I have to say, chili was never a high priority in my recipe repertoire, and I can’t say why. Probably because it seems to be such a divisive dish–everyone seems to have their special recipe containing their own secret ingredient. (Eric Cartman is no exception.)
Over the fall, I went to the Taste of DC and checked out the World Chili Eating Championship, featuring the likes of such competitive eaters as Joey Chestnut and Sonya Thomas. I nearly threw up in my mouth a little bit as the contestants shoveled bowl after bowl of chili into their gullets, hardly pausing to chew.
Chestnut went for the win, consuming two gallons in 6 minutes–a new world record. Two gallons! The human stomach is only supposed to hold a maximum of 0.8 gallons! It didn’t exactly inspire me to go out and try making a batch of chili on my own.
But then again, inspiration can come unexpectedly. Our cool neighbors across the street dropped off some homemade chili powder just before Christmas, and I was so touched by their DIY gift, I decided to finally make my first pot of chili.
Of course, given that everyone seems to be an authority on the subject, it took me a while to wade through the hundreds of recipes online before settling on one that seemed to not only be delicious, but also healthy. To me, chili has to be meaty, richly flavored and super cheesy. Enter Cooking Light’s All-American Chili.
One grocery trip and two hours later, I had two bowls of hot chili on the table, along with some Trader Joe’s cornbread, ready to go. The verdict? Damn delicious. So delicious, in fact, that Dr. J and I have been eating it for about three days straight. This recipe is going straight into my cookbook, for sure–adjusted, of course, with the special powder. After all, what’s a chili good for if not for that one secret ingredient?