Sharing a Little Warmth
Dec. 1, 2010 9:56 am
Updated: Dec. 1, 2010 3:42 pm
Well ya'll, it's getting colder and colder down here in Texas. I know those of you in the northern end of the country scoff when we complain about 40 degree temperatures, but Texans just like warm weather!
We've actually hit freezing temperatures and I felt some teeny, tiny little snowflakes hit my face as I packed the car up with lime merenges, persimmon bars, rhubarb cheesecake and green tea pomegranate chiffon cake for Thanksgiving dinner with the boyfriend's
family while the rest of my family was in Georgia for the big family get-together (I just started a new job and couldn't get the days off to travel over there with my mom and sister.)
I thought I'd share one of my favorite cold weather dishes that always warms me up with everyone.
It's a chili recipe that has been in my mother's side of the family for a few generations. One thing that makes it kind of unique is that each generation takes it and tweaks it a bit to fit their own taste.
My grandmother's version has a more tomato-y flavor, while my mom's has a bit more of a spicy kick to it.
Now that I do most of the cooking in the house, I've made my own tweaks and changes to it.
North Meets South Chili - NomNom Style
3 tbs olive oil, separated
3/4 lb – 1 lb ground turkey (lean)
2 cups red wine, separated
1/2 tbs paprika
1 tbs chili powder
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp fresh ground white pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp fresh ground sea salt
1/2 an onion (white or yellow), chopped
1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 large red bell pepper, chopped
2 small orange or yellow sweet pepper, chopped
1 habanero pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 cloved of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup thinly sliced baby bella mushrooms
1/2 cup thinly sliced shitake muchrooms
2 cups black-eyed peas or pinto beans (from a can or soak in water over night to pre-soften)
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 quart canned tomatoes
8 cups tomato juice
Put a large stew or soup pot on the stove and set the heat to medium-high and heat 2 tbs of the olive oil. Crumble the ground turkey into the hot pan with the spices and sear the meat to caramelize it as you break it into small crumbles with the back of a wooden
Once it is a nice, dark brown and the crumbled have a crunchy texture (about five to seven minutes of cooking), push it to one side of the pan, put the remaining tbs of olive oil and the onions, peppers, garlic and mushrooms into the empty space and cook them,
stirring often, for 2 or 3 minutes until they are softened and slightly shrunken.
Lower the heat to medium and pour a cup of the wine into the pan and stir it around until it has picked up all of the fond off of the bottom of the pan.
Pour in the canned tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, beans and half of the tomato juice. It will seem like a lot, but the goal is to cook it down.
Keep this at a steady medium-low heat and let it cook, uncovered for at least an hour to an hour and a half, stirring frequently. Add the remaining wine and tomato juice periodically as the chili cooks down.
The chili should go form a bright red color at the beginning to a nice, dark and rich red color. Be sure to taste the chili and adjust the spices as you see fit (I usually don't measure them, I just put in a dash of this and pinch of that until it tastes the
way I want it.)
Tastes great with some fried tortilla strips, cheddar cheese and diced avocado on top! My mom likes to put a little bit of jalapeno juice in the chili, but since I put in the habanero, I usually just skip that.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and is gearing up for a happy holiday season.