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Our First Snow Day--Great Day for Stewing

By Jane Butel  October 28, 2020

With huge billowing blankets of snow all about..8 to 9 inches of fresh fallen snow...it makes me feel like just staying inside and creating a yummy dish.  Whether it be a long simmering medley of veggies and a meat, a bean dish or a roast.  Of course, the choice depends totally on what you have on hand.  My mother always thought freshly baked bread, whether it was her favorite white bread or a quick bread such as corn bread, really made the meal.  And the aromas were always so wonderful.

Chilis are also fun to make and there are so many, many ways to make chili.  It is the stuff from which all these cook offs are made. Whatever you decide you would prefer, you will have the double pleasure of first cooking it and enjoying eating it. (photo of Green Chile Stew)

One of my great pleasures is tucking some chile into most stews and dishes I create.  A couple of long simmering classic French dishes that I spiced up for my "Hotter Than Hell" cookbook are Coq au Vin and Beef Bourguignonne .  Honestly the chile caribe does wonders with enhancing the flavors.  I just know you would love them.

Our Red Chile class is sold out, however our Holidays in New Mexico, set for December 3 still has space as does our next week long class which is set for March 15-19, 2021.  As soon as the pandemic starts to wane, I will be setting many more weekends, and day classes.  Our Oaxaca tour is still on for June 15-21, 2021.

Let's all stay healthy and remember chiles enhance health!  Here are those 2 recipes.

And.....if you would like more spicy, yummy recipes and great drinks to go with them, I am placing my very popular "Hotter Than Hell" cookbook on sale for $15.00.  

Here's the fun and yummy recipes--


Hearty and ornery, this deeply colored, rich flavored stew is wonderful to make and eat on foggy, rainy days at any time of year.   But, if  you live in a sunny climate, don’t wait for bad weather—go ahead and try it.  Everybody will love it!  Serve it on a bed of thick, flavorful  buttered, parslied  egg noodles or with crusty, fresh French bread oozing with sweet butter.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley or 1 Tablespoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon dried thyme leaf, crushed

2 bay leaves

2 Tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper

2 Tablespoons crushed caribe chile

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 cups rich, dry, red wine

3 pounds sirloin, bottom round or London broil, cut in 1 inch  cubes

¼ cup unsalted sweet butter

¼ cup brandy

2 cups double strength beef broth

1 pint, baby portabellos or 36 small white boiling onions

2 large cloves garlic, minced

Salt, if desired

  1. Combine the chopped onion, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, black pepper, caribe chile, oil and wine in a 2 quart glass or stainless steel bowl.  Stir to blend well.  Add beef, stir and let stand 2 hours at room temperature, stirring occasionally.
  2. Melt 2 Tablespoons butter in a large heavy pot. Drain beef cubes, reserving marinade.  Add beef  to pot.  Cook until browned, stirring as needed.  Add brandy and flame carefully, stirring it so it ignites well.  Add broth and reserved marinade.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 2 to 3 hours or until beef is fork tender.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare onions if using. Cut stem and root ends off and then pop onions ouit of their skins.  Melt remaining 2 Tablespoons butter in a heavy skillet and add the onions or mushrooms and garlic.  Cook until onions or mushrooms are golden brown.  Add to stew and simmer at least 30 minutes longer.  Taste and  add salt, more wine or other seasonings as desired.

Coq Au Vin Caliente

This is my all-time favorite coq recipe, developed during my early New Mexico years. Fired with caribe and flamed with cognac, it’s a fabulous dish with a perfect marriage of flavors, certain to be a hit with family and guests—though you may want to hoard it all for yourself! Since this stew is so robust, accompany it with a soothing side dish. And, never, ever waste a drop of the savory sauce; if you have any leftover, freeze it for later use. It’s wonderful in all kinds of stews.

Yield: 6 servings

½ cup all-purpose flour

2 Tablespoons caribe (crushed Northern New Mexico red chile)

1 teaspoon salt

1 (3 ½ to 4 pound) broiler-fryer chicken, cut for frying

½ cup unsalted butter

6 Tablespoons cognac

1 clove garlic, minced

1 fresh bay leaf

4 sprigs fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme

¼ cup minced flat-leaf parsley

6 small white boiling onions, peeled

½ pound fresh mushrooms, any kind, sliced

6 slices thick bacon, heavily smoked country style sliced into ½ inch pieces

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 cup Burgundy or other good quality dry red wine

Fried Croutons

French bread, cut in 1 inch cubes

Olive oil

Unsalted butter

  1. In a paper bag or large shallow bowl, mix flour, caribe and salt. Dredge chicken in flour mixture. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large deep, heavy skillet (or in a chicken fryer) over medium-high heat. Add chicken pieces and cook until browned on all sides, turning as needed; adjust heat as necessary to prevent over-browning.

  1. Add cognac to hot skillet and flame carefully, keeping a lid nearby to extinguish flames should they rise too high. When flames die, stir in garlic, bay leaf, thyme, 3 Tablespoons of the parsley, onions, mushrooms, bacon, and a generous grinding of black pepper. Pour wine over all. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer about 45 minutes, or until chicken is tender and sauce is thickened.
  1. Meanwhile, prepare Fried Croutons. In a skillet, toast French bread cubes in a mixture of half oil and half melted butter until light golden on all sides, stirring as needed. Cool.
  1. To serve, place chicken on a large warmed platter and cover with sauce, arranging onions decoratively around chicken. Sprinkle croutons over the top, and then sprinkle with remaining 1 Tablespoon parsley.

Reprinted from the book “Hotter Then Hell”






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