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Recipes


COOKBOOKIN'
By Sandy Olson

Chili really doesn’t have a season and those who love the dish enjoy it any time of the year. Well...maybe not on the true dog days of summer, but otherwise chili usually goes over well. Just as there is no real season, there is no real recipe or region that excels in chili making. Jane and Michael Stern, a husband and wife team who travel all over the country tasting and testing food, have written many books showcasing America’s vast culinary differences. In 1998 they penned Chili Nation: The Ultimate Chili Cookbook With Recipes From Every State In The Union (Random House, NYC). Here are recipes from some states I know and love!


New York Buffalo Beef and Weck Chili

Note: a weck is an absorbent bulky roll dotted with kummelweck (caraway seeds) a major speciality of Buffalo, NY. This recipe honors Buffalo’s famous beef on weck sandwich.

Six dried ancho chiles

Two to two and one-half cups beef broth

One cup broken gingersnap cookies

One cup chopped onions

Two tablespoons vegetable oil

Two-thirds cup crushed canned tomatoes

One tablespoon prepared yellow mustard

One tablespoon prepared horseradish

One-third cup packed dark brown sugar

One teaspoon ground ginger

One and one-half teaspoons salt

Two tablespoons whole caraway seeds

One and one-half pounds thinly sliced cooked roast beef

Eight slices seeded rye bread


Place the dried chiles in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand 30 minutes, until soft, then drain and stem them. In a food processor or blender, puree the chiles with one and one-half cups of the beef broth and the gingersnaps. Set aside. In a heavy skillet, sauté the onions in the oil. Stir in the chile puree, tomatoes, mustard, horseradish, brown sugar, ginger, salt and caraway seeds. Lower the heat and cook 10 minutes, adding up to one more cup of broth if needed to keep the mixture loose. Add the beef one minute before serving (if added sooner, it will toughen). Serve on slices of seeded rye bread that is soft enough to absorb the juices. Serves four.


Iowa’s Tall Corn Pork Chili

Three-quarters cup chopped onions

One clove minced garlic

Two tablespoons corn oil

Two pounds boneless pork, trimmed and cut into one-half inch cubes

One teaspoon salt

One-half teaspoon celery salt

One teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

One tablespoon sugar

Four tablespoons chili powder

One-half tablespoon green jalapeno powder

One can (14 oz.) chicken broth

One can (15 oz.) tomato sauce

One can (4.5 oz.) chopped green chiles, drained

Two cans (16 oz. each) whole kernel corn, drained

One tablespoon masa harina dissolved in one-quarter cup warm water


In a Dutch oven, cook the onions and garlic in the oil until soft. Add the pork. Cook until browned, then remove the pot from the heat. Add the salt, celery salt, oregano, sugar, chili powder and jalapeno powder. Stir well. Add the broth, one and one-half cups water, tomato sauce and chiles. Return to the heat, bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a slow simmering boil. Cook, partially covered, for one hour. Add the corn and the masa harina mixture; cook five minutes more.


Tigua Indian Definitive Bowl of Red from West Texas (Hot!)

One cup chopped onions

Two garlic cloves, minced

Two tablespoons vegetable oil

Two pounds beef round, cut into one-half inch cubes

One and one-half teaspoons salt

One tablespoon sugar

One and one-half teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

One and one-half teaspoons dried Mexican oregano

One tablespoon ground cumin

Five tablespoons chili powder

Three teaspoons red jalapeno powder

One can (15 oz.) tomato sauce

One tablespoon masa harina dissolved in one-half cup warm water

Cooked beans or rice or bread

Sour cream


In a Dutch oven, sauté the onions and garlic in the oil until soft. Add the beef cubes and cook until browned. Add the remaining ingredients except the masa harina mixture.  Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a slow simmering boil. Cook, partially covered, for one hour and 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the masa harina mixture. Return to low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes. Serve with beans or rice or bread on the side as all are useful for muffling the heat! Also helpful is a tablespoon of sour cream.


Havana Mood Chile from Key West, Florida

Two tablespoons vegetable oil

One-half cup chopped onion

Three garlic cloves, minced

One pound ground pork

One pound ground chuck

One can (14.5 oz.) beef broth

One can (28 oz.) whole peeled tomatoes, drained

Two tablespoons balsamic vinegar

One-third cup raisins

Two tablespoons chili powder

One teaspoon ground cinnamon

One teaspoon ground cumin

One-half teaspoon ground allspice

One-quarter teaspoon ground cloves

One-half teaspoon salt

One-quarter cup pimiento-stuffed green olives, halved

One-quarter cup slivered almonds

Two cups cooked black beans (if using canned, rinse well)

Two cups cooked white rice


Heat the oil in a Dutch oven. Stir in the onion and garlic and cook until soft. Add the meat and cook until browned. Drain off any excess fat.

Add the beef broth and tomatoes, squashing each tomato by hand before adding it. Stir in vinegar, raisins, spices and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook 30 minutes partially covered. Uncover and cook for 30 minutes more. Add olives and almonds and cook an additional five minutes. To serve place a mound of beans and a mound of rice in each bowl. Ladle the chili on top.


My mother made a notation in my baby book that chili was my favorite food at age five.  I haven’t changed all that much!  

And...that’s all she wrote.


Sandy Olson can be reached via email at sandyo@myclearwave.net


 


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