Direct from Corpus Christi, the beautiful coastal city in the South Texas, comes a big ‘bowl of red’ – chili. This bowl took home a ribbon and won my heart as a fall favorite in the Bijouxs kitchen. A simple bowl of little jewel memories.
Food has a way of bringing us back to days gone by, a place and a time, now so distant can be revisited with just a smell, just a taste. By now my design school memories mostly have faded, but this recipe, which I came to know during those college days, has stayed true. A recipe etched in my food memory.
Chili is chili right? So I thought until I sampled my dear friend CindyLee’s (you always say her first and last name together, hence the lack of punctuation) brand of Texas chili. She originally hailed from the coastal Texas town of Corpus Christi, where they do chili their way.
This bowl of chili differs from any other I have tasted – a deep red sauce, but no, not thick; with a chili blend of spices that leans heavily on the herbaceous side… almost more herbs than chili. I use Mexican oregano, which is less sweet and more pungent that the Mediterranean variety, to give this chili the herb kick. Ground beef along with important special ‘ranch style beans’ complete this Texas winner.
Yes, the chili really did win a prize. Our joyous ragtag group from design school entered a chili cook-off sponsored by a national design organization. Each of us cooked a sample and hands down we went with entering CindyLee’s chili, of course it took home a ribbon. I can’t help but smile every time I cook this chili, still hearing CindyLee’s voice instructing me how to make the chili with her true southern Texas voice.
Cooking up a Fall bowl of Texas chili is a little jewel, sharing food memories from the Bijouxs Kitchen.