What Gamers Like to Eat: Nuclear Chili

I think my game nights look a lot different from the game nights I had in the US.  Normally, we all stopped off at individual fast food stores and got something, then gobbled it down once we arrived at the Dungeon Master’s house.  That changed quite a lot when I moved to the Netherlands.  Now, I can’t say if EVERYONE does this, but this is what every gaming group I’ve been part of does…someone cooks dinner.

Yes, that’s actually cooking.  No pizza, hamburgers, or other fast food junk food, but real food.  In my Saturday night games, since we play at 1 location, we all take turns taking over the DM’s kitchen.  In my every other Friday games, we descend upon a host that cooks.  We bring the snack food and drinks.  The every other Sunday games are my domain.  I cook, they give me money.  But with all 3 games, it’s real food.  Yum.

So what do I normally cook to fill gamer bellies? I’m rather fond of Mexican.  So it’s normally some bastard child between actual Mexican, Tex Mex, and Dutch Mexican (due to the fact that I improvise with local ingredients greatly).

Here’s a Chili recipe, which wasn’t really meant for a real Dutch pallet (they like their food over boiled and a little bland from my experience):

Note: Amount of ingrediants can vary widely since I use the “a little of this and a little of that” method

– 2 pounds ground beef (I like using a leaner variety)
– 3  links pepper salami (actual salami that’s rolled in black pepper)
– 3 cans kidney beans (400g each)
– 3-4 cans/boxes of diced tomatoes (the ones I use is about 250g per box)
– 1-2 yellow onions
– tin of tomato paste (they have a cayan pepper  tomato paste here, tasty)
– 3-6 stalks celery
– 2-4 sweet peppers (choose your color)
– 4-6 hot peppers depending on how nuclear you want it (I use a variety from the local “toko” which is a thai/chinese food store.  Oh, I usually throw a few whole ones in as well.)
–  1-4 beef or chicken bouillon cubes (the amount depends on how salty you want it)
– Chili powder (to taste, usually about 3 tablespoons or 1/4 cup is good)
– Garlic (to taste, everyone I feed loves garlic so usually an entire head ends up in my chili)
– Worcestershire sauce (to taste, again, I go a little overboard.  Usually about 1-2 tablespoons will do….a half bottle ends up in mine)
– Oregano (to taste, about 1 tablespoon dried or a few tablespoons fresh)
– Cumin (to taste, I’m not sure how much ends up in mine, but it’s a lot.  Most recipes I see call for about 1 tablespoon)
– Hot pepper sauce (to taste, no really…it depends on what you’re using)
– Basil (to taste, dried is pretty strong so around 1-2tsp is good)
– Salt (to taste, for me it depends on how many bouillon cubes I use or the salami I put in.  This adds salt as well.)
– Black pepper (to taste, but since I use pepper salami I usually skip this)
– White sugar (1-2tsp, helps balance out the acidity)

I brown the ground beef, get rid of the fat, and then dump it into my slow cooker.  I then chop up everything else, and throw it in my slow cooker.  I set it on low, for about 8-9 hours.  Within hours you’ll have a heavenly smell and start seeing the oils rise to the top from the peppers and salami.

The end result should be hot.  Now, since I usually make this ahead of time, what I really like doing is throwing it in the freezer then thawing it before eating it.  That really ramps up the nuclear level.  They don’t call me the evil DM for nothing.

Serve warmed, topped with cheddar and tortilla chips!

So this is just one dish I’ve frozen and will be taking with us to Conception tonight.  Yea, I’m looking forward to seeing the Brit’s face when he digs into it this year.  However, I’m about to go and make some corn bread, to help slacken the heat a bit.