My best idea though is Jen’s fault. If you remember, I took Jen to the Eiffel Tower Cafe for Valentine’s Day. We had the French Onion soup. If you don’t know (and who knows, you might not), the theory behind French Onion soup is you have this big oven-safe bowl, fill it with soup, put a piece of bread on the top, cover the bread in cheese and then bake the bowl until the cheese is nice and toasted. I thought to myself, hey, this could work with chili!! Take a piece of Texas Toast, toast it, drop it on a bowl of chili, cover it in cheddar and jack and pop it in the oven. Heaven, right? Exactly. We had the fam over last night for the grand experiment and it went over like gangbuster. The weak-lipped commented on the spices, but overall enjoyed the experience immensely. It was a lot of fun, and made the chili something other than just plain old chili.
As bad as the first batch of chili was, the second was much better. We were all out of veggies, so I couldn’t put my usual green peppers in the new batch. I ended up making very traditional ground beef/kidney bean chili with healthy portions of ground green and red chili my friend brought back from her trip to New Mexico. Instead of green peppers, I added a small can of diced green chilis. It was the best idea ever, I swear. The chili ended up having a nice but not over-powering kick to it and the ground green chili gave it a lovely earthy flavor that gave it a lot of body.