Saturday, March 30, 2013

Feelin' Chili

Confession: this isn't a new recipe. It is from my friend Claire's family and this is now the second time I've made it. But it's a worthwhile recipe, so I thought it would be good to share it.

Though initially from Bon Appetit, it was published again on Epicurious, one of my favorite recipe websites. I'll say up front that my main complaint is its contents' complexity. Many of the recipes have at least two components, and some have as many as four. They are very I interested in pairing flavors and sometimes end up going overboard with obscure ingredients and unique tools that are impractical to maintain in the everyday kitchen.

The best feature is the rating/reviewing system. Most people who take the time to review on this site, in my experience, have thoughtful comments and suggestions, making them worth reading for the would-be cook.

Disclaimer: this is a white chili, sans the characteristic flaming color and spicy aftertaste. I would dare to say that it is on par with the traditional version. It is less soupy due to the Arborio rice that I use in place of the barley. In future, I might add slightly more liquid to make it more spoon-suitable.

I still serve it with shredded cheese, as I would anything with its name, but I found that it list it's heat rather too quickly to use onions -- they would still be completely raw, which is unpalatable to me.

White Turkey Chili


  • For Part 1
    • 2 teaspoons olive oil
    • 1/2 onion, minced
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1 pound uncooked ground turkey
    • 1/2 pound turkey breast, cooked and diced
  • For Part 2
    • 1 quart chicken stock
    • 1/2 cup Arborio rice (or pearled barley)
    • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
    • 1 teaspoon dried (or ground) savory
    • 1 15-oz can cannellini (or Great Northern) beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1 15-oz garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • For Serving
    • grated cheddar cheese
    • sour cream
    • hot sauce

Part 1: Heat oil in heavy stockpot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add cumin and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add ground turkey and saute until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Add the diced precooked turkey breast.

Part 2: Add the stock, rice and spices to the stockpot. Cover and simmer until rice is almost tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Add beans to chili. Simmer uncovered until rice is tender. and chili is thick, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. 

Serve chili, passing toppings separately.

Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to simmer before serving.


Next up is the chili that I have been eating since before I can remember. It's the flavor that pops onto my tastebuds every time someone says "chili". It's the end of fall, the middle of winter and the beginning of spring for me. Always better the next day, it's a dish to grow on. More recently, dad started making this chili for us. For the past two years, we've served it at our annual holiday party. Although it's a fairly humble dish, most [omnivores] can associate with it, and it certainly is worthy of a special occasion, if it is called upon to perform. 

The Red Queen

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef, or 1/2 pound each beef and turkey
  • 1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz can medium chili beans 
  • 1 15-oz can dark red kidney beans
  • 3 teaspoons chili powder

Brown onion in the oil. Add the beef and cook until no longer pink. Add tomatoes, beans and chili powder. Simmer about 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.


And what is chili without cornbread? Some people serve it over spaghetti or rice. Some scoop with tortilla chips or Fritos. But there's a cornbread that I just can't resist the opportunity to bake. Guess where it's from? Yep. Moosewood. The original, in its handwritten glory.

Honey Cornbread

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

1) Beat together egg, buttermilk and honey in a small bowl or measuring cup.

2) Mix together all dry ingredients in a medium-large bowl.

3) Combine all ingredients, including melted butter, and mix well.

4) Spread into greased 8-inch square pan, and bake in a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Serve hot.

One a Penny

I figured if any day was a good day to try out making sweet buns. It is the day before Good Friday, when hot cross buns are most appropriate. And it's the first evening of my spring break. Finally. 

Hot Cross Buns
You really could use any dried fruit you please, if it's approximately the size of a raisin (or a little smaller), but golden raisins do brown nicely in the oven when they're on the outside of the bun. Don't worry too much about the type of yeast (I only keep one type around), just  make sure that it's something in the at-least-slightly-faster-than-regular category.

  1. Make dough.
  2. Knead dough.
  3. Rise.
  4. Shape into buns.
  5. Rise.
  6. Bake.
  7. Enjoy.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons quick-rise yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt, scant
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, heaping
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice, heaping
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, heaping
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk, warmed
  • 1/2 cup water, warmed
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened and coarsely cubed
  • Zest of 1/2 an orange
  • 2/3 golden raisins

1) Mix together flours, yeast, salt, sugar, and spice. Pour in the warmed liquids. Using the dough hook on a stand mixer, combine gently. Add the butter and egg (it will be sticky), continuing to mix. Finally, add the raisins and zest. Knead until completely smooth, around 5 minutes.

2) Allow to rise until doubled in size, approximately 1 1/2 hours. Punch down the dough. Divide into 16 pieces for small buns, 12 for medium and 8 for large. Shape into balls and places on a floured counter or cutting board. Give them another 30 minutes to rise (they should be puffy, but probably won't double in size). Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

3) Place buns on sheet pan and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until browned and crisp on the outside.

I tried to make crosses on the top before they baked as the original instructions wanted me to, and you're welcome to do that, but they didn't turn out nearly bright enough to make much of a difference on the surface. Perhaps it would have worked better had I been willing to dirty a piping bag or use a disposable ziplock instead of dribbling the mixture on top with a spoon. In any case, they will be beautiful with or without the cross, which makes them more universally accepted on more occasions--so what could be better?

But if you're dead set on the traditional look, some white icing would do the trick. The most important thing here is that you don't make it too thin--it has to strongly adhere to the bread in order for it not to slip down the sides too much. King Arthur Flour seems to have a simple recipe for the icing beneath its hot cross buns recipe. Disclaimer: I haven't tried it - I'm perfectly content with my creations, and since they're for breakfast, I don't want a sugar overload. Most of the time.