Allspice Chronicles

Entertain like a Queen, Think Lean and Live Green! A personal collection of recipes,anecdotes,and good old fashioned advice…

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Southwestern Turkey Chipotle Chowder

by Danica Waters / chipotle photo courtesy of


I love Thanksgiving.  However, I must confess, once it’s over, my personal palate wants to be as far away from Thanksgiving flavors as is humanly possible.


Out of desperation and sheer will several Thanksgivings ago, I pulled everything out of my kitchen cabinets, chose a few ingredients that looked like they’d be light years from anything closely resembling potatoes or stuffing, and ended up what my family feels is a little masterpiece.  They expect it to follow Thanksgiving at this point, it’s that good.


Now keep in mind that although chipotles play really well against the strong flavor of turkey meat (and the darker the meat, the better) they can be a bit on the naughty side; their heat will sneak up on you and set your tongue on fire if you’re not careful.  Adding a whole 6-oz can to your soup will most certainly put hair on your chest and enliven your step, so judge your own tastes accordingly.


I, for one, don’t like to perpetuate that Thanksgiving-food-coma-feeling any longer than I have to, so I make it per my original recipe and serve it with a hearty piece of Corn Bread.


And Milk.  Lots of cold milk.




Southwestern Turkey Chipotle Chowder


1 – 18 lb turkey carcass

1 medium onion chopped coarsely

3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped

Several sprigs fresh parsley

1 bay leaf


3 cloves garlic, minced

1 large onion, diced

3 stalks celery, chopped

3 large carrots, chopped

2 tsp chicken or vegetable bullion, or to taste

1 – 6 oz can chipotle chile peppers, chopped fine (or use to taste!)

1 – 8 oz can green chiles, chopped fine

1 – 16 oz can black beans rinsed and drained

1 ear corn, kernels stripped

3 Tbsp minced cilantro

3 Tbsp minced parsley

2 C basmati rice

Sour Cream, Lime Sections, Minced Cilantro for garnish


Place turkey carcass (all of it) into a large stockpot.  Add 1 coarsely chopped onion, 2 stalks celery, bay leaf, and several sprigs of parsley.  Cover all with water, and boil until meat loosens from bone and stock becomes fragrant.  For richer stock, allow liquid to reduce a bit.  Allow to cool thoroughly; strain off stock and reserve in stock pot.


Discard vegetables.  Remove meat from bone, being ultra-careful to separate any bone and cartilage from the meat. (Sorry, but NOTHING will ruin a great homemade soup faster than finding a bit of bone or cartilage in it.  That’s just… ick.)  Chop or shred turkey meat and set aside.


In separate pan, saute onion and garlic until soft, add celery.  Saute about 1 minute, add carrots and allow to sauté for approximately 2 minutes more.


Season reserved stock in stockpot with chicken bullion or stock concentrate – preferably MSG-free!  Add vegetable mixture to reserved stock; add chopped de-boned turkey, green chiles, black beans, cilantro & parsley.


Add finely chopped chipotle peppers to taste – be careful – add a bit at a time, as the smoky heat can sneak up quickly!


Add raw rice to soup, simmer until rice is tender, approximately 30 minutes.  Add fresh corn just prior to serving – the crisp tender texture makes the soup wonderful!


Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with sour cream, cilantro, and a generous squeeze of lime juice.


Posted November 25th, 2011.

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Chipotle Cornbread

by Danica Waters

It is cold and wet today, just like the weathermen promised.  The rain is coming down in big, splashy drops and I must confess: .I absolutely love days like today.   Ella Fitzgerald is simmering on my speakers, a pot of dee-lish Lentil Soup simmering on the stove, and this spicy little number will be the perfect accompaniment to all of it.

You can make this cornbread with any type of salsa; it’s milder and more innocent with a good green chile salsa or even  a basic tomato-jalapeno salsa.  But there’s something wicked and deliberate about the smoky nature of chipotles.  Be careful – the heat will sneak up on you, so if you’re serving kids or a crowd, either use the salsa sparingly or only marble half the batch.



Chipotle Cornbread

1 cup Yellow Corn Meal (I use Alber’s)

1 C all-purpose flour

1/4 C granulated sugar

1 Tbsp baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 C milk

1/3 C vegetable oil

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 – 3 Tbsp chipotle salsa, or to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease 8-inch square baking pan.

Combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Combine milk, oil and egg in small bowl; mix well. Add milk mixture to flour mixture; stir just until blended. Pour into prepared pan.

Spoon chipotle salsa in small mounds onto the cornbread surface; using a knife, swirl salsa through batter to create marbled effect.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm with butter.

NOTE Recipe may be doubled. Use greased 13×9-inch baking pan; bake as above.


SPOON batter into 10 to 12 greased or paper-lined muffin cups, filling 2/3 full. Bake in preheated 400°F oven for 15 minutes.

Posted November 11th, 2011.

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Zucchini: Grilled and Stuffed Southwestern-Style

by Danica Waters

After spending a happy, busy weekend experimenting with different variations of stuffed grilled zucchini (so far I’ve done it Italian-style, Asian-style, and with green chiles and Parmesan cheese – yum!), this variation nearly got me a standing ovation.  Folks were placing dibs on leftovers for lunch the next day.


The secret ingredient is the tequila in the marinade.  It gets ‘em every time; it deepens the flavors and mingles well with all things grilled.





Zucchini:  Grilled and Stuffed Southwestern-Style


4 medium-sized Zucchini



¼ C extra-virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp chili powder

Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 Tbsp tequila

2 Tbsp fresh lime juice




1 – 15 oz can black beans

½ red bell pepper, seeds removed, cut to ¼” dice

2-3 diced green onions

1 ear fresh corn, kernels removed from the cob

½ C cold cooked jasmine rice

4 oz cream cheese, softened

1 tsp whole cumin seed

2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

½ C shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

1 fresh jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed, finely minced






Trim ends from each zucchini; cut in half on the bias (crosswise).  Cut each zucchini section in half lengthwise.  Using a teaspoon, scrape seeds and pulp from the center of each zucchini section, leaving about a quarter-inch border on all sides.  Marinate zucchini in tequila mixture; set aside.


Heat grill to medium.


In a small sauté pan, sauté minced jalapeno with diced red pepper in a bit of olive oil until soft.  Add cumin seed, allow to cook for a minute to release the flavor of the cumin, and remove from the heat.


In a medium bowl, combine filling ingredients with peppers and cumin and mix well.  Fill zucchini sections; drizzle any remaining marinade over each stuffed zucchini section.  Grill zucchini 3-5 minutes, or until bottoms are lightly charred and cheeses are thoroughly melted; remove from grill and arrange on serving platter.


Allow zucchini to rest another five minutes before serving.



Posted September 1st, 2011.

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Southwestern Chicken and Pasta Salad

by Danica Waters

For all you pasta salad lovers out there, hold on tight, because this just might be the best pasta salad you’ve ever eaten.  My eldest daughter, who is a pasta salad fanatic, claims this as her very favorite.  She loves it so much she’s requested it for every single birthday dinner she’s had over the last ten years.  Today is no exception.  And in honor of her birthday, I am sharing this with all of you.




Southwestern Chicken and Pasta Salad

(from Better Homes & Gardens Hot & Spicy Cooking)


In stockpot, cook per package directions:


4 oz rainbow rotini


Drain; rinse with cold water to stop cooking process and drain again.  Place cooked noodles into large bowl; set aside.


Mix dressing:


¼ C salad oil

2 Tbsp white wine vinegar

1 Tbsp lime juice

½ tsp chili powder

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp dry mustard

Several drops Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce


Mix well and pour over pasta in bowl.  Add:


3 fresh or canned jalapeno or Serrano peppers, seeds and ribs removed, diced finely.


To pasta & pepper mixture, add the following:


1 C chopped cooked chicken, seasoned with salt and pepper

1 ear fresh corn or 1 8-3/4 oz canned whole kernel corn, drained (fresh preferred!)

½ medium avocado, seeded, peeled, and cut into bite sized chunks

2 oz Pepper Jack cheese, cubed

¼ C sliced pitted ripe black olives

2 Tbsp sliced green onion

1 – 2-oz jar diced pimiento, drained


Toss all ingredients together well.  Cover and chill for several hours or overnight.


Serves 4.





Posted August 15th, 2011.

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Strawberry Chipotle Jam

by Danica Waters


About a year ago, during a Christmas visit to Seattle’s Pike Place Market, I sampled a bit of a Raspberry Chipotle Barbeque Sauce that was to die for.  I mean, it was sooooooo good, I envisioned slathering it on everything from fish and chicken to tofu and grilled veggies.  But as much as I wanted to buy it, I just couldn’t justify the purchase; a wee little bottle was priced at just around $13.00 US.

Now, I truly appreciate and try to support the work of artisans as much as I can, but honestly, I’d have to own the Taj Mahal and have eradicated world hunger before I would consider spending $13.00 on a bottle of barbeque sauce.  It’s just who I am.

By chance, a few months ago I happened across a recipe for a Strawberry Chipotle Jam on one of my favorite blogs (Ree Drummond’s  Remembering the fantastic combination of fruit with the smoky heat of chipotle peppers, I decided there was no time like the present to try my hand at whipping up a batch.

Having never made jam before, I figured the process would take me an entire afternoon.  I was wrong.  It took 1-1/2 hours to make three jars (I could have made more, but figured it best to start small) of the most delicious, fruity-smoky-tingly jam ever.  The process was so enjoyable, my daughter and I were ready to keep going!  And the cost?  Each jar cost about $3.00 to make – ingredients, jars, everything.  Seriously.

Strawberry Chipotle Jam is delicious on toast and English muffins; I think it would also be fantastic paired with Ritz-style snack crackers and some cream cheese for a quick but elegant hors d’ oeuvre, as well.  Here’s the recipe:


Prepare your tools:

Wash 3-4 6-ounce jelly jars, along with the accompanying lids and rings, in hot soapy water.  Rinse well.  Set rings aside.

To a large, deep stock pot or water bath canner with a jar rack, add water until it completely covers the tops of your jars by at least 1”.  Place jars in water, and turn up the heat until water boils.  Reduce heat and keep the jars in the hot water until ready to fill.


In separate pan, heat water until hot but not boiling; add lids and keep warm until ready to use.

Line one portion of your counter space with clean dish towels.  Set out your jar lifter or tongs, a small non-metallic spatula, a wide-mouth funnel, and a ladle.

Place two small glass or ceramic salad plates into your freezer (you’ll use these for a consistency check later on!).


Assemble your ingredients:

1 quart Strawberries (1 Quart Should Be About 1 1/2 Pounds) See Note Below For Berry Selection

1 whole Large Juicy Lemon, Zested And Juiced

3 cups Sugar

¼ teaspoons Salt

3 whole Canned Chipotle Peppers, Minced


Make the jam:

Chop half of the berries into small pieces and smash the rest of the berries. You should have approximately 3 cups—a little extra is ok. (Note:  we used our metal pastry blender/potato masher to reduce the berries – a food processor set to ‘pulse’ would be quick and easy, too.)

In a saucepan, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar and salt over medium heat. Stir the mixture occasionally, until the sugar dissolves.








Add all the berries and the minced chipotle peppers to the pan. Bring to a low boil. Then lower heat just a bit and simmer for 10 minutes.








A large amount of foam will rise to the surface;  it is best to skim this off for a clearer, prettier jam.









After ten minutes, stir and check the gel consistency by placing a small amount of the mixture on a frozen surface. Run your fingers through it. If it is not runny; remove the jam from heat. If it is still runny, simmer for another 5-10 minutes and check again. The jam could take 10-40 minutes to gel properly.

When jam has reached your desired consistency, remove from heat.  Remove hot jars from water bath; set on clean kitchen towels to prevent breakage from coming into contact with a cold surface.

Using your ladle and a wide-mouth funnel, place the hot jam in sterilized jars. Leave1/2” of “head room” in each jar to ensure a proper seal.  Wipe mouth of jar with a clean, damp cloth to remove any residue.

Remove lids from hot water bath one at a time, gently place on top of each jar.  Screw on rings just until fingertip-tight.  Do not over-tighten, as this will cause jars to break.  Using jar lifter or tongs, replace jars with jam into water bath and be sure jars are covered with at least 1” of water on top.  Bring to a boil, cover, and allow to process for ten minutes.

Remove jars to the clean kitchen towel and allow to cool.  During this process, you may hear a “ping” noise; do not panic – this is what is supposed to happen!  Do not adjust the rings until jars have completely cooled.  Test your seal by pressing down in the center of the jar; if the center stays depressed and solid, your seal is secure.

If the center of the lid springs up and down, your seal is no good.  Immediately refrigerate jam, and use within a couple of weeks.

For jars with a good seal, label with contents and date and keep stored in a cool, dark place for up to a year.

Yields 3-4 six ounce jars

*Note about the berries: Try to select 1 cup of slightly-unripe berries for the extra pectin they provide.


Homemade jams make great additions to holiday gift baskets – make extra for friends and family!


Posted August 4th, 2011.

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Southwestern Corn Cakes

by Danica Waters

These savory little cakes are the perfect thing to make when you want a little something extra with that salad or those kabobs.  This recipe was originally published in the March 1993 issue of Gourmet Magazine; it is part of a much more extensive and complex Southwestern menu that involves fire-roasting everything.

Fear not. This is the easy part of that menu.


Southwestern Corn Cakes

(Gourmet Magazine March 1993)


1 C stone-ground yellow cornmeal

1/2 C all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 tsp sugar

2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus additional melted butter for brushing the griddle

1 large egg

1 C buttermilk

1 C fresh or frozen thawed corn, chopped coarse

1/4 C finely chopped onion

1/4 C finely chopped, rinsed, drained, and patted-dry bottled roasted red peppers

1 fresh jalapeno or serrano chili (or to taste) seeded and minced (remember to wear rubber gloves)

1 C coarsely grated Monterrey Jack cheese


In a bowl whisk together the cornmeal, flour, salt, baking soda, pepper and sugar.  In another bowl whisk together 2 Tbsp of the melted butter, egg, and buttermilk; stir in the corn, onion and minced red pepper, chili, and Monterrey Jack.  Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stir until just combined.

Heat a griddle over moderately high heat until it is hot, brush it lightly with melted butter, and working in batches, drop the batter by a 1/4-cup measure onto the griddle.  Spread the batter slightly to form 3-1/2  to 4-inch cakes.  Cook the cakes for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden, and transfer them to a heatproof platter;  keep warm.  Makes about 12 corn cakes.

Posted July 8th, 2011.

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