Super Bowl recipes: Chili throwdown
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
The two of us are not competitive people by nature. Okay, that's not entirely true. But we've been getting along famously since we started working together a few months ago, finding that our palates are almost as aligned as our senses of humor.
Then came talk of Super Bowl XLI. Neither of us has a dog in this Sunday's fight, but when the subject turned to chili -- a time-honored, crowd-pleasing game-day repast -- a natural opposition emerged. Especially when a Texan is involved, no dish is as contentious.
One of us threw the first flag by suggesting publication of her favorite recipe, a comfort-food riff that includes vegetables and ground beef. The Texan launched a long drive about how real chili, which needs six to eight hours on the stove, has none of the above. The non-Texan said readers could make hers in a fraction of the time and could surely stomach much more of hers than his, which is really just chili-fired beef (and only beef) stew. The Texan not very graciously offered the translation of "chile con carne" from the Spanish, mumbled something about the world championship cook-off in Terlingua, and threatened to use quote marks when referring to her version.
Ultimately we decided that, Super Bowl matchups aside, this is a contest that doesn't need a referee. So we present two chilis, leagues apart but each all-pro in its own right. Make the one that speaks your language: purist or egalitarian, Texan or not. Dish it out and turn on the television. Then let the cheering begin.