How to make chili like a champ - AmericaNowNews.com

How to make chili like a champ

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  • Chili on top, or chili on bottom?

    Chili on top, or chili on bottom?

    Chili is a meal in itself. But if you ask anyone at the Malibu chili cook-off, they'll tell you that chili is even better when its poured on top of other foods.
    Chili is a meal in itself. But if you ask anyone at the Malibu chili cook-off, they'll tell you that chili is even better when its poured on top of other foods.

Chili has long been an iconic food of the American Southwest -- so much so, that in 1977 the "Lone Star State" made chili its official state dish.

But Texas isn't the only place in America that has a love affair with chili. It turns out people in California are big fans — and pretty competitive about it, too!

Malibu, California is one of the richest and most famous beaches in the world, a celebrity retreat known for star-studded fun, sun, surfing and . . . chili.

"It's a little strange to have a chili cook-off somewhere like Malibu. Usually, you think of the South; you think Texas for chili cook-off," says Tommy Celler.

The Malibu Chili Cook-Off is a two-day event that's been hosted by the local Kiwanis Club since the 1970s. Thousands of chili lovers gather each year to celebrate one of America's all-time great comfort foods, and while they wouldn't reveal any of their secret recipes, some of the chili pros did share their thoughts on where chili amateurs often go wrong.
 
"A lot of times when people are making chili, they feel like they could use inexpensive cuts of beef because the meat stews for so long. What you have to do, then, is overcompensate by adding too much spice to make up for the flavor that the meat does not have," says Peter Tulaney.

And that's another rookie mistake, because too much spice can be too much of a good thing! But there is a solution.

"You can bring it back by adding more tomato sauce; just add another ingredient and it kind of dilutes the spiciness to it," says Cellar.

Now, a lot of the pros say people really go wrong by adding beans.

Chef Johnny of LA's Chili Addiction says, "I don't use beans in chili. Real Texas chili's not supposed to have beans and I do a Texas-style chili."

But there are plenty of chili champs that say not adding beans is the mistake.

Henry Harmon says, "Beans were created with chili. Whoever said, 'I've got an idea…I'm going to call this chili!' I guarantee you there were beans in that pot, so people are expecting beans in chili. My chili will still be good without beans, but people expect to see beans in chili."

If you're stirring up a pot of your own, keep in mind that high quality ingredients will give you the best flavor. And if it gets too spicy, there are several ways to tamp it down. After all, you want the folks eating your chili to be able to stand the heat you're dishing up!

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