I definitely have more movie star recipes for chilli than any other dish.

I’ve made Robert Mitchum’s, Johnny Cash’s, Monte Hale’s, Trish Van Devere’s, Anne Sheridan’s, Barton MacLane’s, Richard Arlen’s, Tex Ritter’s, Warner Baxter’s and of course, my fave of them all, James Garner’s.

There are many more on the spreadsheet to try too, there is absolutely no way I will ever run out of chilli recipes. I just had a quick look, there are 90 on the list including one by that little cutie Mabel Normand!

A little peek at my spreadsheet – isn’t Macklyn Arbuckle a fabulous name?
Mabel with the more famous Arbuckle, Fatty

But chilli recipes of ye olden days in Hollywood are usually not very specific about the types of chilli pepper to use in their chilli (I am already getting self-conscious about my American readers who spell chilli chili and chili chile – my spell checker is going mental putting red lines under everything – aaaaaaaarrrgggg!). I have got so I can’t make up my mind what spelling to use for all of these variations so please ignore anomalies throughout this post.

So the modern chilli recipe in this month’s Kay & Fred’s Movie Night column in Delicious Magazine was a CHALLENGE. None of your “one chilli, chopped” instructions here, but precise – defined – particular types of chilli. Ancho chillies, chiles de abrol, jalapenos and chipotles. Exciting.

One of last year’s Christmas presents from my sweetie came in handy

as I had to be brave and delve into the jar of mixed dried chillies my darling Caroline Frick brought over last time she came from Texas.

This jar is on my kitchen counter and I look lovingly at it most days but I have no idea what all these chillies are or what their heat might be.

I had a little tin of chipotle chillies scored from the internet in a pack of three for some recipe or another way back in the past. I had 2 ancho chillies from Sainsbury’s so was able to eye match a 3rd from the jar. I GUESSED that the two red ones were chiles de abrol.

Would the chilli blow my head off? No, it was DIVINE.

The film suggested in Kay & Fred’s column was Lone Star (1996)

a film I had never seen but was excited about because….

Kris Kristofferson is in it!

I did a bit of rummaging around and discovered that there was a film of the same name starring Clark Gable and Ava Gardner

so I got me a copy of that too for a Saturday double bill.

Such a handsome couple!

What a lovely spinster’s Saturday I had too. Spending the morning making chili and Clark Gable’s Barbecued Beans to go with it, then nestling down on the sofa with two movies in the afternoon and evening – BLISS!

Clark Gable’s Barbecued Lima Beans (except that these are haricot beans…)

I’m sorry to report that Clark’s beans were a bit of a fail. My fault though. He doesn’t specify what kind of fat to use and I went for beef dripping as that’s what I had knocking around the fridge. The flavour overpowered everything else. Also, as discussed many times before on this blog, fat salt pork is a mystery to most of us in the UK. I didn’t have time to make my own this time as I did for Bette Davis’ Baked Beans (a triumph) so I just used some pork belly which didn’t have anywhere near the same oomph.

If you have a go at this and are making the full amount (you’ll need a HUGE pan!) I’d recommend boosting up the mustard, Worcestershire sauce and chili powder. Clark is very light on his flavourings in this recipe I reckon.

I loved both the movies, although Kris was playing a very nasty character in the 90s Lone Star. I absolutely loved the chilli too and I allowed myself to spend some time reminiscing about all the fab times I have had over the years in Texas. WANNA GO BACK SOON.

Me with two tiny John Wayne lookalikes in Texas…

Here is my super-dooper dinner (with a home-made corn tortilla left over from those amazing Dolores Del Rio Enchiladas).

It was good for me to watch a modern movie that needed a bit of brainpower. There were flashbacks aplenty and I did struggle a bit to work out who was related to who… I admit too, that I struggled to understand the politics of the 1952 Lone Star which was set in Texas shortly before statehood. But no matter, I am always happy to endlessly gaze upon Clark Gable, especially when he’s playing a cowboy type

and I got slightly obsessed with Ava’s super crisp shirt with a turned up collar…

I could truly imagine her being the first lady of Texas, she’s so utterly gorgeous.

Finally, thank you to the internet for bringing me this. A photo of Clark and Ava on the set of Lone Star chowing down. What a beauty!

Do grab yourself a copy of this month’s Delicious Magazine if you are in the UK, the chili recipe is just fabulous. With a self-indulgent movie double bill, this will take you right to the Lone Star State without having to leave your sofa!

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