Monday, January 31, 2011

The Texas Girl Finally Makes Something Texan!

For me this blog is an exercise in self control. You see, as a Texan it's just way too easy for me to break out some corn tortillas, cheese, a meat of some sort, a tomato, poblano and some chili powder, and I'll have enchiladas, quesadillas, tacos, or chile rellenos, hell even some nachos if I really feel like deep frying. These are the foods I grew up surrounded by and which epitomize "home" to me. But I wanted to showcase recipes here that weren't all necessarily part of my go to repertoire, because there's just something more exciting about doing something new and succeeding.

But there are days, like Sundays, when you've had too much fun the night before and the only thing that will make you happy is comfort, something that tastes like home. And so I can't help but break out my favorite Tex Mex recipe, chili.
You see what I just did there... chili brunch. Just serve with some tortillas
 This is a recipe I was first introduced to by a fellow displaced Texan, and very wonderful friend, that I met in New York. The meat is turkey, so it's on the healthier side, but before you go completely discounting this from being a legitimate chili recipe, let me just say it also has beer, bacon, molasses and spiced chocolate... so it's definitely not your "watching my calories" chili. I've served it for superbowls, for group gatherings, and have even considered entering it in contests. It really is that good. And when you've got it down, it's a snap to make. Once again, throw everything into a pot and let simmer. 3 hours later, enjoy.

Turkey Chili
2 lbs ground turkey- I use white meat, have also done 1/2 turkey, 1/2 buffalo or another lean meat
3 strips bacon
1 diced medium onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tlb chili powder- I use a equal mix of ancho and regular chili powder
2 Tbl. cumin
1 Tbl. paprika- I use 1/2 regular and 1/2 smoked
1/2 tsp cayenne powder- or to heat preference
1 28 oz can crushed tomatos
1 pint dark ale
2 Tbl. molasses
3 squares dark chocolate- I LOVE to use a spicy flavored dark chocolate
1 c. water
4 tsp. salt

1. Heat a Dutch oven (or other heavy 5-quart pot) over medium heat. Add bacon; cook until crisp and brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove and drain on a paper towel. Add onion and garlic and cook until translucent. Add chili powder, cumin, paprika and cayenne. Raise heat to high; add turkey. Cook, stirring and breaking up meat with a spoon, until no longer pink, 8 to 10 minutes.

2. Add the beer and let cook down by half. Add tomatoes, molasses, chocolate, reserved bacon, 1 cup water, and 4 teaspoons salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer; cook, partially covered until meat is very tender, and chili is thick, usually about 3 hours. Serve with desired toppings.

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