it’s chilly in dc. time for some chili!
sorry. couldn’t resist. but good night, it is cold here today. completely unacceptable.
this chili would be the opposite of that. healthy AND tasty. and if you have a half-eaten can of chipotle from last week’s chicken, you’re in luck.
little known fact – not only was i born in texas, i spent my fair share of time at chili-cook-offs. i’m pretty sure i was wearing gingham, cause my mom knows what’s what.
but really, chili is my dad’s thing. this is one of two culinary gifts from my father, the mad scientist. the first is peanut butter on waffles with pancake syrup. i have yet to be able to convince anyone of the amazingness of that combination, so maybe you have to grow up with it?
anyway. that man is serious about his chili. he got his recipe down to a very precise combination of spices. when i asked him for it a while back, he asserted that the ratios require that you create a very large quantity of chili spice, making it useless for the home cook. pre-katrina, his local nola restaurant used his crazy spice mix, and i think he used to give baggies of it away to the worthy few.
not screwing around here folks, not screwing around.
anyway, we’re moving ahead without you here, dad, with what i’m sure would be a pretty solid contender for the blue ribbon.
tomatoes. green chile and chipotle chilies. white beans. freshly ground cumin. hard to go wrong here.
and hey, look! i grew those peppers! last gasp of summer, there you go.
this chili is seriously good. it is nicely spicy and smoky from the chipotle and paprika, has a brightness from the green chile and tomatoes. the ground turkey gives it heft without heaviness. and the white beans, especially on day two, are just pillowy soft. i caught the somm fishing them out of the leftovers, the sneak!
and . . . because i can’t leave well enough alone, i also made cornbread. the sweetness balances the chili’s spice, and the smoky bacon brings it all together.
the zucchini? well, i was just intrigued to see if it would turn out as a proper cornbread or more like a quick bread. happily, this is a true cornbread, maybe just a tad moister, with lots of green goodness tucked inside.
this is a hearty bread, between the whole wheat flour, bacon and zucchini.
it also has buttermilk – and i cheated and added a bit of lemon juice to milk for a DIY solution – and browned butter. yum.
i baked it in a cast-iron skillet coated with the bacon (ok it was pancetta, but how girly girly does zucchini pancetta cornbread sound!!) drippings so it was infused with bacon flavor.
Spicy Turkey Chili
Adapted from Epicurious
- 2 canned whole chipotle chilies in adobo, finely chopped or pureed with a little water
- 2 18-ounce cans tomatoes, whole or diced (you may not use them all)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon smoky Spanish paprika
- 2 pounds ground turkey
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
- two 4-ounce cans mild green chilies, drained and chopped
- 2 teaspoons cornmeal
- 1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- sour cream
- Shredded cheese