In summer use fresh from the garden tomatoes, peppers and cilantro to elevate this pantry standard to the level of food you must experience before you kick your bucket. Freshly made beans also add to the experience but beans from a can (rinsed of their salty gravy) will always work.
- 14 oz can tomatoes
- 2 Tblspns oil
- 1 to 2 onions chopped
- 1 bell pepper, any color, seeded and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced or pressed.
- 1 lb ground turkey (low-fat hamburger or vegetarian ground meat substitute)
- 1 to 3 chili peppers, seeded and chopped (jalapeno, anahime etc, canned will work)
- 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 Tblsp Chili powder
- 1 Tblsp ground cumin
- 2 + Tblspns chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
- Salt to taste
- Cooked beans (1 to 2 cans are fine) pinto, kidney or black. Combinations are good.
1. If your tomatoes are not already chopped, chop them.
2. In a large sauce pan or dutch oven, heat the oil and saute the onion and bell pepper. When the onion is tender add the garlic, saute for a moment before adding the ground turkey. NOTE: if you choose to use a vegetarian substitute, add it with the tomato sauce. Flesh food gives off fat and flavor, substitutes absorb it. vegetarian substitutes often stick and burn on the bottom of the pan when I try to “fry” them. The also may burn when simmering. Stir often but do not scrape burnned bits into the chile.
3. When the turkey has gone from pink to whitish, sprinkle in the chili powder and cumin. Season with salt and pepper. Stir and fry giving the turkey time to absorb the spices. Add the tomatoes, sauce, hot peppers, and cilantro. Allow to simmer on a low flame for 1 hour. Note: if you will be serving whole grain corn bread or muffins with your chili, now is a good time to put the recipe together to allow the corn to absorb the liquid before baking.
4. Taste and if needed, correct the seasoning. Add the cooked beans allowing them to heat through while the corn muffins bake.
Corn muffins really should be served with chili. Try adding minced jalapeno and fresh (or frozen) corn to the batter.
If side dishes are served (and you really do not need to) I find a tray of raw vegetables and dip are favored.
Dessert should be fruit based. In fact, an orange seems to finish this meal to perfection.