Tag Archives: chili

Leftover Turkey: Chili

In my pantry today:

  •  1/2 turkey breast, chunked
  • 1 28oz can Rotel® tomatoes
  • 1 8oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can kidney beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1/2 c corn
  • 8 baby carrots
  • 1/2 tsp lime juice
  • 1 small onion, chunked
  • 3 L cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • dash asafoetida

turkchiliThis one is easy — put everything in a large pot, grate the carrots in for added nutrition and texture, bring it to a low boil then reduce heat to L.

TIP: Add in the onions that cooked in the beast’s cavity.

Cover and let sit to ruminate for at least an hour — the longer, the better (to a point — we’re not talking 3 weeks here or anything). Feel free to adjust any seasonings, especially the cayenne, to your own personal taste. This is a 5 spoon dinner — when I return from Adaptive Yoga tonight, it will be waiting and ready.

Pinto Squili is Illin!

In my pantry today:

  • 1 20.5 oz can pinto beans
  • 2 squirrel legs
  • 1 large Vidalia onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • dash asafoetida

squiliNo, we’re not that poor — but I’ve lived in South Carolina my entire life and have never taken advantage of what’s right in my back yard. All over my back yard. Because I am mostly homebound, I hear them all day every day using our gutters as freeways. Maybe now I will feel as though I was able to exert more control over the tiny creatures who don’t know I am lord of their dominion than fist-shaking can communicate. Damnit.

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Dramatic recreation of how LouLou approached us this morning.

Have you ever dressed a squirrel? Because I’ve never even cleaned a fish, and this inadequacy is why I’m only using the legs. They were plump and easy to remove; the crock pot handled the rest of those hairless gams’ day. Chop up your onion and garlic for the event and throw it all in the crock pot. The longer you can let it simmer, the more tender your meat will be. Make sure to reach into things and take out any bones before serving. This wasn’t as terrible an idea as the wife told me — when cooked this long, the meat really resembles any other. Apart from the cultural finger-waggling that comes with eating rodents, this gets 4 spoons and will have leftovers frozen.

I will forever remember this small animal by the not-very-flashy name I gave him while ripping off his limbs: Pinto.

 

 

Hot [Crock] Pot Chili

In my pantry today:

  • 3 poblano peppers
  • 4 jalapeno peppers
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 56oz/7c/3.5lb petite diced tomato
  • 1 c corn
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp taco seasoning
  • 1 tsp red hot chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida

This ended up being the finest batch of chili I have made to date — and it’s completely vegan. I say that because not only should it surprise you, but because it does so for me as well. It’s a tribute, really, to how little meat needs to do with flavor.

Start out with your onion and garlic pieces with oil in the crock pot on H. Walk away and halve your peppers, taking care to leave seeds out or in depending on your spice palate. Put them open-side down on a baking sheet and put them closely under the broiler until their skins begin to char, then remove them from the oven, remove the skins from their shoulders, and dice. Throw those into the crock pot with the garlic and onion, stir and leave on H for a few more minutes. Following enough of a break to begin some dishes or some such nonsense, add canned tomatoes with liquid and cooked beans, reduce crock pot to L and let simmer for several hours. Stir in all your seasonings a little while before dinner — it tasted so flavorful before I did any of that that I nearly didn’t add a single thing; the taco seasoning will get it from “a little too liquidy,” though, into proper chili territory. Despite — or maybe because of? — the lack of meat, this chili deserves 5 spoons.

Today’s Lentils, Tomorrow’s… Lentils.

In my pantry today:

  • 1-2c lentils (cooked)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 green jalapeno
  • 1 orange jalapeno
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1.5-2c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp safflower oil
  • 1 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp kala jeera
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 2 tsp hot curry powder
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida

This wasn’t going to be a freezer storage item, but life falls as it may and tonight was not its night (and tomorrow’s gonna be the night for what’s in the crock pot overnight now). I’m going to chalk it up to a preliminary success in my desire to have meals prepared ahead of time.

Start not-as-finely-chopped peppers (it is important right away to note that the jalapenos should have no seeds left), onion and garlic out on ML in a ghee/oil combo. Make sure the mustard seeds and kala jeera are in there too. Stir and sit back — when the mustard seeds commence to poppin’ turn off the heat. Spoon contents of the pan into a food processor, add curry powder, asafoetida, flax, tomato paste and 1c almond milk then puree everything into a single, succulent sauce. Spatula it back into the pan, add lentils and however much remaining almond milk you’d like. Heat everything to a near-boil and turn off the stove. When the sauce cools, either eat or freeze! I did taste this before it went on staycation in the icebox and I cannot wait until it gets to come back out — 4 spoons.

 

From the Land of Produce Sales and Pantry (Or, “Vegan Chili”)

In my pantry today:

  • 4 c diced Roma tomatoes
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, largely diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, small chunks
  • 1 small red pepper, diced/seeds removed
  • 1 pitiful, small bell pepper from the plant outside
  • 2/3 c corn
  • 1 c cooked white beans
  • 1 12oz can red beans
  • 1 c vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 4 tbsp chili powder (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (we use 90,000 BTU powder, so use your own noggin on this too. Yeah. That’s not a typo. 90,000.)

This was an entirely vegan dish until I put the cheese on it. Apologies.

So I got really excited about a big sale on Roma tomatoes at the store. Some might venture to use the word “overzealous.” And seeing as how it’s now a little too chilly for tomato salads to be fully enjoyed and one can only have so many salad caprese dinners, the answer choices to the sudden conundrum of a kitchen full-o-maters boil down to (ha!): 1. blanch or 2. just cut them all up and make chili.

Put your onion, garlic, chili pepper and mustard seeds in olive oil warming to M on the stove. When the seeds begin to crackle and pop, stir and reduce heat to L while you finish dicing all those now-godforsaken tomatoes. Dump them all into a crock pot and use a spatula to clean all the oiled up pan contents in with them. Add corn, beans and seasonings with broth and set the timer for 4 hours (I now now that essentially translates to “high”). Four spoon alarm!

Hifalutin Frito Pie (or, “You Put What in There?”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1 c leftover meatless meaty chili
  • 2 c broken Fritos®
  • 1 c cheddar cheese
  • 1 c cooked rice
  • 12-20 stems of asparagus
  • 1/4 c chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp Taco Bell® seasoning envelope
  • sour cream as garnish

In an 8×8 casserole dish, layer rice with a few finely-crumbled Fritos® mixed in for entertainment value. Cut the fluffy tips from your asparagus about 1/4″ below their hairline and mince the three next inches down (I tossed the rest of these stems after this step as I am still investigating how to best use them). Set the asparagus tops aside and sprinkle the rice with 1/4 c cheese and minced asparagus stems. Layer on your leftover chili. At this point you might see that there is no “right” way to be layering all this noise, so be creative! I tossed the asparagus tops in the chili pan dregs with a little Taco Bell® seasoning and mixed them with more well-crushed Fritos®. On top of that I layered 3/4 c cheddar cheese and topped with more Fritos® and some fresh cilantro. Cook the covered dish for 15-20m in an oven preheated to 400° and serve with a dollop of sour cream.

This might’ve gotten more spoons were the Fritos® not chewy upon reveal, as that is not a texture I anticipated or enjoy as garbled surprise in my end result. Whatever led me to believe in the magical crunch-retaining power of anything roasted under a foil cover? 3 spoons anyway.

Meaty Meatless Chili

In my pantry today:

  • 1 12 oz  package Yves Meatless Ground
  • 1 c cooked black beans
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp safflower oil
  • 2 14.5 oz cans petite deiced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can corn, drained
  • 1 envelope Taco Bell® seasoning
  • 1 envelope Taco Bell® sauce
  • 1 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida
  • shredded cheese and sour cream to garnish

I am admittedly wary of meat substitutes — not tofu, really, but the ones that market themselves as “OMIGOD JUST LIKE MEAT.” I don’t know how they’re necessarily an ideological comrade to the whole “not eating meat” thing. Aren’t they an admittance to the need or desire for meat in one’s diet, and wouldn’t that be a terrible counterpoint for vegetarians to make for themselves? The very existence of Pretend Animal Flesh seems to strain the argument for meatless living. I could be over-thinking this, and maybe because of that I’ve given this fake ground round a temporary reprieve by seasoning it to hell and back via Taco Bell®’s special blend. In this very special case, cloaking something new and bewildering in the familiar CanCoverUp style of a Fast Food restaurant was precisely the way to go.

Start onion and safflower oil out in a cold pan heating to M. After it’s solidly at full heat, add the Fake-Ums and stir with about 1/4 of the seasoning packet and all of the “salsa” (now, I had these things leftover from when I could only find tortillas in the various taco kits at the store). Add everything else, stirring in another 1/2 packet with all the ingredients. Add the hot red chili powder. Stir, let cook on L for a while then serve with cheese and sour cream. If it entertains you, think of making the dairy topping an insult to the meatless meat. 4 spoons!

Chili Rescue and the Subsequent Mission

In my pantry today:

  • 1/2 c ground mild pork sausage
  • 1 c soaked kidney beans
  • 1 10oz can chili seasoned/fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 extra large (aka “big ass”) tomato
  • 4.5 c water
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tbsp Garam Masala
  • 2 tsp asafoetida

First thing’s first: drain those beans you set to soak last night and boil them for a solid 10-20m. This is a “better safe than sorry” rule that should be applied especially to kidney beans before they go on a date with your slow cooker. Phytohaemagglutinin may be a word I dare you to say aloud and not sound butternuts, but it is not a toxin I wish upon anybody.

Once you’ve taken care of the “making sure not to poison yourself” thing, go ahead and dice your onion and tomato while your ground sausage browns. Open the can of tomatoes and pour the whole mess into that jar of garlic paste that has about 1tbsp left to live. No one can fit a hand down into that jar to get the dregs, so shaking it up with delicious liquids is the way to go. Pour it into the crock pot over the diced onion and tomato, then put 1/2c water in and shake it up again for official chili entrance. Scrape everything you can off the sausage pan and dump it all in too.

At this point I hope your kidney beans have been properly boiled, for it is time to drain them and put them in the crock pot. Add 4c of water and all seasonings, stir, cover. Walk away.

…Now, when you come back you’ll have added too much water, which greatly decreases the flavor while increasing the soupiness — neither of which are things you want of your chili. If I hadn’t already written so much of this post, I’d probably sweep this under the rug with my other mistakes. Because it is shameful to go out to Food Lion at 7:30pm for:

  • 1 packet McCormick chili seasoning
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 14.5 oz can organic yellow corn, drained

To be fair, the chili powder I’d added previously was old and flavorless. To be shamefully fair, I flat out added too much water at the onset; this is due in part to how badly I burned the crock pot the last time I used it. Oh god, did I say that last part out loud?

Now. After adding all that extra hullabaloo and bringing it back to a boil for 30m, this is still just a 3 spoon chili. Maybe 4. After the last burnt-chili-crockpot experience, followed by this really too overstressed one maybe I just perceive too acutely the taste of failure; I am learning that the taste of failure is mostly in my mind and is applied to the dishes I cook in proportion to the shame I feel when they don’t instantly reach 5 Spoon Status.

Due to my self-imposed Three Shame Strikes™ rule, I am officially now on a specific mission to reach some sort of chili zenith. Don’t worry (I tell you all as I imagine going off to battle) I will triumph, for it is merely chili and I have opposable thumbs.


Mexicasseroleftovers!

In my pantry today:

  • 1/2 c leftover chili
  • 1/2 c leftover take-home vegetable fajita mix
  • 1 packet Trader Joe’s Multigrain Pilaf
  • 1/2 c shredded cheese (“fiesta blend”)

This will be easier done than said. Put leftover veggies in chili pot, stir everything together. Open TJ packet and put in the bottom of a casserole dish. Top it with the chili/veggie mix then top that with cheese. Bake in a 350° oven for 15m, or until warmed through. The Trader Joe’s Multigrain Pilaf is a wonderful source of nutrition — it has been, for me, a full meal in itself before. There was so little leftover of the Mixed Race Chili and those vegetable fajitas from day before yesterday that all of it with the cheese is simply flavorful window dressing. This meal was so speedy and easy that I also had time to boil some bout-to-go blueberries into a marinade stock and bake some cookies with leftover home-made caramel peanut butter. Oh, and time to un/reload the dishwasher and make a pot of hot tea and one of rice for tomorrow. Score!