Thursday, October 4, 2012

North meets South slow cooker chili

North Meets South Chili
Between the cooler days in Houston and our powerhouse Texans, I was inspired to celebrate with - what else? - a batch of chili, of course. 

Since the number of available chili recipes probably exceed the number of mosquitoes in the Buffalo Bayou, I decided to forage in the freezer, fridge and pantry to create my own version of North meets South chili. The northern part is the tomato focus, ground turkey and beans. The southern part is the vinegar and brown sugar. There's also a Southwest flavor from the hatch chiles. 

The result?  Different tasting but really, really addictive. Greg asked me to blog this one so other folks who want to break out of the usual can give this a try. Oh, and the cornbread muffins are just a basic recipe with very little sugar. I like thinner batter, as you bake these at a screaming hot 450 degrees and they look like popovers when they bake. They're slightly crisp on the outside.
Feel free to increase quantities of spices or herbs - just be careful with oregano as too much of it will make everything bitter. If you don't want to make this in a slow cooker, no problem - just reverse the recipe by cooking the turkey first, and just throw in everything else and let it simmer for as long as you can stand it.

North Meets South Slow Cooker Chili
...8+ servings

Use the freshest ingredients you can find
What you need:

  • About 1.5 pounds of ground turkey or TVP, browned 
  • 2 large stalks of celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped in the food processor
  • 1/2 a large Vidalia or Bermuda onion, chopped
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp Van Roehling Sizzlin' Oak Steak seasoning (order here) or 1-2 tbsp of 'Better than Bullion' beef base or 3 beef bullion cubes
  • 2 bay leaves (dried)
  • 3 hatch chiles, chopped (we roast our own but canned will work)
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste 
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes (or fresh if possible)
  • 2 tsp chili powder, divided
  • 2 tsp cumin, divided
  • 2-3 tbsp vinegar
  • 1/3 cup of your favorite beer (any type except a sour or weissen is fine)
  • 1/3 cup water (or more)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 to 1 1/4 lb ground turkey 
  • Salt and pepper as desired

How to make:

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker from the above except brown sugar, turkey, salt and pepper, using one teaspoon of cumin and one teaspoon of chili powder and reserving the rest. 

In a large pan on the stove top, gently cook and break apart turkey. Add remaining cumin, chili powder and brown sugar. Cook until no pink remains, but don't allow turkey to brown. Add to slow cooker.

Cook on low for 5 hours or more, turning to warm once the flavors have combined. 

Top with your favorite garnishes and enjoy!

Van Roehling seasonings rock

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