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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Salt Lick Chili.

So I started this challenge with the desire to become a gourmet chef. I can say "BAM" really loudly. I look semi-decent in an apron. I have a kitchen. Gourmet chef aside (who am I kidding anyway), little did I know that there are a few rules that need to be followed when preparing a meal - 1) understand the importance of looking before you pour (I'll explain later) 2) adding water isn't always a quick fix to a major cooking blunder.

Prior to this challenge, opening a microwave required too much effort. To say that I'm totally out of my element here is the biggest understatement of the year. This leads me to believe that some cosmic forces must've joined recently. I figured I should start this challenge out very slowly since I am a novice and all. Why not make a pot of chili? It was 80 degrees outside which is cold by Louisiana standards - what better way to warm your soul than with steaming bowl of spicy chili. Sounds good in theory, doesn't it? The execution wasn't as pleasant. For starters, here's some raw meat mixed with onions. Simple enough. Now that I no longer have to chop the onions myself - thanks to my lil' Black & Decker processor - my life is much easier.

After the meat was fully browned, I added the following:
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 7000 teaspoons of garlic salt
  • 2 1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 (8 ounce) jar salsa
  • 4 tablespoons chili seasoning mix
  • 1 (15 ounce) can light red kidney beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can dark red kidney beans
Notice anything out of the ordinary above? Look again, will ya? Being from Louisiana and all, I like my food very flavorful. Flavorful, by my standards, means lots of Tony's and lots of salt. My love of salt does have its limits, though. For example, when my pores shrivel up and die from lack of hydration, I know I've added too much salt. When I no longer have saliva to help dissolve the food in my mouth, I know I've added too much salt. This chili, my friends, was salty. I'm not just talking salty like "Let me take a sip of this water" salty I'm talking salty like "I will drink out of the toilet if it will satisfy my thirst" salty. And it was all my fault. Guilty. I opened up the garlic salt on the wrong side and poured it out with a vengeance. All over my chili. Everywhere. My beautiful chili was ruined. Or was it?

Looks pretty enough, doesn't it? That's b/c I added tons of water to it. Ya know water totally covers up any salt issues you may have. Yeah, I didn't believe it when I said it out loud either. So, my chili was ruined, but perhaps if I added tons of cheese to it, Joe would be none the wiser. Prior to serving it to Joe, I thought I'd make some cornbread. Yum, cornbread. I don't have any cupcake cups, so I decided to make it in a pan - a pan that was too big for it - a pan I forgot to grease. This is the end result of that fiasco.

Lovely, it all stuck to the pan. It was as flat as a pancake. It broke two of my teeth.

Eh, who cares - why not serve it to Joe anyway? Cut it up in very artistic shapes, plate it to make it look really nice, and he'll be none the wiser. Throw some cheese on the Salt lick chili and wala! After a painful 10 - 15 minutes of watching Joe die of dehydration, I decided to put him out of his misery and ask him if it was too salty. He looked at me with a scared look in his eyes and muttered "Just a little bit" - what a trooper, eh?

Fast forward a bit... While I was cleaning the dishes in the kitchen, I decided to feed a few of the cornbread scraps to Cosmo. I know, I'm an awful pet mom. After breaking two of his teeth on the bread, he can no longer close his mouth. This is his permanent expression now.

To add insult to injury, I walked into the bathroom after the dishes were put away and Joe was gulping water from the faucet. Yes, it was that bad. Moral of the story - next time you oversalt a dish, throw it out. With the exception of the salt, the chili was actually excellent. I think I'll make it again one day but remember which end is up on the salt shaker! Here's the link to the recipe for anyone who is interested:

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