Sheet Pan Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Peppers



Prep in separate bowls.

One of my most favorite sections of the New York Times is the Wednesday Food Section. One of my most favorite contributors is Melissa Clark. I have tried making so very many of her recipes and recently bought her new cookbook “Dinner”. When you have a favorite chef you follow her and I follow Melissa Clark.

This recipe jumped out at me because it’s a Sheet-pan meal which I love and ingredients sounded very good. I made a few changes to the recipe to better suit us but you can google Melissa Clark @NYTimes and get the whole recipe the way she did it if you prefer.

Recipe took a little prep but nothing too bad and don’t omit the pickled red onions–it was delicious. I used sweet potatoes but felt that I could have used butternut squash as well. Chicken Thighs hold up so well and don’t dry out so they win out for sure. The red onion becomes crispy at the high heat  and caramelized beautifully. This is a winner of a recipe and I highly recommend. The ground allspice gives it a very definite layer of flavor and the cayenne pepper gave it the kick it needed. Enjoy!

This is what I did.

Thanks again to Melissa Clark for another amazing meal.


Pickled Onions for garnish

3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 Tsp.Honey

1/2 medium size red onion thinly sliced


1/2 medium size red onion thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic , minced

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, more as necessary

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 lbs. bone in skin on chicken thighs (4-6)

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 large sweet Potato cut into small cubes of uniform size

1 large Red, Yellow or Orange Bell Pepper thinly sliced

3/4 tsp. sweet paprika

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/8 tsp. ground allspice– this is a must


In a small shallow bowl mix together the vinegar and the honey. Mix in 1/2 thinly sliced red onion and throw in a pinch of salt and set it aside. Mix it a few more times while you’re doing everything else and let it sit and marinate till you’re ready for it.

In a large bowl, mix together 1 tsp. kosher salt, garlic, coriander, and black pepper. Add chicken to the bowl and rub the dry mixture all over the chicken. Let it sit and marinate for 30 minutes at least.

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl toss together 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil , sweet potato, pepper, remaining 1/2 red onion, another 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, paprika, cayenne and allspice. I let this sit for a while as well and stirred it around. When you’re ready spread vegetables out on a rimmed baking sheet that’s been sprayed with your favorite cooking spray.

Add another 1/2 Tablespoon to the marinated chicken. If it seems super dry add a drop more and toss to coat. Place chicken pieces (see photo) skin side up among the vegetables, making sure the chicken is surrounded by the veggies not on top of them. Chicken should rest on the baking sheet directly.

Roast for 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Remove pan from the oven and raise heat to 450 degrees. I used a spoon to flip veggies over or a small spatula–don’t flip over the chicken. Drizzle chicken but not vegetables with a few teaspoons of the vinegar from the pickled onions — about 2 teaspoons — just a drizzle.

Return to oven which is now 450 degrees and roast chicken till cooked through–app. 15-20 more minutes.

To serve I plated chicken and vegetables with a spoonful of pickled onions !!!!

This was delicious!



Chicken and Rigatoni in One Pot–One Pot Pasta

photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 (2) photo 5 (2) photo photo 2 (2) photo 1I must say that the first time I saw this recipe for one-pot pasta I was hesitant. I read up on it and found out that the actual recipe for this one-pot pasta hailed from Puglia. So for all of those “haters” out there I am just saying that I did do my homework here and found out that yes they do this in Italy and original recipe was from there. OK that’s enough of that. It doesn’t really matter where it’s from now does it? I have made 2 versions of this type of pasta and all I can say is yum. I will also add that you need to be a little bit more attentive during the cooking but the result was fabulous. We loved the creaminess and the pasta came out perfectly al dente.  You just don’t want to overcook it, taste for doneness and sit down and eat. It was delicious the next day cold out of fridge as well. Give this one a try you won’t be sorry. Joel was very happy with the clean-up detail as well because it was one pot! Whole thing took under an hour from start to finish. One pan, people!!! dry noodles, sauce ingredients, water, wine a few good things and you’ve got a delicious impressive dinner.

*I used my large Le Creuset pot. A large skillet would work fine here as well.


2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

5 cloves of garlic, chopped

app. 1 – 1 1/2 lbs. of chicken breast, cut into small chunks. Just buy a regular package of chicken breasts and cut them up as I did ( see photos)

2 large roasted red peppers, sliced into thin slices ( straight out of the jar) see photos

6 cherry peppers, chopped and de-seeded , you can use hot if you like it spicy or just mild cherry peppers which is what I used (straight out of the jar) see photos

1 cup water, you will probably add about 1/2 cup more but you should start out with a cup

1 lb. rigatoni, I like the way the rigatoni works of course penne or another type of macaroni will work just fine

1 cup white wine, use what you have open as long as it’s not a sweet wine

1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes

1 cup Parmesan Cheese grated, more for serving

1/2 stick unsalted butter

1/4 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons fresh basil torn, you’ll want to add a little more at the end of cooking as well.

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt

Crushed red pepper flakes, optional. If you like the heat add a little bit during cooking and you can always add more at end. 1/4 teaspoon to start is good.


In a large skillet type of pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add in the garlic and chicken . Saute the chicken until it is just browned on the outside but not cooked through.

Stir in the roasted red peppers and cherry peppers, and sauté for another minute or so. Add in the crushed tomatoes and wine. Add in the water and the raw pasta and bring to a low boil. If you need more water you’ll know at this point , add a bit more water (a little at a time) Continue to cook, stirring very often, until the pasta has cooked to al dente , it will take anywhere from 15- 20 minutes. Taste pasta and judge how much longer it needs.

When pasta is done to your liking, reduce heat to low and add in the butter, basil and salt. When the butter is completely melted into the past, add in the cream and the cheese. Let simmer on low for another ten minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Top with additional cheese, basil and red pepper flakes if you like.

Serve warm.

Seven Layer Dip

Winter cont'd 021Seven Layer Dip 005This is a super easy and beautiful dish to entertain with. Since Super Bowl is tomorrow this would be most perfect! It’s great in a glass bowl where you can see all of the layers. I prefer to make this without meat but if you would like make one of the layers ground beef or ground turkey. Just drain the meat before adding and make sure that the meat has cooled before adding all the other ingredients. Feel free to play around with ingredients, whatever works for you. This recipe is best served at room temperature, I’ll usually make it earlier in the day and take it out of refrigerator an hour or so before serving. Another thing I would suggest is to go to a local Mexican restaurant that you like and buy your refried beans, guacamole and salsa there. It’s usually the best. Sometimes I will make my own guacamole etc. If you’d like to you can double down on all the ingredients. This will probably serve 12 as an appetizer.

Sadly, my pictures won’t be posted till tomorrow because I won’t be making it till then. It’s just such a fun , good recipe that I wanted to get it out to you.


16 oz. refried beans

1 package taco seasoning

1 cup sour cream, I used light not fat-free

1 cup guacamole

1 cup salsa

1 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese

4 ounces black sliced or chopped olives

1 cup chopped tomatoes

*if adding meat use app. 1 – 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef or turkey and make sure it is drained and cooled down before adding it to dip.


Layer in this order

1. refried beans mixed with 1 package of taco seasoning – I remove 2 tablespoons of the taco seasoning for the sour cream, if you don’t it’s no biggie I just do it to give the sour cream a little punch

2. 1 cup sour cream mixed with 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning

3. 1 cup guacamole

4. 1 cup salsa

5. 1 cup Mexican cheese

7. 1 cup chopped tomatoes

*if using meat just heat up a little bit of olive oil in pan and cook meat and drain meat after cooking. You’ll want to cool meat down completely before adding to dip.

* if you like cilantro you can sprinkle on top or sliced green onions are a nice touch

*lime wedges are a nice touch as well

Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate and remove about an hour before serving. Serve with chips for dipping and have a spoon handy to help serve it.

Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore 011My daughter Jennifer turned me on to this delicious and I do mean delicious recipe. Original recipe from Giada de Laurentis . I took a few liberties with it and it turned out just perfectly. I only used 4 thighs and 2 breasts with skin on and bone in, if you’re not comfortable with the skin I would take out skin but leave the bone in.  I am certain that  there is enough sauce for at least 1 more thigh and 1 more breast , there was more than enough sauce.  I served over brown rice and it was just perfect. This is a beautiful meal for a dinner party  or just the two of you. I used my Le Creuset pot and it was a one pot meal. Thanks to Jenn for pointing it out to me, this one is a keeper.


4 – 6 chicken thighs with skin on and bone in

2 -3 chicken breasts skin on and bone in

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1 box ( 8 oz.) of Mushrooms, I used sliced Cremini ( Baby Bella)

3 tablespoons of Olive Oil

all-purpose flour for dredging

1 large red bell pepper, chopped

1 onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

3/4 cup white wine

1 28 oz. can of diced Tomatoes with juice

3/4 cup chicken broth

1  1/2 teaspoons of dry oregano


First thing I do is dry all the chicken pieces on paper towels, this will help hold the salt and pepper and make a crackly crust. Sprinkle dried chicken pieces with Salt and Pepper generously. Dredge the chicken pieces in flour to coat lightly. In a large heavy pot ( I used my Le Creuset) heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the chicken pieces to the pot and saute till just golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. If all the chicken doesn’t fit , do it in 2 batches, I did thighs and then I did breasts. Transfer the chicken to a plate with tongs and set aside. Add the bell pepper, onion and garlic to the same pan and saute over medium heat until the onion is translucent and pepper is soft, about 8 minutes. Then add in mushrooms  season with salt and pepper and cook for another five minutes.  Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 4 minutes.  Add the tomatoes with their juice, broth, and oregano.  Then return the chicken to the pot and turn chicken pieces to coat in the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Continue to simmer over low-medium heat until the chicken is just cooked through, at least 30 minutes, I cooked for 40, and chicken was perfect.

Using tongs, transfer the chicken to plates. If you’d like you can boil the sauce without the chicken till it thickens, my sauce was perfectly thick. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve.

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Slow-Cooker Bolognese

I love my Bolognese recipes which are also on this site. Sometimes I just want to use my slow-cooker so that my meal is ready when I am home at the end of the day. This is what I did and I have to say it came out very tasty. I made all 4 lbs. of ground beef ( you can sub turkey or chicken if you would like) and I had about 4 meals out of this. Perfection! I froze in individual containers for 3 meals after the night we originally ate it. It’s perfect for the cold winter nights ahead of us. File this under cozy comfort foods.


This is what I did.


4 Tbsp. Olive Oil

4 lbs. ground beef–I prefer the meat with a little fat so if you’re using turkey make sure it’s not 100% fat free because it will be rather dry and tasteless

6 cloves garlic, chopped

4 celery stalks, chopped

2 whole carrots, chopped

2 onions, chopped

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1 6 oz. can tomato paste

1 cup dry red wine

2 cups whole milk

2 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes

1 Tbsp. dried oregano

1 Tbsp. dried basil

2 teaspoons dried thyme

2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

*if you’d like instead of all these dried spices you can use dried italian seasonings which come in a spice jar but I would still add the nutmeg and  red pepper flakes

Grated Parmesan for serving

*Chopped Fresh Basil and Chopped Fresh Parsley for serving if you’d like


Heat 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mirepoix ( carrots, celery and onions) season with salt and pepper and cook until softened and onions are transparent ) app. 10-15 minutes — I stirred in the garlic at the end and then added the tomato paste , stir around and cook for another few minutes. Pour in the red wine. Cook until most of the red wine is evaporated, app. 5 more minutes on a low flame. Pour this into the slow cooker.

Pour the remaining 2 Tbsp. of Olive Oil into the same skillet, add the beef and season with salt and pepper, cook breaking up the beef until it is nicely browned about 15 minutes. Drain off any excess fat. Stir in the milk and continue cooking until it is mostly absorbed by the meat, app. another 5 minutes. Add this to the slow cooker along with the tomatoes and all the dried spices. Add some more salt–taste for salt I was pretty generous with the salt.

Give the pot a good stir , cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

I didn’t have any fat to skim on top because I drained the fat earlier and used 15% fat ground beef. The totally lean beef is a little to dry for my liking but use what ever meat you like. Check the consistency if it is too thick add a little bit of water. If it is too thin, cook for another 30 minutes or so with the cover off.

I have to say mine came out perfectly after 6 hours in the slow cooker. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if you desire. Also a little note about slow-cooker, once the initial cooking process is over my slow cooker goes to warm and will stay on warm for another few hours or so . This is perfect because it will not cook anymore just stay warm. This is what I did.

Serve over pasta with lots of grated Parmesan Cheese and top with fresh basil and fresh parsley if you’d like.

By all means freeze the extra in air-tight containers for another few meals!




Creamy Tomato Soup with Parmesan Crisps

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Parmesan Crisps with Tomato Soup


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Soup at the beginning of the cooking process


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Parmesan Crisps

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Tube of Tomato Paste–I love the tubes

FullSizeRender (27) FullSizeRender (26)FullSizeRender (23) FullSizeRender (24)One of our most favorite soups is Tomato Soup. I love the creaminess in this soup and the texture and tang of the tomatoes. I added parmesan crisps to the top which only add another layer of “deliciousness” to the soup. I did add 1/2 cup of heavy cream mostly because I had it in the house but also because over the whole recipe it’s just a little bit of richness that goes a very long way. I suppose you can omit it but I wouldn’t. We loved it just the way it was and I have 2 large containers that went into the freezer for another night’s meal. The parmesan crisps are super easy and all you’ll need is some grated parmesan. Croutons would work well as well.

*you’ll need an immersion blender and a Dutch Oven type of pot with a tight fitting lid.



1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter

1 whole onion, finely diced

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 minced garlic clove

3 whole Large Carrots, Peeled and finely diced

2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste–the tubes make life so nice and easy

3 Cans Whole Tomatoes — 28 oz. each–Italian whole plum tomatoes with their juices

32 ounces , Vegetable or Chicken Broth

1 cup water

1/2 cups Heavy Cream

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Basil ( approximate amount) you can eyeball and you can use more for garnish if you’d like

Grated Parmesan if you want to make the Parmesan Crisps (recipe to follow soup recipe)


In a large Dutch Oven kind of pot ( Le Creuset) , heat butter and olive oil over medium-high heat, then add onion, garlic and carrots. Stir and cook till vegetables soften but be careful not to burn the garlic and onions. This will take app. 5 minutes.

Add tomato paste and incorporate it into the vegetables with a wooden spoon. Cook for another 3 minutes or so.

Add canned tomatoes with their juice, broth and water. Stir together and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for at least 30 minutes. I had time so I allowed it to simmer for about an hour. The longer the better.

I then turned heat off and allowed to cool for a few minutes before using immersion blender. Be careful because hot soup can burn. I gave it a quick few minutes with the immersion blender , the tomatoes completely broke down because they had cooked so long. You can leave some texture in the tomatoes if you like chunkier pieces.

Add the cream, salt and pepper to taste, I used about 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and about 12 grinds on the pepper mill. You should taste for salt to your own particular taste. Add the basil and simmer for another 5 minutes or so. I then topped with parmesan crisps and they just kind of melted in to the soup which was just divine.

Parmesan Crisps:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1 heaping Tablespoon of Grated Parmesan onto a silicone or parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Pat each teaspoon down a little, leave about 1/2″ apart. Cook for  3- 5 minutes till edges turn brown and crisps are golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes and lift off cookie sheet.

Roasted Salmon with Corn and Tomatoes

Sometimes you just need to lighten up the meal and I find Salmon always does the trick . It is filling without being full. Do you know what I mean? This Salmon dish is light but satisfying in every way. This is what I did and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

*this recipe should serve 4 nicely–easy to cut in 1/2 for 2


I asked for 6 oz. filets– just make sure they are the same size and I like from the middle of the salmon not the end–you will need 4 for 4 people. One filet for each person

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper

1 small container of cherry or grapes in any coloration you’d like-halved

2 cups frozen or fresh whole kernel corn

2 tsp. olive oil

1 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. lime zest

1 Tbsp. Lime juice

1 tsp. honey

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

*if you love it snip some fresh cilantro in there at the end


Pick up Salmon from your local fish store or Whole foods type of market

I rinse the salmon off and pat dry with paper towels. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 15×10 baking dish with aluminum foil and spray with your favorite cooking spray. Place fish in prepared pan. Sprinkle with about 1/2 tsp. kosher salt over salmon and about 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper–you will have to eyeball it but the salmon needs salt and pepper it’s a question of how much. Lightly sprinkle.

In a medium sized bowl combine tomatoes, corn, oil , chili powder, cumin and a little more salt and pepper ( app. 1/4 -1/2 tsp. more salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper) Toss to coat. Spread tomato mixture around the fish in the baking pan. Roast uncovered, app. 15-18 minutes or until fish flakes easily and is cooked through.

Meanwhile in a small bowl , stir together lime zest, lime juice, and honey

When fish is done to your liking remove fish to a platter. Brush fish with honey mixture. Add onion and cilantro to tomatoes in pan, stirring gently to combine all ingredients. Top fish with tomato mixture and if you’d like a little more cilantro this would be a good time to add it.






Pasta Alla Norma



This past October we spent time in Sicily biking through various regions. The food in Sicily was definitely some of the best Italian Food I have ever had including mainland Italy. One of the mainstays was eggplant and I totally love eggplant and will eat it almost every which way it was prepared. This particular dish was always a favorite of mine and I decided to try to make it without frying the eggplant. It came out delicious and this is what I did. Of course if you’d like you can always fry up the eggplant and then add it to your sauce. This worked out very well.



1 large eggplant or 2 small ones

4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil– divided

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1/2 sweet onion–thinly sliced

3-4 garlic cloves

1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes

1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes–I love the heat but you can always let people add this at the table if you prefer

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 box –1 lb. bite size dry pasta, I love Rigatoni here but Penne works well as well as any small bite size macaroni

Grated Parmesan Cheese


Cut unpeeled eggplant into 1″ cubes — First cut into thick slices and then cut into 4 pieces –you can achieve this quickly by cutting 3 slices and then with a sharp knife cut slices into 4 pieces — Put cubes into a bowl and sprinkle with 1-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil some red pepper and Kosher Salt and Pepper mix up and spread on a sprayed baking sheet and place in oven at preheated 400 degree oven for approximately 30-40 minutes. You’ll want the eggplant softened but not mushy.

In a large saute pan heat the remaining 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil over medium heat and saute the sliced onion until tender and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so. You can sprinkle onion with a little kosher salt here as well.

Stir in the 28 oz of crushed tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add a little red pepper here, oregano and season with salt and pepper to your liking. It will take about 30 minutes for sauce to really develop and I then thinned it down by adding a little water . Add 1/2 cup at a time– I added a few times during the cooking process — just don’t add too much water at any given time. You can also throw in a little red wine to thin out which I’ve been known to do.

While the sauce is cooking I cooked my pasta al dente. I used some of the pasta water to thin out sauce at the end.

When eggplant is finished cooking add to the sauce, toss well to coat the eggplant and allow it to sit in sauce for a little bit ( app. 10 minutes or more )

I plated up my pasta and added sauce to each individual bowl and served with grated Parmesan Cheese. Also would be delicious with Ricotta Salata sprinkled on top of Pasta in place of Parmesan Cheese.

*you can add pasta to your pan if your pan is large enough to hold it all.

Should serve 4 very nicely

Sour Cream Banana Bread



Woke up to a snowy day here in Colorado and 3 Rotten Bananas! There is always something to do with these brown babies so don’t throw them in the garbage please. This is an easy recipe and you’ll only need a few staple items plus sour cream, eggs and butter if you don’t already have these items in the house. The nuts are totally optional . If you don’t want to eat it right away you can make the bread and freeze it for another time. I actually always want to taste it after cooking so I cut bread loaf in 1/2 and took out a few slices and then I freeze the 2 halves.


This is what I did.


1 stick unsalted butter – softened– you can soften in microwave but I don’t melt it

1 cup sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup mashed bananas — I used 3 smallish bananas

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup chopped walnuts if you like the nuts


Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 inch loaf pan or 3 small ones. I used Cooking Spray like Bakers Aid or Pam.

I used my Kitchen Aid Mixer and creamed the butter with sugar until light and fluffy , Add the beaten eggs and mix well. I used the low setting and the Paddle Attachment.

In a large bowl , whisk the flour, baking soda and salt; then combine with the butter mixture on a low-speed add in the flour mixture.

Add the sour cream, bananas and vanilla and mix well till combined.  Do not over-mix just mix till all combined. Scrape sides of bowl.

Pour 3/4 full of batter into the loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes. I used a cake tester and it came out clean after 50 minutes. If cake tester still has batter watch it and take out in 5 minute intervals till tester comes out clean.

Allow to cool and turn out onto plate .

Amazingly Delicious for those of you who love a good Banana Bread!

Simple Red Chili — Turkey or Beef

It’s time to start thinking about Superbowl not to mention cold winter nights. The food that always comes to mind is chili. I have already posted my white bean chili, which I love but this is a more common version. Chili is not an exact science and you can feel free to make substitutions where you like. Obviously the toppings are optional and at your own discretion. Chili is just so easy to make. It sits on the stove or your slow cooker and when you’re ready to eat it, it’s all done. I like chips or taco shells with this. I love fresh jalapeno on the side chopped up, guacamole, refried beans, etc. If you don’t want beef, make it with turkey instead. I usually make it with turkey but this time out I made it with ground beef because I couldn’t get the turkey. We just landed in Aspen and the small market by the airport only had ground beef so it will have to do. I usually make this one day ahead for a special event. This allows the flavors to all meld together and then I just reheat–couldn’t be easier.

A little trick I learned a while back was to add a little Masa flour. It is usually available in the section with Mexican foods. I stumbled upon it quite by accident, and sneak it in with this recipe. I use about 1/8 a cup of Masa flour to about 1/2 cup very hot water. I add it during the first 1/2 hour and see how it thickens up. I probably use about 2/3 of the flour in the end, and it adds a corn flavor and thickens up the chili. (Directions are below.)


2 lbs. ground beef or ground turkey–If I am using ground turkey I prefer ground dark meat if you can find it. It’s much more flavorful . You can use white meat turkey but try for 85/15. That’s 85% white meat with 15% fat. I just find the O% fat to be very dry. Of course these are all personal choices.

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 can (12 – 14 oz) tomato sauce, and then about 1 –  2 cans of water

1 can (Ro-tel) diced tomatoes and chilies

1 can (15 oz.)red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (15 oz.) pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1/8  cup masa harina (corn flour) found in the Mexican food section of the supermarket (Mix flour with about 1/2 cup very hot water. It will be quite thick. Drop in by spoonfuls and mix well to incorporate. I probably used 2/3 of the flour mixture. This is optional but ever since I discovered it, I’ve been using it.)

1 can yellow corn (optional, but I always like to add it in. I use a small 8 oz. can)

1 small can (4 oz.) poblano green chilis, cut up or diced (also in Mexican aisle)

1 teaspoon ground oregano (I use Mexican oregano. Use it if you can get it. If not, regular is fine.)

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I like the heat. This is optional. You can also take down to 1/4 teaspoon.)

1 teaspoon kosher salt (then you will taste for additional salt. I added 1/4 teaspoon more at the end.)

Grated shredded cheddar or jack cheese for serving

diced red onion and diced fresh jalapeno for serving

Tortilla chips, guacamole, sour cream and salsa for serving

*cilantro for topping (I love cilantro so I chop it up and leave it out for individual garnish.)


Place the ground beef or turkey in a large stock pot (Le Creuset) and put in the garlic. Cook over medium heat until meat is browned. Drain off any excess fat.  Add in the tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and cayenne. Stir together well, and reduce heat to low. I use the 15 oz. can of tomato sauce as a measuring cup and add 1 -2 cups of water (this time out I used 1 1/2 cans of water.) Let simmer for an hour or so, covered, occasionally stirring, and adding water, if necessary.

Place the masa harina in a small bowl. Add 1/2 cup water and stir together with a fork. Add masa mixture to the chili and stir together and taste for seasonings. Add more water if needed. Add the beans, corn, and chilis. I usually add salt at this point. Simmer for another 1/2 hour or so covered. It can simmer for a long while, if you so desire. Or, turn off heat, and just heat up 1/2 hour before serving.  You should check for thickness. During the last 1/2 hour, I added a bit more water .

Serve with assorted toppings I’ve listed. Cheese, jalapenos, chips, guacamole, salsa, chopped red onions, sour cream  and cilantro. We love small soft tortillas on the side of our chili!