Turkey Chili

In Georgia, fall lasts about a month; sandwiched right between winter and a summer that lasts about five months. So as soon as there is the slightest nip in the air, we are ready for chilies, stews, and the like. Here is a healthy chili that is perfect for a quick fall dinner. It’s faster than your grandmother’s chili, without sacrificing that traditional hearty flavor.

The thing that really lightens up this particular dish is the use of turkey sausage in lieu of pork or beef, and of course packing it full of veggies. We also use a couple of non-traditional spices, like cocoa and cinnamon, to add some warmth and depth of flavor, without having to simmer it for hours.

Like always, this was prepared for our whole family, so this is definitely a milder chili. Some easy ways to add some heat would be: adding an extra poblano, hot sauce, cayenne, any other hot pepper or chili that you like, or a combination of these. Wyatt is still getting the hang of eating chili, and souplike dishes in general, so we didn’t want the added challenge of trying to eat something super spicy.

We served him a small bowlfull that was heavier on the meat and beans. In every other way, however, all of our bowls were plated exactly the same. We all had a nice dollop of sour cream on top, and plenty of mini corn bread muffins!

We all loved it!

Even if one of us was bribed with a scoop of ice cream in order to finish their bowl.

Turkey Chili

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • lb spicy italian turkey sausage
  • 1 large onion (diced)
  • 2 bell peppers (diced)
  • 1 poblano pepper (diced)
  • 1 heaped tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 heaped tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 can pinto beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 heaped tablespoon dried oregano
  • sour cream

Directions

Step 1
Here are the main players in tonight's dish.
Step 2
It might seem like a lot of seasonings, but it is chili after all.
Step 3
Add the olive oil to a nice sized pan over medium heat.
Step 4
While the oil heats up, remove the sausage casings. I find it's easiest to use a sharp paring knife to draw a line right down the length of the sausage and then just pull that sticky little stocking right off.
Step 5
Add the loose sausage to the hot pan, and brown for about 3-4 minutes. Then add 1 tsp. each of: cinnamon, garlic powder, and chili powder. Cook an additional 2 minutes.
Step 6
Use a slotted spoon to remove the browned sausage to a bowl.
Step 7
Next add the diced onion plus 1/4 tsp. kosher salt to the hot turkey drippings. Cook 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
Step 8
Add the heaping tablespoon of minced garlic, and give it a stir and about 30 seconds to cook before moving on.
Step 9
Stir in all of the diced peppers. We had an orange and yellow bell pepper on hand, but any color or combo would work. And remember to feel free to add more poblanos, or some hotter peppers or chiles if you're feeling more adventurous!
Step 10
Mix it all in together until it looks like veggie confetti, then let it cook down and sweat for about 5 minutes.
Step 11
Now add in the whole can of tomato paste, along with a heaping tablespoon each of cocoa powder and flour.
Step 12
Smear everything together until it's all bound in a thick rusty paste. Let it cook for about a minute, to help both the flour and tomato paste not taste so raw.
Step 13
Kick the heat up to medium high and add the wine. You could add red wine or beer at this point, or to keep it alcohol free you could skip right to the broth and just add a little extra. I, however, seem to find myself in the kitchen holding a glass of white wine on most nights, so that ends up being my deglazer of choice.
Step 14
The wine's job is it help pick up all the tasty flavor bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. So just bubble and scrap away for about a minute.
Step 15
Next add the broth, rinsed beans, and the can of tomatoes. Give it a good stir.
Step 16
Next come the rest of the spices. It's the cumin, oregano and black pepper. Plus the other 2 tsp. salt, 2 tsp. chili powder, and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon.
Step 17
Now it's just a matter of letting it simmer for around 20 minutes. Of course, it is chili... so simmering a bit longer, or playing with the spices to suit your tastes won't hurt in the slightest.

Step 18
Like almost every other chili I've tried, I love this with soda crackers (saltines if you're from the north), but with plenty of sour cream and corn bread muffins it's wonderful too!

 

 

 

 

Homemade Perogies inspired by my Grandmother

My birthday was just a couple of weeks ago and when Kerry asked what I wanted for dinner than night, I had my heart set on homemade perogies.

As a child this dish was a delicacy that only graced my taste buds on the annual family adventure to my grandparents’ house in Ohio. There was something about it that I just didn’t experience the entire rest of the year… and I think it may have been my first food that I ate in excess. My grandmother Annie could not fry them up fast enough to keep up with the pace I would guzzle them down.

There is a unique flavor to the filling of this perogi that you won’t find on the frozen food aisle… and certainly nothing I could experience in my parents kitchen. When I first asked my grandmother for this recipe she said to use farmers cheese… now that was a number of years ago and I wasn’t nearly as understanding of food as I am now, or the great places to purchase ingredients. As a back up plan she told me to pick up large curd cottage cheese. There is something to the flavor of the curds when they melt, wrapped in pasta and fry it up that is just unstoppable.

When making the individual perogi keep in mind they don’t have to be beautiful. They just have to taste amazing! Kerry and I tend to cook up some kielbasa & onions to go along with the perogi and also try to incorporate something green as well.

Home Made Perogies

Ingredients

Dough

  • 4 cups Flour (All purpose works well)
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 cup Water (Plus More if needed)

Filling

  • 2lb Large curd cottage cheese
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Onion powder

Frying

  • 8 tablespoons Butter (Unsalted)
  • 8 tablespoons Crisco

Directions

Dough
Step 1
Combine flour, 4 eggs, and water in a mixer with a dough hook. You can also do this by hand on a clean counter or in a large mixing bowl.
Mixer with Perogi Dough
Step 2
Mix until it starts to have a doughy texture and becomes slightly elasticy.
Perogi Dough Coming Together
Step 3
Powder your hands with some flour, sprinkle some on your counter top and remove the dough from the bowl.
Step 4
Separate the dough into 4 equal parts; Roll into balls of dough
Balls of Dough
Step 5
Use a pasta machine or rolling pin to roll this dough out. You want the dough to be about 1/8 of an inch thick. Not too thin that the insides break out in the boiling, and not too thick that it over-powers the flavor of the filling.
Step 6
Once the dough is rolled out cut out large circles that will be used as the shell. If you don't have a pasta cutter, use a bowl or plate and trace around its edges with a paring knife.
Cutting Dough
Filling
Step 7
Take the large curd cottage cheese, place it in a strainer; rinse and and strain. This will wash away all of the liquid leaving just curds. (You can also use farmers cheese in place of the cottage cheese. If you use farmers cheese there is no need to strain it)
Large Curd Cottage Cheese
Step 8
Combine all of the filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Perogi Filling
Assembly
Step 9
Bring a large pot of water to a boil while assembling the perogi.
Step 10
Spoon enough of the filling mixture to cover half of a circle of dough with some room around the edges to fold and seal the perogi. To help the edges stick brush with a little water. You can use a fork to push the edges down as well. It will look like a half circle when done.
Step 11
Heavily salt the boiling water; dropping perogi in the pot do not overcrowd. Cook for about 5 minutes. If they start popping open from overcooking remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Continue boiling the rest of the perogi.
Boiling Water
Step 12
Heat a skillet on medium to medium-high heat. Add 1 Tbs. of butter and crisco. Once melted add a single layer of perogi. Cook until brown (about 5 min) then flip. Cook the other side. Continue adding butter & crisco as you continue to cook off the rest of the perogi.
Pan Seared Perogi
Step 13
We ate it this time with Asparagus, Sausage & Onions
Perogi Dinner