Turkey Enchilada Chili

By: Brady Evans

If you were one of my neighbors, you would have seen my dog, Vinny, running around the yard completely decked out in his Halloween costume on this January morning. Here’s the thing: I was outside doing horse chores and, as always, young Vince had a ton of energy to burn off. He stood at the kitchen door longing to go outside, watching his sister Blue bask in the cold but sunny morning. But he refrained from crossing the threshold because of the cold air kissing his nose.

I knew Vinny would appreciate a little time outside as long as he didn’t feel too cold. So, I shoved his Halloween costume on him because it is lighter than his heavy winter coat and literally pushed the 50-pound pitbull out the door. Sometimes you just have to wing it and do what works. Halloween in January worked.

Rounding out this unfortunately cold day was a nice, warm dinner. On a cold day, nothing sounds more appealing than a hot bowl of chili. As I searched high and low for a can of Chilitomato sauce in my cabinet (as ground turkey and onions sizzled away on the stove top), I came to the slow realization that I ought to abort the chili mission. There was no tomato sauce to be found.

Thinking back to the morning’s Vinny improvisation, I decided that perhaps a can of enchilada sauce would do just fine in my chili. It had roughly the same spices I would add anyway, so I decided to go for it.

And it was great.  It was great enough to actually plan on making it again in the future. Here’s the recipe:

Turkey Enchilada Chili

Ingredients

  • 3/4 lb – 1lb ground turkey
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 15-oz. cans of beans (I used 1 black, 1 kidney)
  • 1 10-oz. can of mild or medium red enchilada sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
  • salt to taste
  • avocado
  • lime wedges

Instructions

  1. In a skillet over medium heat, brown ground turkey and diced onion together until turkey is cooked thoroughly and onion is golden.
  2. In a large saucepan or medium dutch oven, combine ground turkey and onions, beans, enchilada sauce, cumin, and diced tomatoes.
  3. Mixture will be a bit thin. Salt to taste. Simmer 45 minutes until desired consistency, as it thickens as it cooks.
  4. Top with diced avocado and fresh lime.

Chili for Celery Haters

By: Brady Evans

Sometimes, I’ve learned, it is a good idea to keep your mouth shut.  I was sitting around a campfire with friends one recent evening while this chili was simmering on the stove.

Somehow our chatter drifted to the conversation of foods we hate.  One of my guests professed to hating celery.  Oh no.  This recipe had fully 3 stalks of celery in it.

I had a decision to make: should I confess that there was celery in that night’s dinner or not?

Dinner was served outdoors while we mingled around a campfire.  The light was dim so I’m not sure if my celery-hating dinner guest noticed the presence of the vegetable in our dinner or not.  What I did notice was the HUGE serving he ate and the many compliments to the chef he gave.  Celery or not, this chili was a hit.

Beef and Bean Chili (adapted from Jamie Deen’s chili seen on Apple a Day)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. mixed ground beef and Italian sausage, browned and drained
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 c. chopped celery
  • 2 (28-oz. 830 mL) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15-oz., 450 mL) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 TBSP ground cumin
  • 1/4 c. chili powder
  • 1 TBSP dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. Cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 (14.5-oz., 450 mL) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14.5 oz., 450mL) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • salt and freshly-cracked black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • In a skillet brown ground beef and sausage, drain and set aside.
  • Spray large pot with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, red bell pepper, and celery. Saute briefly.
  • Stir in tomatoes. Add cumin, chili powder, oregano, and Cayenne (if desired) and cook for about 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  • Add the beans and browned meat. Partially cover, and let simmer for 4 hours.
  • Preparation time: 15 minute(s)