Wednesday, December 29, 2010




Last year for our Christmas Eve party feast, Richard made a Julia Child inspired French ‘peasant’ cassoulet. Keeping that ‘peasant’ theme – this year he made Deer Valley “Tex-Mex” chili and Mexican cheese cornbread.  Julia would have loved it.

Throngs of guest (well, 30+ in our house feels like throngs) munched on appetizers of pates, tapenades, spreads and dips of all kinds brought by friends, as they sipped Cosmopolitans, appropriately red for the occasion.  As the Cosmos turned into wine, the appetizers turned into chili, cornbread and salads.  This year Richard made a red cabbage salad w/ dried apricots, prunes, walnuts, chopped apples & pears and pomegranate seeds w/ a red wine vinaigrette…

and a green salad w/ pears, sliced almonds and blue cheese in a balsamic vinegar dressing.

Oh, did I forget to mention the trout?  For those who were meat and poultry challenged (or just love fish) – Richard poached pink steelhead trout and served it on a platter garnished w/ dill w/ a ‘side’ of dill-mustard sauce.

And, of course, there was Finnish pulla bread (pronounced bulla for you newer readers) made by my brother and sent from Sacramento…

We had cakes 

and tortes

and cookies and crème brulees

also brought by friends… and there might have been some sugar plums dancing around (or maybe that was just in my head) … and when we were finished, we were as stuffed as a Christmas goose.

But even after all that eating by the ‘throngs’, we had some leftovers… so last night we hosted a chili/cornbread leftover dinner party.  And, as delicious as the chili was Christmas Eve, it really does get better aged a few days in the refrigerator.

(South Western Tex-Mex Chili)


2 cups dried black beans, rinsed
10 cups water
1 teaspoon pepper
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 medium Anaheim chilies, seeded & chopped *
2/3 cup chopped red onion
2/3 cup chopped celery
2/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 large leek (white part only), chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons dried oregano, crumbled
¼ cup all purpose flour
2-1/2 tablespoons chili powder
2-1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon sugar
4-1/2 cups chicken stock or canned broth
2-1/4 cups frozen corn, thawed
4 cups diced cooked turkey or chicken – it’s this diced turkey or chicken that makes it different from traditional turkey chili recipes which use ground turkey…
(Richard roasted a turkey for the occasion)


Grated cheddar cheese
Chopped red onion
Sour cream
Chopped fresh cilantro


Place black beans in large pot w/ enough cold water to cover by 3 inches and let soak overnight.

Drain beans.  Return beans to pot.  Add 10 cups water and pepper and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until beans are tender, stirring occasionally, about 1-1/2 hours.  Drain beans.

Melt butter in same pot over medium heat.  Add Anaheim chilies, 2/3 cup chopped onion, celery, bell peppers, leeks, garlic and oregano.  Cook until vegetables soften, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to low.  Add flour, chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt and sugar and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add 4 cups stock and bring to simmer, stirring frequently.  Puree 1-1/4 cups corn w/ remaining ½ cup stock in food processor.  Add puree to chili.  Mix in black beans, turkey and remaining 1 cup corn.  Simmer chili 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

(Can be prepared 1 day ahead.  Cover and refrigerate.  Rewarm before serving.)

Place toppings in individual bowls on the table for everyone to pick and choose.

Makes 6 servings.  Obviously, Richard more than tripled the recipe to make enough to feed the ‘throngs’

*Also known as California chilies.  Available at Latin American markets and specialty food stores if your super market doesn’t have them.

From Allrecipes, Submitted by Judy Spence


1 cup butter, melted
1 cup white sugar
4 eggs
1 (15 ounce) can cream-style corn
½ (4 ounce) can chopped green chili peppers, drained
½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
4 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).  Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish.

In large bowl, beat together butter and sugar.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Blend in cream corn, chilies, Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese

In separate bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.  Add flour mixture to corn mixture; stir until smooth.  Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean.

Makes 6 servings.  Again, obviously, Richard made more than one batch for our party.

Bon appetit!  Oops, sorry – that was last year.

Bueno appetit!

And a Happy New Year!


1 comment:

Richard said...

As delicious as it looks!!