14 November 2011

empty pot, empty handed

I was really nervous about entering my first ever chili cookoff yesterday... and understandably so.  The chilis there were amazeballs and totally inventive.  Needless to say, me and my subpar chili did not win the main event.  But my 20 minute hobble to the bar with the heaviest pot of chili in the world (so heavy that my arms wouldn't stop shaking for nearly 30 minutes after I finally put the pot down) was totally worth it because I did receive an honorable mention and walked out with an empty pot and a lot of compliments.  Plus I met some really nice people and got to hang out with a few of my favorites that were there, too!

People kept asking me 'what's so special about your chili?' and I would just respond 'nothing, really.'  Then again, my pot was gobbled up pretty quickly so maybe it's a little better than I thought.  You see, I'm not a huge fan of chili.  I am no doubt a regular fan of chili, but it's not something I would ever order out and the only reason I ever really make any is because it's cheap and easy and keeps you warm in the winter.  If you were to ask me for my chili recipe, I wouldn't even be able to give it to you because I don't have one.  But for those of you who said you really liked it (and also said you'd check out my blog,) here's an attempt -

lady baby j's straight up chili
ingredients (nearly all are to taste)
2 lbs really good ground beef
diced tomatoes
an onion, chopped
a jalepeno, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
chipotle chili powder
regular chili powder
cumin, lots of cumin
hot hungarian paprika
smoky sweet spanish paprika
cayenne pepper
white pepper
black pepper
chili infused olive oil
red beans
pink beans
black beans
1. In a large skillet, cook onions, jalepeno and garlic in oil.  Add meat a quarter pound at a time to brown.  Dump the entire contents of the skillet into a large, heated dutch oven or chili pot.  Add tomatoes and bring to a simmer while adding all the spices.  Let simmer for a few hours.  Add the beans.  Let sit overnight and reheat the next morning so all the flavors can really marinate.  Serve with cheese, sour cream and fritos.

If that doesn't work out for you, you're always welcome to swing by my place next time I make a batch.  Maybe you can even give me a few tips to better my "recipe" and give me a shot at next year's prize!  Though I'm not sure I could ever come up with something as creative as a Korean inspired chil-bim-bop nor would I have the patience to prep all the fixins that went along with it for everyone that showed up to the cookoff.  It was definitely a well-deserved win!

So, thanks to Jason of Me So Hungry and Justice of the Unicorns and Vanessa and Jose at K&M and all the chili cookers and everyone that showed up!  It was a blast and I can't wait for next year's event.

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