Last year, I attempted, for the first time ever, to make my dad's famous chili. Every year he makes it for Halloween and I consider it an important tradition to honor.
Luckily, this year, I didn't have to slave away in the kitchen for 4 hours making it, going over the recipe a million times to make sure I didn't miss anything, and getting nervous when Andy took a bite. Because this year, Andy and I joined my parents in New Jersey for a Halloween party with close family friends, and my dad decided to make it for the costume-fest.
He slaved away in the kitchen for 4 hours instead, adding all of his little touches that are hard to express in a written recipe. Andy and I salivated as we waited around in the house for party time- we had been thinking about this chili all month:
There was a much larger pot of the stuff, but this was the small pot of extra. Andy took one bite and said "this is way better than yours."
After he saw my shocked and insulted face, he amended his comment and said, instead "it is more balanced than yours." And that, I will admit. Actually, I will admit that it's way better, and it is going to take a lot more Halloween's for me to master this recipe. It is specifically true that my dad's chili is incredibly balanced. There is a powerful, upfront spiciness that as you chew through the kidney beans, sausage, and ground beef softens, leaving you with a smooth, tomato and chili-powder finish. He even makes a great vegetarian version- which he made on this night also so my friend Cailyn could enjoy some meatless bliss.
Topped with shredded cheese, sour cream, and raw onions, the chili gets even better:
I really think my dad's chili should be entered into a contest. And I'm not just saying that because I'm a devoted daughter!