This past weekend was our first Chili Cook-off EVER! And I don’t think it will be the last. Paul and I, as much as we love to cook and try new things, we have (neither of us) made chili before. We started the week with a test run, in which we invited Desi and Tristan, and A.J. and Ann over to critique. Ironically it was a split vote! Desi and Tristan wanted a little less meat, and a little less spice, and A.J. and Ann said they liked the meat consistency and would like a little more spice!

So we were split down the middle, so Paul and I took the liberty of trying a new recipe for the cook-off! We started the day off with a trip to Whole Foods, and stocked up on some fresh organic veggies and meats!

We bought:

The process was really pretty easy, we sautéed up the onions and peppers with the meats while adding lots of fresh chopped garlic cloves. Once all the meat, onions and green peppers were in the big pot, we added the canned tomatoes, tomato paste, canned corn and beef broth. We used about two or three bottles of gluten-free beer, and stirred regularly as we added fresh jalapeno and an assortment of other spices from chili powder to cayenne to paprika, cumin and more!

After that you add the beans to simmer with the meat, juices and seasonings! And Paul also added a bit of molasses for some sweetness (more to cut the burn) – but not a lot at all!

This recipe made 5 GALLONS!

Check out some pics of our booth!

The huge pot for lots of chili!

Doesn’t that look delicious!?

Our fun booth – We were Chunk Master’s Chili (Chunk our dog inspires us so much!)

Chunk really did enjoy the Chili Cook-off, but his favorite thing was Kara’s awesome cornbread! He’s telling us here that he wants more!

So the results were in, and while we didn’t win, nor did we rank, we made a valiant effort and had repeat customers! I have some thoughts about why things may not have gone our way… and about how it wasn’t what I would consider a true test of people’s choice on Chili… but c’est la vie! I did bring some into work though, cause we had a good bit left over, and it was a hit!

I think we’ll definitely try our hand at another Chili Cook-off in the future, but who knows…