Monday, February 3, 2014

I Have Had Enough Snow, Thankyouerymuch

Yes, it's snowing. It has been non-stop since 5:30AM. It is currently 1PM and this crap shows no signs of slowing down or stopping. We have a foot at my house. It was 50 degrees yesterday, so if Mother Nature could knock this shit off, I'd appreciate it.

The cold weather IS making me glad I made my homemade turkey chili this weekend, though. I discovered a new way to knock the flavor out of the park with it, by the way - beef base.

Beef base is a concoction that is made from boiling beef bones with meat to make a concentrate. It is a great substitute for bouillon - if you recall adding those hard cubes to boiling water many years ago - and it has much less salt. My teacher recommended it in cooking class last week and I saw it in ShopRite so I grabbed a jar - it cost $5, but you only use 1 teaspoon of the concentrate to 8 ounces of boiling water to make it, so it will last us for quite awhile.

I added 16 ounces to the chili recipe I make, and it rounded out the flavors and gave it a depth it previously lacked.

I like it as it's one of those hearty winter meals with no fat and some good beans for protein, and you can use it to top baked potatoes, or serve over rice, or incorporate it into another meal. My family sucked it down on Saturday night and I still have enough left over for the week's lunches. Now that it has sat in the fridge for a day, it tastes even better as the flavors have had more time to get to know each other in the pot.

I am sitting here at home, having just finished working out, eating hot chili and watching the goddamned snow fall from the sky.  But at least I'm enjoying my chili.

This is a recipe I came up with on my own. It's fairly simple, and mostly comes out of cans - but it is easy to make, it always comes out tasty, and it makes massive quantities which you can freeze or use for lunches.

Mootzie's Turkey Chili:

1 pound ground turkey breast
1 cup chopped onion
2 tbsp olive oil
1 whole green pepper, chopped and seeds removed
2 cans red kidney beans
2 large cans crushed tomatoes
1 packet of McCormick's chili seasoning mix
16 ounces beef stock, or better - the beef base above

In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion and pepper to the pan - saute until the onions are translucent. Add the turkey breast, mixing and chopping with the spatula until the meat is browned. Add the chili seasoning mix, then the kidney beans, crushed tomatoes, and stock/base, and combine. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 45-1 hour to give it time to reduce. If you like it a bit thicker, add a slurry of 1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water while it's boiling.

Really quite good - healthy and rib sticking. I'm not one of those people from Texas who claim "Real chili has no beans in it" - I don't care if it qualifies as "real" chili - I enjoy it this way, and I'm sure you will too, even if you hail from the Lone Star State.

Hopefully, we can dig out of this mess before the next big storm hits on Wednesday, as it is scheduled to do.

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