A super bowl of chili
It all started with a conversation I had with friends. I was telling them I wanted to develop a recipe that could be served at a Super Bowl party. You know, something with great flavor that doesn't take a lot of last-minute fussing. Who wants to be stuck in the kitchen while everyone else is sacked out in front of the screen watching the game? I wanted something easy to eat while cheering from the couch or the floor. No sticky, barbecue-sauce-laced fingers allowed.
My well-intentioned friends immediately set me straight. No recipes are needed for Super Bowl parties. Football fans like snacks - pretzels, popcorn, peanuts, trail mix and chips with several plastic tubs of dip close by. Nice and easy. And maybe a big pot of chili to chow down during halftime would be good.
I respected their suggestion. I'm OK with finger-friendly snacks. I'm OK with chili, but how about giving it a new twist? I'm thinking something hot and hearty that can be eaten out of a bowl like chili or enjoyed as a dip for tortilla chips. Lean ground turkey rather than ground beef, lots of beans, some corn and green chiles for southwestern flair, little chopping time, abundant flavor without having to open lots of jars of herbs and spices.
Three-Bean Corn-erback Chili is a sure-to-satisfy one-pot meal that can be prepared in no time at all. Cook some ground turkey with chopped onions (the only ingredient that requires a sharp knife to get ready) open some cans and tear open a few packaged seasonings, mix them all up and cook for about an hour. That's it.
Prepared the day before the big game party and stored in the refrigerator, the seasonings develop for maximum flavor. On game day, heat it up in a couple of slow cookers or on the stove in a big Dutch oven. Football fans can ladle the steaming meat and bean mixture into bowls and choose their own toppings.
Made according to the recipe, this chili is quite mild, getting just a little kick from a small amount of green chiles and taco seasoning. For those who like a little more heat in their chili, offer dried crushed red pepper, hot chili powder and some hot sauce.
When you've made this super simple Three-Bean Corn-erback Chili once, you'll discover you'll never need to look back at the recipe again. It's easy to make and easy to remember.
So, there you go, my friends. It's a chili and a dip. A super simple way to satisfy those Super Bowl fans.
Three-Bean Corn-erback Chili
2 pounds ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 (1.25-ounce) envelopes taco seasoning mix
1 (1-ounce) envelope Ranch-style dressing mix
2 (15.25-ounce) cans whole kernel corn, undrained
2 cups water
1 (16-ounce) can pinto beans, undrained
1 (15½-ounce) can black beans, undrained
1 (15¼-ounce) can kidney beans, undrained
1 (14½-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sliced green onions
Fresh jalapeno peppers, seeds removed, chopped
Fresh cilantro, minced
Fresh avocado, chopped
In a large Dutch oven (5- to 5½-quart-size works well) cook ground turkey and onion together over medium heat, stirring until the turkey crumbles and is no longer pink. Add the taco seasoning mix and Ranch-style dressing mix and stir to combine the ingredients. Add the corn, water, all the beans and both cans of tomatoes, stirring to mix it all up.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about an hour.
To serve, ladle soup into individual bowls. Offer shredded cheddar cheese, green onions, sour cream, jalapeno peppers, fresh cilantro and chopped avocado as toppings. Tortilla chips can be crumbled over the top or used as dippers.
Tips from the cook
--Ground turkey can be purchased fresh or frozen. Read the label to be sure you get what you want. The leanest is white meat only, with no skin. It's labeled "ground turkey breast." Regular "ground turkey" is made from white and dark meat with some skin, and is about 10 percent fat. Frozen ground turkey is usually all dark meat with skin, and has the highest fat content of all three types. Ground chicken, available in the meat case of some grocery stores, is another lean alternative to use in this recipe.
--Taco seasoning mixes from the grocery store usually have large amounts of sodium. Taco seasoning labeled 30 percent less sodium is a smart choice. Or, substitute chili powder, paprika, cumin and oregano to taste -- lots of great flavor but none of the sodium.