Knock knock knock.
Hello, friends. Happy Super Bowl Eve. What an exciting time. It’s like the sports world’s version of the Tony Awards. Probably with the same amount of performance enhancing drugs. I’M KIDDING.
Today I had the distinct honor of being asked to adjudicate at The Lion King on Broadway’s Annual Chili Cookoff. This yearly event is a staple of Super Bowl time.
And instead of having to COOK, I got to sit on my ass and have delicious, hot food brought to me.
These were some creative entries. One that I especially salivated over was a sparerib barbecue style chili. Ooh, it was rich. So good.
The most creative entry was my old friend, Jon Jordan’s. Jon and I met on Hairspray and he had his mits on my scalp quite a bit. He is the man who makes sure all the hair and makeup at The Lion King are on point. He entered an adorable Asian-style chili with Chinese five spice, served in a Chinese takeout box with green onion. So creative.
The winner was a spicy turkey (we found out after the fact) entry called Hello, Chili! Hello, indeed! Congrats to my new friend Jelani Remy for his victory.
In honor of today’s festivities, I offer you The Gentleman’s Favorite Spicy Chili.
What you need:
- 1 lb ground beef or ground turkey
- half of a white onion, chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1-10 can Rotel tomatoes with green chilis
- 1-8 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 tbsp Mexene chili powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground oregano
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- dash of cayenne, or more if you’re adventurous
- 1 cup of Mexican beer, such as Corona
- 2 tbsp masa harina (corn flour like you use for tamales)
- 1 15 oz can red kidney beans (YES, I am a Texan and I say BEANS), drained
- finely chopped white onion, to top
- chopped de-seeded jalapenos, to top
- chopped cilantro, to top
Note: if you happen to have a can of chipotle peppers open, a couple of spoons of sauce from the can is going to only make this more delicious.
Yields 4 realistic servings.
Put a little olive oil in the bottom of a dutch oven. Heat it up a little, and throw in the onions. Allow them to cook for a few minutes; add the beef or turkey. Brown the meat.
Throw in the garlic.
Drain the fat off the meat if there is standing renderings. Add the Rotel and tomato sauce. Stir together and add all the spices. Stir, cover, bring to a low simmer.
Allow to cook for about 25 minutes covered. Add 1/2 cup of beer. Simmer 25 more minutes, then add the remaining beer.
In a small bowl, mix the masa with 1/3 cup water (or more beer if you like). Bring it to a smooth consistency and pour it into the chili pot.
Taste it. Assess the salt and spice level. Add more water, beer, or masa to bring to the consistency YOU like.
Add the kidney beans and allow to cook about 15 minutes. Allow it to rest before you eat it.
When you place the chili in a bowl to eat, top it with finely chopped raw onion (or scallion would be nice , too), finely chopped jalapeño, and cilantro. Yeehaw!
Enjoy this one.
The Gentleman Caller