Monday, November 05, 2007

Chili Cookoff 2007!

On October 31st our church holds a 'Harvest Party' as an alternative to children getting hopped up on sugar handed out by strangers while everyone is wearing outlandish costumes. We still have outlandish costumes but eschew demonic types and pass out enough sugar products to keep the kids hopped up for a month if they learn about being frugal which I doubt they do...

At least they are not getting it from strangers

Every year for this event we have a Chili Cook-Off for those egotistical enough to think they are best at at least one thing in life. I'm one of those...

I mentioned on a bulletin board I got the third prize ribbon (yellow) this year and a request was made for the recipe.

Here it is.

OK - prying1's famous 3rd place chili -

(lower case letters in the title to keep me humble even though third place does that nicely)

Cooked in a crock pot on the lower setting all day.

Figure 45 mins. to an hour prep time unless you get the stuff ready and set out the night before. (Meat can be cooked the night before but ATTN MEN: put it COVERED in the fridge overnight if you do cook it in advance!)

I cooked two pounds of hamburger meat (my daughter caught me checking the ingredients on a couple cans of dog food and told me not to take the short cut. I was cooking for the church contest and not for a fire station...)

I threw some garlic powder (crushed garlic cloves will work), chili powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, paprika, 1 chopped medium onion, and about a dozen chopped mushrooms in with the meat as it was cooking and stirred it around once in a while.

While it cooked I turned on the crock pot, (after I washed it of course. It had been sitting in the cupboard for a while...) took two cans of whole peeled tomatoes and smushed them up in the crock pot (watch for squirting juice - do not wear your Sunday clothes) then I added the beans.

4 types of beans. In this batch I used 2 DRAINED cans each (This is a BIG crock pot - you might have to adjust down a bit)
Kidney Beans - Pinto Beans - Black Beans - White beans - (Integration is the key especially if you have a multicultural/multiracial group you are feeding) - Black eye peas or other types of favorite DRAINED canned beans can be substituted or added. - I stirred as I added them in haphazard order so they would be mixed up real well. - As an alternative you can use dried beans but only if you soak them overnight and drain the water. Do not try to cook the dried beans without soaking. I know this from experience. It makes for crunchy chili. Something the judges abhor. I learned this the same way I learned to cook and DRAIN the meat first before putting it in the pot. (a slice of bread or two can soak off excess grease)

It is easy to overflow the pot and we still have the burger meat to contend with so watch the level and stop before it gets too high.

I added more of the same spices into the crock pot as the above ingredients added to the meat but this time dolloped in some liquid smoke (go easy with it) and Worcestershire sauce. OH! I found a can of chopped olives and threw that in too. - Some green bell pepper would have added color but I didn't have any handy.

At this point I drained the meat concoction. (Does that sound appetizing? Perhaps I should do a thesaurus search for a better word than concoction?)

Pour the meat in while stirring to mix it up. - Get clean spoon and taste a bite - Add more of whatever spice it needs. I added some tomato sauce because it wasn't red enough. - DON'T add salt. There should be plenty in the canned beans. - At this point the flavors would not have melded and it will not taste finished. Just make sure it has flavor and doesn't taste like just plain cold beans. - Don't double dip! Wash the spoon if you need another taste.

Slap on lid. Go to Work. Remember to come home and don't stop off to 'relax' for too long. Drive carefully so you don't get dragged off to jail only to come home 3 days after it is finished. If that happens even on the low setting the beans will get mushy...


Sorry I can't give the measurements on the spices. Just keep pouring the stuff in and stop before it is too much.


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