A Chili to Banish the Winter Chill | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

A Chili to Banish the Winter Chill

A Chili to Banish the Winter Chill

Warming and cozy, turkey chili hits the spot these mid-winter days

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It’s been cold and snowy lately and I needed to warm up - not just on the outside (which would only have taken an extra sweater), but from within.

So I cooked chili.

Chili isn’t exactly an old-fashioned-traditional dish from my Ashkenazi Jewish background. My grandma never heard of it, I’m sure. But decades ago, when “Tex-Mex” cuisine became all the rage, chili became mainstream Americanized and every bit as appropriate and kosher in a Jewish kitchen as cholent.

What makes a good chili? People argue about the recipe with the vehemence of Talmudic scholars. No beans! Yes beans! There’s no such thing as vegetarian chili! Tofu chili is terrific!

And so on.

Me? I prefer to be flexible. So, as far as I am concerned:

Chili can include meat. Or not. The meat can be chopped or ground. It might be beef, veal, or poultry.

Beans? Sure, if you want to include them. Reconstituted dried from a bag or from a can. Red kidney beans are fine. So are white beans and garbanzos.

Seasonings? Well, the name is chili after all, so – sure, mix in some chili powder or a fresh chopped chili pepper of some sort; the amount is up to you, depending on how spicy you like your food. My version also includes cumin and oregano, which add depth to the flavor.

Serve chili plain or with corn chips or mashed avocado. Have it your way. Any way at all, it’s a good dish to warm you up from within.

Turkey Chili

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