Monday, October 15, 2007

We won, finally!

A few weeks ago, Keith and I visited my parents in Seattle in order to make chili and attend the 19th annual Easter Acres Chili Cookoff! (I can’t believe it—it rained for the first time ever, but the cool weather made eating chili even more desirable!) We entered two chilis, one hot and one mild. The hot chili was based on a marinated, slow-cooked brisket, and the mild “chili” was actually a Brazilian bean dish called Feijoada, which Carla taught us to make. That brought the family total to 5: Dad contributed two (one of which had blueberry-marinated meat!) and Colin contributed one. Luckily there were leftovers.

And guess what? Our Feijoada won in the mild category! It was very popular! (But there were still leftovers—hooray!) I’ve entered chili in about 12 of the 19 chili cookoffs, even once by proxy, but I’ve never won until now. We finally got to sign the winner’s apron!

Anyway, there have been requests for the “recipe.” This recipe is what I wrote down after I helped Carla make it, and I edited after subsequent batches. There are no exact proportions, so use your head and have a good time!


Soak 1 kg of black beans in water overnight (they expand, so leave lots of extra room!) Boil beans and garlic in water for 45 minutes in a pressure cooker, or 2 hours (or longer) in a regular pot, until they are soft, but not mushy (they should still look like beans). Meanwhile, cut up smoked sausage (6 small sausages would be good) and bacon into small pieces, and fry in olive oil with garlic, 1 onion, cilantro, green onions, and some of “Carla’s Special Mixture” (see below). You can also add pork short ribs if desired. Add meat mixture and some cut up beef jerky to the bean mixture and cook for an additional half hour or so to allow the flavors to blend. Season to taste with crushed red pepper flakes and salt. Serve with Brazilian rice, vinaigrette salad, and farofa or cassava flour.

Marinade: Carla's Special Mixture

Blend the following in blender or food processor until smooth:
Olive oil, Cilantro, Parsley, Green onions, Garlic (lots), Onion.
Store extra in the freezer.

Vinaigrette "Salad"

Finely chop green bell peppers (1 ½), tomatoes (2), red onions (1), green onions (2), parsley, and cilantro. Mix together with water (1 c) and balsamic vinegar (1/2 c)

Brazilian Rice

Heat olive oil in a pot, add some of Carla’s special mixture. Rinse long grain rice in a sieve. Add rice, fry for a little while and mix to combine with oil. Add water (1 ¼ cups water for every cup rice) and cook (usually between 15-25 minutes).

Farofa (I didn’t have this at the chili cookoff, but it’s really good!)

Saute sausage, eggs, red onion, and cassava flour (or crushed saltine crackers) in a little of "Carla’s Special Mixture."

For Dessert: "Brigadeiro"

Mix 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk, 2 T butter, and 6 T cocoa powder. Bring to a boil, and cook until it becomes sticky and thick. Allow to cool partially. Roll into small balls and dip in chocolate sprinkles or shredded coconut. Serve with coffee.

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