When I was around three or so, I ate a lot of chili in one sitting, got sick, and never touched the stuff for another 20 years. Sad story, but one that has been repeated several times in my life. I just like eating good food so much, I go crazy. I should be locked up in an institution but thanks to the current climate of America, this is totally acceptable. Yay. So a few years back, I decided, hey, I went to culinary school. I can probably create a chili that doesn’t make me sick, because I rock THAT MUCH as a cook. I set out to create my first recipe EVER from scratch (that is, I used no recipe for inspiration) and created what I considered to be the perfect bowl of chili…it was smoky, spicy, sweet, and it inspired a chili cookoff. The first year was small, only 5 entries, but still a good effort. The next year, people were shoving into the kitchen to taste one of the TEN chilis that showed up (and fed upwards of thirty people that evening!). This is what my tiny, ghetto kitchen looked like.
And here is the happy winner, Lynsi Seets (with her victory bottle of Jager). She made an Italian inspired chili with Canellini beans, Italian sausage and a crap ton of cayenne. And yes, that is the OFFICIAL Leena’s Chili Cookoff hat in all its phallic glory.
I am gearing up for my third annual Chili Cookoff, this time, in Australia, a land that knows not chili. The opening picture is my version of the Homesick Texan’s Texas Red, where if your spoon doesn’t stand straight up in the bowl, its not a proper Texas Red. I’m experimenting with different chili styles because I can’t all the ingredients in Australia for my usual chili. And after tinkering around with this Texas Red recipe, I rocked my own socks off. So I challenge you to a duel of the chili kind. I’m not sure how many chilis will be entered in my third annual cookoff, but who says you have to be down under to compete? This is not a meme, because frankly, I could be the only one reading this blog and thats cool. I find myself pretty funny. But if you want to participate, its simple: make a pot of your own chili, and post the link to your blog about it in my comment section, or just email me your picture and a quick list of ingredients. I will compile it into a blog for the first Leena’s Annual Feed Me Your Chili INTERNATIONAL extravaganza cookoff!! And if no one does this, well, I’ll cry. I won’t lie. But then I eat my own chili, build a bridge and get over it. And maybe have a party on the bridge with a game of flippy cup. Who’s in? So do it! The rules are simple…it must include chile peppers of some sort and be in a stew form. Other than that, the options are endless. I know there are chili purists who feel chili should/shouldn’t have beans, or this ingredient or that one. Screw em. Do what you want, just throw some chile peppers in it. If you are not from America and don’t understand what chili is, check out this page. My own cookoff is next week, and I’ll post pictures asap. Get to cookin! ~LTG