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As with other cults, chiliheads tend to be a bit fanatical.

As with other cults, chiliheads tend to be a bit fanatical Regional food specialties give rise to a kind of fanaticism based on the concept of a supreme barbecue sauce, chowder, or chili recipe. As with cults, the disciples tend toward heretical opinions and sectarianism.

Some chili fanciers (known in their own vernacular as chiliheads) blanch at the thought of beans in the bowl; others groan at the prospect of ground (as opposed to cubed) beef. Some curl their lips at the suggestion of using prepared chili powder, just as clam chowder purists (chowderheads, to some) vehemently reject the idea of celery in Boston chowder.

Chefs of the West, on the other hand, realize that in a pluralistic society there must be room for diversity. In this spirit of tolerance, we welcome the unorthodox efforts of Edward Tuit--who gives us not only beans, ground beef, and chili powder but throws in pork, green chilies, and white wine.

The result is spicy but not fiery.

Edward's chili 1 pound ground lean beef 1/2 pound chorizo sausage, casings removed (optional) 1 pound lean boneless pork shoulder or butt, cut into 1/2-inch cubes 2 medium-size firm-ripe tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped 1 can (15 oz.) tomato sacue 1 can (about 1 lb.) kidney beans 1 can (7 oz.) diced green chilies 2 medium-size onions, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed 1/2 cup dry white wine 2 beef bouillon cubes 1 tablespoon chili powder 1 teaspoon cumin seed Salt and pepper 1 medium-size red onion, chopped About 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded sharp cheddar cheese

In a 5- to 6-quart pan over medium heat, crumble ground beef and chorizo with a spoon. Stir often until meats are well browned, 10 to 15 minutes. With a slotted spoon, lift out meats and set aside. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the drippings, the add pork to pan and cook until browned on all sides.

Return beef and chorizo mixture to pan, then stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans and their liquid, chilies, the 2 chopped onions, garlic, wine, bouillon cubes, chili powder, and cumin. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cover and simmer until pork is very tender when pierced, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Stir as needed to prevent scorching. Skim and discard fat, season to taste with salt and pepper, then ladle into individual bowls.

Offer red opinion and cheese to add to individual portions. Makes about 8 cups, 6 to 8 servings. Santa Monica, Calif.

Dessert wines--maderia, port, sweet sherry--alter the flavor of cream-based meat sauces in a remarkable way: when heated sufficiently, the sugar in the wine caramelizes and blends with the cream (and butter or other fat), loses its sweetness, and leaves behind a flavor best described as indescribable, although toast and caramel play a part in it.

Such a sauce usually accompanies fowl, pork, or veal. But Michael Palumbo finds that Italian sausage, mild or hot, does not overpower it, and that pasta is the perfect vehicle for the resulting blend.

Pasta with Sausage, Madeira,

and Cream 1 pound mild or hot Italian sausage, casings removed 1/4 pound mushrooms, sliced 2 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed 1/4 cup madeira or dry sherry 1 cup whipping cream 1 teaspoon white pepper 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg About 12 ounces (about 4 3/4 cups) dry spinach pasta twists Freshly grated parmesan cheese

In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, crumble sausage and stir often until meat is well browned, 10 to 15 minutes. With a slotted spoon, lift out sausage and set it aside. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the drippings.

Add mushroom and garlic to pan; cook, stirring often, until mushrooms are golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add madeira, scraping brown bits free from pan. Add sausage, cream, pepper, and nutmeg. Boil on high heat until the sauce is slightly thickened and large, shiny bubbles form, 1 to 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring 3 quartz water to boil in a 5- to 6-quart pan on high heat. Add pasta and cook, uncovered, until tender to bite, about 10 minutes. Drain and pour into a bowl; top with sausage sauce and mix well. Offer cheese to spoon over individual portions. Makes 4 to 6 servings. Foster city, Clif.

Perhaps you have witnessed a pizza commercial that bases its appeal on abbondanza--abundance or lavishness. Compared with Gerald Knight's Ricotta Torta Milanese, any pizza would look like a prioner's bread and water. The crust (if you can call anything so refined a crust) is puff pastry; inside are ham, two cheeses, eggs, roast peppers, spinach, Brussels sprouts, onion, and seasonings.

Does all this sound like luxury? Keep in mind George Ade's description of down-on-the-farm dining: "There were no luxuries then; anything that could be et was a necessity."

Ricotta Torta Milanese 1 carton (15 oz., about 2 cups) ricotta cheese 1 tablespoon dry Italian herb seasoning or 2 teaspoons dry basil leaves and 1 teaspoon dry oregano leaves 1 teaspoon ground sage 4 large eggs 2 packages (10 oz. each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry 1/4 teaspoon pepper 2 packages (17 1/4 oz. each) frozen puff pastry dough, thawed according to package directions 1 pound thinly sliced cooked ham 1 jar (7 oz.) roasted red peppers, drained and cut into strips 1 medium-size onion, very thinly sliced 2-1/2 cups (about 3/4 lb.) cold cooked Brussels sprouts, or 1 package (10 oz.) frozen Brussels sprouts, thawed 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Swiss cheese

In a bowl, mix together the ricotta, Italian seasoning, sage, and 2 of the eggs; also combine spinach, pepper, 1 whole egg, and 1 egg yolk; set aside.

Use 1 sheet of the puff pastry to line the bottom of a greased 9-inch-diameter cheesecake pan with removable bottom; cut pastry to fit. Cut 2 more sheets of the dough in half and use to line the sides of the pan, extending the top edge of dough about 1/2 inch above rim of pan. Moisten edges where dough pieces come together with water; press to seal.

Arrange half of the ham slices evenly over bottom crust; top with half of the ricotta mixture, then half of the spinach mixture. Evenly top with half of the red pepper strips and half of the onion slices. Repeat layers using the remaining ham, ricotta mixture, spinach mixture, red peppers, and onions.

Cut Brussells sprouts in half lengthwise, pat dry with paper towels, and arrange over onions. Sprinkle with Swiss cheese. Cover with the remaining puff pastry dough, criming edges together to seal; trim off excess dough. Cut a 1-inch hole in the center of steam to escape. Lightly beat remaining egg white and brush over top crust.

Place pan in a shallow rimmed pan. Cover torta with a piece of greased foil. (If made ahead, chill up until next day.)

Bake on lowest rack in a 350[deg.] oven for 45 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until richly browned, about 45 minutes more. Let cool at least 45 minutes, remove pan rim, and cut into wedges. Makes 12 servings. Eagle River, Alaska

Baked pears with a sweet sauce are a classic dessert. This sauce owes its name to brandy but gets its perfume from the cardamom and nutmeg that spice the "custard"--and from the amaretto the pears are cooked in.

Baked Pear for Two with Brandy Sauce 1 large ripe Bosc pear (about 3/4 lb.), halved and cored 2 tablespoons almond-flavor liqueur (such as amaretto) 1 large egg yolk 1/4 cup unflavored yogurt 1/8 teaspoon each ground nutmeg and ground cardamom 1 teaspoon each honey, lemon juice, and brandy

Place each pear half cut side up in an ovenproof ramekin (about 6 in. wide). Drizzle halves equally with liqueur. Bake, uncovered, in a 350[deg.] oven until pears are tender when pierced, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart pan, stir together egg yolk, yogurt, nutmeg, cardamom, honey, lemon juice, and brandy. Cook, stirring, over medium-low heat until mixture thicknes, about 5 minutes.

Spoon warm sauce onto hot pear halves and serve at once. Makes 2 servings. Jacksonville, Ore.

Three-citrus

marmalade

Striking a fine balance between bitter and sweet, this thick marmalade will liven up breakfast toast or muffins.

Three-Citrus Marmalade 2 medium-size (about 2 lb. total) grapefruit 2 medium-size (about 3/4 lb. total) thin-skinned oranges 2 large (about 10 oz. total) lemons 3 cups water 7 cups sugar

Quarter grapefruit; halve oranges and lemons lengthwise. Thinly slice fruit crosswise, saving juices; discard seeds and end pieces.

In an 8- to 10-quart pan, combine fruit, juices, and water; bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer until peel is translucent, 25 to 30 minutes; stir often.

Stir in sugar. Boil, uncovered, over medium-high heat until mixture is slightly thinner than you want for finished marmalade, 25 to 30 minutes; stir often. Cool and serve. To store, chill airtight up to 2 months; or seal, below. Makes 4 pints.--Mrs. R. Noble, Idaho Falls, Idaho.

To seal. Pour hot marmalade into 4 clean, hot, pint-size canning jars to within 1/4 inch of rim; wipe rims clean. Top with new lids heated as manufacturer directs, then tightly screw on bands; don't force.

Lower jars onto rack in an 8-quart or larger kettle of simmering water; if needed, add simmering water to cover jars by at least 1 inch. Bring water to 180[deg.] and hold at that temperature for 10 minutes. Lift out jars and set on a towel to cool completely.

Press centers of lids: if they stay down, jars are sealed; if they pop up, store jars in the refrigerator up to 2 months.
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Title Annotation:includes recipes
Publication:Sunset
Date:Mar 1, 1988
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