chile in a bowl?

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We went to a Chili Bowl party yesterday. I was not actually invited, the tween was, and she dragged me along because, let's face it, I have a car and can drive it. During the process of confirming event details, I got myself invited. Or perhaps I was challenged to attend.

You see, this family has a party every SuperBowl, and before the game they have a chili contest. What began as a casual mention of that fact by the host turned into a challenge for me. So I added some ingredients to the already prepared shopping list for Saturday (we had some delicacies of our own to humor us through the "big" game) and got down to business.

My recipe had no peppers (the sweet kind), mostly beef (sirloin tip), water, tomatoes, onion, garlic, chipotles in adobo, & freshly ground ancho powder. That kind of heat comes on fast, but quits early. So if you like the heat on your tongue, but nowhere else, ancho chile is perfect. Oh, I can't forget the secret ingredient...chocolate! Balances out the smoked chipotle chile really well.

Little did I know that of the 12 chilis brought to the bash, only one other had any heat to speak of. Unfortunatley for the other tasters/judges, my offering, aplty named Ancho Avalanche, was placed first in the layout of crockpots & stockpots. Most people needed some time, raw veggies, and cold beer to recover. The teenaged boys appeared to be it's biggest fans. After watching them play some punishing touch football outside for a while, I can see why.

Sometime today I will find out who got the most votes. We had to leave the party to go home to watch the game, and two new chili entries had just arrived, so the voting likely continued on through the first quarter of the football game. I guess the original chili bowl plans included tasting from 4 pm on, with the votes being tallied and announced at halftime. It was very clear to me, however, that my chili got the most comments - due to the heat -, but that does not mean I'll get to bring home the trophy. It was very large and I don't know where I would have put it. I suspect one of the many sweet and simple varieties took the prize. But it was alot of fun tasting a dozen different cooks' renderings of that good ol' winter standard.



Kristy said:

Well, you have my vicarious vote. I tried the recipe for crock pot mac/cheese last night. Was a big hit with the family, especially my 8-year-old. My daughter was clearly trying to be polite but still prefers the standards--in this case, Kraft in a box.

Carol said:

Glad they approved Kristy. Here's the "official" recipe form my database:

Slow Cooker Macaroni & Cheese

1/2 lb cooked macaroni

1 egg, beaten

2 c sharp cheddar

1 large can evaporated milk

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

2 tbsp butter (soft)

1 c cheddar

Grease cooker. Mix all but 1c cheddar, plop in cooker. Top w 1c cheese. Cook LOW 3hrs 15min.

ps. My 10 year old prefers the box, too, cuz' she "cooks" it all by herself. We have been working on the classic white sauce tecnique so she can say she knows the difference, but she is still dazzled by rhinestones. Ah, youth.

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This page contains a single entry by Carol published on February 6, 2006 8:09 AM.

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