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Old 04-07-2012, 05:16 AM   #11
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P. Fiona,

Good Morning Again,

This CHILI Cook Off sounds fabulous ...

I am not sure, if you wish a full recipe or just the ingredients that I employ ... So, for starters here are the ingredients, and if you require a recipe than, just send me a note and I shall send the recipe I have always used, which hails from our Friend Ventura, who was raised in San Antonio, Texas, lives in Madrid and owns a Taquería which is the oldest Mexican restaurant in Continental Europe and is Mexican by birth and Mexican American, served in the USA Airforce --- based in Madrid in 1950s and early 1960s ...

Todo a Mexico ...
Kindest. Happy Holidays.


Anaheim fresh mild green chilies with a mild heat sometimes called California Chilies ...

cumin seeds

chopped onion

Beef shoulder cut into 1/2 inch thick pieces

garlic cloves minced



Ground chili

Canned tomatoes

Beef stock


sugar ( a pinch )

tomato paste

Red Kidney Beans soaked overnight in salted water of course

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Old 04-07-2012, 05:20 AM   #12
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Great Greg, for sending the Lyndon Family recipe ... you are very detailed oriented ! Good trait.

Happy Holidays.

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Old 04-07-2012, 07:59 AM   #13
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I add cumin and smoked paprika to my chili along with chili powder . We like it spicy so I also add hot sauce or adobo sauce I toss them in with the meat when I am browning it.
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:30 AM   #14
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I use a combination of fresh chilies, dried chilies, ground chilies and chipotle in adobo.

I use very little tomato. Only 8 ounces for two pounds of meat.

I use chuck cut into 1/4" to 1/2" cubes. I brown the cubes before adding them to the chili.

Of course the standard seasonings - cumin, Mexican oregano, onion, garlic.

I don't use hot sauce. I'm not against it. I use chilies for heat.
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:33 AM   #15
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Forget the venison. Use goat! That always makes an impression. I was going to suggest armadillo, but you won't find any that far north.
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:58 AM   #16
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Chili tastes better if made a day ahead and warms up nicely in a crockpot. Perfect for a chili cook-off. I prefer to make chili slow simmered on the stove back burner. I feel I have better control, where-as, a crock pot takes all the fun out of all that stirring and tasting. Besides, even though my general recipe takes about 3 hours, I am ready to eat at about the two hour mark. The chili would Never make it to the finish line if I had to wait for it to cook 6 hours in a crock-pot.

In many places it’s acceptable to put beans in chili, unless you are in Texas. Since this is an Event—well, you decide. Personally, for at home eating, I like pintos and dark kidney beans in the chili.

One of the ways to prepare chili meat is small- dice up some beef (like a chuck roast), rather than use ground beef. I use regular burger, from a farm raised animal.

For stock, I like to use chicken broth, preferably home-made. Since I seldom make my own, the next best is boxed organic chicken stock. Not Swansons. I think the last time I made chili, I used both chix and beef broth. Now that I write this, I think that had a richer flavor.

I tried making chili with beer as part of the liquid once, using a bottle of Negra Modelo, which is a nice dark Mexican lager. Personally, I didn’t care for it. Can’t put my finger on why. The chili didn’t taste like beer, ( good) but I don’t think it added anything to boost the chili flavor either. The rest of the 6 pack tasted real good, so maybe I chose the wrong bottle to sacrifice in the pot.

I like cumin, and I like to toast the seeds before pulverizing in a mortar. I also add dry oregano, marjoram and paprika to augment the chili powder. I also determine about how much chili powder I prefer ( depends on your heat preference), then divide it in half. Put one half the chili powder in after browning the meat and add the remainder of the chili powder when the chili is about half way through cooking. I also recommend adding some dried crumbled pure hot chile pepper as well, again, this depends on your heat tolerance. I usually use about 2-4 dry Thai chiles, as that is what I grow and have on hand. And yes to real garlic and not garlic powder this time.

Finally, I will share my two Secret Ingredients. After you commit them to memory, hit the Delete button and promise not to go spreading them around. -- About a half hour before the chili is done cooking, add a Tablespoon of brown sugar and the juice of a small lime.

That’s all for now. PS-- HAVE FUN TOO
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Old 04-07-2012, 10:13 AM   #17
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I was looking for that Classic Chili Cook Off Humor article that's been floating on the internet for years, A Chili Cook Off wouldn't seem right without it re-surfacing. I'll send it in a minute. Meanwhile, I came across this one. Since PF is a nurse, I thought this should come first---

The best ward chili cook-off ever

Almost four years ago I was nine months pregnant and holding with Mister Bubby when I had the opportunity to attend ye olden Mormon event known as the Annual Ward Chili Cookoff. Every ward I've ever lived in has had an annual chili cookoff, despite the fact that a majority of Mormons know next to nothing about making chili. (Sorry, kids, but it's the truth.)

So here I am, nine months pregnant at the Ward Chili Cookoff, and naturally I have to endure a lot of "haven't you had that baby yet?" remarks, as well as warnings not to eat too much chili. In fact, I don't believe anyone interacted with me that evening without feeling compelled to make some cute remark about the folly of a pregnant woman eating chili. It's not like I was in any danger because half of this chili was just ground beef with marinara sauce, but I took it in good humor all the same. At least I think I did. I don't know. Nine-month-pregnant women aren't usually known for their senses of humor, just as mothers of three aren't famous for their long-term memories.

Well, not all of the chili at this particular cookoff was bland. Sugar Daddy, being the macho man that he is, made a very good chili that year–spicy, but not so hot that you couldn't taste it. Now I admit that as part of our food snobbery, SD and I are also heat snobs. We can appreciate that not everyone enjoys spicy food, but our consensus is that if you can't tolerate anything hotter than mild salsa, you probably need to just grow up. I don't like the heat of my food to detract from its taste, but I find as the years go by and more of my taste buds get burned off, I require my food to be ever more spicy. (This was especially true during my pregnancy with Elvis, when I was in perpetual need of having my sinuses drained. I think Elvis inherited a lot of my immunity to heat because every time we go to Mexican restaurants, he's the one eating salsa directly out of the bowl. But I digress.) However, as SD was in this contest for the win, I advised him to hold back ever so slightly on whatever variety of peppers he was using that year so as not to overwhelm any wimpy, Utah-born palates.

So while SD was spying on the judges, I was feeding Princess Zurg and Mister-Bubby-in-Utero chili and listening to the advice of a lady in the ward who worked as an obstetric nurse at the hospital I was to deliver at. She wanted me to hold off on having the baby until the following Monday because that was when she'd be back on shift. She also told me that if I wanted to go into labor, SD and I should just go home and have lots of sex. That remark brought on its fair share of giggles from the other ladies at my table (all of the men were also spying on the judges, as I recall), but I took it in about the same manner as I had all the chili remarks–smiling and nodding and looking forward to the day when I would no longer be pregnant and people wouldn't feel entitled to publicly speculate about my bodily functions, reproductive or otherwise.

We returned home that evening, SD severely disappointed that he hadn't won the award for Best-Tasting Chili because half of the judges couldn't tolerate the spiciness of his entry. However, he did not win Hottest Chili either, because another gentleman in the ward had dared to take his chili-making places where his wife had probably warned him not to go. This especially irked SD, and he vowed that next time, he would take no prisoners and take home that award.I tell you all of this so that you understand why I woke up at 6 a.m. the following morning with what I assumed to be the worst gas pain known to woman, pregnant or otherwise. I knew I couldn't be in labor because when I got up and walked around, I felt better. Sort of. If I walked for a very long time. After an hour or so of this, SD noticed my discomfort and said, "Are you in labor?"

"No, I'm not in labor. It's just gas."

"Are you sure you're not in labor? Because it seems like you're in labor."

"Hello, I think I would know if I were in labor, seeing how I'm the only one in the room who's given birth before."

"Okay, fine. But I still think you're in labor."


As I said, pregnant women aren't known for their senses of humor. Or their cheerful dispositions.

Or, at least in our house, their judgement, because about fifteen minutes later I ended up asking SD to time my gas pains.

Soon we were dropping off Princess Zurg with neighbors and speeding through the streets of suburban
Portland, which were fortunately empty on this Sunday morning. I was weeping and wailing and gnashing my teeth in the passenger seat, while SD was violating more traffic laws in five minutes than he'd done in all his driving years combined, because every time we came to a protected intersection, I'd scream, "WHY IS THIS LIGHT STILL RED?!!!"

When we got to the hospital, the nurses quickly caught on to the fact that I was in labor because I was pretty much freaking out at this point. At the peak of one particularly nasty contraction, one of them asked, "Are you going to need an anesthesiologist?"


She said, "Certainly," and waited patiently until I'd calmed down enough to say, for some inexplicable reason, "No, thank you."

We soon found out that it was a good thing I would not require an anesthesiologist because I was (SQUEAMISH, PLEASE AVERT YOUR EYES) already at nine centimeters. For those of you unfamiliar with the labor and delivery process, that meant that the baby was coming any minute now. They finished doing all that other stuff they do when you check in to a hospital (I still don't know because I've never paid much attention, frankly), and told me I could get in the Jacuzzi tub if I wanted and to call them when I felt like pushing.

Let me tell you, that Jacuzzi tub felt awesome. For about two minutes, and then I was screaming to be pulled out because I didn't want to have a water birth. Five minutes later, Mister Bubby made his worldwide debut.

Now I know you all are disappointed that I didn't end up having the baby on the side of the road or an elevator or the middle of a gay pride parade, and I have to say, from an artistic standpoint, I am too–but from a woman-in-travail standpoint I think it worked out just fine the way it did. They announced my son's arrival over the pulpit at church, and the good news is that everyone assumed it was the chili that had done it, and not that SD and I had been having raucous sex the night before.

Fast forward to the present day. By our good fortune we find ourselves in the same ward we were in that fateful night four years ago, and the Annual Ward Chili Cookoff is upon us once again. Well, sort of. It's not until September, but SD is already plotting his revenge. Fortunately, I am not pregnant this time, and few people remember the circumstances of my middle child's birth, but everyone knows I'm married to the guy who plans to win Hottest Chili at any cost.

"I'm pulling out all the stops this time," he says. "I'm going to start with a can of El Pato red chile sauce–"

"Better make it at least two," I say.

"Right. Two cans of El Pato, a couple tablespoons of cayenne, maybe some habaneros–ooh, habaneros, those would be good…"

"It sounds like a waste of beans to me."

"I'm going to get some of that good stew meat and marinate it in Bloody Mary mix. Then I'm going to barbecue the meat in that Iron Works Spicy Barbecue Sauce and put it in the chili–"

"Sounds like a waste of meat."

"I'm not going home empty handed," he says, as-God-is-his-witness. "I want people going to the hospital. I want them to sting their eyes when they lift up the lid."

"No one's going to want to eat this, including me."

"But you know there's something terribly satisfying about food that's so hot it just totally clears your sinuses."

"I don't have a problem with it clearing my sinuses. I just don't want it clearing out all my other body cavities while it's at it."

"That's the other thing–I want all the porcelain to be scoured off every toilet bowl in the church…"

And the conversation, believe it or not, deteriorated from there. Suffice it to say that he's decided he'll need to bring extra pairs of pants for the judges. As immature and tiresome as I find most toilet humor, I have to admit that he had me there. (Note: toilet humor is not the same as diaper humor. I mean, how could it be?)

I will keep you all posted on the casualties as they happen. And any births that may occur as the result of something more dangerous than raucous sex.
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Old 04-07-2012, 10:17 AM   #18
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My secret ingredient is about a tsp of cocoa powder. And, like Wisk, I add some brown sugar. Sometimes I also add a piece of bacon and let it cook with the chili. Then, take it out before serving.
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Old 04-07-2012, 10:19 AM   #19
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And Now The Classic Chili Judging Contest--- enjoy !!

Notes from an inexperienced Chili taster named Frank, who was visiting Texas from the East Coast:
Recently I was honoured to be selected as an outstanding famous celebrity in Texas, to be a judge at a Chili cook-off, because no one else wanted to do it. Also the original person called in sick at the last moment, and I happened to be standing there at the judge's table asking for directions to the beer wagon when the call came. I was assured by the other two judges (Native Texans) that the chili wouldn't be all that spicy, and besides, they told me that I could have free beer during the tasting. So I accepted.
Here are the scorecards from the event:
JUDGE ONE: A little to heavy on tomato. Amusing kick.
JUDGE TWO: Nice, smooth tomato flavour. Very mild.
FRANK: Holy ****, what the hell is this stuff? You could remove dried paint from your driveway with this stuff. I needed two beers to put the flames out. Hope that's the worst one. Those Texans are crazy.
JUDGE ONE: Smokey, with a hint of pork. Slight Jalapeno tang.
JUDGE TWO: Exciting BBQ flavour. Needs more peppers to be taken seriously.
FRANK: Keep this out of reach of children! I'm not sure what I am supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave of two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich manoeuvre. They had to walkie-talkie in three extra beers when they saw the look on my face.
JUDGE ONE: Excellent firehouse chili! Great kick. Needs more beans.
JUDGE TWO: A beanless chili. A bit salty. Good use of red peppers.
FRANK: Call the EPA, I've located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Drano. Everyone knows the routine by now. Barmaid pounded me on the back; now my backbone is in the front part of my chest. I'm getting ****-faced.
JUDGE ONE: Black Bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing.
JUDGE TWO: Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or other mild foods. Not much of a chili.
FRANK: I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it. Sally, the barmaid, was standing behind me with fresh refills; that 300 lb bitch is starting to look HOT, just like this nuclear-waste I'm eating.
JUDGE ONE: Meaty, strong chili. Cayenne peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick. Very impressive.
JUDGE TWO: Chili using shredded beef; could use more tomato. Must admit the cayenne peppers make a strong statement.
FRANK: My ears are ringing, and I can no linger focus my eyes. I farted and four people behind me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chili had given me brain damage. Sally saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly from a pitcher onto it. It really pisses me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming. Freakin' Rednecks! ! !
JUDGE ONE: Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good balance of spice and peppers.
JUDGE TWO: The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions and garlic.
FRANK: My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous, sulphuric flames. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except that slut Sally. I need to wipe my ass with a snow cone!
JUDGE ONE: A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers.
JUDGE TWO: Ho Hum. Tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chili peppers at the last moment. I should note that I am worried about Judge # 3.
FRANK: You could put a #)$^@#*&! Grenade in my mouth, pull the #)$^@#*&! pin, and I wouldn't feel a damn thing. I've lost the sight in one eye, and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with chili, which slid unnoticed out of my X*$(@#^&$ mouth. My pants are full of lava-like ****, to match my X*$(@#^&$ shirt. At least the during the autopsy they'll know what killed me. I've decided to stop breathing, it's too painful. I'm not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air, I'll just suck it in through the four inch hole in my stomach.
JUDGE ONE: A perfect ending. This is a nice blend chili, safe for all; not too bold, but spicy enough to declare its existence.
JUDGE TWO: This final entry is a good balanced chili, neither mild now hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge # 3 passed out, fell and pulled the chili pot on top of himself. Not sure if he's going to make it. Poor Yank. FRANK: - - - - - Mama?- - - (Editor's Note: Judge # 3 was unable to report).
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Old 04-07-2012, 10:28 AM   #20
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What are the parameters of the cook off? Is this a bring it in and judge it, or are you required to make it on the spot? How long do you have to prepare it? Is there any rules about ingredients? Anything you have to include (like LFTB ) Is there something you can't include (like LFTB )?

"First you start with a pound of bologna..."
-My Grandmother on how to make ham salad.
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