Had to use a Chipotle right away….

A pound of ground turkey that was supposed to be a Greek meatloaf got re-purposed after I saw how awesome my chipotles looked. Had to use one right away (you know, to make sure they were really good and hadn’t morphed into something nasty on the grill. Uh-huh). So I did a riff on my Mom’s Italian Sausage recipe, using the turkey instead of pork, crushed chipotle instead of crushed red pepper, and roasted cumin instead of fennel seeds. Ratios stayed the same (although I didn’t measure the chipotle, just used one whole pepper, stem removed. It looked about right, maybe a tad more than a teaspoon). I have to say it was nothing short of amazing. We will be having this sausage again (very soon).

Chipotle Cumin Turkey Sausage

1 lb. ground turkey (I used store-ground this time, the 85/15 one, but I think I’ll get thighs and grind it at home with a coarse die from now on. It would have benefited from the extra texture (and I would have had bones for making stock with))

3/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. crushed chipotle pepper (or thereabouts, this is the most flexible of the measurements, more pepper, more heat, less pepper less heat, do what you like)

1 1/4 tsp. ground roasted cumin (I wanted to use whole cumin seeds but I didn’t have any. Amount is the same for seeds as ground. I will probably procure some whole cumin for the next batch)

I mixed the spices together with a little hot water to dissolve the salt and rehydrate the pepper a bit before adding it to the ground meat. Mixed it all together and let it sit in the refrigerator a few hours until dinner. Just made patties and cooked them in a little coconut oil (even 85/15 turkey is a little too lean). Very good.

We paired it with the green beans from the box, roasted in the oven with a little green mole spice on them, and some guacamole. Ole!

The ratio above makes it possible to mix up the spices in bulk and use the mix at a rate of one tablespoon per pound of meat. I do that with the Italian sausage spices all the time and even use it at the same rate to crust pork chops with. Italian sausage flavor without all the grinding and stuffing.

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Box recipe: Butternut Sweet Potato Soup

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Used two box vegetables in this soup, the large butternut squash and two of the sweet potatoes. Bacon, onions, and some homemade chicken stock made it super good.

1 large butternut squash, diced
2 sweet potatoes, diced
1 package bacon ( I used H.E.B. uncured Apple Cinnamon bacon), cut into lardons
1 large onion, sliced in half rounds
1 quart homemade chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste

Roast the lightly salted squash and potatoes in a 350 degree oven for about an hour until fork tender. While they are roasting, brown the bacon in a heavy soup pot. When the bacon has rendered and browned, add the onions and cook until starting to brown. Deglaze the pot with some of the stock, then add the rest in. When the squash and potatoes are done, add them to the pot with a little black pepper. Bring to a boil, check the seasoning, and simmer together for about 15-20 minutes, just to heat through and bring the flavors together.

15 and a half hours later…All done!

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That went well. The Tabasco peppers stayed on the branch, but still dried all the way through. They all look and feel perfect, dried to the brittle stage. Can’t wait to use them! The smoker held a steady 180 degrees through the night. As you can see, the chunk of pecan didn’t have any trouble making it through the night, although the visible smoke did slack off after a while (still had plenty of scent though).

Peppers in the smoker…

Got the smoker temperature control lined out. Bought a 1000w dimmer and installed into the extension cord. The slider seems to be perfect for holding the temp where I need it to be. Put the peppers on when the smoke started going good, holding the temp on the low side because I’m more interested in drying the peppers than cooking them. Keeping it around 170 degrees. Added a few extra peppers from the garden. The green ones are from the box.

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The AB Flower Pot Smoker

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Got the smoker for the chipotles made, but it is running a little too hot for smoking (it’s pretty cute though). Going to the electronics store to see if I can score an in-line rheostat. It is a little smaller than the one Alton made, I went with a 16″ pot because that is what they that would match up (those domey pots are a challenge). Also have a more lightweight burner (only 750w). I was worried it wouldn’t be hot enough, but since we disassembled it so that the control would be outside the pot (as can be seen at the bottom of the picture), the thermostat isn’t getting hot and cycling on and off like it should.