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The Cooks Palate Blog

Entries in Super Bowl XLV (2)


Super Bowl Sunday XLV Chili

Well, since my last post, I did break down and make chili for Super Bowl Sunday.  Interestingly enough, there are several places that claim to be the chili capital of America.  Among them, is Springfield Illinois, where I am from.  Being from the chili capital and having a brother who was the fire chief there, I have chili sauce in my veins. My favorite chili parlor is a place called The Chili Den.  You can specify how hot you want your chili to be.  If you order “Firebrand” and successfully eat the full bowl, they put your name on the wall.  The place has been there since 1945 and there is still room on the wall for names.  My name is on it.

Some chili trivia: 

  • Chile, with an "e" is the pepper and chili with an "i" is the concoction. 
  • It is said that Will Rogers judged a town by the quality of its chili. He sampled chili in hundreds of towns, especially in Texas and Oklahoma and kept a box score. He concluded that the finest chili (in his judgment) was from a small cafe in Coleman, Texas. 
  • Jesse James (1847-1882), outlaw and desperado of the old American West, refused to rob a bank in McKinney, Texas because that is where his favorite chili parlor was located. 

When I make chili, I think of it as a process rather than a recipe.  I almost never make it the same way twice.  I always use beef, but it may be any of several cuts.  Sometimes it is steak and sometimes chuck.  I may cube the beef or grind it coarsely.  I have lately stopped using chili powder.  I prefer to get a variety of dried chiles and blend them myself.  That way I have more control of the flavor.  I have included a recipe for chili and a picture of what this batch looks like.  

Chili traditions and variations are vast.  What is your favorite kind and why?


My Super Bowl XLV Meal Quandry

I am supposed to prepare the victory banquet for the New England Patriots triumphal march to this years’ Super Bowl XLV victory.  Something went wrong.  It could not have been Tom Brady’s fault.  It was the fault of the grumpy, frumpy guy that coaches the Pats………….Belicheck.  Why in the world was he so cautious during the entire fourth quarter?

So here I am, looking for a good recipe for humble pie.  I am finally resigned to the fact that I will be watching Green Bay and Pittsburgh battle it out in the XLV Super Bowl, for a crown, that every football fan in America knows, rightly belongs to the Patriots.  I had planned on celebrating by roasting a beef tenderloin and having roast beef sandwiches on Iggy’s wonderful slider rolls from Whole Foods.  That sounds much too elegant for a game between Green Bay (cheese) and Pittsburgh (Heinz Ketchup, Clark Bars, Klondikes, Iron City Beer).  I am almost sick at the thought of chicken wings, nachos, chili and pizza.

Right now, I seem to be looking at Mac and Cheese, with ketchup on top, washed down with Iron City Beer.  So as you can see, I am going to need some help.  I know that the discerning readers of this blog must have some food thoughts on this years’ Super Bowl menu.

So here’s what I need to know from our readers:

1.    What are you having on Super Bowl Sunday?
2.    What should I be eating on Super Bowl Sunday?

When answering these questions, it is important that you keep in mind:
1.    My state of mind after the Patriots debacle.
2.    The indigenous foods (ugh) of the respective cities.

There will be a prize for the most creative use of indigenous foods, and for the best overall menu.  The winner will receive a free coupon redeemable in our online store. So help me out here....