“Harvest Chili” for that t-day feeling in a one pot meal 

Worth reposting from a 2014 entry,  as I was talking about it with a pal recently and think I will be remaking it myself soon. A

Every so often I want a hearty meal reminiscent of all the traditional flavors of thanksgiving — but a) don’t want to make all the parts or b) its the middle of the summer. So what to do? Figure out how to get all the flavors in a simpler delivery process.  After thinking on this for a few days – I came up with this simple recipe for a “Harvest” chili. Its easy to swap out flavors that suit your tastes was well. This is a “working” recipe. Which means it is in progress-so open to hearing suggestions from folks as well. I’m working on a slow cooker varation as well.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of real butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped, small dice
  • 3-4 Ribs of celery, chopped, small dice
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2  pounds ground turkey
  • 1/2  lb of ground sausage (maple or Italian will work too) bulk style Jimmie Dean style breakfast sausage is my preference here. (You can use the precooked as well – just add in later)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons commercial poultry seasoning
  • 1 – 1-1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley (or ½ cup fresh chopped)
  • 2-3 tablespoons corn starch (or flour)
  • 2 cans, rinsed  and drained red kidney beans
  • 1 -2 pealed & cubed sweet potatoes (raw with skin on- cube them around the same size as the beans)
  • 1 bunch (about 1 pound) Swiss chard, (or spinach or other greens) stems removed, leaves chopped rough
  • 1-1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed (worked with frozen ok – and I used the whole bag  large kernels)
  • Chicken base to equal 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock (even better if you have turkey stock)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  •  Freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
  •  1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (as garnish)
  • Cranberry sauce or chutney (as garnish)
  • Breadcrumbs or crutons (as garnish)

In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or dutch oven, add oil and butter.
Turn on and heat the oil/butter over medium-high heat.
Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add chopped celery stir until soft.
Stir in  fennel seeds, stir well to allow the fennel seeds to get warm and mix with vegetables.
Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
Add poultry seasoning, salt, dried parsley, and red pepper flakes.
Cook until its well incorporated and hot (2- 5 minutes).

Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add oil to the same pan, heat and add the ground turkey and sausage to the pan, cook, stirring frequently, until the turkey is cooked through, about 8 minutes. You want a but if a brown sear. (You can also cook these in two steps)

Drain the oil and return the turkey and sausage to the pot. 

Hint: Add some additonal fennel seeds to the meat while its cooking.

Bring all the meat to heat, add the set aside vegatable mixture together in the larger of the pans. Stir the cornstarch (or flour) into the vegetable/meat mixture (I just add the flour and coat the mixture – but you can also make a slurry with the flour and warm water – then add it with the stock.)

Add chicken stock, kidney beans, chopped sweet potatoes, mix to incorporate – you may need to add more water so it just covers the mixture by an inch.

Bring it up to a simmer, scraping up the brown bits that cling to the bottom & sides of the pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer for 35 minutes and while you still have some moisture add the greens and corn. Cook another 10 – 15 minutes until the chili has thickens.

Turn off the heat or turn down to low,  toss in ¼ – ½ cup of cut (in half) sweet grape or cherry tomatoes, and fresh chopped parsley. I find that adding it at the end and letting the heat of the chili itself “cooks” the tomato and parsley just enough and the seetness of the tomatoes balance the cooked flavors. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste

Note – At this point it’s a personal preference how loose or thick you want the chili – you can add more broth or water – or to add a another layer – pour in a good quality low sodium  turkey gravy .

Alternatives to the recipe included adding Worchester sauce (about 2 tspn) when adding the stock and it gave a nice undertone – worked well with the all turkey version.

You can go for a more traditional touch, chopped Granny Smith apples or peeled chestnuts, raisins or currents and heating  them in it just long enough to get them warm – but still pop when you bite them.  

You can also add cooked rice or fresh tortellini or mini raviolis (cooked) if you want to make it more hardy. 

To serve, place in a bowl, top with croutons and a spoonfull of cranberry sauce or chutney or smoked nuts.

Note: Alternatively, you can toss in some dried “bread cubes” or cubed italian style bread crumbs to give you that “stuffing” feel earlier when you add the tomatoes as well. .

Its a “stick to ur ribs kinda” night

Thank the crockpot gods that some recipes always work..

One from the archives but perfect for the day.
Then once the chicken is gone, with a little help from the emersion blender; soup for the freezer or those special pals

And because every slow cooked meal needs something bright & crisp; apple, yellow pepper & tomato slaw with peach vinegar from my Michigan trip

The original post w/recipe is here: http://bitetheroad.com/2014/03/18/sometimes-you-just-have-to-tinker-with-a-recipe-2-meal-maple-sweet-potato-carrot-butternut-squash-leek-chicken/



Sweet Potato Pound Cake

Decided I would test run a new cake recipe today with one of my favorite foods; sweet potatoes.

Recipe is pretty easy and basic. I’m also thinking of a remake with some leftover sweet potato mash that I made for dinner to see if leftover sweet potato mash will work just as easy as custom made.  The original recipe is from FineCooking.com Magazine Oct/Nov 2016 issue.

The outcome..

It works. The dense and moist pound cake texture has a solid feel, very little crumb. The ginger leaves a nice warm after bite while the sweet potato brings a subtle sweetness reminiscent of the sweet potato biscuits at one of my local favorite restaurants.  Even after a few days  it stayed moist and the ginger flavor grew some..

In fact I bet a simple sugar glaze with either honey or maple syrup instead of the powdered sugar might even be a great alternative topping. I could also see a scoop of vanilla or cinnamon ice cream with a drizzle of carmel sauce. Also curious as to how this would taste studded with candied ginger pieces.

Only caveat is that I see so far is make sure you use the right size pan. The one I used, was smaller than the recipe called for and it definitely over flowed through the center hole.

“Doi Moi” did me right @DoiMoiDC

Another new find while in DC was on 14th street, Doi Moi. I had walked by here several times at  night and its clean white look at night, didn’t start a place for me to want to eat on my own. But one  Saturday, we were walking by animg_3918d wanted an early dinner, and figured we would take a chance to try it. Especially with the mild  weather DC was offering that day. I will say I am super glad we did.

Doi Moi is all about fresh, sharp, clean and especially seasoned flavors that speak to  all the places the recipes are adapted from with none of the synthetic american overplayed control to mess with them.

They have a pretty diverse menu – so pretty much anyone will find one of two things to try. If I had to rate them in order – our least favorite were the Shrimp and Pork Wontons ($15) with szechuan pepper broth, cabbage, cilantro. While not bad to any degree, I just didn’t think they held up to the ret of the dishes. Especially my personally favorite of the night the Crispy Rice Salad ($14) with fermented sausage, herbs, peanuts, fish sauce. Equally as good was the Green Papaya Salad ($13) w/ chili, lime, peanuts, green bean, tomato, trout roe and the Grilled Chicken Thigh Skewers ($8) w/coconut milk, cilantro, fish sauce.

Dos Moi offers both gluten free and vegatarian dishes as well.

location 1800 14th street nw, washington, dc
phone 202.733.5131
twitter @DoiMoiDC
instagram doimoidc



Because life has reminders about how precious each day is..

Major house fire  x 3 the only night on my return home from ATL.

The senior couple that live in the corner home, come to find out last night, while having an impromptu slumber party here at my house with them, actually grew up in the house. Her grabdfather built for her mother.  So the house actually had been her mothers home.  Talk about old CA stock. Here is ABC’s coverage: http://abc7news.com/news/firefighter-injured-in-4-alarm-fire-in-sfs-castro-district/1564148/

Kudos to all the response teams of which there were many on the scene till early this am.

And while I’m likely to be a little tired and crabby by the end of the day not having slept and having a hard time breathing with all of the smoke; spending the evening with her and her husband reminded me at least, that  we have a bed to sleep in and a home to come back to.

More images from last nights fire are posted here:


Dinner at Me Jana

So a delayed but well intended post! Paul and I had dinner one night with our friend Louis on my recent trip to DC and  he introduced us to the incredible food of Me Jana. img_3959

This is true Lebanese cooking with the right flat to make it special, yet the kind of food you think about weeks after and look forward to going back.  All too often I will hit a resturant that uses bold seasoning and flavors to impart the “foreign, exotic” ambiance of the dish and just as often the meal sink because the chef try to hard to hit me in the head with flavor. The brains behind Me Jana understand that quality and taste can be subtle, played and bright and still leave an impact.

Our dishes that night included

  • Watermelon Salad
  • TABOULEH, Parsley, mint, onion, tomato, burgul, olive oil, lemon
  • HOMMOS WITH MEAT* With sautéed beef, roasted pine nuts
  • MAKANEK*, Sautéed sausages, olive oil, lemon
  • SEARED HALLOUMI; Bronzed Halloumi cheese, pears, dates
  • A mixed meat plate of the house grilled favorites
  • HALAWET EL JEBN; Rolled sweet cheese, stuffed with Achta, orange blossom syrup & pistachio
  • ACHTA; Milk pudding, sliced bananas rose water, honey & pistachio
  • I can honestly say I would order all of them again!
    I can’t wait to go back.

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