My neighbors had a chili cook-off a few weeks back. Since my husband was out of town, I was dragging my feet about whether or not I wanted to tackle making chili and dragging all three of my kiddos to the party all by myself. But I decided to go for it, and I’m so glad I did.
It was fun to try everyone’s chili recipes and there was quite a variety of flavors – everything from the traditional bean and beef chili (that’s what I brought) to a spicy mushroom-and-black-bean goodness. It was a night talking about food and cooking while eating and drinking – what is there not to love?!
Well, I ended up getting first place! I was so excited! I’ve never won anything food-related before. I can already tell that the competition is heating up for next year’s round…I’m planning my next chili creation already…
So, here’s my throw-together chili recipe (guestimates, only). The key, really, is cooking it FOREVER and seasoning the heck out of it…with those tricks, you can cover a multitude of wrongs. Oh, and buy good ingredients. I used really good ground beef and organic veggies. If you can manage to cook your own beans from dried, that will only take it up a notch (I didn’t bother this time).
Heather’s Award-Winning Chili
1.5 lbs ground beef, browned on the stovetop with seasonings
3 cans beans, drained & rinsed (use whatever you like – I think this time I used black, white, and red kidney)
3 cans fire-roasted, diced tomatoes (get the fire-roasted!)
1 cup (about) of diced onions and peppers (I keep a mix of this frozen so I can just throw some in chili or tacos or whatever)
1/2 cup (about) frozen corn
seasoning to taste: I use Penzeys Original Taco Seasoning and Ancho Chili Peppers (ground), salt and pepper and a little bit of agave or natural sweetener.
– Throw all ingredients in the crock pot along with about a can of water. Let simmer on low for 6 hours or so, stirring occasionally. You might have to add more water as it cooks.
Ain’t fancy, but it’s delicious! Enjoy!