Deer Valley-Style Turkey and Black Bean Chili Recipe

Are we having fun yet?!  Good, good.  I have been running around the house yesterday and today like a busy bee, very excited that the big day is almost here.  I’m taking a quick breather from the Thanksgiving marathon just to touch base and check-in with you all.  Hope everything is going according to plan and that you’re enjoying the process.  What I am not doing today, however, is sharing a Thanksgiving recipe on the day before Thanksgiving because I know you are all planners and that ship has sailed!

Instead, I thought I would give all you super organized and efficient people a great way to use up any leftover turkey you might have on Friday.  I always make turkey stock and a simple turkey vegetable soup the day after.  I have also given in to chicken pot pie or shepherd’s pie with turkey.  But I also think it’s nice to make something on Friday that tastes NOTHING like the dinner you just spent a month thinking about!  It’s actually one of my strategies for getting everyone excited to eat leftovers even the day after Thanksgiving.

This recipe is inspired by the fabulous chili at the Deer Valley ski resort in Utah.  I first skied Deer Valley in 1994 when my husband and I were engaged.  He and his family have been going to the resort since it first opened over 30 years ago.  It is a really special place and we are fortunate to be able to go there a couple times each year with the kids.  Although I enjoy skiing and Deer Valley is absolutely stunning, I’m not super gung-ho about getting out there early and making the most of my day on the slopes.  I’m really in it for the food.  My favorite part about skiing is building up a good appetite and rewarding myself with a nice hearty lunch.  I actually start thinking about this turkey chili when I sit down on the chair lift for the first run of the day!

Turkey chili is one of the few items that the resort serves every single day.  I happen to notice the the lunchrooms also serve a roast turkey plate every single day.  Hmmm, could it be the kitchen needed to find a way to use up yesterday’s roast turkey?  Hmmm….  Anyway, we all love this chili because it’s lighter than a beef chili and a totally different take on the typical red, tomato-based ones that are so common.  This one is lighter and tastes fresher, perhaps because of all the delicious vegetables.   Regardless, all the signature shops on the mountain and many of the local grocery stores sell the special seasoning packet and the dried black beans in addition to the recipe so you can make it at home.  For $7 or $8 plus the cost of the turkey, vegetables and stock, you can make this pot of deliciousness at home.   Hmmm….$8 for 1/2 pound of dried beans and a few dried spices.  It wasn’t long before I decided I need to figure out what the heck was in that seasoning packet!

I can’t say this turkey chili is exactly like Deer Valley’s, but it’s close enough and I’m not sure my kids have noticed.  For sure I use half the amount of butter than the recipe calls for and I omitted the leeks, which I think don’t make or break this chili.  I also don’t use canned creamed corn, because ugh — canned and creamed and sugar don’t go with corn — so instead I just make a little corn puree.  The only ingredient you may not have lying around is masa, which is ground dried corn that’s been treated with lime.  It’s what corn tortillas and tamales are made from.  I have to say, it does thicken up the chili and give it a fabulous Southwestern corn flavor.  It’s also not an expensive ingredient, so I say definitely go for it.

Alrighty, dear readers, that’s all the time I have today. I am elbow-deep in sweet potatoes and butternut squash and my kids are starting to bicker about who gets to pick the music we listen to while we work.  Ahhh, sounds like Thanksgiving!  Hoping you all have a lovely holiday.  xoxo


5.0 from 3 reviews
Deer Valley-Style Turkey and Black Bean Chili
Serves: 8
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter (you can use oil, but it won’t be as good) -- vegans can use organic Earth Balance
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless turkey breast, cut into 1-inch cubes or cooked turkey, cubed -- vegetarians and vegans can add 5 cups of additional vegetables and beans
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery, about 3 stalks
  • 1 sweet red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded (or leave seeds for extra heat) and finely diced (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • ¼ cup masa harina (more if you like a thick chili)
  • 2 ½ Tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne (cut back if you don't like spicy)
  • 2 Tablespoons maple sugar or natural cane sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt (double if you’re using unsalted stock)
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 ½ cups of chicken or turkey stock, divided* -- vegans can use vegetable stock
  • 2 ¼ cups frozen sweet corn, thawed (about 12 ounces)
  • 5 cups or 3 15-ounce ounce cans cooked black beans (drained and rinsed)
  1. Melt butter in a large pot. If using raw turkey, add half the turkey and sauté until lightly browned. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining turkey. If using cooked turkey, do not saute in butter, but add in step 3.
  2. Add the onion, pepper, celery, jalapeno, and garlic to the pot and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the masa harina, spices, sugar, salt and pepper to the pot and cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Return turkey and any accumulated juices back to the pot.
  4. Add 4 cups stock, 1 cup corn and the beans to the pot. Take the remaining 1 ¼ cup of corn and puree with the remaining ½ cup stock in a food processor (a mini processor works too.) Add the pureed corn to the pot. Mix well and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered for 25 minutes. Serve with desired condiments (sour cream, cheese, minced onion, cilantro) or serve on top of a baked potato.
*If you only have stock in 32 oz. containers, no need to open a new one just for a ½ cup of stock. Puree corn in ½ cup water.




Deer Valley-Style Turkey and Black Bean Chili | Pamela Salzman

Grilled Mexican Corn Off the Cob Recipe

A close second to my obsession with summer tomatoes is my love for fresh locally-grown summer corn.  I think I buy it twice a week from the end of June to October.  I love corn’s juicy, grassy sweetness.  I love how easy it is to make it taste good (if it’s fresh) and how it goes so beautifully with all the other summer produce.  A major bonus is that everyone in my family loves corn.  Actually, not true.  My father grew up on a farm in Italy where they fed the pigs corn and he still associates it with animal feed.  Pity.

Given all the above, I have prepared A LOT of corn for summer dinner guests and I have made an unscientific observation.  Adults are not fond of eating corn-on-the-cob in front of people they are not related to.  Guilty!  I have served both boiled and grilled corn on the cob to guests, as well as sauteed corn kernels or corn off the cob in a salad, and corn cut off the cob is always more popular.  I think that sometimes eating an ear of corn is awkward or messy.  Perhaps it gets stuck in your teeth or stays on your check and no one tells you until dessert is served.  So I have a policy of making corn on the cob for my kids and my husband and me, but always cut off the cob for guests.

One very popular way to eat corn in Southern California is Grilled Mexican Corn on the Cob.  Typically the ear of corn is grilled in the husk and then the kernels (still on the cob) are slathered with mayonnaise, chili powder and/or cayenne pepper, a squeeze of fresh lime and sprinkled with salty, crumbly Cotija cheese.  Utterly delicious, albeit messy and something I would never eat in front of you, especially if I hope to make a good impression and keep my shirt from the dry cleaners.  But I figured the same flavors would translate to to cut corn kernels.  It worked!  The only thing I leave out is the mayonnaise which I think can take over and detract from the corn.  But I’m sure many of you would challenge me on that one.  I am crazy about grilling corn in the husks, though.  Have you ever smelled burning corn husks?  It’s fantastic.  I really think it adds a delicious smokiness to the final dish.

Definitely try this recipe if you’re looking for something a little different or if you love the taste of grilled street corn, as some people call it, but you’d still like to look like a lady/gentleman while you eat.  I served this the other night with grilled fish tacos and I ate it both as a side dish as well as a condiment on my taco.  Delicious!  If you can’t get enough of corn right now, try my recipe for my favorite salad, Chopped Grilled Vegetable Salad, as well as Southwestern Quinoa Salad, or Grilled Corn and Black Bean Salsa.  Of course there are thousands of recipes you can search on Foodily, where I was just asked to be a Tastemaker.  Fun!  I get to highlight awesome recipes that I find all over the web.  Check it out!

Grilled Mexican Corn Off the Cob
Serves: 4, possibly 6
  • 4 ears of corn
  • 2 ½ Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¾ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • juice of ½ lime
  • fine grain sea salt to taste
  • Crumbled feta, Parmesan or Cotija cheese, if desired (it's just as good without)
  1. Preheat a grill over medium heat. Carefully pull down husks and remove silks. Replace most of the husk and grill for 5-6 minutes per side or until kernels are charred. Don’t worry if the husk burns. Remove husk and cut kernels off of the cob.
  2. Melt butter in large sauté pan. Add chili powder, paprika and lime juice and stir to combine. Stir in corn and season with salt. Taste it for seasoning. Try not to eat the whole thing. Finish with lime juice and a sprinkling of cheese, if you like.

Southwestern Quinoa Salad Recipe

Have you ever read a cookbook or food blog where an unbelievable, creative recipe was put together with “odds and ends” from the pantry or produce bin?  I am always in awe of people who can do that.  Those same people go grocery shopping without a list and simply buy what looks good and then create a meal around it.   I too can use bits of this or that and turn it into something fairly tasty, but it usually ends up as a frittata, Pantry Pasta, or some sort of fried rice dish.  Definitely enough to get an acceptable dinner on the table, but nothing that will win me any accolades.


One day a few years ago, I decided to try my hand at “throwing something together.”  I figured I had done this many a time at salad bars, I should be able to do this within the limitations of my own pantry and refrigerator.  Whereas I pride myself on keeping things simple,  on this particular day I got a little carried away.  It all started with some quinoa, corn and cilantro which sounded Southwestern to me.  Pretty soon I was dicing up red pepper, red onion and opening a can of black beans.  Just when I thought I was done, I spied a mango and that went into the mix, too. After squeezing in some lime juice, olive oil and cumin, I had myself one fresh and tasty salad that I could happily bring to a backyard barbeque or serve to guests, even that same day to my mother-in-law who is slightly skeptical of quinoa.

I’ve made this salad countless times since then and changed it up every time.  Red onion has been replaced with scallions or shallots.  Ripe avocado and toasted pumpkin seeds have found their way in on many an occasion.  When corn is crazy fresh and sweet, I just cut it off the cob raw and use it that way.  With Father’s Day coming up, I am thinking about including this on the menu, but I might just leave out the quinoa entirely since I made quinoa tabbouleh last year on Father’s Day.  Although my husband likes quinoa just fine, he doesn’t consider it very “manly.”  Please.  I keep trying to tell him how much protein it has — it’s like eating meat, but without the saturated fat and cholesterol.  But it’s his day and I aim to please!  So I think next weekend I’ll make this with extra corn and beans and thrown in some “manly” diced up grilled chicken.  Regardless, “creating” this salad was a good exercise for me in learning how to be flexible, but also gave me some confidence to use what I’ve got — in more ways than one.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Southwestern Quinoa Salad
Serves: 6-8
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 ½ cups cooked black beans, drained and rinsed if canned (1 can)
  • 1 ½ cups fresh or cooked corn (cut from 2 large ears)
  • ¾ cup diced red pepper (1 small pepper or ½ large)
  • ½ large red onion, diced (soaked in ice water if you want to cut the harsh onion flavor)
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ⅓ cup fresh lime juice (about 1 ½ limes)
  • ⅓ cup unrefined, extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Rinse quinoa in a bowl with water or place quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and rinse under cold water until water runs clear. Transfer to a saucepan and add a healthy pinch of sea salt and 1 ¾ cups of water. Bring to a boil and simmer until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and place a kitchen towel over the pot. Place the lid over the towel and let sit covered for 5 -10 minutes.
  2. Transfer quinoa to a serving bowl, fluff with a fork and cool slightly. Add beans, corn, red pepper, onion, (optional) jalapeno and cilantro. Sprinkle with cumin and sea salt.
  3. In a small bowl combine lime juice and olive oil. Pour over salad and mix well. Taste for seasoning.
Options for substitutions/additions: Also delicious in this salad are sautéed zucchini, diced celery, diced fresh mango, sliced scallions, diced tomato or diced avocado.

Corn and edamame succotash

This house sure is quiet.  The girls are still in Connecticut and Mr. Picky is off at the batting cage for a little bit with his dad.  I don’t think I’ve been alone in my house in a year.  Or more.  It’s sooooooooo nice.  Don’t get me wrong.  I adore my kids and my husband, but solitude is a precious luxury that I never get to indulge in.  And silence.  Just heaven.  I find it funny that all this peace and quiet makes me hungry, so I give myself permission to make an early dinner for me and only me.  It never happens that I only have my cravings to consider for dinner.  I think being conscientious of many people’s likes and dislikes is a big challenge when planning meals for a family.  But not tonight!

At yesterday’s farmer’s market I scooped up two of my summer favorites — corn and tomatoes.  I was especially excited about the tomatoes since my plants won’t be producing fruit any time soon.  Unfortunately, Manhattan Beach does not have tomato weather.  The parsley and basil are doing beautifully in the garden, though and if I am lucky enough to have frozen shelled edamame in the freezer and turkey bacon in the fridge, corn and edamame succotash will be my dinner tonight.

Hooray!  It’s all here!  I secretly hope that my husband and Mr. Picky call me and ask if they can grab a bite out instead of home.  I have visions of me and a giant bowl of corn and edamame succotash in front of the tv watching the new episode of “Million Dollar Decorators” without my husband doing Martyn Lawrence Bullard impressions so that I can’t hear what anyone is saying.  Am I getting old that this is my idea of bliss tonight?  Don’t care.  I’ve got succotash to make.

I taught this recipe in my classes last August and I got great feedback, although people admitted they were skeptical of eating something called “succotash.”  True, not a very sexy name, but succotash really just means a few sauteed vegetables usually mixed with corn and lima beans.  I had found a recipe from an old Gourmet Magazine (sniffle) and changed it up a bit to suit my family, and I just love it.  Since my kids are crazy for edamame, I always have bags of it in the freezer.  That was a natural sub for the lima beans.  It makes such a nice side dish for a weeknight family dinner or for entertaining in the summer, or a main dish since it is loaded with protein.  It’s so tasty, as well as colorful, nutritious, and quick to put together, especially if your kids shuck the corn for you.  Even by myself, I pulled this together very quickly.  You definitely don’t need to use turkey bacon in this if you are vegetarian or just don’t like it, but I would compensate with a pinch of salt.  As I sat there on the couch, by myself, eating this gorgeous succotash, I was able to concentrate on the food and really enjoy it.  I couldn’t help but think how much I loved the crunch of the corn and edamame and the sweetness from the tomatoes.  Couple more bites.  The apple cider vinegar adds great tang and the smoky, salty flavor from the turkey bacon is perfectly complementary.    Another few bites.  I can’t believe there’s no salt.  Yes, the edamame were cooked in salted water and the bacon has salt, but there’s no added salt and I don’t miss it.  A few more bites.  This is supposed to serve 6-8?  Is that a typo?  I’m halfway done with the bowl, but I keep eating anyway.

“Hi Mom!  We’re home!”  Well, it was nice while it lasted.  Mr. Picky asks for some succotash.  “Hey, that looks good.”  Really?  Tonight is the night you decide not to be picky?

5.0 from 2 reviews
Corn and Edamame Succotash
Serves: 6-8 as a side dish
  • 12 ounces frozen shelled edamame
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ - ½ pound nitrate-free turkey bacon*(optional)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons unrefined, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • ¾ lb cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 ears corn, kernels cut off cob
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup packed small fresh basil leaves or larger leaves chopped
  • ¼ cup packed flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  1. In a medium pot of boiling salted water, cook edamame 5 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  2. Chop bacon. Add oil to a large skillet and cook bacon over medium heat until starting to crisp, 3-5 minutes. Add onion and sauté until softened. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Don’t worry if the bottom of the pan is getting brown from the bacon. The acid from the vinegar and tomatoes will clean it up.
  3. Add tomatoes, corn and vinegar to the skillet. Cook, stirring until tomatoes begin to lose their shape. Stir in edamame. Remove skillet from heat and stir in herbs. Serve immediately.
*Or bacon can be cooked separately a 350 degree oven. Line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and arrange the bacon slices in one layer. Bake for 20 minutes, turning once, until slightly crispy. Chop cooked bacon and add with edamame.