Tag Archives: Chipotle

Turkey Chili and Savory Chipotle-Jack Scones

6 Mar Spicy Turkey Chili

This week we had the first snowstorm of the year in New England! Yes, you read that correctly, here it is the beginning of March and we have only had ONE real snowstorm this year. In fact, my little town of Berwick, received about 14 inches of the white stuff. It snowed continuously for almost 2 days. We then had cold rain and sleet to follow it up. I can tell you that I did not miss it one little bit. If global warming means that New England will have warmer winter weather and less snow, then I am all for it!

All that cold and wet weather made for a perfect time to cook up a batch of some energy packed Turkey Chili. My turkey chili is made with lean ground turkey breast. The other thing that I love from my recipe is that once you prep all the ingredients, you can be sitting down to eat in 40 minutes. This chili requires none of the long stewing that some meat based recipes require.

Turkey Chili

Turkey Chili

When I usually make this chili, I setup a mise en place and then commence with the cooking. I found that this gives me complete focus on the cooking, rather than having to worry about cooking AND prepping at the same time. This recipe also has an added bonus of using beer, so feel free to consume while you are cooking!

I accompanied the chili with a savory scone recipe that I wanted to test out. I absolutely cannot eat chili without bread, or cornbread, or some other type of chili-sopping food item. This time I wanted to do something a bit different, so what could be more different than a savory scone? The first flavor combination that popped into my head was chipotle and cheese. So I went about researching recipes for various types of scones, I settled upon a lighter version from Cooking Light. The only variation that I made was that I added bit more chipotle and used monterry jack cheese instead of cheddar.

Chipotle Jack Scones

Chipotle Jack Scones

Grab a Corona, serve yourself up a bowl of turkey chili, grab a chipotle-jack scone, and enjoy!

So what are your traditional recipes for Chili? What would you suggest to make this recipe even better?

 

Turkey Chili

  • 1 pkg (1.3 lbs)  Ground Turkey Breast
  • 2 ½  tblsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp dried epazote
  • 1 28oz. can of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 3 chiles poblano
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of pinto beans
  • 1 can white hominy (pozole)
  • 1 yellow onion (for this recipe I used a vidalia)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 chipotles in adodo
  • 1 tblsp. sauce from the adobo can
  • 2 tblsp olive oil
  • About 1 cup of beer
  • About 1 cup of water

Mise en place all the ingredients:

  • Chop the onions and mince the garlic and place in a small bowl.
  • Combine the chili powder, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and paprika in another bowl.
  • Roast, peel, seed, and devine the chili poblanos, chop and place in another small bowl.
  • Remove the seeds from the chipotles and place with the adobo sauce in another small bowl.
  • Rinse the beans well and place together in a small bowl together with the epazote.
  • Rinse the hominy, then remove the seeds from each kernel, place in a small bowl.
  • In a large bowl, take the tomatoes and crush through your fingers to make a nice pulp.

Now that you have all the ingredients ready, we can start to cook!

  1. Heat the olive oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat
  2. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the onion and garlic with a pinch of salt and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the ground turkey and with your mixing spoon, break the ground turkey up really well.
  4. Once you have broken it up, add the bowl with the spices. Mix well to combine and cook for about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the beer and continue to cook until the ground turkey mixture is reduced to more than half, about 8 minutes
  6. Now add the chili poblano and mix well to combine.
  7. Next add the tomatoes. Once it comes back to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring regularly.
  8. After 20 minutes, add the beans with the epazote and mix well to combine.
  9. Add the hominy, again, mix well to combine.
  10. At this point you can add the 1 cup of water if you desire a more soupy consistency.
  11. Simmer for another 20 minutes on medium-low heat.
  12. Serve with those delicious chipotle-jack scones and some more beer!

    Spicy Turkey Chili

    Spicy Turkey Chili

Chipotle-Jack Scones

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp cold butter, cut into chunks
  • 3/4 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup shredded monterry jack cheese
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • 2 tbsp. chopped chipotles in adobo (about 3 large chipotles)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and butter in a large mixing bowl and mix with a pastry blender until well combined and crumbly.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon (I used some damp hands!) until the dough is well formed and just a tad sticky.
  4. Lightly grease a cookie sheet with some cooking spray and divide the dough in two halves and place on the baking sheet.
  5. Form each ball of dough into a circle just about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thick.
  6. Then with a sharp knife or a pastry knife, divide into 6 triangles by cutting each circle in half, then making an “X”.
  7. Place some parchment paper a spread the triangles out on the tray about 1 inch or more apart as they will rise during baking.
  8. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, halfway through I rotated the sheets in the oven to ensure even baking.

    Chipotle Jack Scones

    Chipotle Jack Scones

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Baja Fish Tacos

27 Feb Baja Fish Tacos

 

Back in my days in the U.S. Marines, when I was stationed in Southern California, I used to take weekend trips with some friends down to Rosarito Beach, Mexico. Among all the wonderful things that Rosarito Beach had to offer, one of my first stops was to this little taco stand across from the hotel we always stayed at. Although I do not remember the name of the place anymore, I certainly do remember the flavors! The fish tacos were unlike any I have ever tasted, fried in a rich batter, served with fresh, handmade, corn tortillas, cabbage, salsa, and a delicious mayonnaise, served with a ice cold Pacifico clara! To me, this was the ultimate weekend getaway!

Baja Fish Tacos

These flavors were all but forgotten until I watched an episode of Rick Bayless’s outstanding series, Mexico: One Plate at A Time. There he was making what sounded like the same fish tacos I had fell in love with all those years ago! I instantly placed a sticky note in my head to test out this recipe and share the recipe with you!

I made a few modifications to his recipe for my tastes, but if you want the exact recipe, you can find it at his website under Classic Ensenada Fish Tacos. I left out the baking powder, as I found that the batter became very “puffy” while frying and I added some lime zest to bring a bit of citrus flavor to the beer batter. You can experiment with different types of beers also, a deep amber beer will give this batter a great nutty flavor, almost any type of beer will work, but I would avoid using a wheat beer, as it tends to alter the consistency of the batter.  You will also find that my salsa is different than his, I am using a classic salsa recipe that I learned from my wife. Finally, I use a chipotle sauce rather than a plain jane mayonnaise based sauce. I just like the smokiness of chipotle with the citrus flavors of the fish. None of these modifications are to say that I know better than Rick Bayless, I just wanted to add a bit of my own flavors to his great recipe!

Baja Fish Tacos

One of the best things about testing out a recipe is getting to eat the finished product. I cracked open a cold bottle of Corona and took a bite of my fish taco. I closed my eyes and was instantly transported back to that little roadside taco stand in Rosarito Beach…

 

 

 Baja Fish Tacos

(Adapted from Rick Bayless’s Ensenada Fish Tacos )

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless fish fillets (I like halibut or cod, but you can use just about anything)
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chicken-flavor powdered bouillon (I use Knorr)
  • 1 cup beer
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Lime zest
  • Salt
  • Vegetable oil to a depth of 1 1/2 inches for frying

Garnishes:

  • ½ head savoy cabbage, thinly sliced
  • Salsa de Chile Arbol (see below)
  • Chipotle Sauce (see below)
  • Lime wedges
  1. Finely mince the garlic, sprinkle generously with salt, then mash back and forth with the side of a knife across a cutting board until it makes a paste.
  2. Put the garlic paste into a medium bowl and add the oregano, black pepper, mustard, bouillon, beer, lime zest and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  3. Add the flour to the wet ingredients and whisk just until combined.
  4. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet or dutch oven to 370 degrees.
  5. Cut the fish into pieces about 3 inches long by 1/2 inch square
  6. Take a piece and dip it completely into the batter, then lay it gently in the oil.Keep going with a few more pieces (4 at a time). Fry, turning regularly, until they are a deep golden brown and crisp, about 4 minutes.
  7. Drain on a paper towel and then place in a warm oven on a wire rack over a sheet pan while the rest of the fish are frying.
  8. Set out with cabbage, salsa, warm corn tortillas, limes and the crispy fish for everyone to make tacos.

    Baja Fish Tacos

 

Salsa de Chile Arbol

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 peel of onion
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, loosely packed
  • 1/2 ounce (15-20) dried arbol chiles
  • 1 roma tomato
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  1. In a small saucepan, bring about 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil.
  2. Remove the stems and caps from the chiles.
  3. In an ungreased skillet over medium heat, toast the chiles, toss constantly to avoid burning, until the chiles fill the kitchen with their toasty aroma, about 1 1/2 minutes.
  4. Once the chiles are toasted, put them in the boiling water with the tomato and boil for about 5 minutes.
  5. Drain well and place in a blender or a food processor with the garlic,onion, and cilantro. Pulse until nearly smooth.
  6. Add the salt.

    Chile de Arbol

    Chile de Arbol

 

Chipotle Sauce

  • 1/3 cup Chipotle Mayo
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup milk
  1. Whisk all ingredients together until you make a smooth sauce.

 

Chipotle Mayonaise

  • ¼ cup grapeseed oil
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ tablespoon water
  • ½  tablespoon chipotle chile powder
  • 1/8 of a teaspoon salt
  1. Using an immersion blender in a deep cup (I use a Pyrex 4 cup measuring cup), blend the yolk, liquid, chile powder, and salt.
  2. While still blending, start incorporating  the oil mixture a bit at a time (What I do is put the oil in a squeeze bottle).
  3. Once all the oil is incorporated, you will have a nice, thick, mayo.

    Baja Fish Tacos

    Baja Fish Tacos

Tortas DelGrosso

19 Dec Roasted Chicken Torta

If there is one absolute in America, it is that America Runs on Sandwiches. On average, Americans consume about 45 BILLION sandwiches per year! That is about 193 sandwiches per person! Given these statistics it would make perfect business sense to capitalize on this market and open a chain of small, casual restaurants that deal exclusively in Tortas; Tortas DelGrosso

A Torta is the Mexican version of the sandwich.  It is usually served on a deliciously fresh, crunchy roll called a Talera. It was first introduced to Mexico by the French in Puebla. But in Mexico City they are characterized by their complex variety that exceeds most other states within Mexico. As with most dishes in Mexico, each state or region has its own unique version of the Torta. From the ahogadas of Guadalajara, which are Tortas drowned in a spicy red chile sauce, to the Cemitas of Puebla, distinguished by the fluffy sesame seeded egg roll.

Of course, in the DelGrosso kitchen, if it is worth cooking, it is worth cooking from scratch. So, since I have never baked bread before, I did a little research on the fine art of making bread in a KitchenAid mixer and also on a recipe for Talera rolls. Fortunately, I was able to find some great resources.  I suggest making the rolls the day before, unless you have 2 ovens (which I do not!).

Pan Talera

Pan Talera

My first efforts in bread making went very well, although my second proof was not so well executed. I am an impatient person and I only allowed the rolls to rise for about 1 hour, instead of 2 hours on the second proof. Therefore, they were a bit flat and the crust was a little on the thick side.  They were still tasty rolls however!

Pan Talera

(Talera Rolls recipe adapted from Rocky Point Tides)

  • 8 ½ cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ oz active dried yeast
  • 2 ½ cups water

Directions (Using a KitchenAid standing mixer)

  1. Activate yeast by sprinkling into ¼ water that is between 105°-115° F and wait for it to start foaming (10 minutes).
  2. Mix the flour, salt, and sugar in your mixing bowl of you standing mixer.
  3. Once the yeast is activated, turn your mixer on 2 and add yeast and the water, mix until well mixed and the dough comes together, it will form a sticky dough. Do not continue to knead the dough.

    First Mix

    Just before the first proofing.

  4. Lift the mixing head and remove dough from hook if necessary.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and a towel and let it sit in a warm, draft free place for 2 hours, in that time it should double in size.
  5. After two hours, uncover and put head down and turn on setting 2 and knead the dough for 10-15 minutes. You may need to take the dough of the hook from time to time. You will know it has been kneaded enough when it takes on a smooth silky appearance.
  6. Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a floured board or work surface. Divide the dough into 20 equal sized balls.
  7. Brush each with vegetable oil and dust lightly with flour.
  8. Flatten each ball evenly with your hand to form an oblong or round shape about 1 inch thick.
  9. Lightly score the top lengthwise in two evenly spaced places using a very dull knife.
  10. Place the rolls on baking sheets and cover them and set in a warm place for another 2 hours, or until they have almost doubled in size once again.

    The proofing!

    More proofing needed!

  11. Bake them in a 360° oven until they are golden brown.  I set the timer for 20 minutes and then start checking them so they do not get too brown.

    The finished product

    The finished product!


 

Roasted Chicken Torta

  • 1 Torta Roll
  • 1 cup shreeded roasted chicken breast
  • ½ cup refried beans (frijoles de olla)
  • ½ cup Shredded Queso Oaxaca (or a Sliced Mozzarella cheese or a mild provolone)

Toppings:

  • Chipotle Mayonnaise
  • Avocado Slices
  • Slice Tomato
  • Sliced Onion
  1. Split the roll in half lengthwise and scoop out some of the soft interior bread.
  2. Spread the beans on the bottom half and the chipotle mayonnaise on the top half.
  3. Place the cheese on the bean side of the bread.
  4. Pile the roasted chicken on top of the cheese.
  5. Top with the onion, tomato, and the avocado slices.
  6. Cap the torta and cut in half with a serrated knife and enjoy!
Roasted Chicken Torta

Roasted Chicken Torta

Chipotle Mayonnaise

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 or 2 medium chipotles from a can
  • 1 tablespoon of the adobo sauce from the can
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  1. Put the yolk, mustard, and chiles in a blender or food processor and turn on the machine.
  2. While it’s running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream to create the emulsion.
  3. Add the lemon juice to finish off the emulsion.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste.

Supper Simply

27 Oct

Now I usually take all week to dream up some creation to share with all of you on Monday, but I just could not resist this evening. Tonight was fish night, so I stopped by my friendly neighborhood fish monger, Taylor’s Lobster, and picked out a nice 1 pound portion of fresh halibut fillet.

Chipotle Baisted Halibut

So how did I know the fish I was buying was fresh? Let me tell you how to

make sure the fish you are buying is fresh. First look at the fillet, as a fish sits around, its flesh will of course, decay, so look at the flesh of the fish, the color will begin to fade. Salmon will become less red and vibrant, whitefish such as cod or in our case, halibut, will become more dull and faded, not the bright fresh white that you want to see. Next, if your fish monger lets you (any quality fish guy or gal will let you), ask to hold the fillet, and then smell it. It should of course smell like the sea, but it should not have any pungent aromas. Finally, touch the fish, press it with your finger, the flesh should be responsive and spring back. If your fingerprint remains, then it is not a fresh piece of fish. Now that we know the halibut I had was fresh, let me tell you how I prepared it, what I served it with, and how I BOTCHED the plating!

So take that 1 pound of beautiful fish, rinse it under cold water, pat it dry with some paper towel, take a sharp chef’s knife and divide it up into 3 portions (smoke coming from my head as I take 16 ounces and divide it by three). Squeeze some grapefruit juice (about 1 tablespoon) over the fish, and lightly salt the fish. Take a non-reactive mixing bowl, preferably stainless steel or glass, and take 1/8 of a cup of adobo sauce (just strain the entire can) from a can of chipotles (La Costena of course!), another tablespoon of grapefruit juice into the bowl, and 1 finely minced clove of garlic. Then slowly whisk in 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil into the bowl. Now you have your basting sauce.

Preheat the oven to 425F. Brush a bit of the chipotle sauce on a baking pan, then place the halibut on top of the sauce so it will not stick to the pan. Brush a generous portion of basting sauce on top of the fish and put it in the oven. Now the general rule of thumb with fish is 10 minutes per inch of thickness. So my fillet is about 1 inch thick, I am going to set a timer for 5 minutes. Why am I going to set a timer for 5 minutes? Halibut is not an oily fish, so it will dry out if cooked without any type of oil or butter. So halfway through, I am going to baste the fish with the basting sauce. Wonderfully simple!

While the fish is in the oven, I am bringing about 1 cup of water to a boil in a medium saucepan for the couscous. I have added a pinch of kosher salt, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil instead of butter for health reasons. Once that comes to a boil, I stir in about 2/3 of a cup of whole wheat couscous, cover it, and remove from the heat. Just before plating, I am going to add a bit of lemon zest, then fluff the couscous with a fork.

I now hear my timer going off on the oven for the second time. I check the fish… How do we know when the fish is done? One could simply take a thermometer and insert it into the thickest part of the flesh, when it reads nearly 145F, it is mere seconds from being done. Fish transitions from done to overdone VERY quickly, so I would recommend to watch it closely! I usually use a stoneware baking dish, so the dish holds a tremendous amount of heat after I pull it from the oven and my fish will continue to cook a bit out of the oven. I usually pull it just a smidge early knowing this, but I do need to work quickly. I take a rather hot sauté pan, spray it with some canola cooking spray and sauté off my baby spinach. With a hot pan, it will cook quickly, once all the spinach is nice and wilted, it is done.

So now I can tell you my story on the plating. I wanted to take a nice, haute, photo to put up here so certain eyes see it and become impressed with my plating techniques (you know who you are). But being me, Mr. A.D.D., I simply forgot to pay attention to detail. I placed a bed of sautéed Baby Spinach on the plate, took my circular food mold and scooped in my couscous. I placed a nice portion of fish on top of the bed of couscous, garnished it with a sprig of cilantro and a slice of lime and called it a day! DOH! Once I took the photo and dined on the fish, I rememebered that I had a bit of chipotle basting sauce left that I was going to drizzle around the fish! Yet another lesson learned!

So now after about no more than 30 minutes, we have supper! Open up a chilled bottle of Pinot Grigio (I like The Houge from the Yakima Valley for halibut) and pour a glass for you and your significant other! I hope you enjoy this recipe!