Yes, my pressure cooker has been working hard these days. Only last week I shared a recipe for chicken thighs, and now a very nice chili made in 30 minutes. Thanks to the power of pressure, it delivered the same luscious flavor of one left on the stove top for hours, simmering away.  I was not too fond of beans in chili, in fact it’s the first time I made it this way. It won’t be the last. Surprising how well the flavors mingle, with the beans giving a nice creamy feel to the chili without any addition of extra fat.

(adapted from The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book)

1 T olive oil
1.5 pounds ground turkey (I used 93% lean)
1/2 onion, diced (optional, I omitted)
2 ribs of celery, diced
1.5 teaspoons salt
black pepper
1 tablespoon chili
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 can stewed tomatoes (about 14 oz)
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (about 14 oz, I used Muir Glen)
1 can white kidney beans, well-rinsed
1/2 cup water (if needed)
garnishes of your choice

Heat the olive oil in the pressure cooker, add the onion and celery, season lightly with salt and pepper. Sautee until translucent and fragrant. Add the ground turkey and cook in high heat until well-seared. Add the salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika and cumin.  Mix well.

Add the tomatoes, kidney beans, and enough water to almost cover the meat, if needed.  Close the pressure cooker, let it come up to full pressure, and cook for 20 minutes.

Release the pressure quickly, and if needed, reduce the liquid by simmering for a few minutes with the lid open.

Serve with the garnishes of your choice.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Some recipes for turkey chili call for a huge amount of fat in the form of sour cream and cheese. I’ve seen recipes very similar to this one, except for the fact that before serving 3/4 cup of sour cream and 1 cup of shredded cheese would be added, and simmered for a few minutes. Honestly, I don’t see the need. The white beans provide all the creamy feeling we might crave. We enjoyed it quite simply with some diced avocados. This was a comforting chili that did not leave us prostrated on the sofa for a couple of hours. Perfect. The picture above was taken when I re-heated the meal for serving. I had prepared it in the morning for our Sunday dinner. As it is always the case for this type of concoction, it gets better next day. You can do it in the Instant Pot, and you can do it in a regular pan, just cook until super tender, probably 90 minutes or so would be ideal. Come to think of it, the crock pot might come in handy too…

Note to self: try to always keep some parsley or cilantro in the fridge!

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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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