The weather is cooling off and football season is warming up!  Because our university team is ranked near the top this year  every game matters, and they’re all nail-biters.  This weekend brings the season’s most anticipated and exciting game, OU vs Texas.   It’s a great rivalry, a grudge match for the schools, and every year both cancel classes the day beforehand  so that students can drive to Dallas and watch the pageantry and festivities in the Cotton Bowl, surrounded by the Texas State Fair.   I have mixed feelings about it.  It’s a wild, wild adrenaline ride.   But, sports attract too much attention and praise, relative to the pitiful amount given to academia and research.  The coaches make so much money, making me painfully aware of how broke our academic departments are.  It makes me wonder if the priorities aren’t a bit twisted.   On the other hand, we all know what may happen if the University withdraws financial support  from its  sports programs. The TV revenues will drop, and the schools will have lower profits, resulting in even greater struggles for scientific research.  Having failed to solve this pressing problem of the universe,  I go back to food.  😉 … Ohhh, and I almost forgot: GO SOONERS!

Football food. Several classic options come to mind: hamburgers, grilled sausages, hot-dogs, one-pot type meals like… chili!  Once chili was mentioned, we reached a delightful agreement.  I modified a turkey version from  The Gourmet Cookbook, to showcase the colors of our team, crimson and cream.   It was like throwing a 98-yard touch down pass!

(adapted from Gourmet)

2 chipotle chilis in Adobe sauce (canned)
1/2 cup water
2 cans ( 15 oz each) diced fire roasted tomatoes
2 Tbs olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 Tbs ground cumin
2 pounds ground turkey (dark meat or a 50/50 mix of dark & white)
1 cup chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1 red bell pepper, roasted, chopped
1 – 2 minced serrano peppers
1 Tbs cornmeal
1/2 can of white beans, rinsed (about 8 ounces)
fresh cilantro leaves, minced

Puree the canned chipotle beans with the water in a blender or small food processor, Reserve.

Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan, ad the shallot, saute for a couple of minutes, add the cumin, mix well and cook for another minute.  Add the ground turkey, increase the heat, and cook stirring often, until browned, about 8 minutes.

Add the chipotle puree, the canned tomatoes, chicken stock, bay leaf, oregano, and salt, and simmer without a lid for 1 hour.  If the level of liquid drops below the surface of the meat, add more water.   Add the red bell pepper, serrano chiles, and cornmeal, and continue simmering gently for another 30 minutes.

Stir the white beans into the mixture, discard the bay leaf, taste, adjust seasoning, and right before serving add as much cilantro as you like.  Serve with sour cream, sliced green onions, and shredded cheese on the side.


to print the recipe, click here

Compared to our default recipe for chili, this one is much easier to prepare, and – I cannot believe I’ll be saying this –  I like it even better!   It has beans in it, which would normally turn me off, I rather have my chili with meat and peppers only, in a tomato-base stew.  But, in this case, the beans added creaminess and flavor, perfect alongside the delicate turkey meat.  Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce are simply too tasty.  If you haven’t cooked with them yet, grab some on your next stop at the grocery store and you will be going back for more…

Hope you are all having a great weekend, football or not on your menu…  😉

ONE YEAR AGO: Taking a break from the nano-kitchen

TWO YEARS AGO: Chocolate Chip Cookies

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