Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Tale of Two Chilies

While the other coast has been through hell this month, the Pacific Northwest has been surprisingly pleasant. It wasn’t until the onset of Hurricane Sandy that I didn’t have some envy for the people who were registered to run New York. The New York City Marathon will ALWAYS have a special spot in my heart. The first year I ran it (2005), I set a PR. The second year I ran it (2007), I set a PR and so did two of my friends. And the third year I ran it (2011), I was able to pace my best friend to a smashing PR (3:18 – go Sydnie!!). That year affirmed the notion that it’s not always your own personal goals, but seeing the people you care about reach theirs that can mean more.
I had several friends signed up to run NYCM this year, so I was disappointed that they didn’t have a chance to enjoy the 26.2 mile party after months of hard work. But despite the waffling that took place last week, I know it was in everyone’s best interest that Mary Wittenberg and Mayor Bloomberg made the decisions they did. My thoughts and prayers are still with the East Coast, as well as a runners’ prayer for all the racers to conserve their training and energy for an even better marathon in a month, a year, or when the timing is right. For a personal account from a Oiselle friend who was in NYC, check out this post.
With my November theme of sharing wholesome foods, here are the two chili recipes that I have made for the Holidazzle the past two years. Both will keep you warm. Enjoy with friends.

Vegetarian Chili
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
1 2/3 cups coarsely chopped red bell peppers (about 2 medium)
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 15- to 16-ounce cans black beans, drained, 1/2 cup liquid reserved or one can of garbanzos instead of the 3rd can of black beans
1 16-ounce can tomato sauce or a can of diced tomatoes.

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, bell peppers, and garlic; sauté until onions soften, about 10 minutes. Mix in chili powder, oregano, cumin, and cayenne; stir 2 minutes. Mix in beans, 1/2 cup reserved bean liquid, and tomato sauce. Bring chili to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until flavors blend and chili thickens, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle chili into bowls. Top with chopped cilantro, sour cream, grated cheese, and green onions separately. This recipe is pretty spicy, so if you can't take the heat (insert bad cliche or bad hip hop song), take it easy on the chili powder and cayenne. I'm not sure where I found this original recipe, somewhere online years ago.

Turkey Chili
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey
1/4 cup chili powder
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
3 cups beef stock or canned beef broth
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
3 15-ounce cans small white beans, rinsed, drained (could also use 1 can white beans, 1 can black beans, and 1 can kidney beans)

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions; sauté until light brown and tender, about 10 minutes. Add oregano and cumin; stir 1 minute. Increase heat to medium-high. Add turkey; stir until no longer pink, breaking up with back of spoon. Stir in chili powder, bay leaves, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon. Add tomatoes with their juices, breaking up with back of spoon. Mix in stock and tomato sauce. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans to chili and simmer until flavors blend, about 10 minutes longer. Discard bay leaves. Ladle chili into bowls. Top with red onion, cilantro and yogurt separately.

(Both can be prepared a day or two ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium-low heat before continuing.)

Clockwise from top left: 2007 NYCM, double rainbow on
UW campus taken at work, UPS trucks on Staten Island in 2011,
pretty fall day on UW campus taken by JJ

1 comment:

  1. I was planning on making chili this weekend. Thanks for the recipe :)