The "Whiz-ard" That Is Dr. Oz

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It’s Chili Inside…

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It’s chili inside of you silly!  Hopefully, like me, you prefer turkey chill because cows are too cute to eat with those big brown and soulful eyes.  If you haven’t guessed already, it’s time for another recipe courtesy of me, previously one of the world’s worst cooks.  If you are expecting me to teach you how to make home made tomato sauce, I’m afraid dear readers, that you are SOL (that means so out of luck – remember this is a family friendly environment).  What I’m going to do is teach hopeless people like me how to make a meal that isn’t frightening in an honest (like my chicken soup recipe) way.  Here is everything that you need to make a pot of turkey chili:

The kitchen paraphernalia (not sure of the right names) that you will need:

  • One big pot – your biggest, and don’t forget the lid
  • One wooden spoon
  • A cutting board
  • A sharp knife for cutting – yup your going to have to use a knife
  • 2 bowls – one for the vegetables and one for the ground turkey (no cross contamination)
  • 1 strainer for the black beans
  • Your cell phone – for this recipe or just to return texts

All of the below ingredients can be modified to suit your taste.  For example, you may love mushrooms and want to include them in your turkey chili.  I, for one, feel that they have the texture of a slug, so no way, Jose are they going into my dish.  You may have food allergies, so don’t follow my suggestions if you are like my frousin AK and have issues with peppers and other night shades.  I also am a huge vegetable fan so I throw in a lot of them.  If you are an unhealthy eater who never touches vegetables, simply leave them out.  Last, but not least, if you prefer kidney beans to black beans, or another type of bean, feel free to substitute.  I’m not going to be offended.  I happen to like black beans and I won’t get grossed out like I do with a bean that looks like one of my major organs.

Ingredients:

  • One and a half tablespoons of olive oil (or whatever oil you have on hand cheap skates)
  • One onion of whatever shade you like – I like purple because it’s one of my favourite colours
  • 1/2 pound package of ground turkey – duh, what did you think I was going to say considering it’s the main ingredient
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Black Pepper
  • Chili – yes you put chili in chili
  • Sriracha (optional)
  • One jar of President’s Choice Tomato Basil Sauce (or if you are American, Ragu) or whatever you prefer – remember, I’m not making it from scratch.  Have a back up jar on hand or some salsa in case it’s not saucy enough
  • One can of black beans rinsed and strained (don’t forget to strain)
  • One zucchini
  • One red pepper
  • One orange pepper
  • One broccoli crown
  • Two celery stalks
  • A handful of carrots

I prefer to practice mise en place – a fancy french way to say do all of your prep ahead of time.  I like to lay out everything and have my vegetables chopped and ready to go.  I place my spices next to the turkey by the stove in a bowl and have a chopping board on another counter ready to go.  I also do my cleaning along the way so I don’t have to do a massive clean up at the end.  Here are your step by step cooking instructions:

  • Chop your vegetables and place in the bowl.  Start with the zucchini – it’s the easiest to cut up and will build your confidence
  • Continue chopping until finished (I know sounds logical but some of you may like to take breaks – keep going)
  • Once everything is chopped and in the bowl, start chopping the onion, you can’t avoid it.  It makes me cry too – now is the time to take breaks – just rinse your eyes out – it’ll make them feel  better.  Leave this on the cutting board
  • Next, put your pot on the stove and add the oil to the bottom.  I’ve learned from minor splatter burns to only turn the stove to about halfway to heat the oil
  • Once you’ve heated the oil, it’s time to get the worst job done – cook the ground turkey.  It’s gross, but just take it out of the package with the wooden spoon and you won’t have to touch it
  • Once it’s in the pot, start smooshing it with the wooden spoon until it’s not so chunky.  Keep smooshing the turkey – it’s about a 5 minute ordeal.  During this time, the turkey will start to look and smell like a brain – just go to your happy place until it’s over.  I sing Kelly Clarkson songs in my inside voice.  For this, I recommend “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger”
  • As you are cooking the meat, you’ll need to season it.  Get your onion powder and do a “shake, shake, shake your booty” and that’s usually enough.  Next, repeat with the garlic powder, chili and black pepper
  • Once the meat is cooked, it will look like white chunky brain matter, add the entire jar of sauce
  • Add all of your vegetables
  • Add your black beans
  • Add a huge amount of sriracha unless of course, you can’t handle the heat in which case you should get out of the kitchen
  • Stir, stir stir
  • Turn the heat all the way down to low and cover with the lid, if it doesn’t fit, then you must acquit, I mean get a lid that does.  Sorry, I’ve been watching the OJ mini-series on FX
  • Stir occasionally, and cook for 1 hour
  • Let this cool and then pack away and freeze or eat, whatever makes you happy
  • I can usually get 6-7 servings out of this

Next, to make it fancy, and if you are a light eater, take a spoonful of chili and skid it along the plate like they do in fancy restaurants and add three grains of brown rice as a side dish.  Seriously, what is with the puree skid?  The most over used and unattractive way of serving that I’ve ever seen!

Anyway – that’s it.  I’m just going to warn you, that the first time I did this, it took me 2.5 hours.  I’m down to 90 minutes, small victories.  Enjoy : 0 )

 

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Chicken Soup for the Soul – The Real Deal

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I made this and so can you.

Yesterday, for the first time ever, I made chicken soup.  My mother sat in the kitchen and told me what to do, because like most women of a certain generation, they just know instinctively how to cook.  They aren’t like me who goes into a tail spin if I lose the recipe.  Chicken soup isn’t just a Dr. Oz approved cure for all colds and flus, although he, like many doctors extolls the virtues of Jewish penicillin, it is my all time favourite food.  My Bubbie made the best chicken soup, followed by my mother.  My grandmother’s special ingredient?  Love of course.

I’m here to help my readers, so I’m going to share the secret recipe to the world’s best soup, but unlike most sites, this is for people exactly like me that have never made it before and who need more guidance than professional cooks require.  Just a warning, I only tried one spoon of the soup that I made, so I can’t tell you if it’s great or not, but I’ll keep trying until it’s the third best chicken soup around.  Nothing can top the chicken soup professionals (Bubbie and my mother).

Ingredients:

-2 packages of chicken bones (yes, that means that you may have to head to the butchers or try the kosher meat section of the grocery store – that’s where we picked them up)

-i cube of chicken bouillon cube or half of a small package of it (just enough so that the broth turns a little yellow)

-water (duh)

-2 sprigs of dill

-Mirepoix – just a fancy way of saying one onion, 3 stalks of celery and either 3 cooking carrots or 1/3 of a package of baby carrots but doesn’t it sound nice?

-Salt

-Pepper

-Your biggest pot – I don’t understand quarts – I’m Canadian, but it should be big

Step 1 – Get ready to toss your cookies, because you have to take those UGLY looking bones out of the package and plop them into the pot.  Don’t worry – there is plenty of meat on them to make a great broth. I recommend using a knife to cut the packages open so that your fingers don’t have to come anywhere near those bad boys.  Plop the two packages of bones in as quickly as possible.  Trust me – it’s gross so you’ll want to get it over with quickly.  I looked and I shouldn’t have.

Step 2 – Go to the sink, turn on the water and fill the pot up enough to cover the gross bones up really well.  Put the pot on the stove on high until it comes to a boil.
Step 3 – Get your mirepoix ready.  Wash the celery (I bet some of you think that putting it in the boiling water is enough – it’s not).  Cut the stalks in half.  Cut the top and bottom of the onion off and peel off the skin.  That’s all you have to do – no need to chop it up.  If you use baby carrots, just take out a third of the package.  If you like manual labour, feel free to peel 2-3 big carrots.

Step 4 – THIS IS A DOOZY – THE GROSSEST PART  BY FAR!!!! Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  Once your bones have boiled, get yourself a bowl and a big spoon because the most vile, disgusting scum comes to the top of the pot.  It looks like foamy brains.  You’ll need to skim off as much of it as possible BUT, reduce the heat to low first.  I know – I know, it stinks and I almost tossed my cookies, and what’s even worse is that I believe that some people leave it in there.  I asked my mother what was in the scum – she told me to stop asking questions that I didn’t want to hear the answer to and to just keep skimming.  I did as I was told and got almost a bowlful of that putrid mess out of the pot.  I sang “Just Keep Skimming”  to Finding Nemo’s “Just Keep Swimming” to distract myself – in my inside voice of course.

Step 5 – Once you’ve finished skimming – pour in the bouillon (or plop it in if it’s a cube).  Gently place in the mirepoix that you lovingly prepped (that’s your vegetables if you weren’t paying attention).  Lay in the dill (I know it sounds a little pervy, but that’s your dirty mind).  Last but not least, put in the salt and pepper.  How much?  Do a shake, shake, shake (your booty).  That’s three shakes of each (make sure it has the top on so that you aren’t pouring either in – you want dashes.  Remember novices, you can always season to taste after, but you you’ll have to throw a potato in to absorb the salt if you over do it (I’m not sure if I’m even right about that, but correct me if I’m wrong).

Step 6 – Cover and let it cook for 2.5 hours.  Yes that’s right, you have 2.5 hours of free time to do anything that you want as long as you don’t leave the house.  I made a honey cake from scratch – that’s a whole other story.  It just confirmed what I already knew – baking sucks.

Step 7 – After the cooking time is over, there is still more grossness, but this is manageable.  Get a plastic bag and use the big spoon to get the bones out of the soup.  Toss them immediately so they don’t stink up the kitchen.  Take the vegetables out and puree them (using a hand blender or food processor), and put them back in your soup.  Wait until the soup is cool enough, then put into containers to freeze or to have later.

Step 8 – If you are going to eat the chicken soup, let it sit overnight in the refrigerator.  The fat congeals on the top (it looks like a solid white sheet) and you can skim that off.  Also very gross, and also makes me want to toss my cookies, but it you want soup that isn’t greasy, that’s the way to do it.  If you freeze it, when it defrosts, the fat will rise to the top and again, skim it off.

There you have it.  A step by step recipe – something that I thought that I would never do – ever.  The next few will be devoted to my trip, but I wanted to do this while I still remembered.