I like pork shoulder. Like a lot. I don’t know what it is… Pigs just have tastier shoulders than the other animals. Sometimes I find myself going to the store just to buy pork shoulder – not because I need it, because I’m bored.
Chili is the same way. Nothing to do for several hours? Chili-making time. Procrastinating on writing blog entries for SideDish? Chili-making time. But making the same chili over and over again is – forgive me, chili purists – dull. What makes chili interesting to me is its boundless adaptability. You can add more of this or substitute some of that. And there’s always a secret ingredient lurking about that you haven’t tried yet. The pursuit itself, whether perfecting an old recipe or figuratively rebooting the franchise, can become as much an obsession as the outcome.
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Never having been to a chili cook-off before, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I walked up to the parking lot at Fair Park on Sunday, September 23. One thing was predictable, though: the scorching Texas heat at an unforgiving 91 degrees. This was one of the few chili cooking competitions before the long awaited Terlingua International Chili Championship on November 3. The scores from the State Fair of Texas Chili Cook-Off could add to the points needed to qualify at Terlingua. As I walked through all the different cooking tents, I was constantly reminded of just how dedicated these competitors were as they spiced, stirred, and simmered their recipes to perfection.
Chili verde maintains a relatively low profile, at least here in Texas. It’s not that we don’t dig green sauce (hello, chilaquiles). It’s just…I think the word “chili” may be throwing people off.
Chili verde isn’t that kind of chili. Not at all.
Continue reading "Look What I Made: Chicken Chili Verde Recipe"
I posted a piece over on FrontBurner earlier today about the contribution of Frito Pie, and its forbears, to the history of Western civilization.
So, of course, a reader decided to share with me the above photo of her brother’s Frito Pie Pizza. She writes:
I know it’s a Boboli crust and then I assume Frito pie ingredients. I haven’t had it but he says it’s amazing.
My brothers and sisters, we are truly living in an age of decadence.
You would think that frying up a tater tot would be something any idiot could do correctly. Oil meets potato, done. But unfortunately, this is not the case. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve had to eat a mushy, stale, lifeless tater tot, I’d have enough to run for president (and I’d probably be more qualified because of it than other current presidential hopefuls). So, if you’ve ever had a Napoleon-Dynamite-sized hankering for these golden nuggets of pleasure, I’ll make it simple for you, the best in the city can be found at the house that Jack built, our loveable, Maple and Motor.
Everyone knows that M&M puts out some killer burgers. That’s a given. But it’s really pretty difficult to go wrong at this place. Practically everything I have eaten there is exceptional. I’ve even licked the floors and it tasted good. But the tater tots have become a guilty obsession of mine over the past few months, an obsession that is too delightful not to share. These tots are not winning any prizes with the granola-loving, tree-hugger health food crowd, but this is Texas, people…and here we embrace obesity like a soft snuggly teddy bear.
It’s time for our yearly chili roundup. Here is a plea from a Rangers-loving Disher, the best kind!
Hi Nancy, hope this finds you doing well this morning (hey, the Rangers are up 3-2…how could you be anything but fine?). Cold weather is imminent! Would like to know your (or your readers) recommendations for who’s got the best chili in Dallas. I’ve waited about 8 months to be able to even ask this question. Many thanks in advance.
I won’t answer his question about being fine until my statement is approved by my therapist. In the meantime, tell him where to find some. GO RANGERS!22 Comments »
Not just a euphemism anymore, Fire in the Hole was the name of Medical City’s entry in Sunday’s chili cook-off at The Dallas Farmers Market where pro (and semi-pro) teams from Le Cordon Bleu, Northwood Club, Chef’s Pete’s Catering, The French Room, and El Centro Culinary School, faced off against contenders from Mama D and Medical City (as well as an enthusiastic entry calling themselves The Chili Chicks) to benefit the Texas Chefs Association and Friends of the Dallas Farmers Market.
Jump here for the photo gallery… Continue reading "Fire in the Hole at Sunday’s Smashing Chili Chowdown"