Venison Chili (from Emeril Lagasse)


4 strips bacon, diced

2 1/2 lbs. leg or shoulder of venison cut into 1/2-inch cubes (I used 2 lbs. ground venison)

1 cup chopped onions

1 cup chopped green bell peppers

2 garlic cloves crushed

1 cup Cabernet Sauvignon or other dry red wine

1 TB tomato paste

1 TB chili powder

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. ground coriander

1 tsp. ground oregano

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 24-ounce can chopped tomatoes

1 cup beef stock

salt and pepper

1 cup grated Sonoma Jack cheese


In a large saucepan, cook the bacon until the fat is rendered, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove the bacon using a slotted spoon and transfer to paper-lined plate to drain. Add the venison to the hot oil in the pan and cook, stirring occasionally and in batches if necessary, until well seared. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic and sauté over medium-low heat until tender. Stir in the wine and the tomato paste. Bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in the dry spices, chopped tomatoes and the beef stock. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Simmer uncovered for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the sauce is very thick and flavorful. Add the venison to the pot and cook, stirring, until just cooked through and hot, 3 to 4 minutes. Check the seasoning and serve with the grated cheese.





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