As of noon here in Northern Virginia, the temperature has not yet climbed above 36 degrees F. and it’s quite breezy making it feel much colder. A great time to compose a comforting, stick-to-your-ribs menu such as what I propose here: a variation on chili. There are devotees of beans in chili, and there are those who say beans have no place in the recipe. (I happen to like beans in this dish, and I will be including cranberry beans which are simmering away on the stove as I write this.) This is pretty much my standard chili preparation with one major exception: along with   the traditional ground beef, I am including some fresh Mexican-style Chorizo sausage to add additional heat and depth of flavor. As this cooks, I will be sitting in front of a blazing fire while addressing my holiday cards and enjoying the aroma wafting from the kitchen. And the added bonus—a break from Thanksgiving leftovers! As a dessert note, I suggest something quite different. What better way to sooth the spicy chili, and to end a holiday weekend than with a small, chilled coffee liqueur cocktail?

Chorizo sausage and beef chili with onions, red peppers, tomatoes, and stock thickened with corn flour and served with a topping of grated cheddar and a dollop of sour cream
Cornbread muffins

Kahlua and cream iced cocktail

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