Author Topic: 2nd place in the neighborhood chili contest  (Read 3467 times)

Offline Larkemon

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2nd place in the neighborhood chili contest
« on: October 25, 2010, 11:12:07 AM »
So I won second place in the neighborhood chili contest this weekend.  I entered last year as well.  Last year, I made a Vietnamese influenced chili with lemongrass, fish sauce, oyster, thai chili's etc.  When garnished with cilantro and scallions, I thought it rocked.  Unfortunately, I think I finished near the bottom.  This year, I went with a traditional chili of ground chuck, tomato-based sauce etc.  I finished second this year.  I thought it was good, but last year's entry was better as it had more interesting textures and flavor depth.  Just goes to show, whether in a contest or running a business, making something you think is good isn't necessarily what will win the most votes.  So maybe next year, I'll buy several huge cans of Hormel and dump it in the slow cooker for the win!

Offline HaagenDazs

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Re: 2nd place in the neighborhood chili contest
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2010, 11:19:52 AM »
We had our neighborhood block party this weekend and it was a chili cook off as well.  Great weather wasn't it?!  I didn't enter as I'm on the HOA board and already had my hands super-full with set up and organizing.  We had one out of the ordinary entry: Hawaiian chicken chili.  I thought it was good, though a bit sweet, but a traditional style chili won.  Goes to show if you're in it to win it, you might as well stick to the original.

Offline Lorenzo

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Re: 2nd place in the neighborhood chili contest
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2010, 11:27:56 AM »
I always wondered how Hormel chili would fare in some of these competitions--at least the "amateur" ones.  I suspect that the "pro" chili cookoff judges could detect Hormel.

I used to enter my office's chili cookoff, but my chili verdes never scored nearly as high as the beef-and-tomato-based standards that everyone else entered.

As for fish sauce as a chili ingredient, what's that Alton Brown quote that someone here on 285F has in their signature?--"Fish sauce...for when you want that flavor of cat food and athletic sock...in a good way."

Offline uOTPia Dweller

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Re: 2nd place in the neighborhood chili contest
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2010, 11:40:56 AM »
Gospel of uOTPian dining http://scoopotp.com/author/joe-duffy/

Offline Larkemon

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Re: 2nd place in the neighborhood chili contest
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2010, 11:48:17 AM »

As for fish sauce as a chili ingredient, what's that Alton Brown quote that someone here on 285F has in their signature?--"Fish sauce...for when you want that flavor of cat food and athletic sock...in a good way."

I can't say I really know what it means, but fish sauce/nuoc cham is my secret unami booster :).  Most people can't put their finger on what that flavor is, but they seem to really enjoy it.  If I told them fish sauce, they wouldn't even try it.  For instance, I made some fried rice for my kid's playgroup a couple weeks ago.  Last step was sprinkling about a tablespoon of nuoc cham before one last toss in the wok.  Everyone loved it.  If I told them it was fish sauce, I pretty much guarantee none of the mom's would have dared to even try the rice.

Offline KoPP

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Re: 2nd place in the neighborhood chili contest
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2010, 12:43:12 PM »
If I make chili for me, I use different ingredients than for chili to be shared. I've always found that if you start loading in a lot of flavors, it's more likely that people get a confused look on their face and don't really go for it. Cubed chuck, crushed tomatoes, kidney beans, some spices, onions, garlic, jalapenos, and 2-3 bottles of beer usually goes into the stuff I make for others.  I put some weird stuff into my 'keeper' chili.

Offline uOTPia Dweller

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Re: 2nd place in the neighborhood chili contest
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2010, 04:56:24 PM »
I always wondered how Hormel chili would fare in some of these competitions--at least the "amateur" ones.  I suspect that the "pro" chili cookoff judges could detect Hormel.



I would say not nearly as well as $10 wines do against $200 wines in blind taste tests by the "pros".

But I think that's the case with a lot of stuff. If you got something from Red Lobster and served a bunch of foodies telling them Richard Blais cooked it, there would be plenty of swooning.

The Pizza Hut commercial where they serve the food in Italy, serve it all up pretty and the Italians go nuts over the food is verra believable to me. Or is it Olive Garbage...either way.
Gospel of uOTPian dining http://scoopotp.com/author/joe-duffy/

Offline KoPP

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Re: 2nd place in the neighborhood chili contest
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2010, 07:20:07 AM »
I'm sorely tempted into entering either of these products into our Chili Cookoff at work.

http://www.dolorescanning.com/canning/cb.html

http://www.wolfbrandchili.com/index.jsp

Both of which are available by mail (and mebbe Costco if I ever drag my carcass over there). I'd like to see if folks could figure it out.

But I'll most likely wind up making my regular chili... :)

Offline Larkemon

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Re: 2nd place in the neighborhood chili contest
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2010, 09:38:58 AM »
So I wonder what's considered cheating in the amateur chili contest universe?  I'm sure in official competitions, there are all sorts of rules, but if you found out that a chili contestant in your neighborhood went to the store and bought Wolf Brand Chili and added water, would you be ticked?  I used a couple cans of Rotel diced tomatoes and chilies, instead of plane diced tomatoes, along with other stuff... would that draw anyone's ire?  Not that it matters, but I thought mine tasted better than any other entrant.

Offline KoPP

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Re: 2nd place in the neighborhood chili contest
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2010, 10:31:27 AM »
I use Rotel occasionally, as well as pickeled jalapenos from Mt. Olive.

I would say that if someone could open a can of chili, use a chili brick, or even a spice packet, and they won, it's more of a problem with the judges than anything the contestant did... ;D

Offline jpellett251

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Re: 2nd place in the neighborhood chili contest
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2010, 05:20:00 PM »
Interesting.  I'm doing Steinbeck's chili competition next week and am planning on a Vietnamese based one.  It's damn good, but we'll see how it goes.

 

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