A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 29, 2006
Chile Colorado (Chili Colorado)

Chile colorado (or “chili colorado") means simply the Mexican red chile pepper. The earliest citations in English appear to come from Texas or New Mexico.


Cooks.com
CHILI COLORADO
1 jalapeno pepper
6 cloves garlic
1 round steak
1 lg. can chili Colorado sauce
1/2 can water
1 can tomato sauce

Saute jalapeno and garlic. Brown steak, dice. Add chili sauce, water, and tomato sauce. Simmer 45 minutes on medium to low heat. Roll in flour tortilla. Serves 6.

Allrecipes.com
Chile Colorado
SUBMITTED BY: Helena Unzueta
“I like to make this chile for my Mexican husband, who also doesn’t like tomatoes in his chile. This is a very Mexican chile. If you decide to add beans, do it after the chile is finished.”

Original recipe yield: 12 servings
PREP TIME 20 Min
COOK TIME 3 Hrs 10 Min
READY IN 3 Hrs 30 Min

INGREDIENTS
9 New Mexico dry chiles - washed, with stems and seeds removed
3 cups water
5 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed of fat
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cups beef stock or water
DIRECTIONS
Place chiles and 3 cups water into a medium stockpot, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and steep for 30 minutes to soften. Strain into a bowl, reserving the cooking liquid. Place the chiles and some of the liquid into a blender, and puree until smooth. Add more liquid as necessary to form a smooth sauce. Pass sauce through a fine mesh strainer to remove any seeds and the tough skins; set aside.
Cut the roast into 1 to 2 inch chunks. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, and pepper. Dredge the beef chunks in the seasoned flour; set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute onion until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add beef chunks a few at a time, so as not to overcrowd the pot, and cook until evenly brown. Remove cooked meat, and continue browning remaining meat. Return reserved cooked meat to the pot. Stir in pureed chile mixture. Add beef stock to just cover beef chunks, or to personal preference. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to lowest setting, and simmer for 3 hours, or until meat is tender. If necessary, adjust with more stock during cooking.
Note:
Serve with chopped onion, sliced green onion, shredded cheddar cheese, and sour cream.

17 April 1851, National Era, pg. 62:
Certain it is, however, that they all returned again “brim full of wrath and chili colorado,"* without any scalps save their own, which are reported to have been in a remarkable state of preservation.
*A Mexican dish, the principal ingredient of which is red pepper.(Chili colorado.)

7 May 1853, Spirit of the Times, “Etchings of Military Life,” pg. 133:
On the tables of the officers, in all its pristine scarlet, “Chili Colorado,” or Mexican red pepper, was one of the principal dishes; also “Frigoles,” or the native bean. The first is rather hot for an American to begin on, that is, to eat by the table-spoon-full; the beans, I think, are generally liked by all. 

Making of America
Title: A journey through Texas: or, A saddle-trip on the southwestern frontier; with a statistical appendix.
Author: Olmsted, Frederick Law, 1822-1903.
Publication Info: New York,, London,: Dix, Edwards & co.;, S. Low, son & co.; [etc., etc.], 1857.
Collection: Making of America Books
Pg. 349:
A dish of the small brown beans, which constitute, next to maize, and with red pepper (chile colorado), the principal food of the people of Mexico, was also brought to be warmed up for us.

Making of America
Title: Reports of explorations and surveys, to ascertain the most practicable and economical route for a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean:
Author: United States. War Dept.
Publication Info: Washington,: A. O. P. Nicholson, printer [etc.], 1855-60.
Collection: Making of America Books
Pg. 41:
The houses, as is usual in New Mexico, are built of adobes, and are singularly festooned in front by strings of red peppers—the much prized “chili colorado”—intended less for ornament than use.

13 April 1861, Weekly Mountain Democrat (Placerville, CA), pg. 1, col. 5:
Among other delicacies, we had for breakfast Chile colorado and carne (red pepper and dried beef stewed together in about equal quantities).

March 1865, Dollar Monthly Magazine, “Tricked By a Texan Ranger” by Godfrey Turner, pg.216:
There were ham and eggs and a ham omelette, a chicken fricase, a dish of chile rilleno, another of chile colorado, plenty of good claret to wash down the peppers, and after that a cup of the coffee that only Spaniards make.

28 June 1890, Friends’ Intelligencer, pg. 416:
The Mexican cooking, though Americans have a prejudice against it, is exceedingly appetizing, but for most palates too highly peppered, chile [the pod or fruit of the capsicum annecum or Guinea pepper, called chile colorado by the Mexicans] entering largely into the composition of every dish.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Friday, December 29, 2006 • Permalink