Much to Jane's embarrassment, we christened our team, "Jane and the Kansas City Corn Rows" (rejected by the grace of good taste: "Kansas City Devil-ettes" and "Kansas City Krunk").
Jane's idea-packed emails started flying immediately. At 4:40 pm on Thursday, August 7th, she wrote:
what if we made a 'summer chilli' that was maybe really spicy flavorful ground turkey chili with white beans or something, and then what if we topped it off with some sort of fresh corn and tomato salsa that would be cold (like andrea's AWESOME dip) and sour cream and maybe that yummy white mexican cheese. i think that could be a winner!!!At 4:41 pm, she added:
and fresh cilantro! love that.And at 4:46 pm:
i also think that we should make home made crispy tortilla strips to put on top. yum! i hope there are left overs!And this is almost exactly what we did: a lighter "Summertime Chili" with ground turkey and pork, turkey sausage, white northern and pinto beans, fresh tomatoes, a bit of half-and-half, and a whole mess of secret seasonings.
Our three secret weapons (what another contestant called "the woman's touch") were a sweet and spicy fresh corn relish, cilantro-lime sour cream, and corn strips.
We took special pride in the fact that nothing came from a can. And the effort paid off. We won second place in the People's Choice category (with all due respect to Cathy, who was a judge, this was totally the category of the night.) This was out of 25 entries, some quite excellent, others quite unusual (there was even a crazy-good chocolate chili.) It was such a thrill!
Check out more photos from Andrea and myself, and this video I've put together (much to sweet Jane's embarrassment!):
The Chili Takedown from Nora Leah on Vimeo.