Indio, California: We are back in the desert after a busy few days in Los Angeles for the Rose Bowl. Here is the recipe for the chili I prepared for New Year’s Day. Normally, I would not suggest this chili be prepared in the RV kitchen because there are several steps involved… but I made it in my RV and took it over to Lisa’s. Funny thing? We are not that far from Mexico, yet I had to visit three stores to locate the dried chilies!

It is tradition in this family to eat black eyed peas on New Year’s Day (this is a Southern custom, and DT’s Dad was a Texan) for good luck. The Rose Bowl is usually on New Year’s Day – thus the name of this dish. This chili recipe is very adaptable. After making the sauce, you can use any type of meat and add beans or not. Actually, any bean will do and if you like your chili without beans, that’s not a problem. I used Anaheim Chiles. They are not very spicy. If you like your chili hot, use a few jalapenos. If you like your chili really mild, substitute bell peppers.

Sauce:
1 ounce dried New Mexico chilies (about 4)
1 ounce dried Ancho Chilies (about 6)
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
a few turns of the pepper mill
one large handful cilantro leaves
1 quart beef stock

Remove the stems from the chilies and slice them open. Remove the seeds. Tear into one-inch pieces. Discard the stems and seeds. Place torn chilies into a large saucepan with the chopped onion, garlic, black pepper and cilantro leaves. Pour the beef stock over all, stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Chili:
Extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 fresh Anaheim chilies (stems, seeds and white membranes removed), minced
1¼ pounds beef stew meat or chuck, cut into very small pieces
¼ cup all-purpose flour
6 ounce can tomato paste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Two 14 ounce cans black eyed peas, drained and rinsed (just over 2 cups)
½ cup coarsely-chopped fresh cilantro leaves

While the sauce is simmering, start the chili. Heat a large Dutch oven (with a tight-fitting lid) over medium heat and coat the bottom with olive oil. Saute the onion, garlic and Anaheim chilies for several minutes, until the onions are soft, but not browned. Place the diced beef in a bowl, or a plastic bag, and toss the beef with the flour to evenly coat. Add the beef to the onion mixture and stir well. Let the beef cook for a few minutes. Remove from heat.

When the sauce has simmered for 30 minutes, pour it through a fine mesh strainer into the Dutch oven with the meat. Discard the chilies mixture in the strainer. Stir well, and bring to a simmer. Stir-in the tomato paste and ground cumin. Stir well. Cover and simmer very low for one hour. (Alternatively, the chili can be baked for two hours at 325° or in a crockpot.) (At this point, the chili can be frozen. Thaw and heat with the beans to serve.) Thirty minutes before serving, add the beans and fresh cilantro. If needed, add to salt to taste.

Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with additional chopped cilantro, cheese or green onion, if desired. Serves 6-8.

Until my next update, I remain, your black-eyed correspondent.

RV Park:  Motorcoach Country Club – The Crown Jewel of Motorcoach Resorts. 400 sites, three pools, three spas, fitness center, golf, bocce ball, tennis, 2-mile waterway, fine-dining restaurant, bar, security, free wifi, planned activities, perfectly maintained. Sites for sale or rent.

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