Ahhhhhhh, chili. The staple of any Superbowl party, Pot Luck or even a good, winter movie night. Chili – our dinner on Tuesday.
Thankfully, this labor of meat, beans and sauce was not put together by me. Generally, the Ryan and I do not really eat hearty grog (for lack of a better word)-esque foods. I am sort of a “let’s eat a healthy, well-balanced meal” freak, and we count our calories (usually), so things like chili, lasagna (hell, any pasta), cheese sauces, processed foods, and all things of that nature don’t find their way into our house or onto our plates often. We even make our own bread – true story! The Ryan is obsessed with his Zojirushi bread machine – never keep a nerd from his gadgets. Endless supply of turkey sandwiches for the win!
But this was FREE CHILI! Hello, break from responsibility! Someone is coming to our house and bringing us food? Yes, please.
The someone in question was my very best friend (in the most platonic of senses), Greg. And when someone calls and says they are bringing you a giant pot of chili, what do you do? You
call up text the guy who has a standing dinner invitation at your house and ask him if he’d like to assist the group with the devouring of aforementioned chili. And then, you email your boyfriend and ask him to pick up a family size bag of Fritos on the way home…Only to be asked, “what for?”
Blasphemy! Everyone knows it’s pretty much food doctrine to put Fritos in one’s chili (Frito pie, anyone?)! West and east coast friends alike partake in this ritual – so the fact that the Ryan is from California does not make him exempt from participation. After engaging in a heated, passionate conversation about whether or not it was “normal” to put Fritos in one’s chili, and feeling rather cranky and defeated, I decided to poll Facebook (because that’s what real social scientists do, right?). Thank goodness all of my friends came to my rescue and upheld my beliefs, helping me to feel like much less of a leper with their overwhelming “frickin’ aye!” responses. And I am pleased to announce that the Ryan ate mass amounts of Fritos in his chili – though his belly was not the happiest of campers in the wee hours of the morning. Too much healthy eating destroying his Frito tolerance, I suppose.
Overall, it was a wonderful evening with good conversation, and even a nice, aged single-malt whiskey that I bought the Ryan shared between the men. As they engaged in man speak about movies, comic book heroes, and god only knows what else, I retreated to the couch to feed my foodgawker.com addiction and let them hash things out over their drinks.
And now for a bit of fun! With all of the jabber about chili, how to eat it, how to make it (beans? no beans? you mean there’s such a thing as no bean chili? *gasp*), I thought it would be fun to look up the history of chili – where it started, how it came to be what we know and love today, and how the varieties of chili (red, bean, white) emerged – and I found this little gem of a website. It is not only interesting, but written with humor and contains all manner of stories, legends and historical quotes about chili to boot!
I also searched until I found some very highly recommended recipes for each type of chili (well..the basic red, bean and white) and have linked to them here:
Texas Red (which refers to chili with no beans. True story! Go to Texas, I guarantee you won’t find beans in the chili there.)
White Chicken Chili (if I were you, I’d grab some of McCormick’s white chicken chili seasoning – the ladies at my work RAVE about the stuff. They generally follow the McCormick recipe, which I linked anyway, but I found it to be rather boring ingredient-wise. That is why I picked the one I did. Adding the McCormick seasoning, though, probably wouldn’t hurt ya!)
Tailgate (Normal) Chili (Look at those ingredients! Look at that calorie count! If that ain’t the true definition of Superbowl party staple, I don’t know what is! And with five stars and the inclusion of Fritos on the list of ingredients, you just can’t go wrong!)
And in case you weren’t already aware, allrecipes.com is pretty much like an online Bible of recipes. My favorite part about the website is that you can go to the ‘Ingredients’ tab and type in a list of stuff you do/don’t want and it will spit recipes at you that contain the ingredients you entered. This makes it convenient if you only have a limited number of ingredients in your house, or even if you’re in the mood for, say, a stir-fry. Just type in garlic, soy sauce and any meat you want and BOOM – a whole list of recipes at your fingertips! Every recipe is rated and has comments (which I compulsively read) that often contain snippets about variations, improvements that could be done, or other such awesomeness pertaining to that particular recipe. If you join, you can create your own recipe box so you can save recipes for later. Definitely a great resource for busy people like myself that don’t always have a particular thing in mind, or who don’t have time to flip through a cookbook. (No, I was not paid for any of this and it is not advertising! I just really love this website!)
Now go, my pretties! Cook, eat and be merry!