Bite and Sip

Chilly weather, chili cookoff

2014-01-30T10:00:00Z 2014-01-30T19:54:11Z Chilly weather, chili cookoffBy Pat Colander nwitimes.com
January 30, 2014 10:00 am  • 

As we brace for yet another round of the polar vortex, why not whip up a batch of chili to put some spice in your routine?

It seems like everyone these days is having chili cookoffs, and no wonder - with such terrible weather, what else do we have to do except go to work, come home and cook?

Our office is actually combining the two and having a chili cookoff contest tomorrow. Although I'm not participating due to time constraints, I'm very much looking forward to eating the fruit of everyone else's labor.

It really wouldn't be fair to everyone else if I were to enter the chili contest with my real family recipe. When prepared correctly, it takes almost two entire days to cook. You know it has to be good when the proper flavor is reached by aging it overnight, along with some secret ingredients. As I said, it wouldn't be fair to my coworkers.

But even if you don't work in our office, there are plenty of opportunities to show off your recipe.

Tonight in St. Joe from 5-8pm marks the town's second annual chili tour. The Chili Pepper Award title currently held by Third Coast Surf Shop is up for grabs again, as well as a special award of a Downtown St. Joseph Prize Pack. Visitors who have rated each location's chili and returned the completed map to the St. Joseph Today office will be entered into a drawing at 8:15 p.m.

For a list of chili locations, special sales and entertainment during this "It's Finally Friday" event, visit stjoetoday.com, facebook.com/stjoetoday or call 269-985-1111.

And so I will leave you with a chili recipe—not the 2 day one, that's a family secret and I'd be disowned—but my own vegetarian chili recipe that I adapted from a Serious Eats blog post.

You will need:

1 large yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, sliced thin

1 green bell pepper, diced

2 cans kidney beans

2 cans Brooks chili hot beans

2 tbs. jarred jalapenos with juice

1 can black beans

1 can corn

2 28 oz. cans tomato sauce

2 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes

3 tbs. peanut butter

1 tbs. cilantro

5 tbs. Mexene Chili powder

2 tsp. smoked paprika

With a little olive oil, cook the onion, garlic and pepper over med. heat until softened. Add them to a large stock pot, then pour in the beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, jalapenos and corn. Bring this mixture to a simmer.

When the tomato sauce has started to bubble, add the peanut butter and spices and stir. Finish by sprinkling an extra layer of chili powder on top of the mixture.

Simmer for at least 2 hours over low-med. heat and serve.

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