Friday, January 8, 2010

Stageline Chili

It feels like years have gone by since my last post. I spent six days building flight attendant schedules and two days recovering. Part of the recovery included comfort food, good old fashioned chili. 
I found Fred Drexel's Butterfield Stage Line Chile recipe on the International Chili Society Website.  Fred was the California State Champ, and became the World Champion at the 1981 World Championship at the Hollywood Park Race Track. Fred Drexel took home $20,000.00 for his efforts. Not a bad piece of cash in 1981 and I wouldn't turn my nose up at it in 2010. What's good enough for the state of California is good enough for me, (except of course bankruptcy) so I printed Fred's recipe, and went to work.

One of the deciding factors in chosing this recipe was the fact it called for Gebhardt Chili Powder.  Saveur Magazine  had sang it's praises in an article last summer and I had been dying to try it out. Luckily I had bought a bottle last time I was in LA.

I changed a few things, but kept the basic flavor of Fred's award winning chili. I wanted a chunky chili, so I didn't use the ground pork, but substituted pork shoulder which I cut into 1 inch chunks. I added all the dry spices to the pot with the onions, because I believe sauteing the spices in oil brings out they're flavor. But keep in mind, I'm not the California State Champ. I also had no dry mustard so when the chili was finished I stirred in a tablespoon of Moutarde de Charroux . I'm compelled to add a french flair to everything.

I served it with homemade guacamole, sliced scallions, shredded New York Sharp Cheddar Cheese, sour cream and fresh cilantro. It was so good I decided to make it my return post. By the way, it's yummy with home made tortillas also. 
But that's another post.


1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed

one handful cilantro leaves
1 medium size tomato, quartered
1/2 onion, peeled and halved
2 avocados, pits and flesh removed
juice of half lemon

 Place garlic, cilantro, tomato and onion in a food processor and pulse several times until chopped.
Add the avocado and lemon and pulse until mixed. 
Leave the avocado pit in the guacamole to prevent discoloration. I've read that this technique is a wives tale but I find it works.

All photos and text are property of The Gypsy Chef.