Friday, December 5, 2014

The McArdle Family Chili Cookoff

We were thrilled to have one of Nathan's sisters, Jenny, and her husband, Brandon, visit us the weekend before Thanksgiving. We love any chance to have Eleanor spend time with her relatives. She's growing so fast, we want everyone who loves her to get to spend time with her at each stage, (especially those difficult stages.-Take all the time with her you want. I'll just be over here far away).

This visit was a particularly fun one because we tested out a game (Rapid Recall) during her nap and had a McArdle/Brooks chili cook-off.

The final four looked surprisingly different.

Photos by Jenny McArdle

Shown here in medaling order:

Nathan's Southwest Cowboy Chili courtesy of my birthday gift from Jenny, the Nom Nom Paleo Cookbook (top left)

Jenny's Pumpkin and Chicken Chili (no idea where she got the recipe from-I think this one is it, but she substituted some ingredients) (top right)

Brandon's modified Alton Brown Pressure Cooker Chili recipe (bottom left)

And my exotic Kangaroo Meat Chili [Original recipe from the Edgewater Cookbook (our neighborhood fundraiser cookbook) but with ground kangaroo meat instead of beef]. This is a somewhat similar recipe. (bottom right)

In order to pick the winner, everyone ranked all four dishes in order of their favorites and the ultimate winner was the one with the most points. Even though he didn't even rank his own first, Nathan's was a hands down winner. The broth was so velvety delicious that even when we ran out of beef by dinner, I still poured myself a bowl of broth.

I gave myself a last place vote because I was completely turned off by the kangaroo meat. Raw, ground kangaroo has a very fishy smell, which, though it was covered by the chili ingredients and didn't bother anyone else in the group, did me in. I just could not get behind it. I will say it completely mellowed by the next day.