Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Apple and Bratwurst Chili?

Apple and bratwurst chili? Not in my camp.

Anyone who's paid any attention to 'Round the Chuckbox since its February inception, knows that I'm a culinary traditionalist, especially when it comes to meat and chili peppers. Chili in my camp should be red (green's okay too) and be loaded with plenty of beef or pork chunks.

Lorie Roach of Buckatunna, Mississippi thinks differently, according to an Associated Press story and recipe in today's Sacramento Bee Taste section.

But I suppose she has all braging rights on the issue. Roach was recently crowned as "America's best campfire chef" by a Central California winery.

Her winning recipe, a sweet chili with Granny Smith apples, bratwurst sausages, canned chickpeas and sweet red and green bell peppers, is a quick meal that can be prepared at home and assembled over the the campfire.

It's not that I dislike any of the individual ingredients. I buy sweet onions by the bag. And I love a good old-country sausage that's been grilled over an open fire. Place the bratwurst on a large bun, bury it in caramelized onions and I'm happy.

Just leave the apple out of my chili or my bratwurst sandwich. Apples like tart Granny Smiths belong in pie or cobbler. Or in braised German red cabbage where they balance the sharp overtones of cider vinegar.

What's my issue? In my camp, apples and bratwurst don't belong in chili. Keep it red (or green).

So what happens if I chance upon the Roach family in their beloved Great Smoky Mountain National Park? I'll smile and graciously accept a bowlful of their sweet onion, apple and bratwurst campfire chili.

I can't promise that I'll have seconds, and I may share a bowl of my chuckwagon chili.

Who knows? I might like it!

1 comment:

  1. Hey There,

    I just want to thank you for such a great blog. I sit on the Board of a non-profit summer camp, and we lost our kitchen director in July, and I stepped up to do the job...not that I've ever had to do this before! The cooking I'm not worried about; the planning has me stressed.

    I just want to thank you for being able to explain some of the portioning issues, cooking dilemmas, how to reuse food items, etc, that has helped me plan the menu for our small, small (25 campers) camp. You've really been able to bring this down to a level for people who aren't cooking professionals, but also have provided tips for people who having cooking experience that isn't camp specific.

    Thank you for the insight.