A Spicy Showdown: Chili Cook-Off Madness
This weekend marks our third annual Chili Madness Cook-off. Everyone who enters ponies up a four pack of craft beer or one bottle of wine. It’s winner take all. Since we have a bunch of confident friends, it’s going to be a good haul for somebody. As the hosts my wife and I don’t participate. We are the judges along with a few other friends who can’t cook a lick but sure love to eat.
Everybody seems to have a chili recipe of their own. Some have no beans. Others have beans. Some have no meat. Others have nothing but meat. The variety of protein is a whole other matter. Some use a mix of both beans and meat. It’s madness! Besides their own special mix, each participant seems to have a secret ingredient that gives their chili its own special flare. One of my friends, who swore me to secrecy so will go nameless, said his secret ingredient was peanut butter.
I feel certain I would win because I have Spice Madness on my side. Besides Spice Madness’s killer Chili Powder, I get additional Madness from cumin, garlic powder, and paprika to give my chili its smoky goodness. While I’m reluctant to give it up, I use a pinch of jalapeno powder, my secret ingredient, which gives my chili a kick of even heat.
Last year’s winning selection was controversial. Rein’s entry was pumpkin chili. It was a spicy bowl with the standard chili profile but with pumpkin puree and a hint of cinnamon. For liquid Rein used an IPA. But she told me she has also used hard cider as well. Don’t worry, the alcohol boils off. We’ll soon find out if she is going to hold on to the championship belt.
It’s going to be a fun night filled with laughter and madness!