Posts Tagged ‘Smoked Paprika’

@ Dina Avila Photography

@ Dina Avila Photography

Ok, not really. This is not a Valentine’s Day post, but it is a delicious one!

With the current circumstances in my world (caring for a healing friend), I’ve been on the lookout for recipes that would be great in large batches. Soups, stews and chilis. I’ve had chili on my mind since Adam and I spent a very wintry, blustery weekend in a little cabin on the coast last month. I was fighting a cold and the sea was angry and we spent our days playing games, sipping tea and watching Top Chef Texas. I suspect you can figure out where the chili part comes in.

Sadly I have no pictures of that weekend to share and I’m just too embarrassed to tell you what happened to them. Instead, as we go there every January for Adam’s birthday, I’ve shared a couple pictures from that little cabin on the coast. One of our most favorite places in the world.

@ Dina Avila

© Dina Avila

This chili is delightful and versatile. It’s one of those meals that while eating it you think of all the variations and possibilities. The original recipe comes from this month’s Food and Wine, but I feel I’ve adapted it enough to (almost) call it my own.


Beety Turkey Chili


Adapted from a recipe by Chef Art Smith in Food and Wine Magazine

If you like heat I suggest pumping it up. I have two jalepenos in the recipe, which I deseeded

worried that it would be too hot for my friend. I think the chili would

have been more interesting with the heat from the seeds.

I baked the beets for about a half an hour instead of a full hour. I wanted them to retain some firmness

before tossing them in to cook with the chili.


1/4 cup olive oil

1 1/2 pounds ground turkey thigh

4 shallots, about 1 cup, coarsely chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons dried thyme

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

2 jalapenos, de seed and coarsely chopped

2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped

3 beets, baked and coarsely chopped

1 28 oz can of pureed tomatoes

4 cups cooked pinto beans, or 3 15 oz cans

3/4 cup beer or lager. I used Deschutes Red Chair

1 1/2 cup chicken stock

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Salt and pepper

In a large stock pot warm up half of the olive oil.

Add the turkey and cook until browned.

Remove the turkey and transfer to a bowl.

Warm up the rest of the olive oil in the stock pot and add the shallots.

Cook until softened and starting to brown.

Add the garlic and all of the spices and cook, stirring until fragrant.

Return the turkey to the pot and stir in the carrots, beets, jalapenos, tomato, beer and beans.

Bring to a boil and stir in the broth and vinegar.

Cover and simmer over low heat for about 45 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper and perhaps a few chunks of yummy bacon and serve hot.


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Today was going to be a good day. I woke up, made some tea, starting tidying up the kitchen for this morning’s shoot, and wham! Migraine. Yeah, migraine.  My body’s way of saying slow down, or I hate you, or something I haven’t quite figured out yet. These little treats starting appearing in my world about five years ago. Thankfully they are not as frequent as they were say about a year or so ago, but they still suck. What’s exciting about my migraines is that I get the auras. Flashy, jagged, broken glass-like lights in my vision just powerful enough to pretty much blind me for about an hour. Once or twice a month one of these fun-filled migraines will pay me a not so little visit. Nausea then kicks in followed by a fantastic headache that will last pretty much through the rest of the day. Aren’t I lucky?

The only solace that I could possibly find in this little shop of horrors is that many believe Picasso suffered from the same sort of migraines. If you suffer from auras, and you spend some time with his work then you will see exactly what I am talking about. There’s a certain point somewhere after his Blue period that you begin to notice a certain geometry in his paintings and drawings. Right angles, triangles, jagged, broken glass like shapes. And then there’s the Cubist period. Almost undeniable, in my opinion. There’s no proof that I’m aware of. No notes in a journal, or words spoken on the subject by a close friend. It’s all speculation, really. And by no means, am I an expert on Picasso, but, well, it’s nice to have a little camaraderie with one of my favorite artists of the 20th century. Someone I can commiserate with, if you will, on a visual plane. Literally.

I don’t always do this, and believe me, I can’t always do this, but, at times, once the auras have passed, I sometimes continue to plow through the day. Damned be the headache and fatigue, some days I just have to keep going. And today has been one of these days. I had mushrooms to stuff, by God! And so I did.

Ugly white mushrooms stuffed with bison, pecorino, fresh breadcrumbs and cilantro had to be made and they did not disappoint. Earthy, salty, and just slightly crunchy, these little guys should be popped in your mouth whole and followed by a swig of a rustic Rhone red.

Be sure to share.


Stuffed Mushrooms with Bison

Adapted from

I found twisting the stems off the mushrooms and gently using your thumb instead of a knife worked well to remove the broken stem bits still attached to the inside of the mushroom.

18 + large white mushrooms

Olive oil

1/4 Marsala

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

1 cup grated pecorino romano

1/4 lb ground bison

1 clove minced shallot

smoked paprika

4 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Salt and pepper to taste

Remove and coarsely chop mushroom stems. Reserve caps and put aside. Warm oil in a large skillet of medium heat and add chopped stems. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

Slowly add Marsala and let evaporate. About 2 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and stir in breadcrumbs. Place mixture in a medium bowl and set aside to cool.

Using the same pan, place on medium heat and add a little oil. Add bison and chopped shallots and sauté until cooked. Sprinkle to taste of smoked paprika. About 3-5 minutes. Add bison mixture to breadcrumbs and mushrooms, stir and let cool.

Stir pecorino romano and cilantro into the mixture.

Place mushroom caps on a parchment lined baking sheet and spoon filling into the caps. Drizzle with olive oil and season with freshly ground black pepper.

Bake for about 45 minutes, until stuffing is golden and caps are browned.

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