Monday, September 29, 2008

Meatballs Times Two

I have mixed feelings about Food Network. There is a part of me that thinks it's crap. I mean, Sandra Lee, Guy with sunglasses on his neck, crummy specials. Sometimes it's really hard to watch. Yet I appreciate what Food Network has done around our country, inspiring home cooks and opening people up to new tastes and ideas. I think I lean more towards the positive side, and I even have some shows I enjoy watching (I love Giada for everyday cooking, and Ina Garten is fantastic!). A couple weekends ago I was being lazy on Sunday morning, and got sucked in to watching Danny Boon- The Rescue Chef.

First off, he is an obnoxious flirt. Seriously, I wanted to smack him and tell him to stop trying so hard. But I could tell from watching his knife skills and listening to him talk that he did have some skill that I could learn from. And what really pulled me in is that we was making turkey meatballs, something I love but have yet to find a good recipe for. He added some interesting ingredients-- pine nuts and golden raisins-- and put the meatballs into a soup instead of just using them with spaghetti. I was sold, and made this recipe that very night.

While I don't think I found my All-Time Perfect Golden Turkey Meatball recipe, I do think I got some good ideas to put towards that perfect recipe. First, I loved the slight crunch of the pine nuts and the surprising sweetness of the golden raisins. I also thought it was a great tip to lightly dredge the meatballs in flour before frying. It made the meatballs crispy and not at all mushy, which was something I'd struggled with during past meatball making experiments. The soup wasn't bad, but I don't know if I'd make it again. But the meatballs were a good recipe, and I enjoyed using them for multiple, very different dinners.

Turkey Meatballs from The Rescue Chef on Food Network

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced (about 3/4 cup)
2 cups dry broken-up white bread
1 cup milk
1 pound ground turkey meat
2 large eggs, well beaten
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup golden raisins, hydrated in warm water
1/2 cup pine nuts, slightly toasted
1 cup vegetable oil

In a heated skillet add olive oil and onions. Slightly cook them for about 5 minutes (we want the onions softened not colored). Place into a bowl and let cool.

Take the 2 cups of broken up bread and place into a bowl with the milk. Let the bread soak for 5 minutes. Squeeze and drain the bread then place it into a large mixing bowl. Add the turkey meat, beaten eggs, chopped parsley, salt, black pepper, golden raisins and toasted pine nuts.
Fold all ingredients together. Do not over work the turkey meat.

Fill a Dutch oven with vegetable oil and place on low heat. Dust a baking sheet with about an inch of flour.

In your hands scoop up a two-finger portion of the turkey mixture and with the palm of your hands shape the balls a little larger than a golf ball. As you make the balls add them to the baking tray with the flour and roll them until evenly coated.

Carefully add the meatballs to the oil and brown for about 6 minutes. Transfer turkey meatballs to a plate and set aside for bean soup. Pour excess oil into a bowl.

If you want to try the soup, click here for the recipe.

I used my homemade marinara sauce with the pasta. You can find my recipe here.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Daring Bakers: Lavash Crackers with Hummus

The Daring Bakers challenge this month was quite different from the last two challenges I participated in. It was a savory recipe, and it was something that was relatively simple. Yet the challenge in this recipe was that it was something I would never think to bake. The challenge was to make Lavash Crackers, with some kind of dip or spread to have with them. Both elements needed to be vegan, and the spread had to be both gluten-free and vegan.

The hosts were two alternative Daring Bakers, Natalie and Shelly. They did a great job picking a recipe that was different from our past challenges. Thanks ladies, for this fun challenge!

I tried to make a version of everything crackers, with onion flakes, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and sea salt. The toppings did not stick as much as I would like, but were still a good flavor combination. I did as our hosts suggested, and rolled out the dough into two different sheets, and tried to get it as think as possible. When they first came out of the oven the crackers were still pretty soft, and I was disappointed in the texture. But I let them cool, but them in a tuperware, and left the house for the evening. When I got home the next day, I just had to taste my crackers again. To my delight, they had become perfectly crisp, and actually seemed like real crackers! At that point I could not stop eating them, and they were gone quicker than I expected! I would LOVE to make this again, maybe next time we're having friends over for dinner. The crackers would be a great part of an appetizer platter, and who isn't going to be impressed if you make your own crackers?!

Lavash Crackers from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice

The key to a crisp lavash,…is to roll out the dough paper-thin. The sheet can be cut into crackers in advance or snapped into shards after baking. The shards make a nice presentation when arranged in baskets.

Makes 1 sheet pan of crackers (I did mine as two batches, to make sure they were thin)

* 1 1/2 cups (6.75 oz) unbleached bread flour
* 1/2 tsp (.13 oz) salt
* 1/2 tsp (.055 oz) instant yeast
* 1 Tb (.75 oz) sugar
* 1 Tb (.5 oz) vegetable oil
* 1/3 to 1/2 cup + 2 Tb (3 to 4 oz) water, at room temperature
* Poppy seeds, sesame seeds, paprika, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, or kosher salt for toppings

1. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt yeast, sugar, oil, and just enough water to bring everything together into a ball. You may not need the full 1/2 cup + 2 Tb of water, but be prepared to use it all if needed.

2. Sprinkle some flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Knead for about 10 minutes, or until the ingredients are evenly distributed. The dough should pass the windowpane test (see … ong-Enough for a description of this) and register 77 degrees to 81 degrees Fahrenheit. The dough should be firmer than French bread dough, but not quite as firm as bagel dough (what I call medium-firm dough), satiny to the touch, not tacky, and supple enough to stretch when pulled. Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

3. Ferment at room temperature for 90 minutes, or until the dough doubles in size. (You can also retard the dough overnight in the refrigerator immediately after kneading or mixing).

4. Mist the counter lightly with spray oil and transfer the dough to the counter. Press the dough into a square with your hand and dust the top of the dough lightly with flour. Roll it out with a rolling pin into a paper thin sheet about 15 inches by 12 inches. You may have to stop from time to time so that the gluten can relax. At these times, lift the dough from the counter and wave it a little, and then lay it back down. Cover it with a towel or plastic wrap while it relaxes. When it is the desired thinness, let the dough relax for 5 minutes. Line a sheet pan with baking parchment. Carefully lift the sheet of dough and lay it on the parchment. If it overlaps the edge of the pan, snip off the excess with scissors.

5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit with the oven rack on the middle shelf. Mist the top of the dough with water and sprinkle a covering of seeds or spices on the dough (such as alternating rows of poppy seeds, sesame seeds, paprika, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, kosher or pretzel salt, etc.) Be careful with spices and salt - a little goes a long way. If you want to pre-cut the cracker, use a pizza cutter (rolling blade) and cut diamonds or rectangles in the dough. You do not need to separate the pieces, as they will snap apart after baking. If you want to make shards, bake the sheet of dough without cutting it first.

5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the crackers begin to brown evenly across the top (the time will depend on how thinly and evenly you rolled the dough).

6. When the crackers are baked, remove the pan from the oven and let them cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. You can then snap them apart or snap off shards and serve.

And the Hummus...
I decided to once again try to make my own hummus. I just can't hit on an exact combination that makes me happy. There is a Middle Eastern grocery store near my gym that has amazing flavors on hummus, and I really don't know how I can top it! The hummus I made was ok, but nothing I'd really recommend. If you have a suggestion on the perfect hummus recipe, let me know! Thanks!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The 100th Post! Focaccia you don't want to miss

I didn't mean to save this recipe for my 100th post, but it is a fantastic recipe that fits the occasion. As the grand daughter of not one, but two Italian grandmothers, Focaccia is something I've always known and loved. My mom used to make it often, and I was never disappointed when it was a part of our dinner. I just don't bake bread often these days, though, because Joe and I only make it about 1/2 way through any loaf before it gets stale or moldy. I had never made focaccia on my own, so when I saw the recipe for Potato Focaccia with Thyme, I felt the time had come to try it myself.

This recipe actually came from a grilling book that Joe got for his birthday. The recipe was pretty simple and straightforward, but with the dough rising it does take a bit of time. Boiling the potatoes ahead of time was key; it made them so creamy and rich tasting on the finished bread. I think thyme may have overtaken rosemary as my all time favorite herb, and combined with the gruyere perfectly. I do think next time I might have made half the dough and rolled it out thinner, because it was a little too bready when the cheesey, herbed potatoes were the best part. This focaccia is sure to be a crowd pleaser, and I'm happy to report that the leftovers are great for breakfast the next day!

Potato Focaccia with Thyme from Grilling, by Eric Treuille and Birgit Erath

Dough Recipe:
3 1/2 cups all- purpose flour
2 tsp salt
1 1/3 cups lukewarm water
2 tsp active dried yeast
2 tbsp olive oil

Place the flour in a bowl. Make a well in the middle and sprinkle the salt around the edges. Pour the water into the well and sprinkle with the yeast. Let stand 5 minutes to allow the yeast to soften, then stir to dissolve. Add the olive oil to the mixture.

Draw in the rest of the flour to make a warm, sticky dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and kneed for ten minutes, until smooth, light, and elastic. Put back into the bowl, cover with a cloth, and leave until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

Topping Recipe:

1 lb baby potatoes
1 1/2 cups grated gruyere cheese
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/4 cup creme fraiche (optional... and I use creme fraiche every chance I get!)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut potatoes into 1/4 inch slices. Bring a pan of salted water to a boil, add the potatoes, bring back to a boil and cook until they centers are just tender when pricked, about 5 minutes.

Deflate the dough and roll out into a flat round about 9 inches across; place on an oiled baking sheet (or pizza stone). Sprinkle half the cheese on top of the shaped dough. Arrange the potato slices over cheese. Top with remaining cheese. Sprinkle with thyme, salt, and pepper. Dot the potatoes with creme fraiche. Bake until bread is puffed and topping is crisp; about 30 minutes.

See, great for breakfast with a salmon and tomato omlet!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I need your help...

You may have noticed I changed the format of my blog. Now that it's fall and I'm less busy, I'm back to being obsessed with food and blogging. I want to make my blog better, and I figured I should do some kind of contest where people give me suggestions on how to improve this blog. But I'm not doing the contest quite yet! First, just tell me something simple. What kind of give away should I have? I'm thinking either a cookbook, a few kitchen gagets, or some decorative kitchen stuff. Suggestions? What do you want to win??

Don't forget to check back in the next week or so, when I'll do the actual give away, too! Thanks for your help!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Smoked Salmon Crisps

When I saw this adapted Thomas Keller recipe in Food and Wine a few months ago, I knew it was an appetizer I would enjoy. But it looked a little challenging and unfamiliar (what exactly is a tuile?), so I didn't really think about making the recipe. The picture looked beautiful, but complicated. I know, it claimed to be an "easy" recipe, but it just looked like something I would never have time for.

As you read in my last post, I didn't have to work yesterday, so I decided I needed to use my extra time around the house to make a delicious dinner. I wanted something more complicated and gourmet than my day to day cooking, and I looked towards Food and Wine magazine for inspiration. When I saw the Smoked Salmon Crisps, I knew I'd found my recipe. It was absolutely more upscale than our usual Thursday night cooking, but it still looked manageable.

I followed the directions exactly, but had a little bit of trouble making the tuiles. It said they would make about 3 dozen... I made 10. I guess that means I didn't quite spread them thin enough, but that was something I didn't realize until it was too late. Also, they did not cook evenly, and ended up well done on the edges but pretty pale in the middle. I decided to use them anyway, and they still tasted pretty fantastic. Buttery and sweet, they were a perfect complement to the salty salmon mixture on top. And crème fraîche is one of my favorite things in the world, so having it on top just made this appetizer come together.

I LOVED these crisps, and intend to make them again. I think I will just cook at a slightly lower temperature, and be careful when spreading out the dough. It would be a great appetizer to make when we're having a dinner party, too, because I could make the tuiles and salmon mix in advance, and assemble at the last minute.

Smoked Salmon Crisps
from Food and Wine magazine, July 2008

Chef Way: Thomas Keller’s salmon cornets (tuiles shaped into tiny cones and topped with crème fraîche and fresh salmon) are a famous kickoff to his luxe and whimsical meals at the French Laundry in Napa Valley. The original recipe appears in The French Laundry Cookbook (Artisan).
Easy Way: Shaping the tuiles into cones is tricky and involves working very quickly with a cornet mold. Instead, leave the tuiles flat, like crackers. Top them with store-bought smoked salmon and crème fraîche.

4 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 chilled large egg white
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
4 ounces sliced smoked salmon, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons very finely chopped shallot
1 1/2 teaspoons very finely chopped chives, plus a few snipped, for garnish
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Freshly ground white pepper
1/2 cup crème fraîche
Preheat the oven to 400°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the sugar and salt. Add the egg white and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the butter until smooth and creamy.

Spoon teaspoons of the batter 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets and spread to 2-inch rounds. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and bake in the upper and middle third of the oven for about 15 minutes, shifting the pans from top to bottom and front to back, until the tuiles are golden and fragrant. Let cool.
In a medium bowl, combine the salmon with the shallot, chopped chives, lemon zest and a pinch of white pepper. Spoon the salmon onto the tuiles and top with a dollop of crème fraîche and a couple of snipped chives. Serve right away.

While I like a good glass of wine, I do have to admit that Joe and I are much more into drinking good beer. This beer is one of my all time favorites. La Chouffe is from Belgium, and my mom introduced me to it when I was in the Netherlands last October. It's a white beer with a really interesting spice flavor, and I can't get enough of it! It's pretty hard to find in the States, so when I saw it at Trader Joe's recently I had to pick it up. But even if the $9 price tag turns you off, it is sooooo worth it! This was the perfect special drink to go with my gourmet appetizers.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A weekday at home

What a great day it's been! I realized earlier this week that I had a floating holiday that I needed to use before the end of the month, so I decided to take today off from work. When I told Joe about my plan, he started feeling "sick" and ended up staying home today, too ;) We spent a decent part of the day being completely lazy, but also got very inspired in the kitchen. Joe and I each had little projects we did on our own, and we also worked together to make a fantastic dinner. As I'm writing, Joe's grilling pineapple for dessert, so the feast is not over yet!

First, I took advantage of my time at home to make the Slow Roasted Tomatoes I saw on the Perfect Pantry. Holy cow! What a gorgeous combination of ingredients. The smell was amazing as they slow roasted their way to a caramelized, juicy, sweet treat. I couldn't tell quite how long to cook them, but I think I took them out at the perfect time. Tasting them a few hours later was a treat, and I have a feeling these won't last long in my house!

While I did the tomatoes, Joe had a cooking project of his own. He'd seen Alton Brown make cottage cheese recently, and decided this day at home was the perfect time to try it out. It was a really simple recipe, with very little hands on time. It turned out great! The cottage cheese was more firm than what I would buy at the store, and kind of reminded me of the texture of string cheese. It was moist and satisfying, even though the original recipe was a bit too salty. I think we'll make this again, just with about 1/2 the salt. The recipe is from

We also made a fantastic dinner, with Thomas Keller inspired salmon crisps for an appetizer, Thyme and Potato Focaccia, and Garlic and Mustard pork skewers. I am going to save dinner for a different post, so tune in again for those recipes...

Monday, September 15, 2008

Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes

I am starting to feel the blog pressure. Summer is over, traveling has ended, and life should be slowing down. I really have been enjoying some time in the kitchen, but my blog has yet to rebound from the busy period I had this summer. Really, this just shows how lucky I am. I have great friends, an amazing husband, and a happy, full life. But I love this blog, too, so I'm going to try to be more disciplined about sharing my cooking as we move into fall.

I have to share this recipe before it gets too late, because tomato season will be gone before we know it. What a fun recipe this was! I feel like stuffing tomatoes usually has a very tasty result, and the red quinoa I used was a great new addition to my kitchen. I have really enjoyed quinoa since I discovered it a few months ago, and when I saw the red variety at the store I knew I had to try it. I adore the nutty flavor of qunioa, and have found it to be a more nutritious side dish than my beloved couscous. I try to eat vegetarian dishes at least once or twice a week, and quinoa is a great source of protein. And when it's cooked, it really just looks cool, with the white band around the outside, doesn't it?!

Believe it or not, this recipe was inspired by the recipe on the back of the quinoa box. Cremini mushrooms, marsala wine, shallots... it sounded like a flavor combination I would really enjoy! And the end result was quite satisfying. It was a hearty flavor, yet still light and reminiscent of summer. I thought it was a great dish for this in-between time when we're not quite ready to give up on summer flavors.

Marsala Braised Quinoa with Crimini Mushrooms-- from Ancient Harvest Quinoa packaging

1 cup Inca red quinoa
2 cups water
pinch sea salt
2 Tbsp oil
2 shallots, minced
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 cup marsala wine
2 Tbsp Tamari (I subbed soy sauce)
1/4 lb crimini mushrooms, minced
1/2 Tbsp whole fennel seeds, crushed (I omitted)
1/4 cup fresh basil or cilantro

Cook red quinoa according to package directions. Warm a heavy bottomed skillet. Add olive oil and minced shallot, and cook slowly until shallots are clear, soft, and beginning to brown. Add mushrooms, toss well, and spread out over the bottom of the pan, stirring occasionally. Cook until mushrooms are deep brown. Add cooked quinoa, mix well. When grain is thoroughly heated and beginning to stick to bottom of pan, add marsala and tamari and stir. Cover for a few minutes. Toss a generous amount of minced fresh herbs into the grain.

This mixture can be eaten as a side dish, or can be stuffed into roasted tomatoes. To roast the tomatoes, scoop seeds and insides out of four large tomatoes, brush with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in a 450 degree oven for about 15 minutes, until skin is slightly soft.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dutch Memories at the Pannenkoeken Cafe

I might have told you this before, but I love living in a big city like Chicago. It's amazing what this city has to offer. Theater, music, festivals... and of course, so much good food! The Dutch brunch we had last weekend was a perfect example of the foreign food offerings available around Chicago.

I've been so lucky to travel to Europe 7 or 8 times in the last few years, because my parents and younger siblings have been living in the Netherlands since March 2004. At this point it's starting to feel like home around their lovely little city of Maastricht, and I can't help but enjoy a good Dutch, Belgian, or German treat when I start to miss my family. Imagine my delight when we decided to move to Lincoln Square a few months back, and I saw the Pannenkoeken Cafe only a few blocks from our future condo.

I couldn't try the pannenkoeken right away, though, because on my past trips to Maastricht I had never managed to try this national treat. I decided I couldn't dine at the Pannenkoeken Cafe until I had tried true Dutch pancakes in their native country. Lucky for me, we went to the Netherlands a few short weeks later, right after we put the offer on the condo.

I wish I could have told you about the pannenkoeken I had on that trip, but without pictures it was hard to justify a post. I did write about that trip to Europe here, here, and here. But we went to the pannenkoeken place in Gulpen on our way home from the airport, and I didn't even think to pull out my camera until our plates had been cleared away. Check out their website, though... it's really cute! I did adore them, though, and couldn't wait to compare the Dutch originals to the Lincoln Square variety.

Now, about 6 months later, we finally made it to the Pannenkoeken Cafe. What can I say; it was a busy summer! I was so pleased with result. They were exactly as I remembered... eggy, thicker than a crepe, but still pretty thin. I had bacon (spek over there) with mushrooms and cheese (kaas), which was very similar to what I ate in Gulpen. The cafe is a tiny place, but it's cute and full of charm. And they are HUGE! I brought some home for breakfast the next day, and was happy with the leftover version as well.

Joe had apple and cheese with raisins, another authentic Dutch flavor combination. I hate raisins, so I only had a taste of his, but the sweet and salty flavors went well together. And notice he's wearing a Tour de France t-shirt I bought him in Paris a few summers ago... can you tell we both enjoy our travels?

If you're ever in the area, check this place out. It's tiny, though, so be ready to wait if you come at a peak time. It's on Western, just south of Lawrence. And if you stumble across pannenkoeken anywhere else, make it a point to try one out!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Chocolate Florentine Cookies

These cookies were a pleasant surprise when I baked them for the first time a while back. I really didn't know what to expect, and when I first took the thin, spread out cookies out of the oven I though I'd wrecked them! The parchment paper was an absolutely necessary part of this recipe (or a silpat if you have one), because you end up peeling the cookies away from the paper once they cool. And it's important that they do cool completely; being impatient will just leave you with mangled bits of cookies. They end up chewy, with rich dark chocolate waiting in the middle. I made this batch pretty large, but you could easily make smaller bite sized cookies to please a crowd. One of my friends deemed them "magical", and if that's not an endorsement, than I don't know what is!

The recipe for Chocolate Florentine Cookies came from the Nestle Classic Recipes cookbook. It was a gift from my mother in law back before Joe and I were married, and I have found it to be a dependable cookbook for timeless, crowd pleasing recipes. There are some great sounding cookie recipes, as well as bars, cakes, and pies. If only I had more people to eat my baking, I would probably use this cookbook a lot more. It is a good one to have around though, for dependable recipes to fall back on.

Chocolate Florentine Cookies

From Nestle Classic Recipes

2/3 cup butter

2 cups quick oats

1 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup light or dark corn syrup

1/4 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

11 oz package chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or foil.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan; remove from heat. Stir in oats, sugar, flour, corn syrup, milk, vanilla extract and salt; mix well. Drop by level teaspoons, about 3 inches apart, onto prepared baking sheets. Spread thinly with a spatula.

Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on baking sheets placed on wire racks. Peel foil from cookies.

Carefully melt chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 10 to 20 seconds. Spread a thin layer of melted chocolate onto flat side of half the cookies. Top with remaining cookies.

Makes about 3 1/2 dozen sandwich cookies.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Here comes fall...

Today was the first day of fall like weather here in Chicago. It was crisp and cool, and I almost wished I had a sweater as I was walking home from the train. As soon as the weather starts to change, I start dreaming off the types of food I'll be cooking in the upcoming season. I'm dying to turn my oven on for more baking, and I already have an extensive list of soups, roasts, and hearty side dishes ready to make. Is anyone else feeling this itch?

I guess I felt the itch a little early, because I actually made my first Fall dish yesterday, when the temperature was over 90 degrees. It was one of the hotter days I'd experienced this summer, but I decided my urge to make chili was stronger than my urge to keep the house cool. I could blame it on my brother in law for talking about chili this weekend, or I could blame it on Mizzou football starting back up (Go Tigers!). Either way, I couldn't fight the desire to have a warm bowl of Turkey Chili for dinner last night.

After a few previous experiences with chili recipes, I've gotten to the point where I just make it with my own ever-changing recipe. I let my mood and pantry be the guide, with lots of taste testing along the way. I'll give you an approximate recipe below. If you have any tips or secret ingredients to share, let me know!

First, I browned a pound of ground turkey, with a little chili powder and cumin. When it was cooked, I drained it and put the meat in a bowl until I was ready for it.

In my same dutch oven, I cooked one chopped onion and three chopped carrots until the onion was soft. Then I added 2 cans of chopped tomato, 3 Tbsp chili powder, 2 Tbsp cumin, 2 Tbsp cayenne pepper, and 2 cans of chicken stock.

Bring it to a boil, then turn down and add 1 can pinto beans, 1 can kidney beans, the turkey, frozen corn, and a can of tomato paste. At this point you can taste it and adjust the spices as necessary (pepper, salt if needed, more cumin/chili, oregeno, etc). Put the lid on and simmer on low for 20 minutes. Then, take the lid off, add 2 Tbsp brown sugar, and simmer uncovered for 20 to 30 more minutes.

Top with shredded cheddar cheese and sliced green onions.