Summer is officially here and soon the 4th of July will call
backyard chefs everywhere to polish up their grill of choice, chill some beer
and start taking orders.
Hamburgers and hot dogs are fine, but this year try kicking up
those burgers and dogs with chili. Don’t settle for the canned stuff,
though. Invite your friends to bring
along a pot of their favorite chili and have a chili cook-off! It’s simple,
fun, slightly competitive, and may just become an annual tradition at your
As the host, you’ll definitely want to stock up on the hot dogs,
hamburgers, turkey burgers and all the condiments, sliced tomatoes, grilled
onions, guacamole, lettuce and sautéed mushrooms. Include an assortment of sliced
cheese like cheddar, Swiss and blue. Put
out big bowls of slaw and potato salad, or maybe a macaroni salad with eggs,
pickles, olives and bacon.
Set up a long table and cover it with something fun and decorative like bunting or just red and blue tablecloths. Preferable something machine washable because it’s going to get messy – this is where all the pots of chili will be set up for tasting. You’re going to need to have access to an electrical outlet and a power strip or two. Ask your guests to bring their chili in a crock-pot that doesn’t have their name on it. This should be a blind tasting. As the chilis arrive, place a numbered card on each crock-pot and keep a list of which number belongs to which guest. Plug them in, cover and keep them warm. Place a long handled serving spoon in front of each pot on a paper plate. When all the chilis have arrived the tasting fun can begin.
For the tasting you’ll need small disposable cups and spoons, and
dishes with sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese. After everyone has tasted
the chilis, hand out small pieces of paper and pens for each taster to write
the number of their choice for best chili. Have them place papers in small
basket then tally the votes to determine first, second and third place winners.
While the grill master is busy cooking up the hamburgers and hot
dogs announce the winners and award them prizes. Get creative and fun with your
prize selections. They don’t have to be expensive.
Then it’s time to enjoy the BBQ and the chilis along with beer, margaritas and, of course, your favorite Paso Robles wines.
1 lb. of your favorite ground breakfast sausage, (we like Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage)
1 – 15.5 oz. can of pinto beans, juice and all
1 – 15.5 oz. can of kidney beans, juice and all
1 – 15.5 oz. can of black beans, juice and all
1 – 15.5 oz. jar of Chunky Salsa Medium – Hot or your preference
1 – 14.5 oz. can of diced “fire roasted” tomatoes, juice and all
3 Teaspoons of ground Cumin
3 –Teaspoons of ground Chili Powder
1 Teaspoons of ground Paprika (we like sweet paprika)
2-1/2 Teaspoons of Dried Oregano
2 Teaspoons of ground Garlic Powder or four (4) minced garlic cloves
2 Teaspoons of fine Kosher Salt or two (3) teaspoons of course Kosher Salt
2 Tablespoons of ground Onion Powder or two (2) finely chopped onions
Beer or Water: 1 Cup of Guinness Draught Beer or your favorite beer or 1 cup of filtered water
for Your Chili
2- Sweet Onions, Chopped I like Vidalia Onions
1- Bunch of Cilantro, Chopped
1- 16 oz. bag of Cheddar Jack or Mexican Blend Grated Cheese
1- 16 oz. Container of Sour Cream, Full, Half or Fat Free
1-16 oz. Container of Non Fat Greek Yogurt, Fage or Chobani for Sour Cream
2 – Kits of Six Gun Chili Mixin’s or Carroll Shelby’s Custom Chili Kit
Chili Thickener (Optional)
2 Tablespoons of ground Masa Flour
1 8-10 qt pot with lid.
1 large soup ladle to accommodate your “largest pot”
1 small mixing bowl for your spices
Add the Spices or large brown pouches of your preferred “chili kits” to 1- cup of Guinness Draught beer or 1-cup of water and whisk for one minute in a bowl and set aside. Drink the rest of the Guinness.
Brown hamburger and breakfast
sausage, 3 lbs. total, with optional 2 chopped sweet white onions and then drain
Add all of the
beans, salsa and the tomatoes, juice and all, to meat. Stir chili spices or kit
and Guinness or water mixture into the meat and tomatoes. Bring to a slow boil. Now
add cayenne pepper to your desired heat level. Simmer uncovered for 45 minutes
*As an option, the masa flour can be used to thicken the chili. Mix it with warm water to a batter thickness and add to the simmering chili 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired thickness. Your call. Once ready, keep pot on low and allow your guests to build their own bowl of goodness with their desired toppings.