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Attn: Chili fans - Help judging a cook-off

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by JustinCleveland, Sep 7, 2004.

  1. JustinCleveland

    JustinCleveland Cinematographer

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    So I'm judging a chili cook-off this weekend, a part of the International Chili Festival, and I'm curious what I should do to prepare so I don't die of heartburn (I've been advised to take a pepsid before I go in) and what I should look for as far as quality.
     
  2. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    Prilosec is now available without a prescription. It's amazing.
     
  3. Drue Elrick

    Drue Elrick Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd suggest drinking milk, swishing it around. Will help absorb/move the oils out of mouth. I find the worst thing is that there is nothing that follows up the spicy stuff so it stays in the intestines longer. Therefore, eat something fibrous along with or after it.

    As for judging, its quite subjective. I look for a spicy chili with distinct flavors that work together well. The heat should enhance and not overpower the taste. Presentation is something to watch as well. Does it look good? Are the chunks of vegetables distinct? Fresh tomatoes or just paste? Do beans have some texture left or have they been overcooked? Is the chili a simple or complex mixture? You can weigh the complexity into the judgement. Take your time sampling, tasting the flavor in your mouth. No need to rush.
     
  4. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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    Just be careful with any peppers grown in a Central America asylum [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    ¿Comó?

    Beans? Vegetables? [​IMG]


    Will there be different categories Justin? Such as mild, hot, traditional , new wave, etc? If so, judge each on its merits according to the category.

    If not, if it were me, I’d look for something hot, but not overpowering. And very definitely not a spiced up vegetable soup or stew.

    Traditional chili is meat and chili (plus some other spices). Tomato is a bit optional—but it is chili con carne not chili con frijoles.

    Personally I think that chili is better with cubed (or chunks of meat) rather than ground, but others feel differently.
     
  6. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    One more thing, Justin—look for the chili flavor to be infused into the meat. That is when tasting the meat alone, it should have the taste of the chilies—both the heat and the flavor. Ideally the flavors should be a bit complex—not just a simple heat, but a deep and rich flavor of the peppers that the heat enhances.


    Good luck and let us know how it goes. [​IMG]
     
  7. JustinCleveland

    JustinCleveland Cinematographer

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    http://www.chilicookoff.com/ I found out this is what I'm participating in.

    Thanks for the suggestions. While I like chili, I've never really considered myself a conoceur. The winner walks away with about 750 dollars and a chance to win 20 grand in Las Vegas, so I guess this is a pretty big responsibilty!

    Ricardo,

    I'm planning on coating my mouth with wax, think it'll help? [​IMG]
     
  8. Jeff Pryor

    Jeff Pryor Supporting Actor

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    I was taught that when I eat hot food I should eat bread with it. This is the only method I've ever known that works.
     
  9. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Here is a thread of interest, Justin. You might get some idea of what some of us think constitutes a good chili. Naturally this thread contains my own favorite recipe. I looked at the rules of your contest and was pleased to note that beans and pasta are disallowed. [​IMG]
     
  10. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    Justin, don't let Lew frighten you. He's kind of HTF's chili bully. [​IMG] Follow the link , he's dead-on on what constitutes "Texas-Chili."

    Lew, I was born and raised on Texas chili. It's always been cornbread, ALL THE WAY MAN!!!

    Pasta?
    yuk!!

    Where has anyone seen this? Sounds Californian doesn't it?

    side story:

    [Funny, this guy trying to impress one of the girls in accounting made chili for her. Now, this young lady knows chili. Raised on the good stuff and makes a pretty good batch herself. This guy put sour cream and sprinkled cinnamon on it!!!! She poked a little fun at it and he got all defensive. Some guys(borderline ones anyways) need to stay out of the chili realm.]
     
  11. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Agreed that cornbread is a perfect accompaniment for a good bowl of red. I think that I wrote in my recipe that I usually have bowls of grated cheese, chopped onions and sometimes beans on the sideboard so that everyone can add onion and cheese as they desire. I suppose that I would not ban someone from the room should they add beans to their chili rather than having them as a side dish, but I’d come close. [​IMG]

    As for cornbread, I don’t think that I mentioned it in my recipe, but I’d always try to pop some out of the oven as we get ready to serve.
     
  12. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Well, cinnamon is one of the spices used in Cincinnati chili. But that dish (served over overcooked spaghetti and has nothing to do with Texas chili.

    I’ve never heard of sour cream in any style of chili. I’m just guessing that the guy trying to impress the girl was SOL.
     
  13. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    No trial, no jury,... straight to execution.


    The best chili I have ever had, was growing up in Winters, Texas. A town so small, I bet Lew has never heard of it. I'm not one that likes to state that certain regions own certain dishes but Texas Chili(the real stuff) is unmatched.
     
  14. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    You win. But I looked it up. And I mean, halfway between Abilene and San Angelo?

    Now that is isolated. [​IMG]
     
  15. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    Lew, yes isolated. I'm so confused, the chili, the sci-fi, the fantasy. I don't even know where HTF begins and ends anymore. We are so cross-threaded right now. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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