Carrie's Kitchen: Recipes for Indian summer weather

I know this is still technically summer, but with the cool nights and mornings, the kids being back at school and my lawn starting to see some leaves fall, it feels more like an early Indian summer.

According to


, a true Indian summer is a hot spell in autumn where the heat must reach above 70 for seven days in a row after the autumnal equinox. Maybe we need a new expression for that early fall feeling rather than that late summer feeling.

In any case, I love this kind of weather. I'm ready to cook with apples, pumpkin and winter squash, but I don't want to squander what's left of summer. After all, this is a great harvest time, and I want to take advantage of the remaining local produce.


So I started searching for recipes that go along with "Indian summer," and the most popular one that came up was for a cocktail using true ingredients from India, so that is not what I had in mind. But I was excited to come across this chili recipe from Rachael Ray. I'm not sure what makes it such an Indian summer recipe for her, but I'm gathering it has to do with the smokiness and the grill seasonings.

The second recipe is for actual Indian food, a sort of zucchini curry of sorts, that the author stated is great for using up end-of-season ingredients. I do not have much experience with Indian cooking at all, but this recipe looked simple enough, though it does require some ingredients that even I don't keep in my pantry, like ginger paste, cumin seeds and carom seeds - though thankfully the author offers the option of trading carom seeds out for thyme leaves.

I hope you can savor the end of summer without wanting to rush into fall like I do. I'm sure it will be here soon enough.


Indian summer turkey chili
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 pounds ground turkey (85 percent lean) or ground turkey breast (99 percent lean)
4 tablespoons dark chili powder
2 tablespoons grill seasoning blend, any brand
1 tablespoon cumin
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 to 3 tablespoons hot sauce, medium to extra-spicy
1 large onion, quartered
2 large bell peppers, any color combination, chopped
1/2 bottle beer, about 1 cup
1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup smoky barbecue sauce
2 cups corn kernels, optional

Heat a pot over medium to medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil and the turkey meat. Season the meat with chili powder, grill seasoning, cumin, Worcestershire and hot sauce. Break up the meat with the back of a wooden spoon into small crumbles.
Chop the onion, reserving 1/4 of it for topping the chili. Brown meat 5 minutes, then add onions and chopped bell peppers and cook 10 minutes more. Add beer and deglaze the pan, scraping up the drippings and cooking off the alcohol.
Add tomato sauce and barbecue sauce and bring to a bubble. If using corn kernels, add them now. Let chili simmer 10 minutes.
Adjust seasonings and heat level to your taste. Remove from heat and serve.

Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com

Zucchini with carom seeds (or thyme)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter (optional), or add an extra tablespoon of oil
1/2 teaspoon carom seeds or 1 tablespoon minced thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 red onion, cut into a fine dice
1 tablespoon fresh ginger paste
2 medium zucchini, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
Salt to taste
1 tomato, diced
Lime juice and chopped cilantro to finish

Heat the oil and butter (if using) on medium heat for about 1 minute. Add in the carom seeds or thyme and the cumin seeds and after 30 seconds add in the red onion.
Saute lightly for about 2 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent. Add in the ginger paste. Add in the zucchini and cook until nice and soft.
Add in the turmeric, red chili powder and the salt and stir well. Add in the tomato and cover and cook for 5 to 6 minutes until fairly soft.
Remove the cover, stir in the lime juice and the chopped cilantro and mix well.
Source: http://cookinginwestchester.com/

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