Turkey and Chocolate Chili with loads of vegetables

Turkey and Chocolate Chili - trustinkim

With this chili recipe I was looking to keep it healthy (lots of veg and lean ground turkey), while giving it fabulous flavour – and I succeeded! There are many layers of flavour – multiple types of peppers, spices, and a hint of  chocolate and lime. I’ve actually made a chili similar to this many times, but I’ve always forgotten to write down what I put in it. I’m so glad I wrote it down this time, because I think this is one of my best. I’ve made a similar recipe to this in a vegetarian version, exactly the same but without the turkey of course.

The recipe makes a large quantity, so you can halve it if you don’t want as much, or throw some in the freezer for a quick meal down the road.

If you can plan ahead, make it a day ahead of time – chili always tastes best the next day. There are a lot of ingredients, and a fair bit of chopping in this recipe, I know. But really worth it! This recipe turns out best if it is allowed a long cooking time.

I served mine with a garnish of x’nipek, a red onion salsa I learned to make in Mexico. It’s really easy to make, but totally optional.

Here’s a great little article about differentiating between chopping, dicing and mincing.

What you need:

  • 1 cup chicken, beef or vegetable stock
  • 2 dried guajillo or ancho peppers
  • 300-400 grams lean ground turkey
  • 1 large onion, medium chop
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped(remove the seeds if you don’t want much heat)
  • 1 serrano pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 poblano peppers, diced
  • 1 sweet red or banana pepper, diced
  • 1 small zucchini, grated
  • 8-10 mushrooms, small chop
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 tablespoons Mexican chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1-796mL/28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 -796mL/28oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1-156mL/5.5oz can tomato paste
  • 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt and pepper to taste

What you do:

  1. Turn an element on the stove (works best with a gas stove, but you can throw them under the broiler if you don’t have one – watch carefully that they don’t burn!). Wave the dried guajillo peppers over the flame, turning to heat both sides. They will start to smell fragrant. Remove the stem and seeds and place in a small pot with the stock. Heat this up to a simmer, then let it sit off the heat for about half an hour. You can go about making the other parts of the chili while it sits. After the half hour, purée the pepper with the stock in a blender.
  2. Now heat a very large pot over a medium flame, then drizzle in a little olive oil. Cook the turkey until it is no longer pink, then remove it from the pot.
  3. Add a little more olive oil to the pot, then add the onions and cook, stirring, until it begins to soften. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute.
  4. Add all the peppers (except the soaking guajillo), zucchini, mushrooms, and carrots. Stir the veggies while they cook, until slightly softened.
  5. Add the oregano, cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, paprika and cayenne. Stir to coat the vegetables in the spices and cook for a minute or so.
  6. Add the beans, tomatoes, tomato paste and the puréed chili and stir it all together. Once it starts to bubble, turn the heat to low. Let this cook for at least an hour, but preferably two or more. Give it a good stir from time to time, making sure it doesn’t burn.
  7. Add the chocolate and let it melt in as you stir. Stir in the lime.
  8. Enjoy!

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa – Salsa de Tomate Verde Asado

roasted tomatillo salsa - trust in kim

Since eating at Rick Bayless’s Xoco Restaurant in Chicago earlier this year I’ve been trying out a few of his recipes.  This one is from his Mexican Everyday cookbook. It was delicious with chicken tacos, especially for lovers of heat it their salsa.  If you tend to shy away from heat you can either use less of the hot pepper, or serve it with some sour cream or plain yogurt to temper the heat.

I really liked this salsa, but in the future I would likely go back to my usual method of roasting over a flame.  I think I prefer that kind of char on the tomatillos.

This is also good over scrambled eggs!

What you need:

  • 4 medium (8 oz) tomatillos, husked, rinsed and cut in half
  • 2 whole large garlic cloves
  • 2 serrano or 1 jalapeno pepper (or less if you’re averse to heat) stemmed and finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed and chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • salt

What you do:

  1. Place a cast-iron or non-stick pan over medium-high heat.  Lay the tomatillos in the pan cut-side down, then add the garlic cloves.  After about 3-4 minutes, when the tomatillos are browned, turn them and the garlic over to brown the other side.  At this point the tomatillos should be very soft.
  2. Scrape the contents of the pan into a blender and let it cool to room temperature.  Add the chiles, cilantro (do not add the cilantro if you won’t be serving right away) and 1/4 cup of water. Blend until coarsely pureed.
  3. Rinse the onion then strain it.  Stir into the salsa and add salt to taste, about 1/2 teaspoon. If you are not going to serve this right away it is best to wait to add the onion and cilantro until shortly before you serve it.

roasted tomatillo salsa on tacos - trust in kim

Fresh Salsa

Homemade salsa is easy to make, as long as you’ve got really great tomatoes.  Over the winter you can still make it, but it won’t be nearly as good as when you make it with tomatoes ripe from the garden or farmer’s market.

What you need:

3-4 tomatoes

1/4 sweet onion*, finely diced

1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced

salt

1/2 freshly squeezed lime

a pinch of sugar may be needed

optional: cilantro

What you do:

1. Cut up tomato into chunks of about 1 cm.  Place in a colander over a bowl to drain.

2. Add a little chopped onion, and a diced jalapeno pepper.  If you don’t want it to be very hot, take out the seeds.  That’s where most of the heat is.

3.  After the tomatoes have drained, add the rest of the ingredients.

4.  After letting it sit for a while to allow the flavours to mingle, have a taste and adjust the salt and lime juice as needed.  You may also want to add a pinch of sugar.

5.  I like to let the salsa sit for a while, then serve at room temperature with tortillas, fajitas and lots of other dishes.

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* I prefer to use sweet onion because I tend to cry less – if you’ve got very sensitive eyes, you know how important this is.  Especially if you’re expecting company.  I also think they taste great!