10/3/10

Guest Blog Post: Meet Tyler Gall, Lover of Chili

Chili
Photo courtesy of Tyler Gall

Today's blog post is brought to you by one of my new friends that I've never actually met in person, but hang out with almost on a daily basis online.  His name is Tyler and he has his own blog called Memoirs of a Sick Addict.  As you've probably gathered by the title, it is not a food blog.  In fact, you have to click a little button proving you're an adult before even READING his blog.  But never fear, it's not a porn site or anything close to that.  It's a funny, anything goes kind of "man journal" where Tyler can put into words what he's thinking that day and he doesn't really care if it's offensive or filthy at times.  Hence, the little disclaimer before entering his site. 

Anyway, I knew he was funny, but I was just recently made aware of the fact that he enjoys cooking as well.  Well, at least he enjoys preparing the perfect pot of chili.  In fact, he is so passionate about chili that he has penned his own "Chili Manifesto" if you will.  Since I obviously suck at posting on a regular basis these days, Tyler has graciously agreed to guest post on my blog today and share with all of you his favorite way to prepare a kick ass pot of chili.  So Tyler, this is everyone... and everyone, this is Tyler:

Tyler
Photo courtesy of Tyler Gall

The Chili Manifesto
Chili Mentoring
by Tyler Gall


Before we begin on your quest for the perfect pot of delicious chili, there is some important ground that we need to cover, Chili Philosophy. 

Lesson 1 – Respect the Process:  Most people think of chili as a cauldron of slop used to catch whatever is sitting around in dusty cans or freezer burned, frozen meat… that’s why, almost always, chili is bad.  Have you ever had Wendy’s chili?  If you have had it once… it was probably the last time, and who could blame you?  It’s an objectionable amalgam of whatever they have at the end of the previous business day.  When you make chili, you need to channel your “Great Chili Spirit,” you need to be in the right mind to make good chili, for me, I picture myself as a friendly grizzly bear settling down in a warm cave, wearing an apron and dancing in the kitchen, sheltered from the harsh elements outside in the Canadian wilderness, It will be different for you.  I encourage to create a Chili Ritual.  If your family starts expressing concern about your behavior you may be tempted to reign it in… do not succumb, the path to the top of Chili Mountain is not an easy one; be vigilant.  Spend some time in a hooded sweatshirt, think of how it smells when the leaves turn, think of the first moment when the fall wind nips at your cheeks and says, “I am here to steal your warmth, your loved ones and your SOUL!!” (In my head the wind is a major drama queen).    The good news is that you don’t have to worry about the wind stealing your soul if you make some Love Chili… the take home message here is: Chili, when done right, can save your soul.  So… you’re welcome.
   
Lesson 2 – Chili Attitude:
  Chili isn’t something you make with a measuring cup and a recipe.  If you’ve completed lesson 1, you just use your instincts.  You just let your Chili Spirit do the work.  Everyone likes different kinds of chili and no batch of chili is exactly like another… that’s what makes chili so beautiful.  Chili is like us, we are like chili... Life and chili are magic. 

Lesson 3:  The Chili.
  In my Chili Kitchen there are essentially 3 different kinds of chili: Sweet, Hot and Sweet-Hot.  These are the Chili Umbrellas that all of your creative variations will fall.  Here are some important guidelines to get you started, (a precise recipe for base line chili is included at the bottom.)

The Tomato Sauce Base –  I use Hunt’s; it’s a perfectly serviceable canvas for you to paint on.  A lot of people add water to it… don’t ever do that.  The amount of sauce you will need will depend upon how thick you like your chili and how much chili you’re making.  Just have several large cans in your pantry.  Here is “the secret”... tomato sauce is freakishly acidic and that is what turns people off.  When you mix meat and beans with acid, it becomes a meaty acid wash for your digestive system.  You need to add regular white cane sugar to the sauce to taste… don’t freak out, it will take more than you think it should.  For sweet chili I also add brown sugar; a splash of honey is optional.

The Meat -   You can use whatever you want: ground turkey, ground beef, roast, bacon, sausage… it’s all wonderful.  If you use turkey, season it while you’re browning it.  If you’re using bacon, make sure you leave it a little soft; you don’t want it to be crispy in the chili and it will finish cooking in the pot.  Plus you want the bacon flavor to permeate the body of the chili (I add the rendered pork fat, if you find that gross just don’t do it).  If you really want to impress people you can throw some chicken breasts in the crock pot the night before and shred it.  You will want to do the same thing if you’re using a chuck roast.  Just make sure you season anything that you slow cook.  Chili powder is fine. 

Today I made a No-Frills batch of TyTy's Sweet Chili, sure to please even the narrowest of palates.  This is a safe place to start.  Even people that don't like chili will like this chili.  It is not a best practice for me to use a recipe or measuring devices, but that is simply because I've been making chili since before I was born.  My Chili Spirit is a Grand Master Chili Craftsman... it's like I start to make it, black out, and come to with an amazing bowl of chili.  For the sake of passing this type of chili along from a mess to the masses I did measure everything I added until it was perfect.
 
This batch's ingredients include:

Two 16oz cans of Hunts Tomato Sauce
One 16oz can of Bush's Mild Chili Beans
One 16oz can of Bush's Black Beans (Frijoles Negros if you're feeling Spanish)
3 lbs of Ground Beef
1 lb of Bacon
1 Sweet Onion
16oz of Sliced Mushrooms
1 half stick of Salted Butter
2 1/2 Cups of White Sugar
1 Cup of Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup of Garlic Powder (Fresh garlic is preferred, if you're using that, rip and chop 6 pieces)
1/2 Cup of Chili Powder
2 tbsp of dried Cilantro
2 tbsp Salt
2 tbsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Steps:
Dance a little bit... continue with shoulder shrugs, head bobs and hip wiggles throughout.

Crack open all your cans, beans and sauce and get them in a stockpot on low.



IMG_20101002_172835
Photo courtesy of Tyler Gall
 
Melt one half stick of salted butter in a skillet.

Once your sauce starts to heat up, add your chili powder and sugars, stir until fully disolved, leave on low and cover.
IMG_20101002_173341
Photo courtesy of Tyler Gall

Turn your attention to the skillet.  Toss those mushrooms in the skillet on medium and toss'em to coat with the butter.

Chop your onion. 
IMG_20101002_174640
Photo courtesy of Tyler Gall

Once the mushrooms begin to brown, throw the onion in the skillet and toss.  We're just trying to sweat thest two.
Your sauce should be coming along nicely, now is the time to add crushed red pepper flakes, garlic powder, cilantro and salt.
Dance while you stir until disolved, cover.
Keep a close eye on that sauce... the beans will burn if they are left alone on the bottom.
Time for the meat.
Brown the ground beef and drain.
Dump the onions and mushrooms into the sauce, stir and cover.
Fry the bacon until slightly undercooked.
Add the contents of the skillet to the ground beef, stir.
Add the meats to the sauce with a ladle.
Add grease to taste (optional).


IMG_20101002_175106
Photo courtesy of Tyler Gall
 
IMG_20101002_180844
Photo courtesy of Tyler Gall
 
IMG_20101002_181622
Photo courtesy of Tyler Gall

Cover, dance, stir frequently on medium heat, 10 minutes.
Taste and fine tune to your liking.

Serve with cheese, sour cream and crackers.

If you treat the chili with the love in your heart and a warm soul, you can take this meal that "any idiot can make" and really blow people's minds.  Again, let your imagination run rampant, talk to the chili, listen to the chili.  Chili is so much more than a soup and is often discriminated against.  I usually have things flying everywhere, cumin, black pepper, salt, red pepper flakes… it’s a madhouse.  Ultimately you can’t screw it up because there’s no standard… it’s Chili!  If you make “YOUR chili” like I make “My chili” people will love it even though they won’t taste anything like each other.  Good luck and enjoy your new life… The life of a Chili Master.

*Only bestow these techniques on people that won’t abuse their new powers.

                               

TyTy's Sweet Chili

        <p>Sure to please even the narrowest of palates.</p>    

        See TyTy's Sweet Chili on Key Ingredient.    

   

5 comments:

  1. Really?..Let's get real..We cook CASI chili..It's about spice and beef..Forget the beans (read filler)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ummm... beans are delicious.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I know that things like this got Joan of Arc burned at the stake as a heretic, but I like beans in my chili too.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love chili especially in the cold wet winter days..

    ReplyDelete
  5. looking at the pics is so yummy.

    ReplyDelete

If you are commenting to enter a giveaway, please do not comment as "Anonymous". If you choose to comment as "Name/URL", please use your Twitter handle as your Name or provide a URL that provides us a way to contact you in the even that you are the winner. Thank you! ~ FOODIE