Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Chili Today and Hot Tamale

Today's New York Times had an article on Chili, which is the short name for Chili con Carne.  There are chili wars, and I confess to being a combatant, to wit, in my kitchen, there will never be vegetarian chili or turkey chili, because, well, it's not chili con carne.  I will give you venison or buffalo along with beef.  Hell, I might even give you turkey if you stalked it and shot it with a bow and arrow, as long as you made some chili with carne on the side.

The Times has two authentic recipes and one from the article's author, that I immediately put in the "not real chili" category.  Chili with sugar?  Coffee?  Turkey?  Chocolate?  Ye gods folks, we're not making turkey mole here (a respected recipe) but chili.  C H I L I !!

The weird thing is, the Times old cookbook from the sixties, edited by Craig Claiborne who knew a thing or two about cooking, had a most excellent chili recipe.  O.K., it called for a can of beans, which to my mind makes chili extra tasty (but not the Times' author's cannelini ) (sp?) i.e. white Italian beans.  NO no no.  Pinto beans or kidney beans are best.  And it you even think lima beans, well, you're hopeless.

It's not chili without red meat.  Repeat after me:  beef, venison or buffalo.  The Pepper Pod in Hudson Colorado served buffalo chili and buffalo burgers in my youth and perhaps still today.  It was excellent stuff.  So if you're paranoid about red meat try buffalo in your chili.  But ye gods, no chocolate or coffee or weird white beans.

I have an excellent chili recipe purported to come from Elizabeth Taylor which called for a little red wine and a tri-tip roast.  It was right on!

During a heated debate (about chili) in the Senate, Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater  said Texas Chili tasted like the scrapings from the hen house floor.  Now there was a man passionate about chili. 

Consiglieri, a blogger, has reproduced the recipe.  He says he substitutes the beef with turkey, which you will cavalierly ignore.  Jeez.  consigliere's New York Times Chili

I can't find the Elizabeth Taylor recipe I was looking for on the web, which was the late lamented Chasen's recipes, but here is one that looks really good. Texas style chili 
For God's sake, make Southern corn bread (no white flour, not an iota of sugar and stone ground corn meal ) to serve with the chili.  

If I ever get 20 minutes and enough ambition, I'll published Elizabeth's.  I think the best chili probably comes from the LEAST PROCESSED ingredients.  Think about it, although I'll grant you your can of tomatoes.

Can't help being a purist, but I DID allow for beans.


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