Superbowl showdown II, a winning chili?

Last year, dedicated reader, you will recall we had a Sunday Gravy throwdown during the superbowl where the Jew was victorious for best gravy.  You were dedicated enough to read all the way back to last year weren’t you?  Dedicated enough to watch the butternut squash fly?  Dedicated enough to make it to this sentence?

Alas, last year the best meatball prize was a bit elusive for us, but you can’t win ’em all.  Besides if I didn’t let my Italian friends win something, the Jew could have found himself with cement shoes and sleepin’ with the fishes.  With this event, a new Superbowl tradition has begun — an annual cook off with my buddies.  This year though, its chili!  Between the blog, trash talking and Facebook, we have a lot more competitors this year.  What began as a three-way (ooh la-la), this year is now a 6 way (ooh la-la’er!).  Let the games begin.

I love chili, but my problem is every time I make it, it’s different.  I usually totally wing it: beans vs. no beans, all day vs. 1/2 hour, chicken vs. beef, spicy vs mild, red vs. white, cilantro, jalapeño, man the options just go on and on.  My chilis are all good, but I have zero consistency and you know how consistency is king when competing.

For a week or so, I’ve been poring over known good chili recipes to use as a starting point and today we found one.  The ingredients sounded right so it was time for a taste test.  Good thing, because even after my subtle doctoring of the original recipe there are still a couple of changes I want to make.  But make no bones about it, I am here to win and I think I have damn good shot.

Never mind the quick and dirty picture.  I didn’t feel like going too crazy staging and lighting and what not, nor did I do much post processing. This won’t be one for the Foodgawker crowd.  After falling in love with natural light during my last shoot, I decided my cave-hole studio needed much more light.  If you look carefully in the spoon, you can see me and my new toy:  a honkin’ huge covered  82″ umbrella (Paul C. Buff PLM 82).  Once I get the hang of things and stop rushing, you should start to see some better quality.

Now where was I?  Oh yeah, chili.  So this chili was pretty damn good.  A few little tweaks next week and I’ll go for the medal.


Serves 4+

    Ingredients redacted.


    Duh, this is redacted too!

I’m not giving up the goods yet.  Sorry Gina, Al, Frank, Jon, Alex, and Nick;  if you’re trying to get a jump on me, the pic is the best you are getting.  Check after the Superbowl to see my recipe.  You know, the one that won.