Sunday, September 13, 2009

Healthy Dutch Oven Recipes - Part II

Continuing on with my efforts to make healthy recipes, this last wednesday, I made a white chili. It was very interesting to look at. Instead of the dark meat, and the deep brown broth, it was very light. A unique twist.

The combination of the leaner meat, the fresh vegetables, and not using anything canned, pre-prepared, or with preservatives, make this a very healthy alternative.

Dutch Oven White Chili

12" dutch oven
16-20 coals below

  • 1 lb dry black eyed peas

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 4-6 cups water
  • 2 sweet peppers, one green, one red, diced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 jalapeňo, diced
  • 4-5 green onion, diced
  • fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste (in keeping with the white chili theme, I used white pepper)
  • Juice of 1-2 lemons, to taste (you could even sprinkle the zest when you're serving)

  • 1/2 cup corn masa

I actually started out on Tuesday night, by pouring all of the peas (they're beans, really) into a bowl with a lot of water. The water will be absorbed by the beans, so make sure you cover the beans, and the double that amount.

The next day, when it was time to cook, I started browning the turkey over 20 or so coals in a 12" shallow dutch oven. I added a little bit of olive oil at the bottom, because I knew that the turkey was much leaner than ground beef and it would help it to not stick so much.

At the same time, I heated up my 10" dutch oven, with a little olive oil, and sliced up the onion and minced the garlic. I put those on to sautee.

Pretty soon, the turkey was done, and the onions were translucent and even a bit browned themselves. I poured the onion/garlic mix into the turkey. Then, I added everything in the third set of ingredients. I drained the beans and added them. In retrospect, I would have held back some of the green onions and the fresh cilantro. Maybe as much as half of each. I would have saved that to sprinkle on top of the chili when it was served. That would have looked and tasted great.

The jalapeňo I chopped whole, with the veins and the seeds. I did it half at a time, and added it continually until I got the heat I wanted. I added some, cooked for a while, tasted, and then added more. At this point, I probably only put in about 3/4 of the jalapeňo. To me, that was perfect. It was hot, but not overpowering. You do it to your taste.

The whole thing cooked about an hour and a half, with about 16-20 coals consistently on the bottom. I didn't put any coals on top. I simply added enough to keep it simmering. I only lifted the lid occasionally to stir, check the doneness of the beans, and check for the jalapeňos.

The final step was in the last half hour of cooking. I added the corn masa to thicken. This time I didn't add so much as I have in the past. I wanted a thick soup, kind of like a stew, not a paste (which I do like sometimes). I recommend that you do the masa the same way you do the jalapeňos. Add some masa, stir it up. Let it cook for a bit, then check to see how thick it is. If it needs more, then add it, etc...

Mark has discovered a love of Dutch Oven Cooking. Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his MoBoy blog.

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