Today was the first time I heard the word "snow" as part of the sentence "Tonight it might..." October seems awfully early to me to be talking about flurries, but then again I'm still in the Texas mindset. So it seemed the only thing to do was to bring some Texas sensibility to the ridiculously cold weather. I needed some warm, spicy chili. My mother makes a traditional red chili that's a little on the mild side and includes some of those big red kidney beans. I'm not a personal fan of big beans, so I instead chose to make a white chicken chili with little white beans. I didn't really have a recipe; I mostly winged it. Luckily for me it was absolutely delicious. I used a whole jalapeno pepper for mine, and it turned out about medium Texas spicy. The amount of jalapeno can definitely be reduced or it can be left out all together. I served mine with avocado, sour cream, cilantro, and cornbread. And of course I also topped it with cheese. You can use Monterey Jack, cheddar, queso blanco, or anything else that catches your fancy. I personally used smoked gouda because...well...I really like it. And I forgot to buy Monterey Jack. The cornbread recipe is my favorite, and it's courtesy of Land o' Lakes. You can find it here. For a more interesting version, you can add a can of green chiles to the cornbread also.
White Chicken Chili
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 tbsp butter or margarine
1 tsp ground cumin
2 (15.5-ounce) cans Goya small white beans or cannellini beans
2 (4.5-ounce) cans chopped green chiles (use Hatch chiles if you can find them)
1 1/2 cups pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, chopped
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp cornstarch
Combine onion, garlic, jalapeno, and butter in a large pot. Saute for several minutes until the onion starts to soften. Sprinkle cumin on top to release the flavor. Add beans, green chiles, chopped chicken, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Once chili is heated through, add milk and stir in. Put cornstarch into a small bowl. Carefully ladle some liquid from the chili onto the cornstarch, and mix to form a thin paste. Pour the paste into the chili and allow several minutes to thicken slightly.