Sunday, April 24, 2011

Library card a wonderful kitchen tool

One of the many wonderful reasons to have a library card is being able to test-drive cookbooks.

It doesn’t make sense to go out and buy every glossy, delicious tome that makes my mouth water. So when a book strikes my fancy, or if I’m interested in learning more about working with a particular ingredient or in a certain style, I log into my Sacramento Public Library account, peruse the catalog and make my reservation. I can keep a book for a minimum of three weeks (being able to renew online is another perk), which gives me plenty of time to read up on techniques, hunt for new recipes and the like. I use sticky notes or paper scraps to note recipes I like, make photocopies that I’ll file in my binder, and return the book by the time it’s due.

I’m currently snacking on “5 Ingredient Fix” by Claire Robinson and Betty Rosbottom’s “Sunday Soup,” a book I first found on my friend Lucy’s shelf years ago but never got around to buying for myself. I might still have to purchase “Sunday Soup,” as I’m tempted by at least half the recipes. The following dish is inspired by a chicken chili recipe included in the book. If you want to add more heat to the chili, use more chipotles and the adobo sauce in which they’re packaged. I beefed up this meal by making mini-bread bowls out of some Kaiser rolls I had in the fridge.

Chipotle Corn Turkey Chili
1 ¼ pounds ground turkey
2 cups chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeded and coarsely chopped
4 cups chicken broth
28 ounces canned diced tomatoes
4 cups corn kernels (if using frozen, thaw before adding to pot)
2 15-ounce cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
Salt and pepper, to taste
Possible garnishes: chopped cilantro, sour cream, shredded cheddar, tortilla chips

Cook turkey, onions and garlic in large pot over medium heat until meat is browned. Stir in chili powder, cumin, oregano, and chipotle peppers. Cook for another minute before adding broth, tomatoes, corn and beans. Bring mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes. To serve, ladle chili into bowls and add garnishes.

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