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Snow or Shine...It's Chili Time--Chiles, Cumin 25% Off

By Jane Butel  January 25, 2022

Luckily , we have been almost totally in the sunshine (here in the Rio Grande valley of New Mexico)--yet still have snow on our mountains.  Chili tastes great anytime and is so very good for you.  If you need more chile, now is the time to buy--our Mild , Hot and Cumin are all on sale at 25% off this week through Sunday, January 30.

We would love to cook with you and have you enjoy our wonderful sunshine and bright blue skies.  If you like to ski--you can do that in the afternoons after our weekend class sessions February 19 and 20.  We are also continuing to offer our weekend class at 20% off and if two of you are coming--the second one comes at half price.  (To get this  deal, please call me at 505-243-2622.)  This is a very great deal.  For the complete menus for a weekend class, go to our website at www.janbutelcooking.com and click on the weekend class button.  The menu link is there.

Our week long class is coming March 7 - 11 and all of our classes are 100

5 full participation.

The great attribute of chili is that once made, you have several meals--depending on how large a batch you make.  And, chili freezes beautifully for several months.  You can use chili, depending on the type, for a sauce for enchiladas, as a filling for baked potatoes, for a chili pie with a cornbread crust (recipe follows) and much more.  Intrigued?  Come join our Chili It Up class on February 24.

Want to learn a new, innovative menu--great for Valentine's Day or other special holiday--then register for our Sweetheart class on Saturday, February 5 at 2 PM where the signature main dish is grilled salmon topped with Pesto.  Perfect Margaritas are also on the menu.

Following are two very different chili recipes from my "Chili Madness", 2nd or 3rd edition.  


The spicy flavors of chili have always paired well with cornbread. This Pie is actually rather similar in taste to the Tamale Pie, page . It is lighter and differently flavored in that the cornbread is not as dense as the mush. You can use any leftover chili for this one.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

1 teaspoon butter
3 cups leftover chili
½ cup onion, chopped
¼ cup pickled jalapenos, chopped
1 recipe Bacon Crumble Cornbread, recipe, follows
½ cup Monterey Jack-Cheddar cheese grated mix

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Meanwhile, butter a three quart casserole or baking pan. Place the chili, onion and jalapenos in layers. Prepare the cornbread, recipe following, omitting the bacon.

2. Place the cornbread on top of the chili. Then smooth out to the corners of the casserole. Sprinkle with the cheese and bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. 


There’s something about cornbread that really complements chili, and there’s something about bacon that really complements cornbread. This cornbread combines the smoky, rich flavor of bacon with the gritty satisfying texture and pleasing earthiness of cornmeal—and it’s delicious alongside any number of chilies. You may use either finely ground corn meal or corn flour or coarsely ground corn meal.

Yield: Serves 4 to 8

4 strips thick-cut (or 8 strips thin-cut) good-quality bacon

1 cup blue, yellow or white cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 Tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 egg

1 cup milk

  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Cut the bacon crosswise into ¼ inch wide strips.using a kitchen scissors or a sharp knife, then place them in a 9-inch cast-iron or heavy oven-proof skillet over medium-low heat and cook, turning occasionally, until crisp, about 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate to drain. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the bacon drippings in the skillet and pour off the rest.
  1. Combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg and milk. Add egg mixture to the dry mixture and stir to combine.
  1. Pour the bacon drippings into the batter and stir until just combined. Pour the batter into the unwashed skillet, top with the bacon, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cornbread comes out clean, 20 minutes.


This yummy casserole is influenced by a favorite version of Chilaquiles from the Yucatan. I did a comparative class in Cozumel comparing the pre and post Hispanic influence on the cuisine. This dish is primarily pre-Hispanic and one they served almost daily for their buffet breakfast at the Melia Mayan resort where we happily conducted our school.

Temperature: 425 F, then 350F
Baking Time: 12 minutes, then 30 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 servings

12 corn tortillas, quartered and baked until crisp
1 teaspoon butter
1 ½ cups leftover chili
1 ¼ cups grated or crumbled white cheese—Queso Blanco, Feta, Monterrey Jack or Mozzarella
1 cup sour cream
1 or more cups chicken stock if dry
2 Tablespoons onion, finely chopped

1. Preheat an oven to 425 F. Quarter tortillas and place on large cookie sheet, then put in oven. Bake until crisp, about 12 to 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 F.

2. Butter a 2 quart or 8 x 8 inch baking pan. When tortillas are crisp, place a layer to cover the bottom of the pan. Add a layer of the chili, then cheese and sour cream dollops.

3. Repeat layers, ending with cheese and sour cream. Sprinkle with onion. If dry, due to thick chili, add chicken stock. Bake for 30 minutes or until slightly browned on top and bubbly.   







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