2014 was a landmark year for the American Cancer Society’s Chili Cook Off. The event had spent nearly a quarter century in downtown locations, but its 25th birthday was held in West Mobile at The Grounds (yes, the fairgrounds).
With much more room, RV parking teams were able to arrive the day before and begin setting up. Some were smoking meat all night long. Others were there to tailgate. When all was said and done, the new location opened doors for this event to grow exponentially.
This year’s showdown will be held in the same location Saturday, March 7 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Expect the usual live music and tons of chili. If you are interested in volunteering for this event or have the guts to try your hand at the largest contest in our area, log onto community.acsevents.org. Teams must sell at least 75 tickets to enter at the $10 advanced price. Tickets at the gate will be $15.
I know Mardi Gras is just underway, but you have to plan ahead if you want to make a splash in this game.
KFC has done it again with the Double Down Dog
It is unlikely that this will ever make it to the United States, but as consumers we should be aware of the possibility. KFC has the Internet buzzing with their latest creation, the Double Down Dog. Some are calling it an abomination while some call it a stroke of genius. Others call it a stroke inducer. This “sandwich” looks like it could have come from Frankenstein’s lab. It’s a hot dog covered in cheese. However, the bun has been replaced by a breaded and deep fried chicken breast filet.
Before you get too excited and write your Congressman to keep this kind of smut out of our restaurants rest easy knowing it has so far been available only overseas. Select KFCs in the Philippines sold 50 Triple Ds per day for Jan. 26 and 27 only. It was enough to get the Internet’s attention.
According to KFC there are no plans to bring it into the US.
This is the latest takeoff in the Double Down series. In 2010 KFC launched a much more publicized campaign of the Double Down Sandwich, the first of its kind using chicken in place of bread. My confusion is in the “why.” If the chicken is breaded and fried then it certainly isn’t low carb. Maybe KFC just has something against bread as a containment option.
Deer season comes to a close, recipes abound
When it comes to hunting I would rather fish. I’m not the squeamish type. I just don’t feel like getting up early or being as quiet as a church mouse for any length of time. Call me what you want. I am one proud Southerner who never got buck fever.
To most of my hunting friends the excitement is in the kill. To me it’s in the eating. I am quite fond of wild game, and though I don’t think it always makes a recipe better I will go on record as saying it almost always makes it more interesting.
Lucky for me my shotgun rests in the closet free of shells while I have somehow tricked others into spending valuable time and money on camouflage, hunting camp fees and artillery as they return home with fresh meat to offer me. If I could get half of my deer hunter friends to be beer hunter friends I would be in high cotton.
Just last week a student of mine returned from camp with a cooler full. “Take what you want,” he said. “My wife is a vegetarian.” Don’t mind if I do. Four days later another offer came in and I had to turn it down! Here at the end of the season I have deer meat coming out of my ears.
I love pounding out medallions nice and thin from tenderloin. A light dusting of flour and a quick fry in shallow oil is delicious with a side of potatoes. Shoulders I can do, but usually on a smoker low and slow. It’s not my favorite cut. I’d rather send this to the processor and have something made. The big ham is my favorite.
Cooking one of these all day long is the key to fine venison eating, but I don’t always have all day to tend to a flame. Recently I had to opt for the oven.
I love a good dry rub more than most marinades, but with venison you’re dealing with almost no fat. For this big chunk of meat I gave it an overnight soak in Italian dressing with a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce. The next day I discarded the marinade and salted the meat, placing it on a roasting pan rack at 300 degrees for about six hours. When the meat thermometer reached 170 degrees it stopped climbing. I allowed it to cook another hour or so until the temp began to rise. At that point I took it out of the oven and covered it with foil as it cooled.
Pulling the meat is a meal itself. I can’t help but graze every time the perfect piece comes my way. When all was said and done I had more meat than my family could consume in a week. The first night, I smothered some of the meat in barbecue sauce with onions. The next day I had deer spaghetti. The following night I made venison chili. I am nearing the point of getting sick of it, but it’s so lean and so good. I still have plenty in the freezer for the next time I fire up the smoker, but oven deer meat was almost as good!
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