Ah, me.

We have a professional blogger staying with us this weekend, and it makes me miss my poor, neglected blog. Apparently, my limit is one online distraction at a time. I suspect the dwindling of my posts here roughly coincides with the infatuation I’ve developed with Kingdom of Loathing, an online game with terrible(awesome) graphics and hilarious writing and endless possibilities for ways to play.

So let me at least post a sort of wrap-up on the Chili Cook-Off while I think of a more satisfying post to put up. The reporting sort of dwindled, I was, in fact, sampling many and varried chilies throughout the winter. In addition to the two I posted about, I tried out:

Chocolate Chili

Summary: I loved the chocolate note, but to cancel out the bitterness, I had to add more sugar than I care for. Was also the ugliest chili I’ve ever seen.

  • Deliciousness: 3
  • Beauty: 1
  • Idiot-Proof: 4
  • Dirty Dishes: 4
  • Total Score: 3

Sweet Potato Veggie Chili

Summary: Very simple chili with few steps. You can slice up your veggies and toss them in the heated pot one at a time, giving them just enough time to cook while you chop the next veggie. I found the final product quite bland, though, and nothing I could do with veggie options made it any better. I finally gave up and tossed in a chicken boullion cube, and that was perfect. Oh well. The colors of the tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and black beans were beautiful together.

  • Deliciousness: 4
  • Beauty: 5
  • Idiot-Proof: 3
  • Dirty Dishes: 5
  • Total Score: 4.25

First Attempt at Conglomerate-Everything-Perfect Laura Chili

Summary: I took all the things I’d liked best from the recipes I’d tried so far and put them together. The result was pretty darned satisfying.

6 strips of bacon
1lb ground beef
1 bell pepper, diced
1  onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced (seeds optional)
4 cloves garlic minced
3 T chili powder
2 T (heaping) cocoa powder
1 tsp rosemary
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1-2 T chipotle in adobo (or one chipotle, chopped fine)
2 cups homemade (or canned) stock (I used chicken stock, even with the beef – it was fine)
1 can each pinto beans and black beatns, drained and rinsed
1 can of sweet corn, drained
1/2 c red wine
a couple dashes of Tabasco
brown sugar (add about 1 T at a time and taste after each addition)
salt/pepper taste

Cook up the bacon, set aside and pour out most of the grease but reserve it for later. Cook the beef in the same pan. Set the cooked beef aside with the bacon.

Add a bit of the bacon grease back into the pan and add the onions. Cook for a couple minutes, then add the bell and jalapeno peppers. Cook three or four minutes until tender. Add the garlic. Continue cooking until everything starts to stick to the bottom of the pan. Deglaze with a bit of water, then add a bit more bacon grease and the spices. Saute until it smells delicious. Stir in tomato paste, tomatos, and chipotles. Return beef and chopped bacon to the pan. Add one cup of stock, beans, corn, and wine. Start with 1 T of brown sugar, add a couple dashes of tabasco, and let it all simmer for about an hour. Now you can taste it and adjust the amounts of sugar, wine, and spices if necessary. Use additional stock to thin it out, or add an extra can of beans (kidney, to add variety) if it seems like it needs more stuff. Serve with lots of cheese and corn chips.



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