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There are a couple of friendly chili competitions happening in the area. this weekend, the Emporia Recreation Commission will host one, and next weekend is another in Osage City. I missed the one a few weeks back in Lebo. sorry about that.
Osage City is spending Nov. 19 preparing for the holidays. there will be a pancake breakfast, 5K run, arts and crafts, prize drawings, an evening parade with Santa Claus and a chili cook-off followed by a chili feed. the parade begins at 6:30 p.m. to encourage lighted floats. the theme is “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” and proceeds from fundraisers will help support ECAT, ECKAN and the Warmth Fund.
To participate, drop off your chili at the Osage County Senior Center at 4 p.m. Judging will start at 4:30 and dinner will be served at 5. for more information, e-mail Katie Buenger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Saturday from 4 to 8 p.m. the Emporia Recreation Commission and ESU’s Marketing Management Class will be hosting “Chili Nights.” this includes a community chili cook-off, campfire and s’mores event for families of all ages.
To participate, simply bring a slow cooker full of ready-to-eat chili to the rec center at 313 W. Fourth Ave. Staff will sign you in and plug in your crock pot. after judging, this chili will then be served up to all comers for $2 per person, or $5 for a family of four. Call 340-6300 for more information.
A week from today, those fearless cooks at Logan Avenue will prepare chili for the staff and teachers and Emporia Firefighters will come and judge the entries. although this is a closed event, it just goes to show how popular chili is.
Our Gazette Chili Days have begun, and last week’s discussion centered around official chili judging. there is, as you know, a national organization for judging barbecue, the Kansas City Barbecue Society. there also happens to be a similar outfit for chili.
The website chilicookoff.com is the home of the ICS: International Chili Society. their history dates back to 1967, and they apparently incorporated in 1970, which also happens to be the first year women were allowed to compete.
The ICS is considered the official organization that sanctions chili cookoffs. These events are worldwide and benefit charities or nonprofit organizations. It just so happens that ICS sanctions the Wichita Wagonmasters competition each September
According to the ICS, the “i” and the “e” are not interchangeable: “chile refers to the pepper pod, and chili to the concoction.” Well, if that’s how they feel about it
ICS competitions include red and green chili and sometimes salsa. Beans and pasta are absolutely forbidden. Chili without beans? That’s right. no beans. why on earth anyone would even contemplate pasta in their chili I cannot fathom.
There are other chili societies, like the Chili Appreciation Society International or the Original Terlingua International, but they’re all pretty much the same.
So, then, how does one judge one chili from another? According to the ICs, for a traditional Red Chili, it must show the following traits:
Taste, above all else is the most important factor. the taste should consist of the combination of the meat, peppers, spices, etc, with no particular ingredient being dominant, but rather a blend of the flavors.
Chili must have a good ratio between sauce and meat. It should not be dry, watery, grainy, lumpy, or greasy.
Chili should smell good. this also indicates what is in store when you taste it.
Chili should look appetizing. Reddish brown is generally accepted as good Chili is not yellow or green.
Bite or aftertaste is the heat created by the various type of chili peppers and chili spices.
Chilimeister John Jepson won the 2011 competition and pocketed $25,000 for his efforts. his recipe is available on chilicookoff.com or right here. Note how he builds the layers of spices. the brand name spices are available through the internet.
John’s World Award Winning Chili
3 pounds lean tri-tip, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
10 ounces Swanson’s chicken broth
8 ounces Swanson’s beef broth
2 Tablespoons Rancho de Chimayo hot New Mexico chile powder
2 chicken bouillon cubes
4 ounces Hunts tomato sauce
3 Tablespoons medium hot New Mexico chile powder
4 Tablespoons quality chili powder
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1-1/2 Tablespoons onion powder
2 ounces Hunts tomato sauce
3 Tablespoons mild California chile powder
1/2 Tablespoon hot New Mexico chile powder
2 teaspoon cornstarch
Rinse the blood off of the meat. Lightly brown tri-tip in small batches until grey in color and add to pot. Add next five ingredients, bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a light boil for two hours or until meat is very tender.
Add the next six ingredients and turn to a very low simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the next five ingredients and leave at a very low simmer for 30 minutes.
John writes that you may adjust to taste by adding small amounts of cayenne or red Tabasco, cumin, salt or brown sugar. Add chicken broth as necessary to cover meat. Simmer until tender.
He also recommends that, for a smoother sauce, run powders through a spice grinder and soak them in a very small amount of chicken broth.
Are you ready to complete? All you may win are bragging rites, but that will help keep the conversation going around the holiday table this season. Let’s get cooking!
Do you have a recipe or cooking technique to share? E-mail it to email@example.com.