Blasphemy in Texas

April 08, 2005

I really don't want to grade these papers.

Last semester one of my students said that two things "went together like beans and chile." I noted in the margin that "FYI, this is blasphemy in Texas."

Northeasterners, like that student and like J, say that what defines chile is that it has beans in it, oh, and some Southwestern spices.

Texas chile, in its orthodox persuasion, is stew made from meat, normally beef, and chiles.

I tend to think in terms of herbs. For me, chile is any dish made with: chiles, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt. One of my favorite chiles is a green chicken chile which has neither beef nor beans.

We bought a jar of dried, ground, ancho chile pepper from Penzey's Spices (dangerous website, if you click you might well spend.)

Tonight is a meat and bean chile. I intend to make two pots: one mild with ground turkey, beans, onions, bell pepper, garlic, ancho chile, cumin, oregano, and a small pinch of salt; one three-alarm with the same ingredients plus a couple of three Thai dragon peppers with their seeds, and some of the canned chipotles in adobo we have left over from the last time we made fajitas. I will be shooting for a 3.5 on the scale of: boring, tastes hot, clears sinuses, face sweats, vein in forehead appears. Anything over 2.5 qualifies as a "ring of fire" chile, and that means that J won't eat it.

Me, I like to get my endorphins twice, even if I am a northeaster hot-food-wimp unable to eat proper Texas or Colorado chile.

Posted by Red Ted at April 8, 2005 02:13 PM | TrackBack