My mom lives down in San Diego and unfortunately I don’t get a chance to see her often. So, a few weeks ago she decided to come up for an extended visit. Normally, my mom does all the cooking for the family, whether it’s at her house or a relative’s house. I believe that it’s both a curse and a blessing that she’s a fantastic cook. I know very few people who can taste a dish once and go home and recreate it, often making it even better than the original recipe.
Anyway, since I’m no longer working and have more time on my hands I’ve been improving and adding to my list of recipes inside my mental database. I figured I would give my mom a much needed break, and cook for her during her stay with me. Yes, I allowed her to cook me a meal a couple of times while she was here (she’s a very pushy woman), but for the most part I did all the cooking.
Here’s one dish that my mom particularly loved:
A few swigs of extra virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped bell pepper
9 garlic cloves, minced
2 lbs ground turkey
1 jalapeno pepper chopped
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp brown sugar (or 1 tbsp brown sugar if using ketchup instead of tomato paste)
1 tbsp ground cumin
3 tbsp tomato paste or 4 tbsp ketchup (I don’t always have tomato paste in my house)
1 tsp dried oregano (or Italian Seasoning if that’s all you have in your cupboard like me)
½ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp Celtic sea salt
2 bay leaves
1 ¼ cups of fruity wine, preferably red but go ahead and use white if you have an open bottle in the fridge
2 cans whole or diced tomatoes, undrained (coarsely chop the whole tomatoes)
2 cans kidney beans, drained
Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onions, bell pepper, garlic, turkey, and jalapeno to the pan. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until meat is browned, stirring to crumble.
Add chili powder, brown sugar, ground cumin, tomato paste (or ketchup), dried oregano, black pepper, salt, and bay leaves. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
Stir in wine, tomatoes, and kidney beans. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat & simmer for a couple of hours. Stir occasionally.
Uncover and cook for an additional 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaves if you can find them.
Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and cornbread or rice or whatever you like. Even better, cook the chili the night before and serve for dinner the next day. For some reason chili, soups, and stews taste better the next day.
And leftovers can be used to make nachos!