A Southern Grace: shiver me timbers

February 19, 2015

shiver me timbers


I know I have no right to gripe and complain about the cold since so many people have it so much worse than we do here in Charlotte. Multiple feet of snow? Negative double-digit temperatures? No thank you, and no thank you.

I suppose I might grow accustomed to bone-chilling weather like they have in the northern parts of the country, but I'll be honest: I don't wanna. I've heard lots of people say that they'd rather be cold than hot, but not I. I like to have feeling in my toes and fingertips much more than I mind a little armpit sweat and a moist upper lip.

So even though I have no right to gripe and complain, I seem to be doing it anyway. Sorry. Ignore all that and focus on the food, a body-and-soul-warming vat o' chili. Every person in the world who eats the stuff has his or her preferences regarding how chili should taste, myself definitely included. For me, beans are absolutely essential, and two kinds; one variety will always be kidney beans and the other kind is a toss-up--black beans, pinto beans, navy beans, and even chickpeas have all made an appearance before. There should be something spicy involved, too, as well as a little something sweet. I like a thick consistency, but juicy enough that the piece of bread under my serving gets saturated. I don't get worked up about the meat being used. It's usually beef, though this time I used turkey and found it to be just as satisfying and delicious. Topping options are many, but I stick with cilantro and a little cheese, plus some diced avocado, if I have it.

Icicles have actually formed on my (shamefully wrinkled) garden flag.
Do as the snowman says, folks.

There really aren't many dishes more comforting during and appropriate for the nasty weather we're getting. I'll even go so far as to say that it makes the snow, ice, and frigid air almost tolerable. Almost.

Chill-Fighting Chili
Makes about 10 cups
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus more as needed
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with chiles
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water or beer
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes.
Add the ground turkey and cook, breaking the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until the meat is no longer pink, about 7 minutes. Drain.
Add the seasonings, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes and their juices, tomato sauce, water or beer, and beans, and stir to combine.
Cover and cook until the chili thickens and the flavors meld, about 2 hours. Taste and season as needed.


Beth said...

I can't say we have multiple feet of snow here in Toronto, but it's plenty cold. I can't wait for spring!

Angie Schneider said...

Here I can feel spring already, esp. during midday, the temp. reaches 5C. The chilli looks very warming and comforting.

Pam said...

Lots of snow here and -2 here now, but it's a sunny pretty day. I grew up in heat and high humidity, good and bad to both cold/hot! We're happy here in Chicago area! Your chili looks delicious, Grace and perfect for winter fuel!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I'm like you Grace! I'd much rather be hot than cold. I'm convinced my organs start shutting down at a certain temperature! I'd definitely need this chilli in my life :)

Barbara said...

Wish I had some of your chili for lunch today, Grace. Like you, I feel ridiculous for complaining when the NE has it so much worse than we do, but South Florida in the 30's this morning? That's rare!

Erica said...

This looks amazing for a cold day.Today's water in CT is -3° .

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

Some winter soon, I hope we are in the Carolina's and avoiding these brutal Wisconsin winters. In the mean time though, chili it is! You and I are very similar on our chili's, but in reading your recipe, I realized I have never used beer. Planning my next batch of chili now :)

Betty said...

It's snowing here in VA again, so this would be the perfect day for your chili. Looks good! :)

Chineka Williams said...

Chili is the best and I love Charlotte. NC is my original home!

I Wilkerson said...

It's been cold in Wisconsin, but the snow has been reasonable--and we rarely get the ice they do farther south. But I think Chili as comfort food is a universal!

Juliana said...

Yes, I definitely cannot complain...although it is not that cold here in Southern California...I still would enjoy a bowl of this hearty chili...looks delicious!
Enjoy your week Grace :)

Marjie said...

I'm just waiting for the day we reach into the teens again - maybe tomorrow? Chili is good any time. My son adds diced sweet potatoes and diced tomatoes to his, and it's a really good touch.

Patricia Bacon said...

OK, just so all are clear.... THIS is chili country. With temps yesterday at -27C ( 17 below zero) and snow up to our armpits, we LOVE and need chili. Have made different types and this looks like a winner. Also have used pineapple in mine.
Tks for this one!