Thursday, November 1, 2007

Sorely Losing

First of two posts for today.

Chili results came in. The CFT, not even an honorable mention.

Four judges, approximately eight participants, and about twenty-five eaters.

Mine was one of the two vegetarian entries, the other of which placed second.

What hurt -- three of the judges don't like spicy food (Which begs the question, "Why are you judging a chili contest?").

You know you're in trouble when -- one of the judges says there was too much of a mole sauce taste. That's why Cleveland is not known for its Mexican food.

Still, the winning chili was great. A traditional chili with good meat flavor and a perfect amount of grease.

Two takeaways for me: (1) Be wary of taste buds in a state where the most famous chili is served over pasta with enough cheese to smother a small child (I do enjoy it though, even if the preferred technique is to cut the pasta prior to eating it.); and (2) at the end of the event, my slow cooker was emptier than most (In all fairness, it's unclear whether people tried it assuming it would be good and then dumped it, or if it was enjoyed by many.).

Regardless, it was a great event, but in future cookoffs and potlucks I'll be sure to stay well within the box.

Even though I said I wouldn't post the recipe if I did poorly, here it is (roughly): 2 cans of kidney beans, 2 cans of great northern beans, 1 can black beans, 2 little cans mild chilies, 1 medium can chipotles in adobo, 1 big can of tomatoes, diced and sauteed sweet onion and bell pepper, toasted spices (ancho chili powder, cumin, fenugreek), 1 bottle of beer, 1 diced habanero, chili powder, salt, and pepper. I wouldn't make it any differently, but I won't make it for the same crowd again.

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