Sunday, December 6, 2009

Chili: The foodblogger's lament

So the problem with chili, foodblog-wise, is that while its smell can make your mouth water as it simmers all afternoon, and its meat can be so tender it falls apart when you stir it with your wooden spoon, and it can taste so good your heart veritably breaks when you get too full to keep eating, it inevitably ends up looking like this:

This particular chili has 2 lbs of chuck roast and a pound of hot italian sausage, plus the usual complement of beans, veggies, and spices. Testimonial from BA: "I really want to eat some more, but I'm already full." [SL]"Well you can take some home and eat it later" "No, I'm going to eat it now."

It was a perfectly palatable preparation, but I definitely didn't like it as much as my texas style all-beef chili, obviously because that chili has bacon in place of beans and veggies. I knew even going into this chili-making session that I probably wasn't going to like the outcome as much as my all-beef variety, which I think for me (and many of my common patrons) is the Final Chili Solution. Testimonial from EW: "I think my favorite thing that you make is that chili." Despite this ambivalence, I forged ahead because I wanted to make a chili with beans that I could freeze and eat like all winter, and as good as the all-beef chili is it's really hard to down multiple portions of it. Well, hard psychologically and gastrointestinally, not hard gustatorially.

I also didn't make this chili spicy enough, in the end. My chili-testing grad student accomplices claimed that they thought it was pretty spicy, but it was no where near the "make my body sweat" level that I have become accustomed to through my eating of spicy asian soups. If I do make this again, and I might because I think it is excellent freezer stocking material, I will definitely add more tabasco, chilies, and red pepper. This time I used a pretty mild green chili (although I already used more than called for by the recipe), next time I will probably up the ante and go half green chilis and half jalapenos.

Overall status: pleased to have restocked my freezer with frozen cubes of soup (I ate all the existing ones in my desperation to not have to go to the grocery store again after thanksgiving,) and more certain than ever that all-beef chili is king.

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