Best Damn Chili This Side of...Wuhan

My Magnificient Mister won Second Prize in a Chili Cookoff contest at his office yesterday. It was quite good, and spicy. Garnish the story with this: it was the first time he's ever made chili! It was a vegetarian base, with lots of good and novel stuff one doesn't ordinarily find in chili. Like zuchinni. And then he added some spicy little meatballs that he called "bombs." Lots of ground szechuan peppercorn, minced jalapenos, tobasco, etc.

Looks like we're going to have to start a little trophy corner in our new kitchen, mister.


Bruce said...

Congratulations, Stephen! It sounds like an interesting "fusion" dish, combing Chinese and Western ingredients and cooking techniques.

Your success prooves that you don't have to be a cultural native to make a successful regional dish. I'm an American, not a Venetian, but it has been said that I make the best pasta e fagioli in the city. Sometimes a little cultural perspective helps in the kitchen.

Sam said...

Geez, i'd love to be able to make paste e fagioli.. never tried. We love to make a risotto, and then add something mildly asian at the end, instead of mushrooms and parsley and parmesan. It's actually amazing how nicely cooking traditions can be sliced and diced, combined and recombined, and played with. We like to play with the food (without throwing it and having food fights however).

Bruce said...


The idea of an Asian risotto has caught my imagination. What i can imagine is using Italian rice (Alborio or carnaroli--- carnaroli is much better, if you can find, and afford it) and using a risotto cooking technique, but with Asian broth, soffrito, and finishing. Perhaps Southeast Asian ingredients would be best for the seafood risottos--- lemon grass and coconut milk fish stock, shrimp and mustard greens for the seasoning, and chopped coriander for the finish? Or Chinese pork and chicken, as used to flavor the wonderful sticky rice bundles steamed in lotus leaves, but transformed into a risotto.

As for pasta e fagioli, give it up, Sam. When i first made the dish in Venice, I was roundly criticized for using regular barlotti beans, which, although they were reduced to a purée, my guests identified immediately. In Venice the only acceptible version is made with the beans from a small village on the mainland, Lamon. They are, as I later found out, famous all over Italy and coveted by foodies even in Sicily! It's not just a fetish; they really are much better. If you can find some in the US, let me know, and I'll give you my recipe. Outherwise, make something else.

Steven said...

Thanks Bruce. I can not believe that Sammy put this on here. I always thought that Chili is a no-no food and never like it. Well mind-opening brings fun when playing with food.

Fight the H8 in Your State