To celebrate Columbo’s 50th birthday
and the launch of my new Cooking With Columbo book
I organized a Columbo Bowl Chili Cook-Along and it was so much fun.
Here’s a map showing where in the world Johnny’s chili was rustled up! Over 20 participants!
Detroit resident Elizabeth Rottner, a fellow tweeter in the monthly #ColumboTV tweet-along was the first to send pix of her chili (before the cook-along had even officially begun!) and look what an incredible job she did, a step by step guide!
Elizabeth liked the recipe so much, she made the chili twice and said, “It’s now a family favorite.” The second time she made it, she says, “I cut the beans in half (too many carbs for Keto). I also cut the spices in half, as the beans cut the heat. This is a spicy chili! I did add a diced potato as that’s a chili tradition in our family.” Ooh, I do like that idea! Thanks, Elizabeth!
My work colleague Neil Owens “put a banker in” on the 29th January and sent me a photo of his “very nice” Johnny Cash Chili. I’d never heard that “putting in a banker” phrase before, but apparently, it means getting in early…
That looks mighty fine Mr Owens! I am very proud that our first British entry involved a serving of RICE, something I know most of my American chums find very odd indeed. I was intrigued by all the different choices for accompaniments made by folks in different places.
As the 1st February rolled around, the photos started flooding in!
Fellow film archivist Brenda Flora, in New Orleans, who I haven’t seen for TOO LONG tweeted pix of her proudly displaying her big delicious looking pot of chili.
Behold the splendour!
I loved seeing what tins of beans look like in New Orleans via Instagram!
Peter Fuller of the Vincent Price London Legacy sent me a pic that made me smile from ear to ear. He’s so creative! Plus, I want that plate!
Peter is Australian, but he lives in London. Hence – rice! He wrote a fabulous blog post about his chili too which you can read by clicking on this link
Not only that but also, Peter did a LIVE COOKING DEMO of him making the chili and broadcast it on Facebook. How cool is that? It came in three parts – here’s the denouement!
Posted by Peter Fuller on Samstag, 3. Februar 2018
If you know the episode of Columbo that features Johnny Cash, called Swansong,
you might remember the scene where the Lieutenant has a bowl of chili at a party thrown by the Johnny Cash character. He’s really enjoying his chili until he is told it is made with squirrel meat! So you can imagine how much I laughed when Paula Otter in Brunswick, Ohio tweeted these pix!
She wrote, “no squirrels were harmed in the making of this chili.” Sooooo funny, thanks, Paula! We’ve never met in person, but make each other laugh every month during the #ColumboTV tweet-along. Paula was the first to make the veggie version of Johnny’s Chili that Helen of the wonderful Dinner With Zelda Manners created for this project. Served with homemade crackers – fab! I am sure that the Lieutenant would definitely approve of these instead of saltines crumbled into his chili for a change!
Talking of Dinner With Zelda Manners, Helen in Nottingham, wrote a hilarious post which made me laugh out loud several times about Johnny’s chili – do check it out…. This photo won’t make any sense unless you do!
I’d only met Helen once before the book launch party, but we share the same love of cooking, love of old movies, and love of corny jokes and puns (Moose Allison)! Her veggie version of the chili is DELICIOUS, and I’ve just remembered with great joy that I have some stashed away in my freezer! Here’s a pic of the chili Helen made for the cook-along.
It was so nice to be able to offer up a veggie version so I’m really grateful to Helen for taking the time to develop that great recipe for me.
Fellow film archivist Margie in Athens, Georgia made Johnny’s chili to have on Super Bowl night – brilliant! Columbo Bowl for the Super Bowl! I was hoping that someone would do that!
She shared the chili with her dad, and I loved her sweetcorn shaped cornbread sticks. Plus, something I really, really want to make soon, deviled eggs! Check these out – yum!
Loving your retro table in the overhead shot of your chili Margie, is that Formica? I always love getting a peek into the kitchens and dining rooms of my blog readers, and at the foreign (to me) foodstuffs because I am very NOSY, and I loved this pic Margie sent of all her ingredients with the recipe just peeping out at the back!
Margie thought Johnny’s chili was very good! Her only caveat was that it is *extremely filling.* “You don’t have to eat much of it to get quite full! But it’s delicious.” I loved this photo of the beer going in – oh yummy!
Margie made her grandmother’s cornbread recipe to have with the chili and chopped up some onion and cheese to top it. She also sent me some excellent links which expanded my knowledge of the “with or without beans” chili debate. You know what Columbo says about that? Sometimes he has his chili with beans, sometimes without, for “variety.”
DiCooks is a fellow Bread Angel and runs bread making classes, supper clubs and an amazing food business called Cookisto. If I lived near Di in Aston, Hertfordshire, I would definitely be IN her Friday din dins club. Di made a fab little video of her dishing up her dish…
Di was the only person brave enough to test Leonard Nimoy’s Potatoes a La Jolie Chez Jay for the Columbo cookbook. She’s not scared of faggots either!
Kristen Frederickson, author of the fabulous Tonight at 7.30
pimped up Johnny’s recipe with characteristic panache. If I tell you her Kristen in London blog post that features the recipe is called World’s Best Chilli With Coffee and Porcini kind of gives it away… I am sooooooooo going to try Kristen’s take on this recipe, because, well, check it out the photo! Mmmmm!
Kristen’s main change was… “I eliminated the beer and substituted coffee! The coffee was used to rehydrate porcini mushrooms and BOY WAS THAT LOVELY!” I bet it was! This is going on my recipe to-do list for sure.
Battenburgbelle, just around the corner from me in Muswell Hill, North London wrote a lovely blog post about her chili, which you can find by clicking on this link. A few folk have remarked on what a huge chili this makes but BB summed it up, “Serves 6 – really? More like 20 I’d say, unless you happen to have had a group of very hungry cowboys over for dinner. Which I didn’t.”
What a shame BB, I’m going to send you for a sleepover at The Pioneer Woman’s place. Plenty of cowboys hanging around there, including the very easy on the eye Ladd.
If I am ever in a hotel room, I pray that the Pioneer Woman is on the Food Network channel. A life further from mine I cannot imagine.
It’s true what Battenburgelle says, Johnny’s Chili is huge. Freezers all over the world are heaving with frozen leftover chili. But who doesn’t want that?! Here’s BB’s chili.
Rare amongst the British contingent she didn’t serve hers with rice, as she’s not a fan of rice. She chose lashings of sour cream and chives, some crusty bread and a green salad with avocado and some toasted corn and a balsamic dressing, “which seemed about right”. That sounds fab to me too. Here’s her “vaguely tex mex salad.”
I have saved Taryn Fryer’s report until last, as I just love the fact that she’s the furthest away from London it is possible to be. I think I have said before that if I drilled a hole through the centre of the world from my flat and I dropped through it, I’d appear at Taryn’s house in Melbourne. Wouldn’t that be amazing? I know Taryn via her brilliant blog Retro Food For Modern Times and met her in person last year when she came to my flat for lunch as she was in London. Come back soon Taryn, I will cook something less bonkers next time.
Here’s the chili cooking away in Australia
And here’s how Taryn served it, with some guacamole and some cheesy tortillas. She proclaimed it to be, “Perfection!”
Right, my Columbo Widow (Mr Rathbone) would like me to finish this now so we can spend some time together. Columbo has taken over my life over the last few months, and I’m supposed to be resting my brain a bit during March. Thanks so much to everyone who participated, your reports gave me so many laughs and so much pleasure. Johnny Cash Chili FOR EVER!