Paramedic's top chili loses the beans, adds 'comino' PDF   E-mail
Written by By DEBBIE ROGERS Sentinel Staff Writer   
Thursday, 19 February 2009

MILLBURY - As a paramedic, Jim Forsythe probably has a responsibility not to provoke heartburn from his award-winning chili recipe.
For those who want to try this warm winter dish and add a little more punch, feel free to kick up the salsa, from mild to hot.
As is, though, the chili is hearty and different, Forsythe said.
"It is not your typical chili recipe. It has no beans in it," he said. "To me, it's not real hot but it has a flavor that stays with you. And it doesn't have the chili powder taste."
It keeps a hearty texture with ground beef and ground pork.
The recipe is also unusual in that some of the ingredients won't be found at the local grocery store. Forsythe said the California chili and New Mexico chili spices, along with the comino - not cumin, may need to be hunted down from an ethnic specialty store.
He has his mom, Marlene, send them from Oklahoma, where the recipe originated.
"My dad had a cafe in Oklahoma called the Shoestring," he said. "It was very popular in his cafe."
There, Gene Forsythe, a retired Air Force man, would make enough of the chili to serve 40. The recipe in today's Cook's Corner serves 10 to 12.
Jim Forsythe has been making the recipe for a few years and it always brings back a fond memory of his dad, who died in 2006. That year, Forsythe entered it in the Lake Township Chili Cook-off, which benefits the parks. In 2006, he won the people's choice award and last year, the chili won in the battle between police and firefighters.
He said he'll probably enter it again in this year's cook-off, which is set for Feb. 28.

Forsythe, who was born in Texas, has been in the Lake Township area since high school. His father's last tour of duty was at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, then his mom took a job at St. Charles Mercy Hospital in Oregon. He graduated from Genoa High School and was a police officer in the village before becoming a paramedic in 1987.
"People like you a whole lot better on this side," Forsythe said of EMS work.
He's been serving Lake Township since 1992.
His fiancee, Darla Cook, is also his EMS partner. Their typical shift is 24 hours on, then they are off for 48 hours.
Forsythe said Cook does most of the cooking, although he enjoys it along with woodworking. Between them, they have six children and four grandchildren, with another one due in June.
He jokingly said they may have to make his dad's version of the chili for 40 someday soon, with all the grandbabies arriving.
On a serious note, Forsythe said the chili is a dish to be savored, in the kitchen as well as on the table. The total preparation time is about three hours, not to mention the special shopping involved.
"If you're locked up in the winter and it's snowing out, it's a good bowl of chili."

Gene's Chili
2 ounces canned, diced chilis
2 pounds lean ground chuck
1 pound ground pork
1/2 tsp. ground cominio
1/2 tsp. ground Mexican oregano
1/8 cup bacon drippings
2 cups chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
2 cups chopped tomatoes
14 ounce salsa
1 finely chopped clove of garlic
1/2 tbsp. ground California chili
1 tbsp. ground New Mexico chili
4 cups tomato sauce
Fry the beef and pork in separate pots, adding a little fat, if necessary, to prevent sticking. Cover and cook for 45 minutes.
Add half the comino and oregano to each pot. Cook for another 30 minutes.
Heat the bacon grease and add onions, celery and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce, salsa and chili powders. Add canned green chilis.
Combine the pork and beef. Add to the tomato and spice mixture. Cook for about an hour and a half, stirring about every 10 minutes.

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Last Updated ( Monday, 27 April 2009 )
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