Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Recipe: Hearty Turkey & Two-Bean Chili

I just popped a melly so please bear with me if this gets all rambly and incoherent. It probably means my forehead is on the keyboard and kefja;li iw aiaw fjakd zzzzzzz.

KIDDING STILL HERE STILL AWAKE. Oh, and melly = melatonin. Aka these magical little vitamin-like pills that I get at Duane Reade so that I can drift off to sleep like a sweet baby. They're legal and I don't get carded when I buy them. But if you're still worried you can pry them out of my cold, dead sleeping fingers.

So this chili. Before you make this recipe please be advised that you should meet at least one, if not more, of the following requirements:
  • Eating chili for breakfast, lunch and dinner doesn't sound like the worst thing that could happen.
  • There's a moderate amount of room in your freezer. Hellooooo leftovers.
  • Your sister is visiting so you can send her home with a quart, double bagged, that she SWEARS she won't forget on the train.
  • You have a lot of roommates, neighbors, family members, co-workers, boyfriends, girlfriends, tinder-friends, etc. (BTW these people cannot be vegetarians. Them's the rules.)
  • Gosh damnit you JUST LOVE CHILI OKAY!!!
Point being... this makes a whole lotta chili. And I've gotta say, if I'm already going to be measuring and sautéing and can-opening and simmering, I want chili for DAYS. WEEKS. MONTHS. (Months being when I inevitably forget I stashed a small unmarked container of chili in my freezer and have to decipher its contents - fun!)

This is the turkey chili recipe to end all turkey chili recipes. It's PACKED with lean ground turkey, two kinds of beans, and aromatics like onion, bell pepper and garlic. Also, there are not one but TWO secret ingredients in this chili: cocoa powder and cinnamon. They belong in chili. Do not leave them out. I know you have a crusty container of cocoa powder in the back of your cabinet and it's all 'Y U ONLY PUT ME IN BROWNIES???'. Not just for brownies, trust me, even if you don't trust the talking cocoa powder. (Oh hi, melatonin. Feelin' gooooood.)

Welp, goodnight then! My face needs to be on my pillow like ten minutes ago.

Recipe: Hearty Turkey & Two-Bean Chili
[original recipe via Epicurious]

- Topping ideas: sour cream or plain greek yogurt, shredded cheese, cilantro, chives, diced avocado, tortilla chips, lime wedges, etc.
- A few ways I like to serve this chili: alone (with some of the toppings above), over quinoa or brown rice, on NACHOS (<-- do this), with gluten free bread/rolls for dunking, or over a baked potato or baked sweet potato.   

Ingredients (Makes... A LOT.)
Vegetable or canola oil
1 large yellow or white onion (or 2 medium onions), diced small 
1 large green bell pepper (or 2 small ones), diced small
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 tsp dried oregano
1.5 tsp cumin 
1 to 1.5 lbs lean ground turkey (I used 1.22 lbs 99% fat free ground turkey breast)
3 tbsp chili powder (or 4 tbsp if you like your chili spicier)
2 dried bay leaves
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
Big pinch of ground cinnamon (about 1/8 tsp)
One 28-oz can unsalted, crushed tomatoes 
One 15-oz can tomato sauce 
2.5 cups gluten free beef stock (can sub chicken stock)
Three 15-oz cans beans, drained and rinsed (I use 2 cans white kidney/cannellini beans and 1 can red kidney beans)

Place a large, heavy-bottomed pot (like this one, if you have it) over medium heat and drizzle with enough oil to coat the bottom (about 1 tablespoon). 

Add the onions and bell pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, oregano, and cumin. Cook for 1 minute, stirring.

Turn heat to medium-high. Push all of the vegetables to the side of the pot, and add the ground turkey. While breaking up with a wooden spoon, cook until the turkey is no longer pink. (Will take about 5 minutes.) Stir together veggies and cooked turkey. 

Add the remaining spices: chili powder, bay leaves, cocoa powder, salt, smoked paprika, and cinnamon. Stir everything that's in the pot so far. Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir to combine. Stir in the beef stock. 

Bring the chili to a boil, then turn heat to low. Simmer chili for 30 to 45 minutes (uncovered), stirring occasionally. 

Add the drained, rinsed beans to the chili, stir to combine, and cook for 10 more minutes. 

Serve warm with your favorite chili garnishes (i.e. chives or cilantro, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, cheese, tortilla chips, etc). Re-heats and freezes well!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Recipe + Giveaway: Gluten Free Corn Dog Nuggets from Silvana's Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Kitchen

Hoooooooooooly crap you guys I fried something. 

And not just anything. The cutest littlest babiest gluten free corn dog nuggets.

See?? Did you squeal a little? I just wanna pinch one right through my screen. 

Truth be told I have never fried a morsel in my life - the thought of dropping anything into a vat of hot oil freaks me out. (Plus, I am an absolute oil-magnet. Oil-stains are the new tie-dye! Yeah!) So when Silvana asked me to check out her new cookbook, I musta been feeling ballsy cause I chose the most intimidating recipe (to me). Also a factor: I haven't had a corn dog since being diagnosed with Celiac 5ish years ago, and LORD do I miss me some Nathan's nuggs. (Preferably eaten in a mall food court. Am I right?)

I've gotta tell you - these guys were so simple to make, and Silvana's instructions are incredibly clear, especially for a frying newbie. The batter (a mix of cornmeal and a gluten free flour blend) is so thick and dreamy that you'll want to dunk your whole damn hand in it.

Once battered, the mini corn dogs fry up in two minutes (two minutes!!!) and it is quite literally one of the coolest things I have ever seen happen in my own kitchen. They puff up. And turn a lovely golden color. And LOOK JUST LIKE CORN DOGS WOULD YOU BELIEVE IT. Innnnnncredible. 

Want the recipe? I just might have it for you after the jump :) Click through at the end of this post and it's all yours.

But if you can't stop at corn dogs, I understand. Silvana's book also has recipes for cinnamon crunch french toast sticks, salted soft pretzel poppers, loaded nacho potato skins and ranch chicken nuggets. I won't even tell you the desserts because then you'll be dead. And I kinda like you. I like you SO VERY MUCH that I'd love for you to have a copy of Silvana's Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Kitchen. (I mean Silvana is technically the one giving away the book but details details.)

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'Read more' for that corn dog recipe...

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Recipe: Basil-Parsley Pesto with Lemon and Walnuts (plus how to freeze it in ice cube trays what whaaaaat)

Because basil and garlic make me a happy happy camper, I've filled my freezer with a billion little frozen pesto cubes. Without a doubt, I'll use about half of them over the next few weeks, and will find the rest in a deep, dark crevice of my freezer 12 months from now. It's the thought that counts, though, right? Riiiiight. 

Besides. Last week I ate frozen lasagna from December 2013, and am still alive, as far as I can tell. (By the way is that gross?? I was on the fence but I was also hungry so that kind of overrides all reason.)

One morning after a double-batch of pesto was tucked away in the freezer, I shared with my mom the brilliance that is freezing portions of pesto in ice cube trays. She was all: 'LOLZ EVERYONE KNOWS THAT I was doing it before you were born.' And she's right. (She is also Martha Stewart if Martha Stewart went through a serious hippie stage in her late teens/early 20s. So I believe her when she says she's done and thought of everything.) 

I'm not saying I invented this whole ice cube tray thing. It didn't come to me in a dream, but rather in an issue of Real Simple (if I had to guess). I'm sharing it with you because sometimes all it takes is a reminder. A reminder that seeing a bunch of garlicky green pesto cubes in your freezer will make you so freaking happy I swear. 

Feel free to use any pesto recipe you'd like (duh I'm not your boss) but this one has quickly become my favorite. Do NOT be scared that there are only 2 tablespoons of cheese. I too, was weary since cheese = life, but it's so perfect as-is. Plus, I don't know about you but after I add pesto to pasta or quinoa or whatever, I usually pile on an extra heap of Parmesan cheese anyway. #cheeseoncheeseoncheese

Also! Since hopefully you're on your way to having a bounty of pesto on your hands, you should know that my #1 way to eat pesto is mixed into hot quinoa (that was cooked in chicken broth instead of water). I usually throw in some chopped sun-dried tomatoes and call it a day (or call it lunch), but you can also add sliced, sauteed chicken sausage for some extra protein. It's the bomb. My #2 way to eat pesto is on a spoon. No shame in this game.

Recipe: Basil-Parsley Pesto with 
Lemon and Walnuts
[original recipe via Epicurious]

- 3 to 5 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1 cup roughly chopped walnuts (can sub almonds, or pine nuts if you're a baller)
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese 
- 1 teaspoon pepper (freshly ground if available) 
- 1/2 teaspoon salt 
- 3 cups gently packed basil leaves
- 1 cup gently packed Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves (ok if there are some pieces of stem)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (I used Jovial Foods brand)
- Juice of 2 lemons (about 1/4 cup)

- Food Processor (a 3-cup chef's chopper like this one will fit one batch of pesto, though you'll need to add the herbs in batches as instructed below)
- Ice Cube Tray (optional - only needed if you're freezing the finished pesto)

Instructions: Making Pesto
Add the peeled garlic cloves to the food processor. Pulse a few times until garlic is finely chopped. Add the nuts, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Pulse about 10 times until nuts are finely chopped. 

Add all of the oil, all of the lemon juice, and 1 cup of the basil. (If you're using a larger food processor you can add all of the herbs at this point.) Run the food processor for about 8 seconds, until the ingredients are uniformly blended.

Add the other 2 cups of basil and 1 cup of parsley one cup at a time, and blend for about 8 seconds after each addition. Remove the lid and scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Run the food processor one more time, for about 5 seconds. 

At this point the pesto is finished! If you'll be using it in the next few days, transfer to a container and cover the top of the pesto with a thin layer of olive oil. Store in the fridge. If you want to freeze all or some of the pesto for a later use, go on to the next step. 

Instructions: Freezing Pesto
For one batch of pesto you'll need one standard ice cube tray. Each cube will hold about 2 tablespoons of pesto, and you'll fill an entire tray. 

Using 2 spoons or a spoon and a small rubber spatula, transfer about 2 tablespoons of pesto to each ice cube compartment. Smooth out the top of each cube. Freeze the pesto-filled tray for at least 6 hours, or overnight. 

Once the cubes are frozen, remove each pesto cube from the tray. (This can be a little tricky since they don't slide right out - I slide a sharp knife down each of the four sides, then wiggle the cube out with the same knife.) Transfer all of the frozen pesto cubes to a ziplock bag, and store in the freezer until ready to use. 

Instructions: Cooking With Frozen Pesto Cubes
The cubes will defrost pretty quickly at room temperature. Or, you can pop a few into a bowl and microwave for 10 seconds at a time. (Should only take 10 seconds per cube.) Alternatively, you can throw them right into a hot pan.
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