Dear SOS: I enjoy reading your column, and it occurred to me that you might be able to answer my request. "It was a dark and stormy night," like many we've recently had, when friends and I happened into Smitty's in Pasadena after the theater. Not being Pasadena locals, we didn't realize our good fortune. It was a perfect night for their signature chili and corn bread specials. Not your ground beef variety, the chili seemed to be prepared with flank steak and the corn bread was the best ever. Any chance you could wheedle their secret for your readers?
Dear Bonnie: Smitty's was happy to share its recipe for their rich and hearty chili and corn bread, which we've adapted below. Enjoy!
Total time: 2½ hours
Servings: 10 to 12
Note: Adapted from Smitty's Grill in Pasadena.
2/3 cup corn oil
2 onions, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 shallots, minced
2 jalapeños, minced
2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
2 tablespoons New Mexico chile powder
1/4 cup dried oregano
3 tablespoons cumin
4 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 chipotle chiles (canned in adobo sauce), minced (about 1 tablespoon)