Spice Up Your Health with Chiles

There is truly no one food that can help your health more than chiles—no matter whether red or green. When the weather gets colder, chiles can really help your system stay at peak health. A great way to really boost your system is to eat chili—often known as chili con carne.

a truly American food. Jane Butel, author of Chili Madness and 18 other books says Bowl o' Red is her very favorite chili. This chili has won more cook-offs than about any other recipe and is quite historic. It is the brew that fueled the cowboys on the long trail drives—bringing the cattle to the rail heads, when the railroad tracks were completed in the late 1800's.

By the way, this is a fabulous chili for Super Bowl parties or parties anytime. It is wonderful with any kind of cornbread. Butel likes to serve it with a Blue Corn Parfait Bread, which has been a hit for 25 years in her weekend and weeklong cooking schools. It is most fun served with fixin's 'n mixin's noted at the end of this recipe. Pecos River Bowl of Red Originally Pecos River was the name of the ranch I owned in New Mexico, hence the name.

My maternal Grandfather, an executive with the Santa Fe Railroad shared this recipe with me. He developed it after five years of sampling chilis from "cookies" who cooked chili for cowboys herding cattle to the rail head. Yield: 8 Servings 2 Tablespoons lard, butter or bacon drippings 1 large onion, coarsely chopped 3 pounds chuck roast or 80% lean beef, cut in 1/2 inch cubes 3 medium cloves of garlic, finely chopped 1/4 cup pure ground hot red chile 1/4 cup pure ground mild red chile 1 Tablespoon ground cumin, divided 3 cups water 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1. Melt the lard, butter, or drippings in a large heavy pot over medium heat.

Add the onions and cook until they are translucent. 2. Remove the pot from the heat. Combine the meat with the garlic, ground chiles and cumin. Add this meat-and-spice mixture to the pot.

Immediately add water and stir. 3. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender and the flavors are well blended. Determine the need for more salt and more chile.

Stir in remaining cumin before serving with Fixin's and Mixin's. Fixin's and Mixin's Small bowl finely chopped onion Small bowl pickled, sliced jalapenos Small bowl coarsely grated cheddar or grated cheddar and Monterey jack cheese, mixed Small bowl sour cream w/ lime wedges cut vertically and lightly dusted with some of the pure red chile on the edges. In our on-line cooking schools, we feature a great deal more information about chile health and how to cook chiles all kinds of ways for Southwestern and Mexican meals. You can review all 40 lessons at www.

Jane Butel, the first to write about Southwestern cooking, has published 18 cookbooks, several being best sellers. She operates a full-participation weekend and week long vacation cooking school, an on-line school which teaches "All About Chiles", conducts culinary tours and team-building classes.


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