Mexican

Chili Playoff

I love chili.  I like it in a lot of forms.  I just can’t decide which to make for the weekend. In the spirit of the Super Bowl maybe I can have a play off.  Take a read below and then vote here for the winner.  If none of these does it for you, send your chili recipe to me:  thecontessa@tumbleweedcontessa.com I’ll publish it and include it in the playoff.  Also, vote on your key chili ingredient.  Might be interesting to see what folks think.

Click the pic to vote for your favorite.

The results so far.  The mushroom chili is doing better than I thought it would.  I am honing in on my decision.  Keep those votes coming!

My friend, Georganne, who has participated in the Terlingua Chili Cookoff many times says, “If you add beans to chili, you don’t know beans about chili.”  So, no beans in my chili.  But she won’t give me her recipe for her prize winning chili, yet.  I’m still working on it.  This one is simple and you should have most of the ingredients to make this one.

Super Bowl Chili 

  • 2 pounds coarse ground chuck
  • 2 large yellow onions, diced
  • 8 tablespoons Gebhardt’s chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 jalapeño pepper whole (pierce about 5 times with a sharp knife

    Super Bowl Chili

  • 4 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 4 garlic cloves finely minced or 4 teaspoons powdered garlic granules
  • 1 28 ounce crushed San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1-1/2 tomato cans water (I like my chile a little soupier)
  • 1 box lower sodium beef broth

Brown the meat and onion in a deep Dutch over.  Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for at least an hour.  Remove the jalapeño pepper.  Cool and store in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours.  Put it in a crock pot and keep it warm to serve with grated cheese, sour cream and diced onion.  Some corn bread or tortilla chips are good with this too. Click Here for the Recipe Card

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My mother was a great cook.  She made real food for real people and it was good.  She was also ahead of most trends.  She was a foodie before it was cool.  As soon as she “discovered” email we started getting recipes.  I am glad to say that I got my love of the kitchen from her.    My mother also loved football and planned meals so that they never interrupted the game.  It is fitting that she be a part of the Chili Play Offs.  My oldest daughter learned a lot from her in the kitchen too. So, here is one of her memories.

The favorite thing that Grandma made for me was apple pie.  I asked her a hundred times for the recipe.  She would shrug her shoulders and say, “I don’t have one.”  Then she would make the most delicious apple pie ever, crust and everything!   So, the favorite recipe I have of hers is for Chili Mess.  That isn’t what it is called.  She just called it chili.  It’s more than that though.  The way she served it was as a layered cheesy treat.  I loved it.  Still do.  I am sure there is a tex mex or proper Mexican food name for it.  I call it chili mess.  It is the one thing of hers I cook best.  I have made it a little spicier but the basics are still the same.  I like recipes like that.  I also have found stronger flavoring if you add dry spices before adding broth or juice to soups and chilis.  This is probably all wrong, but it is how I like it.

Chili Mess

  • 1.5 pounds ground beef or turkey (lean or fat to your taste)
  • 1 whole onion diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 jalapeno diced (seeds or not to your heat tolerance)
  • 2 cans chili beans
  • 64 oz. can tomato juice
  • 1 can diced green chiles
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon Ancho Chili Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Chili Powder (the plain store kind or a favorite spice store concoction)
  • 1 Tablespoon Chipotle Chili Powder (add another Tablespoon of regular chili powder and leave this out if you can’t take the heat)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons of oil- 4 if you are making with turkey
  • Corn tortillas
  • Chopped Lettuce
  • Cheese
  • Tortilla Chips

In a heavy bottom 6 qt. pot or dutch oven heat  1or 2 Tablespoon oil over medium heat.  Sautee onions, garlic and jalapeno until soft.  Crumble ground beef or turkey and cook until browned.  Add the dry spices right as the beef is finishing browning, one at a time, stirring into the beef.  Then add the chili beans (undrained).  Finally, add the tomato juice and green chiles.  The longer it sets the better it gets.  So, put it in the crock pot or set the stove to low and let it simmer for at least four hours if not eight.  Taste as you go to see if it needs more or less of anything.

When the chili has come to taste and thickened it is time to make a mess.  In a skillet heat the 2 Tablespoons of oil on the stove.  Add corn tortillas and cook until softened one at a time.  Remove the first  tortilla to a deep serving plate or bowl.  Add a ladle of chili and a sprinkle of cheese.  Then put another tortilla from the skillet on top of that.  Add another ladle full of chili, another sprinkling of cheese and a handful of chopped lettuce.  Get a knife and fork and eat the middle.  Then get some tortilla chips to clean up the MESS!  Click Here for the Recipe Card

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Now, this is a strange one.  Albeit good.  For those of you looking to take Chili to the next level.

Mushroom Chili

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1.5 Pounds Ground Sirloin
  • 24 ounces mixed mushrooms (cremini, shitake, oyster, white)
  • 1 white onion diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper diced
  • 4 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 4 garlic cloves finely minced or 4 teaspoons powdered garlic granules
  • 2 Tablespoons Chipotle Chili Powder
  • 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 bottle beer
  • 1 box lower sodium beef broth

Brown the meat, mushrooms, jalapeno and onion in a deep Dutch oven with olive oil until meat is browned and mushrooms are cooked.  Add the bottle of beer and cook until reduced by ½.  Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for at least three hours.  Cool and store in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours.  Put it in a crock pot and keep it warm to serve with grated cheese, sour cream and diced onion.  Serve with flour tortillas or tortilla chips.  Click Here for the Recipe Card

DON’T FORGET TO VOTE FOR THE SUPER CHILI CHAMPION

Football Frenzy II with Salpicon

This would be great served at a Football Playoff Party or even the Super Bowl!  I served this for a party the day of Krista’s high school graduation way back in 1989.  SheSalpicon reminded me of it when she made it for a group of her friends in 2011.  It is as good now as it was then.  Food brings back such good memories of forgotten good times.

We serve it on warmed flour or corn tortillas.  We used to be able to buy mini tortillas that made these into 2-bite appetizers. I would probably make the salad dressing with the dry Italian salad dressing mix.  It is a little more pungent.  And serve it with any of the condiments to your taste.

This is great to serve for a large gathering because you can make it the day before and have it ready to serve cold.

Of course you can use a smaller cut of meat and have the same result for a great family meal.  Makes me hungry just to think about this.  A good excuse to make something old, new again.

A Southwest Christmas Morning Breakfast

I am sure that you are busy wrapping up the odds and ends for the big day.  Me too!  If you haven’t planned something here for Christmas breakfast here is one of my family favorites.  I love this for Christmas morning brunch.  I look forward to making this again and again.  This recipe appears a little involved, but it really isn’t.  The sausage can be browned and ready to use in a container in the refrigerator.  The cheese can be grated ahead of time too.   This is warm and very flavorful.  It serves 8 or more with good sized portions.   A smaller version can be made by using half the ingredients too.

Looking for something to take to a party?

Are you running around with your hair on fire?  I am.  There is a stack of presents that need to be wrapped, cards to write, parties to get ready for and, oh yeah, work to do.  So, I thought I would stop for a minute and write on my blog :)

Here is a quick and easy appetizer that you can take to a party. Thank heavens for cream cheese! I use bacon and green chiles, but  you are only limited to what is in your pantry.  Chopped olives, green onions, salsa, pepperocini (drained) would all make nice additions or substitutions.

 

Chicken Tortilla Soup-Spicy Soup for Fall

I am dusting this one off for the Recipe Roundup:  GBPRecipeRoundUp

I’m hungry for a tasty, but simple soup.  This is one that can please everybody’s palate.  Make it spicy, spicier, or spiciest depending on what kind of chilé you use and how much.  I have used chopped fresh green chilés if I don’t have fresh jalapeños.

Here in El Paso we have the luxury to live near Hatch, NM where those world famous fresh roasted green chiles are grown.  That is the talk in early fall in El Paso.  “Did you get your chilés yet?”  I buy a 20 pound sack and divide mine into small plastic freezer bags so I have them available all year long.  I do believe they get spicier as the year
goes by.  By summer they are too hot for me to enjoy.  But, by then it is almost time for some more.

Served alone, this is a good Saturday afternoon soup.  With a salad or even a sandwich for the hearty eaters, it is a great dinner.

Now, I don’t want you to think I only make Mexican or spicy foods.  I am about to launch into baking mode to get ready for the eating frenzy called “the holidays.”  So get ready for some good, but simple, family favorites that bring the holidays “home” to me.

Green Chiles

Roasted Green Chiles

Roasted Green Chiles

I came to terms with the fact that I lived in El Paso the first September I was here.  (My family moved here from Austin during the dust storms of March.)  I went to the grocery store one Saturday morning and there on the front sidewalk was a huge black round roaster fired by huge flames.  A man was rolling this drum around and around with beautiful long green chiles in it.  The aroma was spicy and wonderful.  I had to have some.  Then driving home along the side of the road were trucks with ristras and wreaths of bright red chiles.  For us “gringos” they keep the evil spirits away if you hang one in your kitchen or outside your front door.  The true Mexican cooks will use these for chile sauce or enchilada sauce.  The colors and the smells brought me home (finally).My favorite dinner is red meat enchiladas, chilé rellenos, Mexican rice, guacamole and refried beans with tostados.  I love to go to the store in September when the chiles are roasting outside.  I just HAVE to get the ingredients to make this dinner.  Nothing tastes better.  It is a lot of work, but worth every bite! (Today I would probably go to my favorite Mexican place, but it won’t taste as good.)  The rest of this menu will follow soon!