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Meet Me in St. Louis, Oaxaca Trip Set

By Jane Butel  September 25, 2018

Tomorrow, we are off to St. Louis with tons of the new edition of "Chili Madness", some of my other cookbooks and loads of pure Pecos Valley Spice Co. chiles and spices...all for sale and autographing.  We are very excited about going as Lou's family is there and we will see family and friends while there in addition to setting up and displaying our wares in a booth at the International Chile Society's 42nd Annual World Championship Competition.  I will also be a Chili Judge.  If you can make it to the event, it is being conducted at the Gateway Motor Sports Park in St. Louis, MO. and we will have a booth there.  You can learn more about the ICS on their website.

I have been going to the World Championships and helping with judging since 1980.  A few years ago, we went the CASI World Championship which has always been conducted in Terlingua, TX--an old mining town very close to the Mexican border.  CASI , which is the acronym for Chili Appreciation Society, Inc. was the first world chili society followed a few years later by ICS, which formerly was always conducted in the Los Angles area.

Our trip to Oaxaca last June was so much fun and so  successful, we have set another Oaxaca Culinary Tour for March 12 to 18, 2019.  I would love to have you join us!  You can register now for the tour and see the itinerary on our website.

We have classes set for registration through next July, 2019.  The November 9 - 11, 2018 weekend class is open for registration as are our Balloon Fiesta classes.  The Tamale Roll class is sold out--however, the Party Appetizer class on Monday, October 8 at 11 AM and the Chili, Chile, Chili class at 10 AM on Saturday,  October 13  still have spaces available.  When you click the links, you can view the menus for each class.  This picture at the left is from the June, 2018  Appetizer class.

Because fall is really getting busy, I thought perhaps you would like a couple of my favorite quick and easy recipes from my cookbook by that name...

Aztec Pork Chops

We have the Aztecs to thank for chipotle chiles.  With their spicy, smoky taste, they are delicious combined with cinnamon in this dish.  Serve them with grilled Jicama for crunch, whipped sweet potatoes with carrots, and a spinach salad for a meal fine enough for company.  This is a “Sunday Best” recipe.

Yield:  4 servings
Cooking time:  16 minutes

2 dried Chipotle Chiles, reconstituted, or 1 teaspoon Chipotle Chile powder
4 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup honey
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground pure mild red chile
 4 pork loin chops (1 inch thick), trimmed of excess fat
4 cinnamon sticks
4 slices Jicama, each ¼ inch thick 

1. In a shallow bowl, combine the drained chiles, garlic, honey, ground cinnamon, and ground chile.  Add enough chipotle cooking liquid to make a thick paste.  Marinate for 10 to 15 minutes.

2. Preheat the grill, stovetop grill, or a large, heavy, seasoned skillet to medium high.  Grill the chops for 8 minutes per side.  At the same time and on the same surface, grill the Jicama until it is slightly edged with brown on each side.  To serve, top each chop with a cinnamon stick.  Overlap each chop with a slice of the grilled Jicama.

PER SERVING:  Calories 281, Protein 25 g, Carbohydrates 20 g, Fiber 1 g, Fat 11 g, Saturated Fat 4 g, Cholesterol 70 mg, Sodium 53 mg.



The hearty, full flavor and creamy consistency of this chicken soup tastes like work, but this dish is actually fast and easy to make. Cutting the chicken breast is the most time-consuming part of the recipe. This is a versatile dish that you can vary in many ways. Instead of chicken breasts, you could use leftover roast chicken or turkey, firm-fleshed fish or shellfish with fish stock, roast beef, or ground chuck with beef stock.

Cooking Time: 10-12 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

1, 14 ½ oz. can chicken broth, preferably low sodium, with water added to make 2 cups

2 white or yellow corn tortillas, broken up

1 pound chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes

3 scallions, thinly sliced (some reserved for garnish)

1 ½ tablespoons minced pickled jalapenos with juice

Optional Garnishes:

Cilantro leaves

Crushed red caribe chiles

Lime wedges

  1. Place the chicken broth and water in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the tortillas and chicken. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring, for 5 to 6 minutes.
  1. Add the scallions and jalapenos with juice. Stir to combine well. Simmer for approximately another 5 minutes. Serve garnished with the reserved scallion and, if desired, the cilantro, chiles, and lime to squeeze on the chowder.

Per Serving:

Calories 326, Protein 50g, Carbohydrates 14g, Fiber 2g, Fat 8g, Saturated Fat 2g, Cholesterol 130mg, Sodium 338 mg.

Reprinted with permission from Jane Butel’s Quick & Easy Southwestern Cookbook.




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