Fall is just around the corner…I can almost feel it in Florida’s crisp dry air. I am totally lying. It is hot as Haiti, the humidity is still plaguing my thin blond locks and my deodorant is definitely working overtime. For Floridians, fall takes its sweet time getting here which annoyingly deprives me of wearing scarves and boots, planning picnics in the park and taking down the top and windows of my Jeep. I do not however, let this irritating season dilemma deny my right in making one mean pot of chili. I simply turn down the thermostat and imagine the leaves turning vibrant colors of garnet and gold. For those of you Floridians who can’t possibly allow yourselves to imagine such a thing, I suggest you hold onto this recipe until November, when Florida has finally caught up with every other state in terms of season.
Chili is one of my weeknight specialties where I really let my creativity take control. Burgundy wine chili, southwestern chili, white bean chicken chili and even a Greek- inspired chili have all been created in my kitchen. Most recently, I chose to change my brother’s opinion on ground turkey breast (99% fat free) for good. Knowing he is quite the fan of Indian cuisine, I had a few chili tricks up my sleeve for a killer concoction I knew he’d appreciate. Using chickpeas instead of the usual light/red kidney beans and loads of curry powder versus the typical handful of chili and cumin, I was able to create a unique and seriously tasty pre-fall meal.
1 lb. Ground turkey breast (or regular ground turkey if you’re unconcerned with fat)
1 can chickpeas
1 can diced tomatoes
1 ½ cups white onion, chopped
¾ cup green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup carrots, sliced thin
2 ears yellow corn
3-5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 bottle of your favorite IPA (I recommend Tampa’s own Jai Alai)
1 can tomato sauce
1 small can tomato paste
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon white pepper
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground Cayenne
3 tablespoons EVOO
**Suggested chili topping: Non-fat plain Greek yogurt
1) In a large soup pot, over medium heat, sauté onions, carrots, bell peppers and minced garlic in EVOO until slightly softened.
2) Add ground turkey breast, breaking it up with a spoon and letting it evenly brown.
3) Add tomato paste and all dry spices (curry, cumin, chili power, white pepper, cinnamon, cayenne) Mix all seasoning to coat meat and veggies
4) Add tomato sauce, canned tomatoes and chickpeas (with juices). Stir and let sit over a light boil for 5 minutes.
5) Stir in corn (cut from the cob). Cook over a low boil for another 5-10 minutes.
6) Pour in your preferred IPA (India Pale Ale) and boil for 5 minutes. Reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes. Taste for salt and seasonings and modify for personal preference. If seasonings are added at this time, let the chili simmer for another 10 minutes.