Chiles really take the gloom and the winter blahs and colds away. You may wonder why I spell chiles with an e--that is because they are the delectable fruit (Yes a fruit). and not a dish as in chili con carne. The week before last in this blog, I mentioned lots of healthful properties of chiles--they really can stop a cold in its' tracks. I had not had a cold for 20 years or more and caught one about 2 weeks ago. So, for lunch, when I first "caught" it, I had the "bowl of blessedness " (posole) and a red chile enchilada and low and behold the cold immediately got much better.
I think it is kind of interesting to know that the reason peppers got stuck onto the name of chiles is that Christopher Columbus took the chiles from the new world back to Europe and though if he called them chile peppers, people would think they were a substitute for black or while pepper. However, it did not work--yet the name remained.
It is chili season (actually for chili heads--anytime is chili season) and with the big game coming--whether you like football or not, most everyone likes chili--with or without beans. So I am placing our end of crop pure mild and hot red chiles on a half price sale--the first to order get the chiles before I run out. We do have the 2022 brand new fresh crop of red chiles on order and will be selling them as soon as we have sold out last years.
Do remember, our chiles are 100% pure with no additives or preservatives, so they make the best chile products, but must be stored in glass in your refrigerator or freezer. (Ordinary chili powder is 40% salt with additives and preservatives...some of which can be carcinogenic.)
Bowl o Red is my personal favorite chili recipe and has probably won more chili cookoffs than any, so I am attaching it with more chilis coming in the weeks to come.
For a break from the usual chile recipes, next week on Thursday evening, January 26, we are featuring our ever popular Chile and Chocolate class which still has openings. Then our Specialty Bread Baking class is February 2 and more to come in February--check out our calendar.
Our next weekend, February 10 - 12, will be the weekend of the Big Game and of course we will have the TV on and can have extra fun creating New Mexico's finest recipes including Carne Adobado, Sopaipillas, Tamales, Blue Cornbread and never fail Flan....plus lots more.
Here's my favorite chili recipe--
BOWL O’ RED
The influence behind this recipe came from my maternal grandfather, who was in charge of the line extensions going west from Topeka, Kansas. While working with the Santa Fe Railroad, he was stationed a long time in Dodge City, KS which was the end of trail for the cattle drives. He developed this recipe after commiserating with lots of “cookies,” or trail cooks who cooked for the cowboys bringing cattle up from Texas and Northern Mexico. It has won numerous chili cook-offs and is one of the really true original chilis. I like to gussy it up with side dishes of Fixin’s ‘n Mixin’s of chopped onion, pickled jalapenos, mixed grated cheddar and Jack cheeses, sour cream garnished with lime wedges edged in powdered mild red chile and a bowl of pequin quebrado minced and a Habeneros for those who like it red hot!
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
- 2 Tablespoons lard, butter, bacon drippings, or rendered beef fat
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 3 pounds lean beef, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 3 medium-sized garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup pure ground hot chile or to taste
- 1/4 cup pure ground mild chile
- 1 Tablespoon ground cumin, divided
- About 3 cups water
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1. Melt the lard in a large heavy pot with a flat bottom and straight sides over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened. Remove from heat.
2. Add meat, garlic, ground chiles and ½ the cumin to the pot. Break up any lumps. Stir in the water and salt. Return to heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, 2-1/2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender and the flavors are well blended. NEVER COVER. Placing a lid on a stew such as this will steam the meat, toughening it, rather than allowing it to break down and become quite tender. Add more water if necessary. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding remaining cumin. Serve with fixin’s ‘n mixin’s as noted above.