Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Chili on the brain!

In about 3 weeks we will be holding our annual Chili Cook-off! I love this event, not just because I am the event coordinator, it is I LOVE chili. One of my favorite things to have on a cold winter day.

Right now, I have 16 people making a big ass crockpot of chili and I most likely will be the only meatless one. That is okay because there are a few people that want vegetarian, but I am out for something else. I want to WIN....mooohhhhaaaaawwww (that is my evil laugh) However, in my thrist to win, I am getting obsessed to have the BEST meatless chili. I want to win to PROVE to people you don't have to use the flesh of a poor defenseless cow or pig to make chili! I want people to say "Damn! That is good chili!" and when they find out it doesn't contain meat they say "Really?! But it is so good?!" You bet your boots! So I am on a mission. This chili has to be as close to possible to traditional chili, which means it is going to have to have a meat like texture in the chili. If anyone out there reads this I am begging you for advice. What would be the best way to go? Soy crumbles? Seitan? I want to season the non-meat too and will stick with traditional spices - ancho chilies, beer (okay so that isn't traditional, I just like beer) garlic, cumin, etc. What spices blend well? These are my obsessive questions that are keeping me up at night!!

This weekend I am going to experiment, and though she doesn't know it yet, I am dragging her over to the house or I to her house to make the first sample batch. Hi Trac!!! :-)

Oh and I came up with the name of my chili.... Shock'n Y'all Chili - courtsey of one of my student workers. I didn't think the other name was appropriate - Moes and Hoes Chili. So far one of the professors has the best name: Fire In the Hole. LOL!!!!


Not So Vivacious Vegan said...

I applaud your efforts and conviction! I really hope you win. I don't have a good chili recipe or I would share it with you. I would go with seitan. It's probably best if you make it yourself - and since it's a bit time consuming, make a triple batch. It might seem like a lot of work (and you'll have 3 big pots/pans simmering on your stove for 2 hours) but trust me, it's worth it. You can freeze any leftovers. You can check out my website for a really good seitan recipe. To make it more "beef-like" (ugh, I hate even saying that), use a packet or two of meatloaf seasoning or even a vegan onion soup mix instead of the spices the recipe calls for. Then, once the seitan is cooked and chilled in the refrigerator for a few good hours, you can grind it up in the food processor. I think seitan has more of a meaty texture than TVP. I personally don't like to use store bought soy crumbles or anything like that because I think it's mostly just crap. Over processed, tasteless, high sodium, and many aren't even vegan.

Can't wait to hear the progress!

Bridget said...

Brilliant! This weekend I will try the seitan and will let you know how it goes. Trac and I are heading out to the store to pick up some 'true' chili powders and such. Let the fun begin!

Jen said...

Woo hoo, Bridge we are rooting for you to win!


Don't Get Mad Get Vegan! said...

kudos to you and best of luck with the chili. I usually rely on beans and don't even bother with any meat like substances in mine, but I find that adding some bulgur is most excellent. give it a hearty, chewy texture that totally soaks up all the good flavor as a meat would. combine some of that and some seitan and those folks at the chili cookoff won't know what him 'em! :)