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Christo’s Chili

Christo’s Chili

 Yes, the Superbowl is coming up soon and that’s reason enough to make this delicious and hearty chili. Your friends and family will love this flavorful stick-to-the-ribs dish that’s traditionally served before the big game.

But I made it for another reason – as a way to honor Chef Christo Gonzales, whose life was ended too quickly last week. He had a passion for life, for work, for his beloved New Mexico, his adopted home of New York City, and most of all for his son Jackson. Although we met only once in person, he always brightened my day with his Facebook musings and his blog posts on “A Little Bit of Christo.” They were frequently about food, but more often than not, they were witty, thoughtful musings about life in New York City. Those who followed him will never forget his inflatable zebra Harold, his rooftop grilling, his tirades about those who “unfriended” him, his enviable mane of grey hair, or his “gotta feed the kid” hashtag that he used when lovingly cooking for his son.
He arrived at his profession of chef relatively late in life, but set an example of how you can achieve your goals when you work hard enough and you care enough. In short, he touched a lot of lives in a positive way, even those who knew him only through the blogosphere. It’s sad and it’s maddening to think that someone this creative, this passionate and this giving will no longer be here to grace this world. But hopefully, he left “a little bit of Christo” in all of us who had the pleasure of knowing him, in a real or “virtual” way.
If you’d like to donate to a fund that was set up to held his son, click here for more information.

Christo’s Big Cowboy Chili
printable recipe here

1 lb ground beef (or chicken or turkey)
1 large onion diced
3 cloves garlic minced
3 Tbs cumin powder
4 Tbs (use as much or as little as you want for level of heat desired) red chile powder (get it from New Mexico) 
1 small can tomato paste
2 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb dry of cooked kidney beans (I cooked a pound of dry beans in the pressure cooker you could use canned and it would probably work out to 2 quarts of beans) Make sure you have at least 3 cups of liquid with your beans
Avocado, sour cream and green onion for garnish

Brown the meat in a large skillet. When meat is brown add the onion and garlic and saute until soft. When the onion and garlic have softened then add the cumin and the chile powder and stir till everything is coated (if its not spicy enough add more red chile powder). When all of this is a nice deep red color then add the tomato paste and water. Simmer gently for 15 minutes. Add this mixture to your cooked beans and bean broth and simmer for 5 more minutes. Serve with your garnish and cornbread of you have it.
This Post Has 13 Comments
  1. Such outpouring for this man, that you feel you knew even though you had never met in person. That shows us the magnitude of his good heart

  2. My, but I am completely unfamiliar with this gentleman, but how terribly sad that he has passed away. I do not know the circumstances of his death, but any passing is a loss to friends, and most especially loved ones. His chili certainly looks terrific, and what a lovely tribute, Linda. May he rest in peace.

  3. I've come in late to this blog world and unfortunately this is the first time I've heard of Chef Christo. I know it is my loss for not having known him.Grazie Linda for a beautiful tribute to him. He must have been truly memorable to have wrenched such emotions from those who knew him.

  4. I stopped following a lot of blogs because it was interfering with work – but do remember his blog with great affection. So sorry to hear of this. What a delicious, wintry, down-to-earth recipe to celebrate his life.

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