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  • It's chili today, but hot tamale

    FYI - My 'Pray for Death' chili recipe placed first in my company's annual chili cookoff. There were 12 teams and some of the worst chili ever made, but we persevered and won the runoff. Trophy photos below.

    Finally got this photo after almost a week - will attach one of the booth later.

    We were 'Chili's Angels' (hence the fallen angel and haloed angel below). All four people you see here are chemical engineers, believe it or not, and these women are my co-workers (the missing 5th member is one of my clients). The baubles on the earrings of the two on the right are actually small orange habanero peppers (everyone thought they were pumpkins). More pearls before swine. From left to right - Theresa, Vanessa, and Lee. I'm in the rear, if you had not figured that out.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Is it called "Pray for death" because it's suicidally hot, or is the nickname just that?

    Details please

    All the best

    Dave



    BOTH! Some people thought it was way too hot, but the truth is that it was maybe about half as hot as I make it for my own consumption. Gotta have a catchy name for the competitions, as you will see in the next photo posted.

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    • #3
      Dave:
      When Tim says the other contestants chili was bad fare, he forgets that bad chili in Texas is probably far better than chili in say, Maine or Rhode Island. I make good chili myself ( Living in Texas 40 years ago rubbed off on me a little).....but Texas chili by Texans is the best. I ate it in one form or the other 5 days a week for over three years back in '69-'72...without exaggeration.

      Its probably too 'warm' for most non-Southwesterner's tongues to enjoy.
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      • #4
        Never got bad chili in Texas. My own recipe was stolen from Texas and works well with venison to armadillo.
        Best Wishes,
        Cris Malone
        ______________________________________________
        "Objectivity comes from how the evidence is treated, not the nature of the evidence itself. Historians can be just as objective as any scientist."

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        • #5
          Cris:
          During school lunch in High School, we used to go to this joint across the street that catered to the student crowd. They had a 25 cent concoction called 'Frito Pie'.
          They took a bag of regular Fritos...split it down the side...and loaded it to overflowing with chili...great stuff too....for 25 cents. I used 30 cents for a pack of Marlboros...and the rest for two 15-18 inch long fresh, homemade burritos loaded with whatever you wanted. All for under a dollar....95 cents in fact. The tortillas they made just made my mouth water thinking about it after 42 years or so. Frigging great food....best part of school, next to the miniskirts on girls.
          All the above costs about $13 now.
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          • #6
            Hi How

            The equivalent argument in the UK is often over curry...

            To be fair curry is very much a joint Anglo-Indian thing...as a result, what you eat over here in restaurants and takeaways, despite often being cooked by Indian people resident in the UK, is not at all what Indian people, resident in Asia (or even Africa), cook or eat...

            And nonetheless, what is represented as the "better curry" here is often simply the "hottest"... which is clearly an absurd argument ignoring the subtleties of flavour and emphasis introduced by, for example, regional variations...in my experience some of the best curries I've tasted have been fairly subtle...especially the Nepalese ones (Oh god I loved the food from Johnny Gurkha in Aldershot!)...

            So, (bearing in mind it's subjective anyway), is your favourite Chili the hottest or the tastiest?

            Cheers

            Dave

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            • #7
              Tastiest, Dave.

              I like mine with finely ground meat...as fine as oatmeal ( I haven't had that in 30 years, though....and since Nina isn't nuts over beans or chili, we don't eat chili anymore).
              Very finely diced onions....the juice of the hot pepper involved ( jalapeno or cayenne ) but not the pepper itself.
              The beans can be frijoles colorados ( red beans ) which are round, not kidney shaped....but kidney beans are great and good for you too.

              Some of the stuff my Mexican co-workers have eaten at work over the years has been excessively hot....too hot to enjoy, IMHO>
              I've eaten candy that one or two of my Mexican friends offered...and it nearly took the roof of my mouth off.
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              • #8
                Hello chaps!

                I love hot food, but have to agree that tasty wins over fiery. The hottest chili I ever had was called "Chili Diablo" at a Mexican Restaurant. The hottest dish I ever had (several of) was a "Bangalore Phal (Phall)". This Indian meal came with a health warning - and I'm not kidding! But the most enjoyable Indian meal I ever had, however, was just a humble "Lamb Jalfrezi": a bit spicy, but bloody beautiful! Unfortunately, the restaurant that created this masterpiece closed down

                And, yes, as Dave said, Indian food here in the UK is not really Indian at all for the most part.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Paul Colwell View Post
                  Hello chaps!

                  I love hot food, but have to agree that tasty wins over fiery. The hottest chili I ever had was called "Chili Diablo" at a Mexican Restaurant. The hottest dish I ever had (several of) was a "Bangalore Phal (Phall)". This Indian meal came with a health warning - and I'm not kidding! But the most enjoyable Indian meal I ever had, however, was just a humble "Lamb Jalfrezi": a bit spicy, but bloody beautiful! Unfortunately, the restaurant that created this masterpiece closed down

                  And, yes, as Dave said, Indian food here in the UK is not really Indian at all for the most part.
                  You are all, everyone of you, off my Christmas card list as of now. Talking about chilli and curry as I try to microwave some frozen dinner that includes something that passes as mashed potato. You are cruel people. Hear me - CRUEL.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Paul Colwell View Post
                    Hello chaps!

                    I love hot food, but have to agree that tasty wins over fiery.
                    Same here, Paul. Jalfrezis usually have about the right balance for me, and - as at the Monsoon in Brick Lane - often come with whole chili peppers that are easy to take out if necessary (not that I ever do... in fact, I usually ask for extra!).

                    For sheer flavour, Rogun (extra tomatoes), Dopiaza (extra onions) and Methi (fenugreek) based curries are really tasty, and I like a bitter-sweet Pathia now and then.

                    That said, I enjoy blow-your-head-off curries/chillis too. With curry sauces out of a jar, when flavour isn't quite as subtle as in a good restaurant, I'll usually pep them up with a good helping of Naga or Trinidad Scorpion peppers. And by "a good helping" I mean no more than half a teaspoon... that's usually lethal enough
                    Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                    "Suche Nullen"
                    (F. Nietzsche)

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                    • #11
                      Paul:
                      Manoshevitz, you need some help in the mundo culinary ! I feel your gastric pain, sir !
                      I'll send three brick of scrapple over toot sweet.

                      Maybe Tim can send you his prize winning chili recipe....or better yet, even make you a gallon and send it in the mail.
                      His stuff will make your jimmy thicker.
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                      • #12
                        There used to be a little beer joint my Dad went to after work called the Snack Bar. The whole place was no bigger than a railroad box car. The bar and stools ran down the length of it with a nickel pinball machine at the far end.

                        On Saturday, they had chili and it was made similar to How's favorite - finely ground beef (I guess it was beef) little chopped onions and peppers...more like a soup but it was great with crumbled up saltines in it. Found out the secret ingredient was just a can of Campbell's tomato soup.

                        My Dad would take me there on Saturday and while he had a couple of longneck Buds I'd perch up on a stool, play the pinball machine and eat at least two bowls of that chili with a cold Dr. Pepper.

                        Weren't too hot for a youngun like me but rich and flavorful.

                        I got pretty good at that pinball machine, too. Simple pleasures of childhood. They don't let kids do things like that with their fathers anymore. Dad goes to jail for DUI and you go to a foster home.
                        Best Wishes,
                        Cris Malone
                        ______________________________________________
                        "Objectivity comes from how the evidence is treated, not the nature of the evidence itself. Historians can be just as objective as any scientist."

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                        • #13
                          There used to be a little beer joint my Dad went to after work called the Snack Bar. The whole place was no bigger than a railroad box car. The bar and stools ran down the length of it with a nickel pinball machine at the far end.
                          -Chili Con Carne Malone-

                          Cris...people in the D.C. area will recall those little box car length road side diners known as Ollie's Trolley. Great grub !



                          Had a terrible experience at one in 1981. My buddy's car keys to his '72 Impala were stolen while we were inside ordering chili dogs. After waiting at least 5 hours for a key replacement, we were able to leave D.C. We were there to buy fireworks since they were and still are illegal in Philly.
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                          • #14
                            Well I'll be damned. The name of the owner of the "Snack Bar" was Ollie Thomas.
                            Best Wishes,
                            Cris Malone
                            ______________________________________________
                            "Objectivity comes from how the evidence is treated, not the nature of the evidence itself. Historians can be just as objective as any scientist."

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                            • #15
                              The Beta version of 'Pray for Death' chili, due to the surprising interest.

                              3 lbs beef sirloin tips, stew meat, or cubed round steak
                              1.5 lbs fresh ground pork (or cubed pork loin)
                              1/4 cup olive oil
                              3 large white onions, chopped
                              4 cloves garlic, minced
                              6 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
                              2 serrano peppers, minced, with seeds
                              2 red bell peppers, chopped
                              4 long green peppers (such as Anaheim), chopped
                              35 oz canned whole Italian tomatoes (must be Italian!), crushed
                              1 8-oz can tomato paste
                              3 bay leaves
                              1 tbls crushed Mexican oregano
                              1 tbls sea salt
                              2 tbls cumin
                              2 tbls paprika
                              1 tbls red wine vinegar
                              1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
                              1 tbls fresh ground black pepper
                              2 tbls red pepper
                              6 tbls chili powder
                              2 tsp dry mustard
                              1 cup beef broth
                              1 pint of good beer such as Shiner Bock
                              6 oz tequila
                              4 tbls masa harina (masa flour)
                              4 oz unsweetened Baker's chocolate, grated
                              cup warm water


                              Cut meat into one-half inch cubes and brown in two tablespoons of olive oil with one-half the chopped garlic. Take beef from the skillet, reserving the cooking juices. Brown the pork in one tablespoon of olive oil, stirring and breaking it up as it cooks (if using ground pork). Drain and discard the fat. Mix cooked pork with cooked beef in a ten-quart kettle.

                              In skillet, saute chopped onions with the remaining garlic, chopped jalapenos, serranos, bell peppers, and long peppers in the remaining olive oil. Then add to the meat.

                              Place the pot on low burner and add crushed tomatoes. Add tomato paste, bay leaves, salt, cumin, oregano, vinegar, molasses, black pepper, chili powder, red pepper, and dry mustard. Then add one-half cup of the reserved beef cooking liquid, beef broth, tequila, and stout to the pot. Simmer slowly uncovered for four hours, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. Mix the masa with the warm water and stir into pot. Simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in grated chocolate and simmer for an additional hour. Sample frequently, and add warm water or beer to adjust consistency.

                              For a hotter chili, add a few more jalapenos and/or serrano peppers and/or red pepper. This recipe yields about one and a half gallons of Texas Red.


                              This is the original recipe but not the one I follow, which is not written down anywhere and is now considerably different from this one. In competition chili, vegetables are not visible, so I liquefied them, seeds and all, in a Vitamix.

                              The trick with chili is to make hot chili that tastes good. I saw Howard's comments on there being no such thing as bad Texas chili, but that is not true. Two of the 12 batches were so bad tasting as to be inedible - I kid you not. The chili I make is very good tasting, although I did tone the heat down quite a bit for the general population. I made a double batch which had 4 pounds of cubed chuck steak, 4 pounds of chili-grind brisket, 2 pounds of cubed pork loin, and 2 pounds of ground pork. All with lots of odd peppers that I obtained from a Mexican grocery store.

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