Blog - biscuits and such
southern food blog
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Turkey Chili


This is my least favorite part of the year.   By Valentines Day I’m wintered out, and it feels like the stretch between now and 80 degrees is an eternity.  Not to mention that the weather keeps teasing us with sporadic 70 degree days, and then going right back to cold.  It’s not fair.  I’m at that point where I just want to make like the first lady and bare arms.


I know that by most people’s standards the measly amount of snow we’ve gotten this winter was nothing but disappointing, but I am tired of it, sick of it, and ready for spring.  Snow is refreshing and fun in December.  I love the thrill of fall.  But now I find myself staring forlornly at my sundresses and pouting around the apartment.  So, on Thursday night when they called for more snow, I wanted to scream and flee south.

Instead I made turkey chili because well, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.


Turkey Chili

1/2 lb ground turkey

2 tomatoes, chopped

4 oz crushed tomatoes

1 can black beans, drained

1 tbsp cayenne pepper

1 tbsp cumin

1 tbsp coriander

1 tbsp herbs de provence

Salt and pepper

4 tbsp olive oil

4 cloves fresh garlic

Heat two tbsp olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat.  At the same time, heat the remaining olive oil in a pot over medium heat.  Chop your garlic and divide it equally between both.  When the garlic has browned, add the turkey to your saute pan, and  the chopped tomatoes to your pot.

Drain your black beans and add them in with the tomatoes.  Add half of the cayenne pepper to the turkey, and add the rest of the spices and herbs to the pot.  Stir the turkey every few minutes.  It will need to cook about twenty minutes before it is done.

When the turkey is cooked, add it to the pot.  Stir in crushed tomatoes, and let boil over medium heat for thirty minutes.  Then let simmer for at least an hour, or until you’re ready to serve it.

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Dan’s Fire in Your Hole Sandwich


About once a week, Dan makes a honey glazed chipotle rubbed chicken that we usually put ontop of a mixed green salad.  It’s delicious, healthy, and a totally original Dan recipe.  As I mentioned in my last post, Dan and I spent all of this past Sunday figuring out how we could go about opening our cafe “On the Water” in Morehead.  It’s a seven hour drive from Morehead back to Takoma Park, so we had a lot of time to brainstorm, and even went so far as to come up with a menu.


We wanted to include the chicken I’d been calling “fire in the hole,” but didn’t think that the salad was a menu-worthy recipe.  We’re really only putting our top contenders up there, and the salad wasn’t cutting it.  So, we decided to adapt it into a sandwich.  Because the chicken is heavily glazed, we needed a thick bread.  I hate when the ingredients in a sandwich dissolve the bread and it all sort of spills out.  So we chose french bread.


We also needed to do something to cut the spicy.  See, the way that this chicken operates is that when you first put it in your mouth, all you taste is the sweetness of the honey.  Then, as the honey glaze dissolves, the kick of the chipotle hits you, and your mouth is on fire.  So we wanted to add a creamy cheese, something that could compliment the chicken but take away some of the after-effects.  We juggled a few options, and decided on havarti.


Finally, we wanted to add something leafy that would bring a freshness to the table.  We’re big fans of the way that cilantro plays on other flavors, bringing a sweetness and a freshness into dishes that you can’t find in other fresh herbs.  If only cilantro weren’t such a pain to grow, we’d grow pots and pots worth of it to keep it fresh around the house all the time.  It really does do great things for this sandwich.  In fact, the next time we make it, FiYHS 2.0 if you will, I think I’m going to add more cilantro.


This sandwich really is delicious.  For a 1.0 version, it’s top notch.  I would make a few changes.  It was a little cheesy and a little bready.  I think I would hollow out the roll a little so it was just a tad less bread, and use one slice of cheese per sandwich instead of two.  I would also, as I mentioned, add a little more cilantro.  I really do think it’s going to be a big hit.


Dan’s Fire in Your Hole Sandwich

1 chicken breast

2 tbsp chipotle chili powder

1 tsp garlic powder

4 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp hot sauce

1/2 french bread loaf, cut in half both ways

1 tsp cinnamon

6 tbsp honey

6 tbsp fresh cilantro

4 slices havarti cheese

Salt & pepper

Pat your chicken dry on both sides and rub with chipotle, salt and pepper, and cinnamon.  Heat 2 tbsp oil.  Stir in garlic powder and hot sauce.  Place your chicken in the pan and cook five minutes.  Flip and cook a additional five minutes.

Remove your chicken from the pan and slice into chunks.  Return the chunks to the pan and cook an additional two minutes.  When your chicken is fully cooked, pour honey into the pan.  The honey will melt, and then sizzle.  Allow the honey to reduce.

While the honey is cooking, slice your bread.  Top with havarti and cilantro.  When the honey has completely reduced, place the chicken into the sandwich and serve.

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Smoked Kingfish Dip

This weekend Dan and I went down to Morehead City to meet with the caterers and the florists for our September wedding.  It was an incredibly successful and relaxing weekend away, exactly what I needed.  For those that are not familiar with the area, Morehead is located in the southern Outer Banks, in Carteret County or the “Crystal Coast.”  The nearest lighthouse is Cape Lookout, which sits on the Cape Lookout National Seashore, which is the longest expanse of protected, unsettled banks in the chain.


The reason we decided to get married in Carteret County is because it’s the sort of place where you feel completely at peace.  I’ve been going down there my whole life and as soon as I cross through Havelock I start feeling giddy.  It’s the sort of place that that inspires you to scheme up ways to make a life down there (something my parents are figuring out how to do).  Dan and I spent the entire seven hour drive home developing a business plan for a waterfront coffee shop (something Morehead desperately needs).  We think we’ll be a big hit.


Carteret County is known for a lot of things.  The charm, the amazing diving, the beautiful scenery, and fresh, delicious seafood.  I guess it goes without saying that seafood in a fishing town is bound to be good.  If there is one thing that people Down East know, it’s seafood.  One of my favorite things to do while we’re down there has always been to go to the fresh seafood market with my parents and sisters, pick a selection of the catch of the day, and have a feast back at the house.  There’s nothing like sitting on the back porch looking out over a marsh with a stomach full of tuna or dolphin or mackerel.  That’s the closest I think I can get to being completely content.


This trip down was a brief one so there was no trip to the fresh fish market, though my father did surprise me with two of my favorites, brunswick stew and kingfish dip.  His kingfish dip is delicious, and I always love when he makes it, so I was even more excited when he offered to share the recipe.  Kingfish, or king mackerel, are a fish that migrate with the gulf stream.  My father makes the dip with smoked kingfish.  You can find smoked mackerel at specialty grocery stores, vacuum sealed, and also at some fish markets.  Or, if you’re interested in learning the art of smoking fish, there’s an informative site here.


*UPDATE* So the Capt’n informed me this week that he has been using amberjack in place of kingfish, and adding a dash of wasabi to the formula.  He’s been pleased.

Smoked Kingfish Dip
Source: Captain James Rosemond

Flaked smoked kingfish

1/2 cup milk

1 tbsp real mayonaisse

4 ounces light cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup finely minced onion

1 stalk finely chopped celery

1 tbsp finely minced parsley

3 tsps finely chopped dill pickle

1/2 tsp lemon juice

3 shakes hot sauce

Cayenne pepper

Salt & pepper

With a fork, flake the smoked fish off the filet.  You can flake it finely or coarsely depending on your preference.  Discard the darker meats that you find in the center of the filet.  Put the smoked fish in a medium bowl and pour milk over it.  Cover and soak in the refrigerator for thirty minutes.  Drain the milk using a fine strainer and place the fish back in the bowl.

Stir in remaining ingredients.

Cover and chill 2-3 hours to allow flavors to blend.  Serve with crackers or fresh vegetables.

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