Uptown Soul Food’s ‘Cozy Chili Night’

imageFor as long as I could remember, I’ve always been fascinated by music. From making important decisions to sharpening my creativity, the soundtrack to my life has been a hodgepodge of all things hip hop, jazz, electronic, rock and R&B. With that said,  there’s no question that stumbling upon Turntable Kitchen, a site that connects food + music,  was a great moment for me. This Christmas, I received Turntable Kitchen’s December Pairings Box as a gift. The box, which is described as a a food and music experience delivered to your mailbox on a monthly basis, was packed with recipes, ingredients, and a 7′ vinyl copy of two exclusive tracks from Seamonster

Of the three recipes included in the pairings box, we decided tonight would be a perfect night to enjoy the Spicy Turkey Chili with Espresso & Cocoa recipe. As snow accumulated on my window seal, my kitchen transformed into a music-filled canteen with a savory combination of cafe’ and chili aromas.

Luckily, close to 100% of the recipe called for plant-based ingredients with the exception of the ground turkey and the cheddar cheese used for topping. During a quick (and affordable) trip to Trader Joe’s, I purchased ‘Beefless Ground-Beef’ and Trader Joe’s Vegan Mozzarella Style Shreds to make the recipe complete. After slicing and dicing red bell peppers, onions and garlic, preparing the chili was relatively simple. Turntable Kitchen’s recipe cards (pictured below) make the process very easy to follow. In addition to the listing of ingredients, the opposite side of the cards include directions and tips for preparing the dish.

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I figured it would be best to enjoy the sounds of Seamonster over dinner so I tuned into the Turntable Kitchen Digital Mixtape to stay entertained while cooking. As an avid lover and creator of music mixes, this mix is easily one of the best I’ve heard in a while. My favorite tracks on the mixtape, which are available for download for subscribers, are Sikane’s Runnin’, Monster Rally & RUMTUM-‘s Chicks and The Record Company- I Want to Be Your Dog. The 20-track mixtape served as a great dinner soundtrack. I found myself lost in the music while the aroma of savory spices spread throughout my apartment. Needless to say, after about 20 minutes of meal prep and close to 1 hour of cooking time, Turntable Kitchen’s Spicy Vegan Chili with Espresso & Cocoa was an instant success. This was the first time espresso or cocoa powder was introduced to any main dish at the dinner table in my home and it was quite the culinary experience. Check out the photograph below to see the results!

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Spicy Vegan Chili with Espresso & Cocoa

In addition to the Spicy Turkey Chili with Espresso & Cocoa recipe, the December pairings box also included recipes for Buttermilk Skillet Cornbread and Carrot & Cauliflower Quick Pickles. Both remaining dishes will be prepared at a later date.  If you’d like to learn more about the Turntable Kitchen experience, view their website at www.turntablekitchen.com.

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