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It's State Fair Time, Enter your Favorite Dish and Discounts

By Jane Butel  September 8, 2021

After a year with no Fair, it is time to enjoy the New Mexico State Fair again this year, however with masks and vax.  We are once again sponsoring the International competition at the New Mexico State Fair in Albuquerque.  The awards will be presented September 16.  The website for the Fair is http://statefair.exponm.com.  You may enter the contest as follows--SPECIAL NOTE FOR FOOD PREPARATION ENTRIES:  To enter any of  the food preparation competitions sponsored by Home Arts, please bring entries  as Specified by date to the Home Arts Building between the hours of 8:00 AM  and 12:00 Noon.  Entries will not be accepted after 12:00 Noon.  Parking  is at Gate 8 (Louisiana and Lomas).  Arrivals before 10:00 AM may not be asked  to pay admission however, after 10:00 AM may be required to pay admission.    The Creative/Home Arts Building is located west of Tingley Coliseum, with  the entrance facing the Lujan Building (north).  The door for entries is clearly  marked.  There is no entry fee for food preparation contests. 

If you would like to know more, you may go to the website and look at events or look at Participate/Home Arts.  For more information, you may call the Entry Coordinator at 505-222-9706.

The prizes we award for first place is a single session of any weekend class of my Cooking School (a$350.00 value) , 2nd place is a Gift Box of our products and an autographed  cookbook and 3rd place is an autographed cookbook.  I would love to see you there.  In the past, all kinds of entries have won from an outstanding pie to an appetizer, a bread, etc.

Meanwhile, we are conducting several special classes during the next big international event here, the Balloon Fiesta.  We  have the ever popular Green  Chile Fiesta  class on Monday October 4 at 12 noon and the Tamale Roll class on Thursday, October 7 after the special shapes rodeo at the Balloon Park.  It is set for 11 AM.   Following those, we are conducting a weekend class October 8 - 10.  I am placing all of these on a special 20% off for the rest of this week.

Also, the  terrific spice that is very hard to get very fresh is our amazing ground Cumin.  I am placing it on a 20% off special also.  Cumin is what makes chili and other chile dishes  very special.  Do remember that when you are using cumin in a recipe to place one half the amount in the  dish as you are cooking it and the balance should be stirred in just before serving.

A great signal for fall is chili and all the contests.  I am sharing my favorite award winning Bowl o Red for you.  Also another chili for your pleasure.


 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.


This recipe is highly recommended for chili newcomers. It has been known to warm the cockles of the heart and secure long-lasting devotion. The cinnamon and cloves add a particularly nice flavor, but remember to remove them before serving.  Although the proportions listed produce a chili-for-two (enough for one chili devotee plus one novice)  they can be doubled to serve four. 

Yield:  2 servings 

1 Tablespoon lard

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 medium sized cloves garlic, minced

1 pound lean beef, coarsely chopped or hand cut in ½ inch dice

2 Tablespoons pure ground red chile (hot or mild or a combination)

1 teaspoon celery salt

¼ teaspoon cayenne chile

1teaspoon ground cumin, divided

½ teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon salt or to suit taste

1, 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes

1 small bay leaf

1 small stick cinnamon

2 whole cloves

1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and coarsely chopped

1 16 ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained 

  1. Melt the lard in a heavy pot over medium-high heat .  Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is clear, about 5 minutes.  Add meat to the pot—and if ground break apart and brown.  If  hand cut,  do not brown. 
  1. Remove from heat and stir in the chile, and remaining ingredients including half of the cumin.  Add 3 cups water and bring to a boil and simmer for 2 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.
  2.  Remove the cinnamon stick, bay leaf and cloves .  Add the remaining cumin, stirring well—taste and adjust seasonings and serve.





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