I’ve received lots of queries about my chili, so I thought I’d answer some of the more frequently asked questions:
Where do you buy dried anchos? You can get them at any Mexican grocer or some regular grocery stores. In NY, I buy them either at Kitchen Market or Whole Foods.
How will the dried anchos bubble without using any oil? Have you ever cooked a flour tortilla in an un-oiled skillet? You know how when it’s cooked it bubbles? Well, it’s the same with the split-open, leathery dried anchos; when they’re hot, they bubble.
What starches can you serve with this chili as it’s not soupy like other chilis? First, let me say if a chili is soupy, then it’s not chili at least according to Homesick Texan’s standards of chili—it’s spicy beef soup. As for starches, you can serve tortillas, either corn or flour, tortilla chips, saltines like they do in some old-school Tex-Mex places, cornbread, or even fresh bread if you like. Also, it’s good with rice.
Why isn’t this chili soupy? See above. But primarily because it’s just meat, chiles and a bit of liquid. And it simmers so long, most of the liquid cooks away.
What can I do with this chili? You can eat it all by itself with some sour cream or cheddar sprinkled on top, you can add it to eggs, you can wrap it up in a tortilla, you can put it on French fries, you can put it on a hot dog, you can pour it over cheese or beef enchiladas, you can mix it up with Fritos, heck, you can do anything you like with the chili as long as it’s legal.
I don’t drink, will it turn out OK without the addition of beer? Instead of beer, you can add seltzer with lots of lime and it produces a similar effect.
I don’t have a window in my kitchen, what should I do about the smoke from the anchos? Just be careful! Maybe wear glasses.
Can I make this without meat? Sure, but I don’t know if it would technically still be Texas Red.
Can I eat it for breakfast? Of course. You can eat it anytime of day you like.
How long did it take you to perfect your recipe? Is anything ever perfect?
How did you learn how to make chili this way? I learned it from my family.
When can I come over and try some? When I get back from Italy, which is where I’ll be until next week.
What can you as a Homesick Texan blog about from Italy? I don’t know, but watch this space as I’m sure I’ll find something.