It is time for us to take a moment and recognize that we have managed to survive (the first) 200 consecutive days of chili. After some mindful meditation followed by a night full of Jerry Springer reruns, I concluded that there’d be no better way to archive this momentous chili achievement than to demand the Involuntary Taste Panel submit to compulsory interviews. Today’s victim, er, interviewee is Chili Jr.
Chili365: Thanks for agreeing to sit down and talk to me today. I hope the duct tape is chaffing your wrists and ankles just enough, but not too much.
ChiliJr: Uh, yeah. Thanks for having me. Hey, I feel a little stir crazy. Why’d you bolt the chair to the floor?
Chili365: What’s with you kids and all of your crazy questions? I’m conducting the interview. Play nice and I won’t have to mix you some truth serum. Dig?
ChiliJr: Dad, technically speaking, I don’t think it’s legal to feed me Jagermeister imbued with chili essence. At the very least, the practice must have been harshly shunned at the Geneva Convention.
Chili365: There, there little buddy, just answer the questions and you have nothing to worry about.
ChiliJr: Then you’ll let me go outside?
Chili365: Er, sure, yeah. Here goes. What has been your favorite chili so far?
ChiliJr: Lots of good ones so far. The best was probably the Solstice Campfire Chicken Chili.
Chili365: Worst chili of the lot?
ChiliJr: That’d be the gravy chili from January.
Chili365: Way to kick a chili when it’s down. Don’t you think that sad little dish has suffered enough?
ChiliJr: No, not nearly, you tasted it, right? (Yeah, the kid has a point.)
Chili365: What has been the highlight of the year to this point?
ChiliJr: Probably telling my friends about our crazy experiment. Most are sympathetic, as are their parents. By the way, did you get that call from child protective services?
Chili365: Whoa, look at the time. We best get on to the next question. What do you predict the rest of the year will hold?
ChiliJr: More chili.
Chili365: I didn’t see that coming. Amazingly insightful, Nostradamus.
Chili365: What has been the biggest surprise so far?
ChiliJr: The fish stick chili. Why did all of you hate it? I thought it was fantastic.
Chili365: I’m glad you were able to finish that one off. I was planning to read it last rights and bury deep in the backyard, in a pauper’s grave.
Chili365: What would you like to see more of?
ChiliJr: More dessert chili and more fruit chili.
Chili365: If you could be one of the chilis I’ve made this year, which would it be?
CHiliJr: Dad, are you loco? It is beneath my station to even dignify that stupid question with a response.
Chili365: Sorry. I don’t know what came over me. I think your mom’s secretly been replacing my Powerade with Zima.
Chili365: Ok, you’ve been a great guest. Last question- Any words of advice you’d give to chiliheads out there who may be reading this?
CHiliJr: Yeah, just one. Achtung.
I love grilling like the pope loves…whatever it is that the pope loves. Grilled salmon is always a special treat. I wanted to chili-fy the fish but was hesitant as there could be a real danger of screwing up a good thing. I opted to grill the salsa which will ultimately serve as the sauce for the salmon.
1 C diced tomatillos
2 t chili powder
½ t garlic salt
1 t jalapeno hot sauce
1 T lime juice
½ C cilantro
Pieces of Salmon filet
- To a small pie tin, add tomatillos, chili powder, garlic salt, hot sauce, and lime juice. Cover with foil
- Fire up the grill.
- Cook salmon over direct heat, about 5 minutes per side.
- While salmon is cooking, grill the salsa over indirect heat (about 10 minutes total).
- Remove salmon and salsa from the grill.
- To the salsa, add the chopped cilantro.
- To serve, top salmon with salsa.
The salsa proved to be excellent not only on fish, but also on Jasmin rice. You know a chili is a winner when the ITP licks their plates clean. The salsa was balanced, faintly smoky and just plain good. No need to proceed with caution with this one, as I really should have doubled the recipe. Part of me wonders how this would be on fish sticks.