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Exciting New Fun

By Jane Butel  September 9, 2020

Did you know that there were only two foods that excite us?  They are chiles and chocolate.  And chiles are by far stronger in creating endorphin reactions than chocolate.  Chiles have the ability to extend your life and keep you healthier and  happier.  Eating the hottest chiles you can endure on a regular basis--approximately two thirds of the time--can protect you from getting heart disease or cancer.  This has been proven by research in leading universities...the University of the Philippines and the University of Nottingham in England.

Knowing this and owing my good fortune health wise to a life long love affair with chiles has led me to share this information to the best of my ability.   I have spent months accumulating information on chiles and organizing it in a very user friendly set of over 40 lectures that are sure to captivate and entertain you.  This is my new online "All About Chiles" class which starts September 15 and extends to November 4--with a month extension just to allow extra time if desired.

The first 8 lectures feature Get Acquainted information about the class followed by 5 lectures on chile basics and how chiles work.  And, then the last 34 lectures or classes are on cooking with chiles.  You see  it is important that you include chiles in your diet on a regular basis--knowing  many ways to cook with them becomes quite fun and imperative.  There are so very many  hints, tips and techniques on cooking with chiles.  In this course, I feature Southwestern and Regional Mexican cookery. You will have the opportunity to chat with your classmates and with me.  Also, we plan to host some forums timed around most person's availability. 

Chiles emanated in the Americas, most probably somewhere from the Rio Grande to the equator. 

I review the different ways to cook with red and green chiles and over 150 kitchen tested recipes to select from for cooking.  You will also receive an autographed copy of my comprehensive "Southwestern Kitchen" which Publishers Weekly called the Bible of Southwestern cooking and which backed my PBS series that successfully ran for 8 years.  Also, you will receive an assortment of my favorite chiles and spices from our Pecos Valley Spice Co. as well as a DVD on chili making.  All are valued at over $100.00 and included with the course.

Each cluster of classes is released every 3 to 5 days and you will be able to pace yourself with the cooking and testing of the various recipes.  We will have chat rooms available and forums you can participate in if you wish.

At the very end of the class with the last release of lectures on November 4, you will be preparing your very own individual recipes.  And you will receive a diploma for all of your accomplishment.

I sincerely hope you will participate and look forward to cooking with you!

If you would like to participate in a live full participation cooking class, we have openings in our Green Chile Fiesta class  next week on September 17, our Tamale Roll class on October 8 and our Red Chile Fiesta class November 19 as well as our October 23-25 weekend class and our November 2-6 week long class. 

Here's a couple of favorite recipes--


This pot roast benefits from using a dry rub, which has been popular in Texas for some time. They impart flavor and are easily applied. Brisket is very easy to cook this way and becomes quite juicy and amazingly fork tender--in fact a fork almost drops through the roast.  
Yield: 10-12 servings
Temperature: 425 F, then 200 F
1, 5-6 pound beef brisket or chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat, leaving at least ¼ inch layer
¼ cup ground black pepper*
¼ cup ground medium-hot chiles*
2 Tablespoons salt*
1 ½ Tablespoons garlic powder*
1 large Spanish onion, sliced ¼ inch thick
Minced parsley (optional)
Crushed pequin chile (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Trim brisket and bring meat to room temperature. Create a rub*, by mixing black pepper, ground chile, salt, and garlic powder together. Then sprinkle rub onto the top and sides of the meat, using a large spoon, then rub in with your fingers. Turn and sprinkle with the rub mixture and rub in. The rub should be uniformly spread in a thin layer over all sides of the meat.

2. Place in a large roasting pan that has a tight-fitting lid. Top meat with onion. Close any steam vents. Roast 30 minutes. Then reduce heat to 200?F and roast 1 hour per pound or until beef is fork tender. Do not peek for the first three hours. The brisket cooks in its own juice and will not need any added liquid.

3. When the meat is done, let it stand at room temperature about 20 minutes with the lid removed to allow roast to absorb some of the juice and to stabilize before carving. If desired, before carving, garnish the top with minced parsley and sprinkle of pequin chile. Serve with the pan juices and your favorite barbecue sauce, if desired.
*Or, use Gordon's Rub instead, omitting the starred ingredients.

See the entire archive of Southwest Recipes for more ideas about cooking with chiles.

For an amazing dessert treat, try my Green Chile Apple Pie recipe that follows.  We will be making this in our next week's Green Chile Fiesta class. 


The flavor combination of green chile and apples in a spicy, sweet pie is amazingly delicious. The chile adds a bit of an edge to the apples and acts as accent, complimenting the cinnamon.

For an added treat, serve with butter pecan or vanilla ice cream.

Temperature: 450F for 10 minutes, 350F for another 30 minutes

1 recipe pastry for double-crusted 9-inch pie

1 pound sliced apples

1 large or 2 small medium hot green chiles, parched, peeled and chopped (1/2 cup)

½ teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 cup white sugar

2 Tablespoons flour

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1 Tablespoon milk

Sugar for sprinkling over the top

  1. Mix the apples with the chiles and place in the pastry-lined pie tin and sprinkle with the cinnamon dots of butter.
  2. Sprinkle the white sugar and flour over the apple chile mixture.
  3. Cover with the pastry top and freeze until firm. If not freezing cut a pattern in the top crust and brush it with milk, then sugar.
  4. Bake as directed in a preheated 450F oven.

Freezing Hints: After firmly frozen, package airtight, seal, and label. To serve, warm pie about 30 minutes in a 325F oven, if baked. If unbaked, preheat oven, cut a pattern in top crust, then proceed as above.

Maximum recommended freezer storage: 4 months




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