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To make this week: Spicy margaritas and sweet potato chili

This Thursday, Feb 22 is National Margarita Day, National Cook a Sweet Potato Day and National Chili Day. Here's how to combine them all into one.
Celebrate National Margarita Day with Padma Lakshmi's signature Ginger-Turmeric Spicy Margarita. Photo: Patron.

This Thursday, February 22, we’re treated to a delicious combo of culinary observances, according to the National Day Calendar. For reasons unknown, the very official holiday calendar has got National Margarita Day, National Chili Day and National Cook a Sweet Potato Day all scheduled on the lineup. (The National Day Calendar is basically astrology, right?)

Luckily, these food and drink stuffs can easily go together. There’s no good reason why you shouldn’t whip up a batch of refreshing margs to enjoy with hearty, comforting chili — made healthier and more colorful with the addition of sweet potatoes — tomorrow night for dinner. It's February; gotta brighten it up somehow. Here's one way how. 

Padma Lakshmi’s Ginger Turmeric Spicy margarita

You don’t tend to think of margaritas as a winter beverage, but Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi believes tequila is a spirit for all four seasons. Her signature margarita is fresh and flavorful, so you can get in some vitamins and antioxidants with your winter boozing. It combines Patron silver with ginger turmeric simple syrup, fresh lime, fresh mint leaves with a kick — ground turmeric, ancho chili powder and salt for the rim. Here’s the recipe:

Padma’s Margarita Recipe: The Ginger Turmeric Margarita

Margarita:

2 oz Patrón Silver

1 oz Ginger Turmeric Simple Syrup*

1 Tablespoon Fresh Lime Juice

3-4 Fresh Mint Leaves

*Ginger Turmeric Syrup:

1 Cup Water

¾ Cup Sugar

4 Inches Fresh Ginger Root, Peeled and Sliced

1 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder

Rim:

 ½ Teaspoon Ground Turmeric

½ Teaspoon Ancho Chili Powder

2 Teaspoon Coarse Salt

In a small saucepan, combine sugar, water and sliced ginger. Place over medium heat and bring to boil. Cook until sugar dissolves. Let steep for at least 10 minutes. Add the turmeric powder and stir until incorporated. Strain syrup through a coffee filter.

Combine ancho, turmeric and salt on a small plate and mix to combine. Wet the top of a rocks glass with a wedge of orange and dip in spice mix. Tear mint leaves, and add to a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the Patrón, lime juice and ginger turmeric syrup and shake vigorously.

Pour into prepared rocks glass and garnish with an orange wedge.

 

Getting those colors in! #FoodPrep #SweetPotatoChili #CrockPotIsMyBestFriend

A post shared by Jill Merckens (@jmerckens) on

Sweet potato black bean and turkey chili 

Throwing in a sweet potato with your everyday chili recipe adds an extra dose of color and flavor to the comfort food — and it’s good for you. Sweet potatoes are high in fiber and low in calorie. They're packed with beta carotene (that’s what gives it its orange-yellow pigment) and Vitamin A and C, antioxidants which are good for the immune system and help prevent against cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. 

One of the great things about chili is that it’s infinitely modifiable. You can make it vegetarian, or if you’re doing Whole 30, just hold the beans. You can bring the heat with jalapenos and habaneros, or stick to mild red, yellow and orange bell peppers. And when it comes to toppings — sour cream, avocado, shredded cheese, tortilla strips — you name it. We highly recommend preparing in a multicooker, if you’ve got one, so it can sit all day while you’re at work and you can enjoy when you get home.