With the busy-ness of fall, I kind of overlooked telling about my always popular "Chile and Chocolate Class...Amazing Culinary Companions" set for November 11 at 5 PM. So, I am continuing the 20% off discount all week through Sunday, November 5.
You would probably be amazed how well Chile and Chocolate complement each other! I hope to cook with you. The end of Daylight savings time is also coming next weekend. So we can cozy in to a fun cooking session and make some confections you just might want to cook up for the holidays coming very soon.
I got a great new piece of health news this past week. As many of you know, I am always promoting the healthfulness of chiles. Well, in the "Harvard Heart Letter", one of the selling points the editor, Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., MPH placed in his letter for potential subscribers was "Want to lower your risk of dying from heart disease by one-third? Eat chili peppers at least four times per week. New research shows the spicy vegetable contains a compound called capsaicin, which reduces harmful inflammation." ( Of course I feel compelled to tell him they are chiles, not peppers and are a fruit, not a vegetable, but he reaffirms what I have always touted.
And...to help you get ready for spicing up your holidays, I just now heard that we are getting a brand new 2021 crop of our pure, wonderful ground red mild and hot chile powders in this week for your pleasure. And, to celebrate this, we are having a VERY special week long 50% off sale of these.
Somehow, with the colder weather coming and shorter days, it always makes for a perfect time to enjoy eating more chiles. And, who wouldn't like to boost their heart health?
Here's a couple of fun to make chile laden dishes that freeze very well. Did you know that red chile is the world's best natural anti-oxident? So the more red chile in a dish or food, the greater the keeping and freezing quality.
BUFFET TAMALE PIE
This dish couldn’t be better named—it definitely will serve a crowd—at least 10 to 12 hungry “chile-starved” appetites. I particularly like it made with blue corn flour as the blue crust is especially appealing with the chili filling and cheesy top. The spicy goodness is sure to please most everyone. A tossed green salad completes the meal.
Yield: 10 to 12 servings or one 10 x 14 inch casserole
Temperature: 325 F
Baking time: 2 or more hours
8 cups water
3 cups Pecos Valley Spice blue corn flour(or corn meal)
2 teaspoons salt
2 pounds ground lean beef
1 pound chorizo, fried and well drained
½ cup chopped onion (1/2 of medium onion)
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped green chile (about 4 fresh parched, peeled and chopped) or 1, 4 ounce can
1 cup whole kernel corn
1 cup grated sharp cheese
1 cup pitted ripe olives, sliced in two
1 cup chicken broth
3 ½ cups canned tomatoes
1/4 cup pure ground hot Pecos Valley chile
2 Tablespoons crushed Pecos Valley caribe chile
1 Tablespoon Pecos Valley cumin
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese
12 jalapeno or pimiento stuffed green olives, optional
- 1. Heat 5 cups of the water to boiling. Mix corn flour or meal, salt and remaining 3 cups water together and pour into boiling water, stirring constantly. Cook until thickened. Cover.
- 2. Before mixture cools, use it to line a very large casserole dish. Reserve one-quarter of the mush for the topping.
- 3. Brown the ground beef, stir in the cooked and drained chorizo and onion. Saute two to three minutes or until the onion is clear. Stir in all remaining ingredients except the Monterey Jack cheese and the green olives.
- 4. Simmer until somewhat thickened. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- 5. Spoon the mixture into the mush-lined casserole and top with spoonsful of the reserved mush, smoothing it to make a uniform topping. Garnish with the Monterey Jack cheese and sliced green olives.
Notes: This can be made up to 3 days ahead for baking 2 hours before serving. Leftovers freeze up to 6 months.
CHILI UPSIDE DOWN PIE
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.
BACON CRUMBLE CORNBREAD
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 cup milk
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.