Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Great Chili Cookoff Part II: The Showdown

The showdown is upon me! Or rather, it was. The chili cookoff went down at work today. It was lots of fun and I ate way too much.

My chili recipe went through a few more iterations before I settled on a final version. I now have both a quick and easy version, as well as a deep delicious flavor version. For whatever reason, the grocery stores have apparently heard my plea and now carry Anaheim/Hatch chiles in the produce section. Nice!
When shopping for a lot of the ingredients in this dish, I paid a bit of attention to the price when shopping. I bought most of this stuff at a Mexican grocer, and then compared that to what my local meg-mart had to offer. As I thought, a grocer that specializes in a region is WAY cheaper than what the big store are offering, and the quality is much better. Case in point: tomatillos are 99 cents a pound at a Mexican grocery, they are usually $3 per pound at the store. So shop smart (shop S-Mart!!)
In the end, my chili came out much to my (and my coworkers) liking. I placed second, raising $84 in my jar for charity. Which is awesome! The organizer of the event placed first, so yeah, maybe I'm a little competative. That's ok. I hope you enjoy the recipe.
Southwestern White Chili

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground turkey (at least 90/10, I like 95/5)
1 onion, diced fine
4 cloves garlic, diced
2 chipotle peppers in their adobo sauce, diced
8 oz green chiles, stems removed
1-2 jalapeno's, stems removed
1 10oz can green enchilada sauce
1 pound fresh tomatillos, husks and stems removed
1 jalapeno
1/4 cup cilantro
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup dry pearled barley
4 cups chicken stock
1 15oz. can cannellini bean beans, rinsed
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder (go for the Ancho kind, its smokey)
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Sour cream

Heat broiler to high. Toss tomatillos, jalapenos, and green chiles in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Arrange tomatillos (stem side down) on a foil lined baking sheet along with jalapeno and green chiles. Place in middle of oven, roast for 5-8 minutes or until slightly charred. Flip and continue to roast until charred on other side. Remove from oven can cool slightly. Peel and seed jalapeno and chiles, remove stem part from tomatillo. Place tomatillos, chiles, jalapeno, cilantro, sugar, green enchilada sauce, and some salt in pepper in a food processor. Pulse until mostly smooth.

Heat about olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add onion and cook until slightly wilted, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook one minute longer. Add turkey, breaking it apart and cooking until it has lost its pink color. Add the chipotles, cumin, chili powder, and some salt and pepper. Stir and cook for about 1 minute. Add the tomatillo mixture, cook for 5 minutes, then add the pearled barley, followed by chicken stock. Stir, bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Add beans and cook 10 more minutes, or until barley becomes only slightly chewy. Remove lid, stir in cornmeal and tomato paste, and cook for about 5 more minutes. Serve topped with a bit of sour cream.

-To simplify the recipe, replace the tomatillos, jalapeno, cilantro, sugar, and green chiles with-

2 4 oz. cans diced green chiles
1 can tomatillos, drained and chopped

Add these ingredients, along with the enchilada sauce, directly to the chili. The depth of flavor will lessen, but it really speeds up the prep time.

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