Turkey & Black Bean Chili

Adapted from a food network recipe by Matt Martinez.

One of my favorite one-pot meals. This is a quick and incredibly flavorful turkey chili with vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 3/4 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 large cloves garlic, sliced
  • 3/4 tablespoon salt (I use 1/2 tablespoon)
  • 3/4 tablespoon black pepper (I use 1/2 a tablespoon)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch (optional)
  • 3/4 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped sweet white onions (I use 1/2 cup)
  • 4 tablespoons coarsely chopped green chilies
  • 1 (14 ounce) can whole stewed tomatoes (I drain the tomato juice into the pot and then chop up the tomatoes into smaller pieces before adding them to the pot).
  • 2 whole chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (I use one pepper and remove the seeds, otherwise it’s too spicy for us)
  • 1 cup fresh corn (I use frozen)
  • 1 cup finely chopped zucchini
  • 1 cup chicken stock (I add 2 cups)
  • I like to add 1 can black beans, drained and barely rinsed

Directions

  1. Preferably using a cast-iron skillet, brown the turkey in the oil.
  2. Add all the ingredients except zucchini and chicken stock, and saute for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add the vegetables and stock, and cook for approximately 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Adjust seasoning to taste, and serve immediately.
  5. I like to serve this with fresh baked corn bread crumbled on top.
  6. *tip – Since you only need one chipotle pepper, separate the peppers in a ziplock bag and freeze for next time.
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Quick Chicken Piccata

From Food Network

Recipe from Food Network

Ingredients

  • 1 pound thinly sliced skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large lemon-half thinly sliced, half juiced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium shallot, chopped
  • 1/3 cup white wine or dry vermouth (I skip this)
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth (I use 2/3 cup since I skip the wine)
  • I like to add 1/4 cup capers, drained and rinsed

Directions

  1. Arrange chicken pieces in a single layer on a large plate or a tray. In a small bowl, mix flour, salt and paprika. Sprinkle half of the seasoned flour over chicken. Turn pieces over and dust with remaining seasoned flour.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over high heat. Add lemon slices and cook 1 minute on each side; remove and set aside. Add chicken pieces to pan in a single layer and cook until golden brown outside and white inside but still juicy, 1 to 2 minutes on each side; remove to a platter.
  3. Melt 1-tablespoon butter in the same skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Pour in wine, broth, and capers and bring to a boil over high heat, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of the pan with a wooden spatula; boil until reduced by half, about 1 minute.
  4. Stir in lemon juice and remaining butter and pour over chicken, garnish with chopped parsley.

Pasta with Cauliflower, Bacon & Breadcrumbs

Recipe from America’s Test Kitchen.

The unique way the pasta is cooked lends a special quality to this delicious dish. There are a few steps involved, but it’s very worth the effort.

Ingredients

  • 3 slices bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large head cauliflower (3 pounds), cored and cut into 1-inch florets
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 pound campanelle pasta (I like Rigatone)
  • 5.5 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (I skip this)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions

BACON PANKO TOPPING: Cook bacon in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until crispy, 5 to 7 minutes. (I remove all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat). Add panko and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until panko is well browned, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer Panko mixture to bowl and set aside. Wipe out the skillet.

CAULIFLOWER: Heat 5 teaspoons oil in now-empty skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add cauliflower and 1 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is crisp-tender and browned in spots, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm. (I’ve had mixed results cooking the cauliflower this way, probably because I don’t have a 12-inch skillet. I prefer to toss the cauliflower with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt and roast in a 450 degree oven until browned, stirring half way through, approximately 20 minutes.

PASTA: Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until onion has softened, 4 to 7 minutes. Increase heat to high, add pasta, broth, and wine, and bring to simmer. Cook pasta, stirring frequently, until most of liquid is absorbed and pasta is al dente, 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove pot from heat; stir in parsley, lemon juice, and cauliflower; and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sprinkle with bread crumb topping, or leave it in a bowl to serve separately.


Crispy Skinned Salmon with Honey Soy Glaze

Photo from eatingwell.com

Adapted from eatingwell.com

Ingredients

  • 1 pound center-cut salmon fillet, and cut into 4 portions
  • 1 scallion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon canola oil

Directions

  1. Whisk scallion, soy sauce, vinegar, honey and ginger in a medium bowl until the honey is dissolved. Place salmon in a sealable plastic bag, add 3 tablespoons of the sauce and refrigerate; let marinate for 15 minutes. Reserve the remaining sauce.
  2. Preheat broiler.
  3. Transfer the salmon to the pan skin side up; discard the marinade. Pat the skin dry with a paper towel. Brush the oil/butter on the skin and sprinkle with a little kosher salt.
  4. Broil the salmon 4 to 6 inches from the heat source until cooked through, 6 to 10 minutes. Drizzle with the reserved sauce and garnish with sesame seeds.
  • To toast sesame seeds, heat a small dry skillet over low heat. Add seeds and stir constantly, until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool.

Lebanese Eggplant Casserole

Lebanese Eggplant Casserole (Shaykh al-Mihshi – which means “meal fit for a king) is my mom’s most requested dish and one of my all time favorite meals. I love her low-fat technique and her secret ingredient, allspice. 

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant or 2 small/medium (see note below about how to pick out an eggplant)
  • 1 pound ground beef (about 10% fat)
  • 2/3 cup minced yellow onion (about 1/2 small onion)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce (preferably Hunts)
  • 1.5 cups water (or fill the empty tomato sauce can 3/4 of the way)
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Directions

When picking out an eggplant choose a “male” which tends to have less seeds. To tell, look on the bottom – if there is a circle it is “male” (left side of photo) and if there is a line it is “female”.

male-female-eggplant

FOR THE EGGPLANT

  1. Wash and dry the eggplant. With a vegetable peeler, peel some of the skin off the eggplant. It will look like stripes when you are done (leaving all the skin can make it bitter or tough).
  2. Slice the eggplant into one-inch disks and lay them on a sheet pan.
  3. With a pastry brush, coat each slice with olive oil. Flip and repeat.

4. Place the sheet pan about 7 inches under the broiler (I use low-heat broil setting) and cook until the eggplant is extremely browned, verging on burnt. Check on them every 2-4 minutes while they broil, as some pieces will need to be flipped and removed before others.

5. Remove eggplant from the broiler and place in a single layer onto a 9×13 inch casserole dish. You may need to squish the pieces of eggplant together in order for all of them to fit (they may not all fit).

6. With the back of a spoon press down into the center of each slice of eggplant to create a crevice for the ground beef to sit in (next step).

FOR THE MEAT

  1. Coat the bottom of a large sauté pan and set heat to medium/high.
  2. Add the onion and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
  3. Add the ground beef, breaking it up as much as possible. Cook until the meat is starting to stick to the pan. While the meat is cooking add the allspice, salt and pepper. Taste the meat at this point to make sure it is well seasoned. Adjust salt/pepper/allspice as needed.
  4. When the meat is done, scoot it over to the side of the pan and toast the pine nuts for a minute or two until starting to turn brown. Once they are toast, mix them into the meat mixture. Remove from heat.

TO ASSEMBLE

1. Place a mound of meat onto each slice of eggplant; press the meat down slightly with the back of the spoon (each slice of eggplant will be like a bowl filled with meat. It’s ok if the meat is spilling over the sides of the eggplant).Place a mound of meat onto each slice of eggplant; press the meat down slightly with the back of the spoon (each slice of eggplant will be like a bowl filled with meat. It’s ok if the meat is spilling over the sides of the eggplant).

2. To the same pan you used to cook the meat, add the tomato sauce and heat through (if there is meat leftover after topping the eggplant, just leave it in the pan and mix it into the tomato sauce).

3. Add the water. Cook over medium heat until the tomato sauce starts to boil. Allow it to simmer about 5 minutes. Taste the sauce and add salt if needed.

4. Pour the sauce over the eggplant. It should just about cover it.

5. Cover the dish with foil and bake at 375-F for about 25 minutes or just until heated through. I use a glass casserole dish and when I see the sauce beginning to bubble in the bottom corner of the dish I know it is ready. I can also hear the sauce bubbling away when I open the oven door to check it.

Serve with Rice Pilaf.