Thursday, February 4, 2016

Betty Crocker's 1959 "Spicy Chili" Revisited & Reinvented! - Vintage Cookbook TBT

Today we are taking a trip back to 1959 and are revisiting a recipe for "spicy chili" that was in the "Betty Crocker's Guide to Easy Entertaining".

This recipe was found in the book's very dated "stag party" section that gave housewives a selection of recipes and advice for things to make for when their husband had men over for a men's event of some kind at which there would only be men!

The whole section's introduction reads as some horrible throwback to the not-so-good old days though it is not without it humorous aspects and
jabs in the male direction-- as when the author states that "Men like the idea that they are foraging for themselves".

On the upside, however, the chili recipe looked interesting to me with its use of green peppers and cinnamon so I decided to give it a go, but with, of course, some changes to bring it into the new century!

Is notion of "spicy" needs to be kicked up a notch -- several notches in fact.  It also needed a few other little touches and modifications of technique to make it a great chili. And a great chili it turned out to be.

First, for my "reinterpretation" I took 2 lbs of ground meat -- one pound of ground beef and one pound of ground pork.

Put this beef/pork mixture into a large pot and start to brown the meat over medium-high heat. As you are browning, stir into the meat the following seasonings (in no particular order):

2 tablespoons hot chili powder
1 heaping teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 heaping teaspoon paprika
4 minced cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
salt to taste

After adding the seasonings add 1 large chopped onion and 1 chopped and seeded green pepper to the mix. Then add one finely chopped and seeded yellow hot pepper. Be sure to seed thoroughly. The seeds are very hot and the pepper itself should suffice (with the cayenne pepper) to kick the chili up to a nice level! (Also, remember that when seeding a hot pepper gloves and/or caution should be used.)

Continue to stir and brown this meat, vegetable and seasoning mix for another 3-4 minutes and then add 2 cans of diced tomatoes with all the liquid and 2 cups of beef broth. Add also 1 half stick of cinnamon, 1 whole allspice and 4 bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally for approximately 2 hours. Remove allspice and bay leaves and serve.

While the original recipe called for adding kidney beans at the end and while I intended to, I actually forgot! I thought the chili turned out marvelously without them, so decide for yourself whether to put them in at the end.

With the modifications this produced a perfectly spicy, well-seasoned chili which, thanks to the green peppers and cinnamon was a bit different from any others I have made.

It went perfectly with some 14% sour cream on top and, as with any meat chili, can be served with sides of shredded cheese, nacho chips, extra hot sauce and that old chili stand-by, ice cold beer!


And, now for a flashback to 1959, here is the "Stag Parties" section in its entirety, including its introduction and other recipes.

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