Sunday, May 10, 2009

SoTo & Turkey Chili -- YUMMO!

New York has SoHo, Seattle has SoDo, and Corvallis Oregon is now home to SoTo, aka "South Town".
While I don't live South of the Marys River, I would love to! I've worked in the area for close to 10 years and SoTo has sure grown up during that time. SoTo is home to a couple of the best parks and river frontages in the city. Willamette Park is the largest park in the City at 287 acres, and has a disc frisbee course as well as river views with hiking trails. Willamette Park connects to Crystal Lake Sports Complex, which boasts 8-10 soccer fields and 9 baseball diamonds. The Willamette Landing Boat Ramp is accessed from the Sport Complex parking lot. This park system is a hub of activity spring through fall. The residential areas in SoTo have been expanding over the years because buyers can find a good value in SoTo homes without the "Timberhill markup". SoTo easily connects to the downtown bike paths and is home to the orignal First Alternative Co-op grocery store. What else? Marysville Golf Course, the Airport, indoor soccer arena and beautiful vistas of Mary's Peak. In years past the term "South Town" carried a negative stigma. When we first started seeing people in the area running for fitness, we were shocked. Generally the only people we saw running were being chased by someone or the cops. SoTo, you've become a gem.

What got me on the topic of SoTo? One of our favorite recipes at the SoTo Firehouse is Turkey Chili. Enjoy!

SoTo Turkey Chili

2 cups chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 cup green pepper, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 (35oz) cans of stewed tomatoes, crushed
2 (15oz) cans kidney beans, drained
2 TBSP tomato paste
3/4 cup chicken or turkey stock
1 tsp chili powder ( or more if you like to only taste chili powder)
1 TBSP ground cumin
1 TBSP dried hot red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried oregano
1 TBSP salt, more if desired
1/2 tsp black pepper
3-4 cups of shredded, cooked turkey meat
Shredded cheddar, chopped red onion, fresh squeezed lime juice, sour cream and chopped cilantro for garnish
Marie Callenders Corn Bread mix, make an 8x8 pan.

1. In a large, 8 qt., thick-bottom pot, cook the onion and the green pepper in enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan, over medium high heat. Stirring, until golden, about 5 mins. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for a minute or two more. Add a bit more olive oil if needed.
2. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, beans, oregano, salt and pepper, and cooked turkey meat. Bring mixture to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, for an hour.
3. Salt to taste. Add 1-3 tsp of sugar to take the edge off the acidity of the tomatoes if desired.

The chili may be made in advance and chilled for 2 days, or frozen for 2 months.
Serve with the optional garnishes. Serve alone, over rice or corn bread (best).

Makes about 12 cups. Serves 8.
Or 4 hungry firefighters, with some left over.
Unless we get up that night, then it's gone in less than 12 hours. Yeah, I think it's even more delicious after midnight.

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