Monday, February 11, 2008

"Cook That Again" Turkey Soup

I made a HUGE mistake today. Well, ok, I made a big mistake yesterday by deciding not to go to Kroger's. Not only did I have more free time yesterday, but yesterday was not the day before February Freeze 2008 - or a major winter storm warning for central Kentucky.

Now since moving "all the way up north" to Lexington, I have many a time called my mother or other random family members to brag about how "it snowed all night last night and I drove right through it to school today!" or said "nope, we are almost out of milk and bread and I didn't even think about going to wal-mart to stock up! That's how they do it up north, y'all" or even taken pictures of my car, buried in a good 1/2" of snow in my parking lot, with the cell phone to send to Dave, just to let him know what a skilled driver I was to navigate out of a parking lot covered with a blanket of white stuff I once dreamed for as a child in north Alabama, where it never snowed (unless you count the great blizzard of 1987, when we all went sledding at the elementary school and my dad pulled us around the hills of our pasture in a plastic swimming pool tied to the back of our 3-wheeler. I'm serious about this. Redneck fun!). However, today, it really is snowing. For real. "They" are saying it's going to get pretty bad, with ice, and actual accumulations over 1". So, that is a sign, even for seasoned snowbirds like Lexingtonians, to head to the nearest grocery store, immediately.

That's what I got in the middle of tonight when I went to Kroger after class. I went to the one off Chinoe, thinking it'd be less insane than the one on Euclid. I was wrong. Everyone in Lexington was at the Kroger on Chinoe. I wouldn't have gone tonight, but we are almost out of milk (seriously! not just saying that because of the snow), and I can't eat my daily cereal without milk, and I was craving a turkey chili. I generally make full-out grocery runs in 30 minutes - door to checkout - and today, it took 45 minutes for a shortened run and wait time in line. It wasn't all that bad, as I got an insight as to what people think is really important in times of stress. I'll consider it an informal participant observation. Should've taken field notes! I saw frantic people getting things like cat food. Lean Cuisines. Gallons of Hawaiian Punch (I'm guessing for addition to vodka and not for their kids?). Bottled water. Milk by the gallon. Ice cream. Toilet paper. By the time I got back out to the parking lot, the lot was covered, it was icy, and I had to scrape my windshield.

I digress. When I got home, I was tired, hungry, and craving a beer for some reason. Turkey chili/soup with a miller lite hit the spot. I changed the name from "chili" to "soup" because of our apartment's definition of chili. What I made tonight just doesn't qualify as chili. Chili-a-la-Rose is hearty, with little soup to it. Turkey chili-a-la-me is more like a soup. Hence the name change. Here is the recipe.

1/2 TB olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 onion, finely diced
1/2 green bell pepper, finely diced
1 jalapeno, finely diced, seeds removed
3 italian turkey sausage links
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 12 oz can of beer (I used Miller Lite, what was in the fridge)
1 can kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 can rotel tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 chipotle in adobo, diced, seeds removed

In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Sautee onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno with salt & pepper until tender, about 10 minutes. Add in the turkey sausage links removed from casings. Add in chili powder and cumin. Break up the sausage with a wooden spoon and cook until sausage is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Add in the can of beer (what better way to deglaze a pan?). Add in the tomatoes, beans, broth, and chipotle. Salt and pepper again to taste. Cook over medium heat until all flavors have incorporated and liquid starts to reduce, anywhere from 15-45 minutes, depending on how hungry you are. Top with sour cream, cheese, and crushed up crackers or tortilla chips.

Once I called it a soup instead of chili, Rose decided it was much better. I don't blame her. It is more of a soup, come to think of it. Either way, we both got seconds and it's going in regular rotation. I based this off a recipe I found on food network's website, but since I just threw things together in a pot based on what I had in the pantry, I am taking full credit for this one. It's also very healthy. There's only about 34 grams of fat in the entire pot, and there are at least 4-6 servings in one recipe. Using turkey sausage instead of regular sausage cuts out a ton of fat, and gives more flavor than just plain ground turkey. It certainly hit the spot on this cold, snowy night.

Now, we are sitting around, useless, praying they cancel school for tomorrow (they won't) and that we get a snow day (we won't). It's not that I even have a lot to do tomorrow, but who doesn't like a snow day?

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