Jane Butel will sign copies of her new cookbook, "Chili Madness," at the Barnes and Noble at the Summitt  Wednesday, January 21 at 7 p.m.

Pecos River Bowl of Red

Serves 8


2 tablespoons lard, butter, or bacon drippings

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

3 pounds boneless chuck roast or

80% lean beef, cut into ½-inch cubes

3 medium-size cloves garlic, finely chopped

¼ cup pure ground hot red chile,

plus more to taste

¼ cup pure ground mild red chile,

plus more to taste

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1½ teaspoons salt, plus more to taste


1. Melt the lard in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it is translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat.

2. In a large bowl, mix the meat with the garlic, ground chiles, about half of the cumin, and the salt. Transfer the meat mixture to the pot and immediately add 3 cups water. Stir to combine.

3. Return the pot to the stove, place it over high heat, and bring the meat mixture to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender and the flavors are well blended, 2? to 3 hours.

4. Taste the chili and determine the need for more salt and more chile. Stir in the remaining cumin, and serve with Fixin's and Mixin's alongside.

Fixin's and Mixin's

When serving chili, I like to offer little bowls of toppings so everyone at the table can doctor their chili as they wish. Not only do they make the chili more flavorful, they add an element of fun-it's always special to be able to customize your own bowl.

The next time you serve chili, try setting out small bowls of these:

Finely chopped onion

Sliced pickled jalape-os

Coarsely grated Cheddar cheese, or mixed grated Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses

Sour cream or Flavored Cremas (page 25)

Lime wedges lightly dusted with pure ground hot or mild red chile

Blue Corn Parfait Bread

Serves 9 to 12

²/³ cup butter

1 cup blue corn flour or blue cornmeal

1½ teaspoons baking powder

¾ teaspoon salt

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup sour cream

2 cups cooked or canned whole-kernel

corn, drained (one 15-ounce can

works well)

4 ounces Monterey Jack or Cheddar

cheese, or a combination,

sliced ¼ inch thick

¼ cup sliced pickled or fresh jalapeño chiles Directions:

1. Turn the oven on to 375 F.

2. Place the butter in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet, or in a 9-inch round or square cake pan, and place it in the preheating oven until the butter melts. Meanwhile, combine the corn flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

3. When the butter has melted, carefully remove the skillet from the oven, pour the butter into a separate large bowl, and set the skillet aside. Add the eggs and sour cream to the butter in the bowl, and whisk to combine thoroughly. Fold in the corn kernels. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the egg mixture into it. Mix until just combined.

4. Pour almost half of the batter into the skillet, and smooth it to the edges of the skillet with a spatula. Cover the batter evenly with the sliced cheese and chiles. Pour the remaining batter over the cheese and chiles, and carefully smooth it to cover the filling. Bake until the cornbread is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean (it may have some cheese on it), 30 to 40 minutes. Cut the bread into wedges and serve warm, straight from the skillet.