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 Shanghai Jimmy's Chili Rice

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PapaJoe8

  • Total Posts: 5504
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  • Location: Dallas... DFW area
RE: Shanghai Jimmy's Chili Rice Wed, 01/23/08 12:13 PM (permalink)
Paul has already tried that Don... if I remember right???

Ferretmom, I forgot about Jimmy's bro George having a place in Tyler. Any Shanghai Jimmy style chili rice still sold there?
Joe
 
#61
    ferretmom

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    RE: Shanghai Jimmy's Chili Rice Wed, 01/23/08 12:36 PM (permalink)
    I r confused. Is there chili rice in Tyler? I went to Shanghai Jimmy's Chili Rice in Dallas around 1980. I live in Tyler area now, but am not aware of any chili rice here (except at my house, come Feb. 3 at around 5:20 p.m., with some col'beer)
     
    #62
      PapaJoe8

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      RE: Shanghai Jimmy's Chili Rice Wed, 01/23/08 7:59 PM (permalink)
      Ferretmom, Dayle Long posted earlier that he had chili rice at Jimmy's brothers place in Tyler.
      Joe
       
      #63
        PapaJoe8

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        RE: Shanghai Jimmy's Chili Rice Sat, 02/2/08 11:30 AM (permalink)
        Ben and Jimmy gone wild!

        I was looking for a late night snack the other nite. There was had some left over Uncle Ben's wild rice, the kind that comes in the foil packs, some left over Wolf Brand chili, some chopped onions, hmmm? I put the rice in my large soup mug, then the onions and a few sloced jalapenos. Now I toped that w/ some grated sharp cheddar and the Wolf Brand, nuked it till good and hot, hey not bad. Now I'm wantin some more. Shoot, I'll have to start from scratch.

        Anymore chili rice variations from yall?
        Joe
         
        #64
          PapaJoe8

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          RE: Shanghai Jimmy's Chili Rice Thu, 02/14/08 6:35 PM (permalink)
          What are the missing secret ingredients in Shanghai Jimmy's chili rice? I think Soy Sauce might be one. Born in OKC does not agree but I have made some w/ soy, just enough to barly change the flavor, and I still think that could be one of the missing things.

          I am reasonably certain there was lemon juice.

          How about Celery Salt? Jimmy made his chili in Dallas but he was from Minnesota. And, celery was an optional topping. This was a revolutionary idea in Texas at the Time. Oh, maybe it still is? And, served over rice. Might Jimmy have gotten that idea from eating chili in Cinci?

          Anyway, we had better hurry with this because there are not many of us left alive who remember what Jimmy's great chili tasted like.
          Joe
           
          #65
            Greyghost

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            RE: Shanghai Jimmy's Chili Rice Thu, 02/14/08 8:03 PM (permalink)
            Forgive me, but I think there is a lot of BS about SJ here. None of it seems well researched.
            My understanding of SJ is that it was developed in Texas during the Depression as an easy extender for pure chili. Maybe true, maybe not but it makes sense.

            I love chili and make it hot enough to set you on fire if you eat it straight. I always serve it over rice or pasta to damp it a bit. I don't think JS was doing this...I think he was just trying to make it affordable during hard times.

            I do understand BT's complaint about trying to connect this dish to anything Chinese. It is not and never was. Jimmy was very wise but not Chinese.
             
            #66
              PapaJoe8

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              RE: Shanghai Jimmy's Chili Rice Thu, 02/14/08 8:46 PM (permalink)
              Greyghost, Jimmy started his chili rice restaurants in the 50s... in Dallas. Way past the depresion days. The reason he is called Shanghai Jimmy is because he had american style restaurants in China. He was a hero to our service men imprisoned on Wake Island. Do some more research and then let me know what you think.
              Joe
               
              #67
                Born in OKC

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                RE: Shanghai Jimmy's Chili Rice Sun, 02/24/08 6:25 PM (permalink)
                Probably Greyghost and / or other interested parties have GOOGLED for SJ references by now and learned more if interested, but if not, I believe you'll find SJ was from Minnesota originally. It may be that I or others, on this board or the Dallas History board have already mentioned most of what I am about to say (repeat?), or told similar versions of the stories, but the following is based on personal experience. SJ and his chili made a big impression on a kid, that I remember these things across fifty years.

                I started SMU in 1955 and was in the AFROTC. There was a man attached to the unit although he was a civilian, perhaps some kind of a civil service worker or maybe even a University employee, who took care of the uniforms worn by students who were members of the unit. I think his name was Mulkie and everyone referred to him as Mr. Mulkie. I think that was at SMU and not the HS JROTC unit in which I had previously been enrolled. Probably Mr. Mulkie had been in the service at some point but I don't remember ever hearing anything about that. I heard him mention the campus branch of Chili Rice one day and say that it was about the best chili ever. He also had some kind words for SJ. I ate lunch there one day soon after and returned often and eventually there were at least half a dozen of us, all students who hung together, who were regulars. Mr. Mulkie was probably who I learned about the location in down town Dallas from also, but that is NOT something I'm certain of.

                A man named Archie ran the SMU branch. He (according to what Jimmy said later) was a master barber. Maybe he thought serving lunch to college kids would be more lucrative, I don't know. After not too long, Archie was taken ill and unable to continue his one man operation and the SMU branch closed. As a matter of fact, I never saw anything other than a one man operation at any of Jimmy's locations until he was very old. By the time Archie's operation closed we were eating chili rice down town also and had met Jimmy. I don't know what happened to Archie.

                From Archie I learned that Jimmy had a brother in Tyler who also ran a chili stand, but that it was not Jimmy's chili that was served there. That might have been pretty good chili also, but I have no first hand knowledge. Archie I think also said that Jimmy had previously had a location in east Dallas near the Ford plant but had moved down town because of the larger lunch time crowds. I may later have heard SJ himself say something si,ilar, that the key to a succesful fast food place which is what we would now call something like a Chili Rice location was to be near a lot of people. The first down town location was a block or two away from department stores, banks, offices, and the Dallas Times Herald newspaper. Eventually I saw several references to SJ and Chili Rice in columns by Blackie Sherrod, the sports writer. I don't know what organization took over the TH archives when it went under, but if they are extant and searchable a few more SJ facts could be established. Once Sherrod said that Jimmy told him (Blackie) that he had gotten magazines that were too old for his dentists' office to keep and put them on the counter for his (SJs) customers. That was true - the original down town location had a collection of old Reader's Digests and so on.

                The back side of some of the menus - early ones anyway - had Jimmy's biographical information on them, through the time he came back to the USA permanently after the communists took over China. One of the factoids was mention of his restaurant in pre-Communtist China, Jimmy's Kitchen. I am not sure that the story about feeding the POWs was included. Like some people who have posted on this board I had once some doubts about SJs earlier career including the time in China. However, I have read several books of personal experiences about like in China between WW 1 and WW 2 and seen references to Jimmy's Kitchen. It was said to have been a good place to get a cup of real American coffee. Also, I believe that you could GOOGLE places to eat in Shanghai and / or Hong Kong today and find places named Jimmy's Kitchen, at leat I did several years ago.

                In writing the above I want to make clear that I am not questioning the origin of chili which was surely in the southwest and quite possibly Texas, only affirming that there was a Shanghai Jimmy who began to cook in China and who later served a distinctive product in Dallas.

                If I ever come across one of those books again I will post a citation.

                I do hope some one has or will post a copy of the menu on the 'net. It might help current Dallas residents who have the will and time to research further. I'd sure like to see one of those menus again!

                In closing - and I know I am being repetitious now, I don't think Jimmy used any really extraordinary ingredients. I have tried using various oriental peppers such as the cans of red Szechuan peppers and the hot Korean bean sauce or bean paste and while they made a slightly different flavored chili I did not replicate Jimmy's chili. Those ingredients were not so readily available in the late fifties anyway. I only remember one oriental grocer in Dallas then and I doubt they had either item, although I must confess I never looked.

                I do remember Jimmy saying two things about his chili. One, he mentioned being somewhere away from dallas and making a pot of chili for the people he visited. To me that argues for readily available ingredients. Two, he said he could make a cheaper chili and I have the idea that he meant a finished product with more grease and connective tissue. His chili was very "dry" or greaseless and that was one reason (I think) why he offered the pat of margarine to those who wanted it. Most bowls of chili I've seen in cafes have more grease than Jimmy's did even with the margarine added. I believe that Jimmy used something like round steak trimmed of all fat and so on. I suppose he used suet or vegetable oil in the cooking and then chilled it over night and skimmed the solidified fat. Also I don't think that celery was the secret ingredient, if any. As I've said, celery in chili is not to my taste (I was surprised to learn on this board how many enloy it) but I certainly agree that fresh celery as a topping or addition - as Jimmy offered - makes for a crunch and texture that you don't get otherwise.

                I remember seeing menus in Texas where "regular" and "skimmed" chili was offered, where you could pay extra and get degreased or defatted chili where the oil was removed after the chili was dipped from the pot into the bowl. I don't remember the term used for the defatted chili. Can anyone help me with that? Anyway, SJs was the only chili I've ever seen where fat was added back!

                And I sure agree that there are not many of us left who had the real Chili Rice. I doubt the original recipe can be recovered but I enjoy hearing accounts of people who remember it. Especially I'd like to hear more first hand accounts from people who knew him although I know that number must be very small also.

                 
                #68
                  PapaJoe8

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                  RE: Shanghai Jimmy's Chili Rice Sun, 02/24/08 6:49 PM (permalink)
                  OKC, Nice post! My love for chili started with Jimmy. My mom was a buddy of his. True that there are not many of us left. The hunt for the REAL recipe will never die as long as I am alive!

                  The celery deal, Jimmy was from Minnesota, some Cinci Chili has celery salt, Hmmm? Maybe no celery salt but the chopped celery, hmmm???

                  And, so far I'm sticking with the say sauce idea. Now, every time I make some chili I think hmm, it needs some soy sauce.

                  Oh, It's OKC's fault that I found this site. Send all complaints about me to him!
                  Joe
                   
                  #69
                    PapaJoe8

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                    RE: Shanghai Jimmy's Chili Rice Wed, 03/12/08 5:07 PM (permalink)
                    Another clue to Jimmy's northern, he was from Minnesota, Cincy/Illanois chili background was the use of Oyster Crackers. The Cincy chili parlors have them. So does Steak n shake, so did Jimmy.

                    But, no beans about it, there were never any beans in Shanghai Jimmy's chili. But hey, his restaurants were in Texas!

                    Born in OKC, have you tried a dash of soy sauce in chili yet? I know you do not think Jimmy used it but, I am on my 10th or so batch with just a hint of soy. There was always that missing taste that I could not put my toung around. I am now happy with my recipe.
                    Joe
                     
                    #70
                      Born in OKC

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                      RE: Shanghai Jimmy's Chili Rice Wed, 03/12/08 6:04 PM (permalink)
                      Papa,

                      I have yet to try soy as a condiment in chili, but next time I make some or open a can for that matter I will, promise. In turn, I hope you will keep two suggestions in mind that were made in one of these SJ threads we've seen.

                      First, Go to an El Fenix, specifically the last one I was in was NW of DFW, and try their chili which is (was) available as a separate side dish over their rice which is also available as a side dish. It will be a seasoned or Mexican rice, not plain oriental, but it is not bad. Chopped onion and grated cheese will bwe served as a matter of course, or at least on request with the chili. The onion will probably be in much bigger pieces than SJ served, but you can cut it up.

                      Second, pm a trip to Fprt Worth, try the chili at Ryfsky's (sp?) or bring home a batch. I think there are two locations and the primary business may be BBQ, not chili. In season, they have bricks of chili in the cold case and of course you can take it home and fix the rice and onion and so on your self.

                      With either of the above, be sure to have some margarine on hand to mimic SJ, if desired. I would recommend grated sharp or extra sharp grocery store cheddar. I don't think a premium cheddar is necessary, Also, I think that Jimmy made his own salsa - did we call that "hot sauce" back then? One of the menu notes I remember called it the "tasty mild Jimmy's sauce." I think that Pace's mild red salsa would be a fair substitute at home.

                      I'd sure be interested in your report on either or both of the above, with the thought of how you would tweak either one to get closer to SJ.

                      Also, if you visit the reincarnation of Tolbert's in Grapevine, I'd like a report about that place. I don't think that Frank X. Tolbert ever mentioned SJ in his column though he wrote about chili a lot as you know. One of his articles was about the Tejas indians (may have the tribal name wrong) near El Paso who made what he (Tolbert) called a very good but quite highly seasoned and awfully oily chili that was a judges fave but not the winner at Terhlingulau (now I am pretty sure that's spelled wrong) one year. I think that Stern's Chili Nation has a recipe from that same native group.
                       
                      #71
                        Greyghost

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                        RE: Shanghai Jimmy's Chili Rice Wed, 03/12/08 6:34 PM (permalink)
                        Wow, I stand corrected, I certainly cannot argue with people that actually knew the man.

                        I am trying to figure out how I got it so wrong...I think it stems from my love of a book I read many years ago: The Great American Chili Book by Bill Bridges. For quite a while it was my chili bible. As a great deal of time has passed since I read the book, I must have confused a few things in my mind. Sorry for the error.

                        Still, I think someone must have had the idea of combining chili with rice before him. It is such an obvious thing to do. Shanghai Jimmy is the one revered and remembered for the dish though and I have no argument with that.


                        Thank you PJ and Born in OKC, you have made this the most important resource on the web concerning Shanghai Jimmy. It does not get any better than that.
                         
                        #72
                          Born in OKC

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                          RE: Shanghai Jimmy's Chili Rice Wed, 03/12/08 9:04 PM (permalink)
                          Greyghost,

                          If you will read all of the posts on this board, and also check

                          dallashistory.org

                          you will see several other notes from people who were acquanted with Jimmy. I'm almost seventy and I guess PapaJoe8 is younger. I don't suppose there are many of us left who actually knew him and I really enjoy the new first hand memories I see from time to time.

                          I really hope, although I have no idea if it is happening or not, that some Texas writer is working on an article for [i]"D" Magazine or Texas Monthly that I will happen to see someday.
                           
                          #73
                            Born in OKC

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                            RE: Shanghai Jimmy's Chili Rice Wed, 03/12/08 9:38 PM (permalink)
                            Greyghost,

                            I should also have said I agree that chili over rice seems an obvious idea and it certainly would be interesting if some one could locate another person who made the combination, whether in Texas, or Montana, or Argentina for that matter. This is especially true - to me at least - since the Ohio chili parlours combine chili and pasta.

                            I would comment that, IMO, chili and rice is a better combination than chili and mashed potatoes or fried potatoes, and I like both of those kinds of potatoes and most all others. On the other hand, I also like the truly heartstopping Canadian concoction, "poutine" of fried potatoes, gravy, and cheese. I don't think poutine would be the same or nearly as good if made with rice.

                            On the other hand, chili over eggs and tortillas is not bad, and of course we are talking about a form of huevos rancheros.

                            So corn works, as a carrier for chili, but not potatoes, at least for me. Maybe I am missing the obvious here. I can't really explain why I like chili and rice and not chili and mashed potatoes. I just know I do. I'd listen to any opinion WHY it works. We do agree though, that chili and rice is a good combination.

                            Ome more thing, sir. Were you on the SMU sports board at one time a few years ago while your son played football there?

                             
                            #74
                              PapaJoe8

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                              RE: Shanghai Jimmy's Chili Rice Sun, 03/23/08 2:09 PM (permalink)
                              OKC, there was a mention about Jimmy James at a site called "french May.com". It was talking about the "Jimmy's Kitchen" you mentioned earlier. Hmmm? There are two locations going strong. The have changed locations but opened in 1929.

                              About El Fenix, my dad was a big fan! I have been going there since I was a kid. I also worked for their competion, El Chico, when I was in high school. I made mention of it on a thread I started here about my search for great cheese enchiladas . The origional downtown El Fenix location is my favorite. It's on Feld Street I think? I alwas get extra onions, cheese, and even jalapenos. The chili might be kindof close to Jimmy's but, as you know, the rice way different. But their chili over rice, with onions and cheese, I do like allot!

                              I will try to get some Ryfsky's next time I go to Fort Worth, and try it like you suggested. I have heard several say they have some good chili.

                              But OKC, my tasks are a bit harder than yours! Just add a bit of soy sauce was all I asked. :~) Oh, and maybe some Adobo?

                              I mentiones Adobo, with MSG, earlier. I guess that seasoning stuff was around when Jimmy made his chili? I have a jar and have used it in chili with no harm done.

                              Some different, than normal chili, things from Jimmy's LP recipe are, lemon juice, sugar, bay leaf, flour, and corn meal. Jimmy's use of oyster crackers, and being from Minnasota, makes me think some northern chili spices might have been used? I got that idea by reading the Cincy Chili threads here. It came up that other northern chili places use some different spices than the Cincy parlors.

                              Oh, there was some mention about Jimmy at the D Magazine web site. It said something about two kinds of cheeses? And ordering from a board by number. I think I remember that?
                              Joe
                              Oh, you can play around w/ tha soy sauce on just one bowl of chili. It blends right in. Start w/ a teaspoon and stop when you can just barley taste a difference, and before you taste the soy sauce, if that makes sense?
                               
                              #75
                                PapaJoe8

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                                RE: Shanghai Jimmy's Chili Rice Sun, 03/23/08 3:41 PM (permalink)
                                An old D Magazine page from Dec. 1975 just showed up on the first page of a Google for "shanghai jimmy" chili. "Shanghai Jimmy has returned at last with his legendary chili rice" shows up on the Google. Neat little write up!
                                Joe
                                 
                                #76
                                  Born in OKC

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                                  RE: Shanghai Jimmy's Chili Rice Mon, 03/24/08 4:42 AM (permalink)
                                  Thanks for the tips about more Jimmy facts. I'll check those some time when I've had more sleep!

                                  I'm not sure about "ordering from a board." Maybe (probably?) there was a bill of fare on the wall at one or more of Jimmy's locations, but I don't remember for sure.

                                  What I do remember was a regular size piece of paper, 8-1/2 x 11, with the different food options and variations on one side. I can't begin to quote them now, but perhaps # 01 was one dip of chili and one pat of margarine in the small tub (to use Jimmy's term) of rice and so on. Although not something mentioned previously a package of crackers was extra. Maybe a large number one was two dips and two pats in a larger container (or tub) of rice. The menus were tacked on the wall and used as advertising flyers.

                                  The higher numbers, two and on, were were for versions with twice the amount of chili or with cheese added and so on. I don't now know what the highest number was. I believe that the numbers were consistent all the times I went to different Chili Rice locations and onions (or celery) and a splash of "Jimmy's sauce" (which he squirted out of a plastic bottle) were always free add ons.

                                  Yes, you ordered a number one and so on. I'm sorry if I've really belabored the point. If I were going to open a chili stand I'd probably try to come up with a similar system of numbered items and regular and large orders and so on.

                                  On the opposite side of some, but I don't think all, menus copies was Jimmy's resume. Tt started with him separating from the army about 1919 and one of the early things he said he did was operate a radio station in China. It included mention of Jimmy's Kitchen which he said was "it." The resume went through the time he came back to the states for a vacation after WW 2 and was never able to go back because the Chicoms took over including his property and business. I think he mentioned being interned by the Japs but not necessarily feeding the POW group.

                                  I have to admit my memory may be away off about details of that resume. I know I have not mentioned every thing. Various people on one board or another have mentioned having one of the menus. As I've said before I sure hope some one will post a copy on the internet someday.

                                  I still have not put soy in chili, but will. Your point about adobo is interesting and yes, I am agree - in fact am certain - that it must have been available at the time I first had Chili Rice but I don't remember seeing it, probably beacuse I was never in the right kind of market.
                                   
                                  #77
                                    Born in OKC

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                                    RE: Shanghai Jimmy's Chili Rice Mon, 03/24/08 7:15 AM (permalink)
                                    I am glad you mentioned Googling which I had not done for some time. I have not found your D Magazine reference yet, but if you have not done so, go to the following location:

                                    www.northchinamarines.com/id70.htm

                                    Scroll well down in the article and find a news paper clipping with a picture of Jimmy and story about the POW feeding!

                                    More later.
                                     
                                    #78
                                      Born in OKC

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                                      RE: Shanghai Jimmy's Chili Rice Mon, 03/24/08 7:53 AM (permalink)
                                      The "north china marines" just mentioned show up in history in another way, as well as being part of the PUW meal by Jimmy. Their base at Tientsin was the last place the bones of Peking Man, so important to anthropologists, are thought to been, after leaving the place where they were on display before the start of WW 2. See the book, Search for Peking Man. Even the intervention of then Emporer Hirohito, a man with a scientific bent, failed to turn them up, accoring to the public record.

                                      On a more pertinent topic, I also agree that Jimmy miht have used MSG in his chili, although if so, I did not react to that as I do now.
                                       
                                      #79
                                        PapaJoe8

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                                        RE: Shanghai Jimmy's Chili Rice Mon, 03/24/08 12:54 PM (permalink)
                                        D Magazine must have just released some old pages from their archives. How did I find them? I was trying to find our more about the Jimmy's Kitchen in Hong kong, that you mentioned. Those restaurants are real popular attractions from what I read.

                                        I do some Googles with "shanghai jimmy" and anything I can think to try. Dallas, wake island, restaurant, chili, rice, d magazine, and whatever else I can think of. I should have wriren some stuff down but I was to busy googling, and excited that some new stuff came up. I can find them again when I have time. There are quite a few articles about Jimmy, and the Wake Island Christmas dinner, on the net.

                                        OKC, lots of pictures on that link above. I will let it load up on my old PC when I have time.

                                        Interesting stuff about Peking Man! I have seen some shows about this, Discover Channel maybe? Peking Man may be stored away, along with Jimmy's recipe book, in an old Dallas warehouse? :~)
                                        Joe
                                         
                                        #80
                                          Born in OKC

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                                          RE: Shanghai Jimmy's Chili Rice Mon, 03/24/08 3:00 PM (permalink)
                                          Well, the author of Search for Peking Man traced the shipping crates containing the bones to the marine camp of the detachment in Tientsin, provided always that the those crates were not part of a feint with the stuff actually hidden or sent elsewhere. The author suggests that they may have been discarded by people ignorant of their true nature, or accidentally lost in the river or harbour while being carried to a transport ship. It is also possible they were considered "dragon bones" and ground into medicinal powder by Chinese people who gained possession.

                                          The marines who received the shipment were not allowed to take those crates to POW camp so to me it seems unlikely that Jimmy ever knew of them, much less came home with them. Nonetheless, that is an interesting take on the mystery. I have seen and you probably also have seen, on the Antique Roadshow public television program items that pretty obviously were "liberated" (looted) by American GIs during WW 2 and which were "discovered" in granpa's attic.

                                          The book may be in your local library or available by inter-library loan. It is an interesting read although probably puffed up beyond a real length of a longish magazine article.

                                          Ah well. I hope for Jimmy's recipe to be found, but have no reason to be sure he even wrote it down. I still think it is entirely possible, even likely, that he kept it in his head.
                                           
                                          #81
                                            Born in OKC

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                                            RE: Shanghai Jimmy's Chili Rice Mon, 03/24/08 3:33 PM (permalink)
                                            PJ8,

                                            I thought I would put this in a separate note since it is more to the point about Shanghai Jimmy's chili.

                                            First of all, while a memory will always be with me that it was "the best," I am hard put to exactly describe it. I know that it was very low fat - that was why he could put a pat of margarine in each serving. Second, I am sure that the meat was very finely diced, I would guess from trimmed round steak, not regular ground beef or chili grind groud beef. hird, I do not recall seeing any onion particles. Fourth, and this is related to the last, I don't recall seeing any specks of dried or fresh red pepper. Fifth, I don't think it was a very hot, a very highly peppered chili. Sixth, at this distance in time later I don't recall any other flavor, such as garlick or cumin really jumping up. Seventh, you have suggested the possibility of soy sauce and / or MSG and I can't really gainsay either. Finally, I remember a red conconction - no specks of what might have been green pepper or ground black pepper of any kind.

                                            I am not prepared to say that he did or did not use tomatoe juice as a liquid, or beer for that matter.

                                            I am mentioning these things in part because when I try to make chili it sometimes is very peppery, or garlicky, or has a strong cumin taste (which I like). Please note, in saying the above, I am talking about the SJ chili as it came from the pot, not after the optional chopped onions or celery was added. Also, I am talking about the meat chili, the first version of Jimmy's chili I had and not the vegetarian version with black eye peas that came a lot later.

                                            PJ, do you agree with the things I've said or do you have conflicting recollections? What detail can you add? I sure hope that you and anyone else who ate Chili Rice will weigh in on this. I like lots of different chilis I have tasted, with beans, with meats other than beef, with other ingredients, but can't really describe Jimmy's beyond what I said above.

                                            Please help if you can!

                                             
                                            #82
                                              PapaJoe8

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                                              RE: Shanghai Jimmy's Chili Rice Mon, 03/24/08 4:15 PM (permalink)
                                              OKC, there are those who say they had sen Jimmy's recipe book. This was at they ddallas History site. They said he kept all of his recipes in that book. Someone knew someone who was going to try to track it down. It did not get tracked down.

                                              I agree with your memories above. SJ's chili was mild, maybe so kids like me would like it. Very fine ground meat sounds right also. Low fat, yep. No flakes of anything to be found.

                                              I was kinda joking about the lost bones but... you never know.

                                              OKC, have you looked into the Jimmy's Kitchin deal? It seams that someone took over Jimmy's reataurants and kept them going for all these years.
                                              Joe
                                               
                                              #83
                                                Born in OKC

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                                                • Location: atlanta, GA
                                                RE: Shanghai Jimmy's Chili Rice Mon, 03/24/08 5:57 PM (permalink)
                                                PJ8-

                                                Maybe I mis-spoke or did not express my self clearly but I meant to say thinly sliced and finely diced meat such as round steak. I think you could get much the same effect with chuck roast process the same way but it would be more trouble to cut.

                                                I read the Dallas History comment about seeing SJs recipe book, but with all due respect, and I do not want to argue with the memories of anyone, I discount it. As you note, no one has located the book.

                                                I will repeat the story that I or another previously related on one board or the other, and that from "Archie" who ran the SMU (apparently a franchise location) of Chili Rice for a time. Archie said that Jimmy held the recipe closely, that the chili stand run by SJs brother in Tyler did not sell SJs chili.

                                                Also, on SJs "Texas Chili" phonograph record (I used to have a copy) I think Jimmy made the comment that the recipe given was for his ordinary or everyday chili. I take that to mean that he was not giving away the farm and think it reinforces Archies remark, although it certainly does not establish one way or the other that he wrote anything down.

                                                It would not surpise me to learn that the "real" recipe as well as the one on the record included lemon juice and so on which would add a note of sourness that some would like. Tomato juice, if from a real true tomato and not these silly fern bar sweet grape tomatos would do the same which is a fact mentioned in some chili recipes I have seen.

                                                I hope some one does locate and make public a SJ recipe book and preferably through the Dallas History forum. There are some smart people on that board and I suspect that they have or could command the resources to check the handwriting. For an example of the investigative powers that group has check the threads there on former Dallas citizen, developer, and philanthropist "Marsalis," for whom the Dallas zoo was named. The group investigated some curious circumstances regarding his death and estate. I suspect they could do the same with artifacts or records of SJ.

                                                I thought the information you presented recently about the early or first Dallas chili parlour was very interesting. I wonder if there is a better chance of recovering that recipe from an old newspaper or magazine article or cookbook than anything of SJs, and hope that you or another will try.

                                                Change of topic now. I must also confess that it has been so long since I lived in Dallas that I can't visualize the original El Fenix on Field Street that you mention. I may never have eaten there and the one I remember most from the time I lived there was on NW Highway near Hillcrest. I don't believe even the building remains today. Generally though, I ate in El Chicos growing up.

                                                 
                                                #84
                                                  PapaJoe8

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                                                  RE: Shanghai Jimmy's Chili Rice Mon, 03/24/08 6:39 PM (permalink)
                                                  OKC, I have eatin many times at the NW Highway El Chico. It was always good.

                                                  Ok, finely diced, not ground. What about boiled, no browning, like some of the northern chili places?

                                                  I looked for where I saw about the board on the wall. That may have been at the history site?

                                                  Yes, there are some smart folks at the dallashistory.org web site.

                                                  El Chico, I worked at the Lochwood location on Garland road. That was good Tex Mex back then. No resemblence to what it has become today. I think El Chico made the very best Tex Mex cheese enchilada back then. As a younger kid, the Lakewood El Chico was where I went. I could take my lawn mowing money and walk there from my PawPaw's house. I would order 2 plates of enchiladas, 3 to a plate.
                                                  Joe
                                                   
                                                  #85
                                                    Born in OKC

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                                                    • Location: atlanta, GA
                                                    RE: Shanghai Jimmy's Chili Rice Mon, 03/24/08 9:48 PM (permalink)
                                                    Seems like I'm always a post or so behind. I am not sure I am responding to your commnets about Jimmy's Kitchen but some months back I Googled Jimmy's Kitchen / Shanghai / restaurant and got a hit or hits and did the same except substituted Hong Kong and got one or more hits there also. I was not able to find much more but I surmise some one or some organization is using the same name as SJ did and there is perhaps a chain.

                                                    The communists took over in 1949 as previously noted. With all the disruptions to the Chinese society during that revolution and since it is hard for me to imagine that anyone from SJs operation is still around, but. . . . as you said, you never know. If I had the means to travel maybe I'd try to find out but doubt I'll ever get to China. About all we can hope for is that there is some real chili head & Sinophile on this board who will give it a shot and report back.

                                                    Maybe SJs best chili was boiled and never sauteed or fried. I would comment that covering the pot tightly and cooking over low heat would sweat or steam the meat with little or no liquid added and I believe there is a recipe like that in Tolbert's Bowl of Red, though not "his" recipe. I would look to the Texas Chili recordng for guidance. I do not remember now if it called for any fat or oil. I do think that Jimmy said to deglaze the pan after the initial cooking stage, "because there is a lot of flavor in the browned coatings in the pan," or some such advice. Some one who has the record or a transcription please check me on this. Do you get that effect with or without grease or both ways?

                                                    I sure hope we get have more former customers to weigh in on this.

                                                    Your story about eating two orders of enchiladas reminds me of a young man I worked with in the late fifties. I doubt he weighed 150 pounds but must have had a high metabolic rate. We would eat lunch at El Chicos some times and he would order and eat two of the enchilada type meals and large numbers of the tortillas they use to give as a side and then never slow down in the afternoon.

                                                    It seems like the El Chico I remember most was on Lover's Lane at the east end of the 'Miracle Mile" shopping center with the movie theater. It had a two story room with a more or less dramatic stair case.

                                                    That was a long time ago for me to, just like for any SJ person in China from 1949 or before!

                                                    I am not now sure whose cheese enchiladas I liked best - but I did like them a lot.
                                                     
                                                    #86
                                                      PapaJoe8

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                                                      RE: Shanghai Jimmy's Chili Rice Tue, 03/25/08 11:27 AM (permalink)
                                                      Oh, thanks Greyghost for the kind words above. The dallashistory.org site may have the best info about Jimmy but we do link it in this thread. With both forums combined it is for sure the best info on the net.

                                                      OKC, about Jimmy's Kitchen... the mention of "Jimmy James" at the frenchmay.com site, the start date of 1929, the fact that these are American style resturants with allot of history, and the mention of Jimmy's Kitchen as "it" on a menu, leads me to think that these restaurants were the ones started by Jimmy. They were later taken over by the Chinese. After that they were relocated and reopened by someone else. The renchmay site sais that there are two locations, and that one was moved from Shanghai. There was also a mention of the second location haveing allot of information about the history of these restaurants. Hey, all speculation but??? Maybe it's time to liven up the thread at the history site?

                                                      There is the recipe from Jimmy's LP at the .org site. Posted by Homer I think? I am not sure about the deglazing but I do remember that the meat is fried as a pattie and only turned once. I have made several batches this way. After reading the threads here about Cincy, and other northern chilis, I also tried several batches by just boiling the meat, ground not chopped, and seasonings in a small amount of water. Then I added more water twords the end. This made the meat seperate into smaller peices. The second methiod came out more like my my memory of Jimmy's chili rice chili. The fact that Jimmy was a one man show, but had to make lots of chili, may provide clues to how he prepared and cooked the meat. I am trying to get my head around Jimmy chopping the meat. Hey, mabe he had a butcher do it for him?

                                                      The chopped versus ground thing might be something to ask about at the history site?


                                                      And OKC, thoseI was a skinny kid and, like the guy you worked with, I could eat ALLOT! I was maybe 12 or younger when I was eating those 2 orders of enchiladas. You might enjoy the cheese enchilada thread OKC.

                                                      Greyghost mentioned Frank Tolbert. I read somewhere that Frank and Jimmy knew each other, and that Jimmy went to least one Terlingua Chili Cook off.
                                                      Joe

                                                       
                                                      #87
                                                        PapaJoe8

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                                                        RE: Shanghai Jimmy's Chili Rice Tue, 03/25/08 11:54 AM (permalink)
                                                        Oh, the Bill Crane Jan. 29th 2005 post, at the history site, is a good one! He mentioned Jimmy's Kitchen and "a truely american cup of coffee". I think the place is still known for that.

                                                        There are allot of good ones though. I will try to eddit and add more good posts to this. Or... maybe those inetrested should just read the whole thing?
                                                        Joe
                                                        I posted a new message on th old thread there, the first since 2006. Wee will see what happens.
                                                        Joe

                                                        It was Vic Plummer's post on Nov. 29, 2004 that told about Jimmy's book. True story... I think so.
                                                         
                                                        #88
                                                          PapaJoe8

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                                                          RE: Shanghai Jimmy's Chili Rice Tue, 03/25/08 2:12 PM (permalink)
                                                          OKC, I think a new thread should be started here, in the chili section, about the search for Jimmy's recipe. Many folks, who are searching the net for info about Jimmy, have already read this thread and may not check for anything new. It will add anouther link at Google for Shanghai Jimmy. Maybe someone who knows something about the recipe might see it? Would you like to start it?
                                                          Joe
                                                           
                                                          #89
                                                            Born in OKC

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                                                            RE: Shanghai Jimmy's Chili Rice Tue, 03/25/08 5:05 PM (permalink)
                                                            PJ8- I've thought a lot about your last two posts.

                                                            First of all, when I try to raise frenchmay.com my eturn screen is the dreaded "cant find URL," so beyond the notes on the Google Tabe of Contents - if that's the right term - I can't at present see the information you reference. I am certain though that the 'net references I mentioned were different since they were notes about restaurants in travel or visitors or chamber of commerce type sites for the two cities (Shanghai and Hong Kong). One of these days I'll see it, I hope.

                                                            I am, of course, familiar with the Dallas History post mentioning coffee.

                                                            It is your choice, but I would advise against starting a new thread on this board and especially under "Chili." If it were done I'd say put it in the "Recipes" but really don't think it a good idea. I will give a few examples I believe pertinent.

                                                            1. If you have referred to Wikipedia, you have heard the stories about the inaccuracies and seen the very numerous notes about "citation requested" or similar at the end of articles.

                                                            2. On roadfood, in the "Where Should I Eat?" title there was a recent query about Detroit, a very unlimited question. Some one pointed out the website search function. This has happened a lot of times on roadfood as you probably know. As it is, if someone searches "Shanghai Jimmy" on this board you have one choice, not two, and we have no assurance that someone with THE ANSWER won't start another thread any way. To me the point is, if you are hunting
                                                            for something on the 'net you need to keep going back because someone might have added something after your last visit.

                                                            On a completely different subject, there is an item I've been serching the net for for several years. There is more stuff today, but still no answer.

                                                            3. I am afraid there is already too much unattributed stuff and perhaps typos on the existing sites mentioning Shanghai Jimmy and Chili Rice. Starting another thread will make a place where some will copy what is already set down - and think it scholarship!

                                                            4. This is further to or a restatement of the first and third items. My very sincere recommendation is that if you do start another thread, do not try to summarize or edit the previous posts on several boards. Don't skimp in any way. Instead, put it more or less in the form of the bibliographies we had to write in school. Cite the internet board, the screen name, the title line and date, etc., and then we still have to hope that the board or forum won't go down (You probably remember the time recently when Dallas History crashed and it turned out that the service had been provided by an outsider or volunteer who became less interested, or something). I have to admit I am not a trained 'net researcher or teacher. Maybe someone who does teach will respond with references to approved format, but IMO anything added ought to have references to source so that it can be traced / verified.
                                                             
                                                            #90
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