With Spring already here, and most children back in school after Spring Break--it is time to make a big pot of chili or some Red Chile Enchiladas or Chilquiles or.... Red chile is so wonderful--you can determine just the right spiciness to suit your palate by blending our mild and hot chiles and if you want to kick it up a notch--add some Caribe chile and if you like it pretty hot, sprinkle on some Pequin Quebrado which rallies in with 40,000 heat units. To make it easier on your pocket book, I am placing all of our red chile products on a half price sale for 2 days, ending midnight, March 28, 2019.
I like to make huge amounts of chili at once and then bag it in 1 and 2 cup amounts for meals and 1001 other uses such as topping a baked potato for a light lunch or making enchiladas, tacos or taco salad, Compuestas, with scrambled eggs and on and on. My 2nd and 3rd editions of "Chili Madness" have loads of recipes for using chili as well as many recipes for making various kinds of chili. I am featuring both editions on sale. The 2nd edtion is $10.00 and the 3rd edition is now $12.00.
Another really fun activity is to start working on your very own chili recipe for entering contests. Our little village of Corrales, NM, had a Chili Cook-off on March 3 and our church preceded with a Chili Cook-off a few weeks before. Chili Cook-offs are very fun and popular. Chili is truly All American--I even worked for a while to make Chili our National Food or Dish. (But it was taking so much time, I had to quit. I did get a Senator from New Mexico and was working on getting others involved to create a bill to make it happen.)
Chiles are so healthful--aiding almost every single part of your body. So get ready and order some today. Our chiles are very special and very fresh. They do not have a single additive, making for the best flavors. However, to keep them very fresh, place them in glass jars in the refrigerator or freezer. Then, they will last as long as you have them--just keep on enjoying them!
And--as of today, I am putting the April 26-28 weekend full participation weekend class on sale at half price or $525.00 for my award winning three session school of traditional New Mexican cooking containing tons of hints, tips and history for all kinds of cooking.
Mexican Tortilla Chili
Yield: 4 to 6 Servings
Similar to tortilla soup, this spicy veggie chili is delicious. It is made in the Mexican style, whereby the vegetables are grilled prior to being added to the soup-the grilled veggies have deeper, mellower flavors than their raw counterparts. The soup is made in two parts: the flavorful broth is prepared first and then poured over the vegetables.
If you wish to make this a vegetarian dish, simply substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth.
For the chili broth:
8 large tomatoes, stemmed
2 large Spanish onions, peeled and halved
6 large Mexican garlic cloves, peeled (see note)
1 quart chicken or vegetable broth (canned is fine)
1 teaspoon chipotle powder, or 2 dried chipotles, reconstituted (see note)
1 piece (2 inches) cinnamon, preferably canela
For the chili vegetables:
2 pounds butternut squash (1 medium squash), peeled, seeded, and cubed
1 teaspoon ground dried Mexican oregano
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans (chickpeas), with liquid
1 small bunch Swiss chard, stemmed, sliced into 1-inch-wide ribbons (about 1 cup)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Corn tortillas, warmed (optional)
1. Prepare the broth: Score an X into the bottom of each tomato, cutting just through the skin. Place the tomatoes, onions, and garlic on a comal or other heavy griddle over medium-high heat and cook, turning, until the vegetables char on all sides, about 10 minutes. (Remove the garlic as soon as it browns a bit.) Transfer the vegetables to a plate and set them aside.
2. Place the chicken broth in a large Dutch oven or small stockpot over high heat. Add the chipotle powder and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, peel and chop the tomatoes. Chop the onions, removing any blackened spots and mince the garlic.
4. Add the tomatoes, onions, and garlic to the broth, along with the canela. Simmer to blend the flavors, about 10 minutes. Remove the canela, taste the broth, and adjust the seasonings as needed, adding salt if desired. Keep warm.
5. Prepare the chili vegetables: Bring 4 cups salted water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the squash and oregano, cover the pan, and simmer until the squash is tender, about 15 minutes. Add the black beans, garbanzo beans, chard, and cumin and cook, uncovered, until the chard is limp and tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the vegetables, reserving the cooking water.
6. Cut the lime into quarters or sixths, depending on the number of servings. Squeeze a wedge of lime into the bottom of each individual bowl. Divide the vegetables among the bowls, and ladle the broth over them, coving the vegetables. (If the broth has become too stew-like, use the reserved vegetable cooking liquid to thin it to a soupier consistency.) Serve with warm corn tortillas, if desired.
Notes: Before using dried chipotles, you must reconstitute them. To do so on the stovetop, place them in a small pot and add a dash of vinegar and water to just cover. Simmer them over low heat until soft, 30 minutes. Alternatively, place the chipotles, vinegar, and water in a quart size microwave-safe liquid measuring cup, cover with cellophane wrap and process 5 minutes. When the chiles are fork-tender, discard the water (or reserve it for later use in marinades and salad dressings) and mince the chiles. I’ve called for Mexican garlic here because it has a complex flavor and its large cloves are easy to peel.
Bowl O’ Red - Classic Chili Recipe
The influence behind this chili recipe came from my maternal grandfather, who when working with the Santa Fe Railroad learned how to prepare it from the “cookies,” or trail cooks. It has won numerous chili cook-offs and is one of the really true original chilis.
2 Tablespoons shortening, preferably solid shortening such as lard or butter
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
3 pounds beef chuck, cut into ½-inch cubes
3 medium-size garlic cloves, finely chopped
¼ cup ground hot chile or to taste
¼ cup ground mild chile
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
About 3 cups water
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1. Heat lard in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened. Remove from heat.
2. Add meat, garlic, ground chiles and cumin to pot. Break up any lumps. Stir in the water and salt. Return to heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 2-1/2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender and the flavors are well blended. Add more water if necessary. Taste and adjust seasonings.
3. Serve with fixin’s ‘n mixins’ of coarsely grated cheeses, pickled jalapenos, chopped onion and sour cream with lime wedges garnished with a “ruffle” of red chile.
Jane's Southwest Recipes and more great ideas for cooking with chiles.