Poor Man’s Awesome Chili

I love chili, what can I say.  Chili makes you just feel plain awesome on any day and this weekend was no exception.  We had a rainy kind of day so I decided in all of my fine wisdom; that chili was in my future.  I call this poor man’s chili as it is pretty cheap to make, takes about 30minutes, and you have leftovers for just the next day if you are a single nerd.

The first step is to get all of the ingredients together.


*Note, I did not use the northern beans.  I wanted to but the wife hates them and I don’t want to get my ass kicked.


Now you need to chop up the onion.  I used a large onion because I love onion in my chili.  Some people may think it is too much so use a medium or half a large onion if you are a wimp.


Sauté onion, garlic, salt, chili powder, and oregano and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes.  Then you would add the tomato paste and chipotle chili and sauté for about a minute or so more.  I was in such a ninja mode, I completely forgot to take a picture of this step.


Add the turkey, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and cook until the meat loses its raw color, about 3 minutes.  Next  you would add the beer and cook till it is reduced by half, about 10 minutes in ninja time.


While the beer cooks down, it is time to wash your beans.  Beans are good for the heart, the more you eat, the more you ………….


This is how it should look after the beer has reduced.  This is heaven in a bowl.


Add the beans and the tomatoes.  Cooked uncovered for about 30 minutes or if you want to be a ninja like me, cook it covered on simmer for 3 hours.


My camera sucks as I am too lazy to get my good one out.  This is the finished product.  I give this 4 ninja stars.


Poor Man’s Awesome Chili


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 chipotle chile en adobo, coarsely chopped, with 1 tablespoon sauce
1 pound ground turkey
1 light beer of your choice
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, with their juice
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Sliced scallions, sour cream, grated cheddar cheese


Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
Add the onion, garlic, salt, chili powder, and oregano and cook, stirring, about 3 minutes.
Stir in the tomato paste and the chipotle chile and sauce; cook 1 minute more.
Add the turkey, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and cook until the meat loses its raw color.
Add the beer and simmer until reduced by about half, about 10 minutes.
Add the tomatoes–crushing them through your fingers into the skillet–along with their juices and the beans; bring to a boil.
Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 30 minutes.
Ladle the chili into bowls and serve with the garnishes of your choice.




It’s hard to say exactly when it happened.

It could’ve been during one of the 100+ shows STRFKR played over the past two years — ecstatic sold-out dance parties that started in tiny, sweaty rooms before word of mouth spread and forced a move to larger (and even sweatier) venues.

It might’ve been when touring guitarist Patrick Morris officially became a full-time member in late 2011, rounding out a line-up that included multi-instrumentalists Josh Hodges, Shawn Glassford, and Keil Corcoran.

Most likely, though, there wasn’t a single defining moment when the change occurred. With evolu- tion there rarely is. Instead, progression happens naturally and steadily — each step leading inevitably to the next until you reach a point when you realize how far you’ve come without even being fully aware of how you got there.

In early 2012, during a rare break in the group’s touring schedule, Hodges retreated to secluded Astoria, Oregon. But this time, rather than completely isolating himself to work on new material (as had always been the case in the past), Hodges invited the other members to visit often and truly col- laborate in the process of writing STRFKR’s third full-length, Miracle Mile.

And so it was that STRFKR became a band.

As a result, whether participating in all-night lyric writing sessions, fleshing out song skeletons origi- nally conceived during European soundchecks (“Malmo”) and long van rides (“Leave It All Behind”), or completing half-finished ideas kicking around Hodges’ brain and hard drive, there isn’t a single song on Miracle Mile that every member of STRFKR didn’t contribute to and ultimately improve.

For proof, look no further than first single and opening track “While I’m Alive,” a song that bursts out of the gate with what can only be described as swagger. Not overconfidence or false bravado, but the undeniable sound of a band that knows exactly who they are: swirling keyboards that take you up, down, and all around, rhythmic guitars, irresistible basslines, and drums that keep an unrelenting beat.

Disco-y standout “Atlantis” is the paragon of this formula, with vocal and musical hooks seemingly custom fitted to a spot so deep inside your eardrums they’ll never dislodge. But upbeat isn’t Miracle Mile‘s only tempo. In fact, it’s in quieter moments like “Isea,” which briefly slows down the album’s pulse with gentle “oh-oh-ohs” over acoustic guitar, that the record truly coalesces as a complete whole that couldn’t have come together any other way.

Just like STRFKR.