Pre and Chili Jr. have done well in avoiding petitioning my advice on how to impress the ladies, as they well know any of my recommendations would need to be taken with an ocean of salt. I can, however, share with them the singular event that turned young Mrs. Chili365’s affections my way. It was her birthday and I, being a crazy pragmatist, thought we should do something special, like eat stuff. Things were pretty low key at the Taco Bell and the event seemed destined to remain a hum-drum fast food affair. The tide quickly turned when I stepped up and serially decimated the restaurant’s supply of hard shelled tacos- taking down twelve in all. As the smoke cleared and my belly pensively (and aggressively) gurgled, I noticed that Mrs. Chili 365 was clearly swooning. For her, the tipping point may have been the actual machismo-fueled display of taco overindulgence. Alternatively, she may have identified me as a survivor because, as she probably well understood, my GI tract would cling tenaciously to dear life as my system desperately attempted to process 12 of the Bell’s finest. Whatever the case, that was us clumsily shuffling toward full adulthood. With Taco Bell and my self-aggrandizing feats of gluttony well behind us and we are on to bigger and better things. The challenges of yesterday have prepared us well for
the challenges of today the chilis of 2014.
Tangentially related to this romantic episode are taco salads. Salads are characterized as healthy. Let’s face it, taco salads are naughty- there is nothing healthy about a taco salad. Enter taco salad’s cousin from the north- dum dada dum– CHILIDOG SALAD. Healthy? No. Sinfully delicious? Yep. (Must run in the family.)
Note on portions:
I created the chili dog topping. The fact is, the lion share of my experience with lettuce comes from my experience with those 12 tacos, eaten a lifetime ago. As such, I turned the salad making duties over to Chili Jr, who isn’t into measuring ingredients. Use your best judgment when making the salad. Use my best judgment while making the chili.
1 pound ground beef
8 oz hot dogs, diced
1 C tomato sauce
¼ C barbeque sauce
1 T chili powder
1 T dried, minced onion
1 t sriracha sauce
1 t paprika
½ t cumin
½ t coriander
Potato chips – These are critical to the dish, just as tortilla chips are necessary for taco salad.
1) Brown ground beef, drain.
2) Add remaining chili ingredients and simmer 20 minutes.
3) Have Chili Jr prepare salad
This was incredible. I could eat 12 of these (in deference to the hungry ITP, I did not). The junior Involuntary Tasters enjoyed the chili dog salad (not to the extent I did, but they liked it nonetheless). On a final note, I could be mistaken, but as she dined on tonight’s chili, I believe I saw a little glimmer in Mrs. Chili365’s eye.