Posts Tagged ‘Chili’

Last weekend, the rained stopped just long enough to allow Cassie, Chef Chris and myself the opportunity to head out to Sooke and take part in the Sooke Lions’ 4th Annual Great Chili Challenge.

Their esteemed judges handed out only ONE 3rd Place Trophy and I am so happy to say that team Zone claimed the honour.

SWAG'd from Cassie's Facebook

The chili challenge was a ton of work and would not have been possible without the hard work of Team Zone’s Cassie Price and Veneto Lounge’s sous chef Chris Thrift.

Also Graham Caddy from 100.3 The Q! helped shovel chili in waiting bowels and Justin “Fresh-Pots” was there to fetch me pop and came in clutch wrangling up a can-opener when our first one crapped out.

Tindy from the Q! and Boitano from The Zone both put together our supplies for the booth and Zone Ranger Cuervo-Loren brought out a tent to Sooke and set it up for us.  Thank you guys.

The Veneto’s head chef Tod Bosense lent us his propane stove and also pilfer through the kitchen for food and supplies.

Cassie has been getting some requests for the recipe so I will try to re-create it here:

The Zone @ 91-3 #11 Chili

* 2 pound(s)  boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1-inch chunks
* 2 pound(s) boneless beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 1-inch chunks
* 2 teaspoon(s) vegetable oil
* 20-ish clove(s) (garlic) crushed into a paste
* 2 medium onions, chopped
* 1 tablespoon(s) ground coriander
* 1 tablespoon(s) cumin
* 1 tablespoon(s) paprika
* 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) chipotle chile paste
* 1/2 tablespoon(s) ground cinnamon
* 3 can(s) (15 to 19 ounces each) pink beans and/or red kidney beans
* 1 can(s) (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
* 1 can(s) concentrated tomato
* 1 cup(s) water
* 2 packets of hot chocolate powder
* 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
* pepper
* 1 pineapple
* Corn tortillas, (optional), warmed
* Shredded unsweetened chocolate and fresh cilantro chopped to sprinkle on top.


Brown the meat in the oil…add salt and pepper… add the onion… add the tomato… let that stew together for a bit.  then add the spices.  Little at a time, constantly taste and season. Add the garlic. Add the hot chocolate powder.  If it doesn’t taste right, it needs more salt.

Add the chipotle paste till you get the heat you need. Tabasco will help with the heat too.  Be BRAVE… let this yummy concoction stew for a bit.  You can serve it when its all hot… but it excels at delicious if you let the meat get nice and tender.  Right before serving, add the chopped pineapple.

To garnish… shave some rich, dark chocolate on top and hit of fresh chopped cilantro.  Prepare to come in third place!

Madelyn got her fingers all over my camera so it wouldn’t take pictures and needs a cleaning.  So this evidence comes from Cassie’s facebook.

Cassie is so silly.

Justin Fresh-Pots and Me.

Chef Chris doing his thing and Cassie choppiong the pineapple.

These two giant pots of chili were not enough. We head a steady line all afternoon. Many second helpings.

So busy out in Sooke.

Chef Chris and I adding the "sex" right at the end.

Go with yourself.

My camera

Read Full Post »

I wrote last week about those records that at some time in your life, you loved. Capital ‘L’ LOVED…. but now, maybe you don’t listen to them all that much.

A record that did that to me was Sufjan Steven’s 2005 masterpiece, Illinois.

This record came out in the summer and at a time when I smoked a lot of pot.  I worked nights at the Zone and when I got home after a radio show Alex would be in bed or maybe still at work.

I’d pack the bong and plug my headphones into the stereo amp and hit play on this compact disc.

By the winter, Alex had moved back to Vancouver and I was all by myself.  My obsession with this album intensified.  I listened to it almost every night and thought it was a religious revelation.

But then something funny happened.  Well two funny somethings….

Alex and I broke up; and I stopped smoking pot.

Maybe it was the haze (or lack there of…), or time, or new music coming in…. but Sufjan got pushed aside and I really haven’t punched it up much at all in the past??? three years?  Damn, I’m getting old.

Today I am reading about chili.  Did you know that chili… the delicious meaty treat that many of enjoy from Tim Hortons or cooked at home… was first introduced outside of San Antonio to mainstream audiences at the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893? (so was the hamburger, rag time music and neon lights)

Then I start reading about the Expo ’93… as I’m sure that is what the Industrial Age kids of the time called it.

Its an interesting story about this fair that made use of electricity and gave the world the Ferris Wheel.

I wondered about the music of the time and my wandering brain took me to discover ragtime. One of the great ragtime performers of the era played a show at the exposition and ragtime would go on to be the dominate music style in North America till jazz would develop after World War One.

This is fascinating because the Veneto Lounge styles many of their cocktails on this late 19th century culture and maybe ragtime would be the perfect musical accompaniment?

Right, Sufjan Stevens… there really isn’t a point to this rambling… as I am flying though the internet and iTunes, listening to ragtime and exploring the wonders of American exceptionalism.  The internet wants me to listen to Sufjan.  My searches and hyperlinks keep saying, “Do You Mean Illinios (album)?”

Um, no… but ok internet, I’ll bite.  I punch up the record and the music washes right over me. It feels good.  I remember all these songs.  I can’t listen to it loud enough! (though back in the day, one of my favourite things to do was put it on as quiet as possible and try to have the songs tickle my little ear hair things as lightly as I could make out sounds… like I said, I smoked a ton of pot).

Illinois is such an amazing record.  Its like an audio epic adventure.  After reading about chili, Chicago, ragtime and The World’s Columbian Exposition… I couldn’t imagine or have predicted a better soundtrack.

Go with yourself.

Read Full Post »