Wow, another year of chili contests in the books. It was a good one, as usual. The Illinois football season, however, was not. You win some, you lose some…and you look forward to the college basketball season!
We had to sit down and review each of the chilis. Because so many of the chilis were incredibly unique, they were easy to remember and compare. What I will note is that everyone has different preferences and so I describe the chilis in an effort to gear those who love certain flavors and temperatures in the direction that best suits their likes and dislikes. Without further adieu….the round-up!
Maui Chili from Kathryn was a true pleasure and quite the surprise of the night to the guests we shared it with. Who knew honey and pineapple would make for one killer, spicy chili? This was beyond unique and one-of-a-kind…a definite contender for the title.
Kara’s Chili was submitted by its creator, Kara! I’ve unsuccessfully added pumpkin to chili in the past, but not so in this recipe. The pumpkin added a very subtle flavor with a creamy, rich consistency to the chili base. Otherwise, this chili recipe uses traditional ingredients and proportions for a chili anyone would love!
Veggie Chili was created and submitted by Lauren of A Seat at the Table. I was sold with corn and zucchini in this entry. I also love the vegetarian “beef” crumbles that can be found in the frozen foods aisle. So versatile. This chili will thrill even the carnivore in your life!
Spicy Black Bean and Veggie Burger Chili was submitted by Athena. This vegetarian chili packed in the chili flavors with loads of chili powder and cumin and plenty of heat with a can of one of my favorite weapons: Rotel! Quick and easy to make, too!
Moroccan Lamb and Butternut Squash Chili was created and submitted by Cara of Cara’s Cravings. This was my second time cooking with lamb and it came out beautifully in this recipe. I loved the chickpeas and squash and I have been missing out on the glory that is ras al hanout for way too many years…that spice blend is heavenly! This chili makes a ton, takes awhile, and would wow the socks off a crowd!
Mexican Style Pork and Chorizo Chili was submitted by Christine of Christine’s Kitchen Chronicles and was adapted originally from Cook’s Illustrated, The Best Make Ahead Recipe. I could’ve been happy with just the pork itself — so flavorful! To take such a beautifully seasoned and cooked piece of meat and add it to a chili full of chorizo and hominy was quite the delight. This is a bit less traditional, but full of flavor…and perfect for the meat lover!
Sweet Georgia Brown Chili from Stacey McSweeney used the foundations of ground turkey breast, black beans, and tomatoes and went over the top with the dried ancho chiles, whiskey, brown sugar…and chocolate!
And for comparison’s sake, information on the nutritional make-up of each chili compared cup-to-cup.
For the second time in 3 years, I am happy to announce Stacey McSweeney’s chili is this year’s winner! Her Sweet Georgia Brown Chili was such a unique blend of bold, balanced flavors that captured “chili” and so much more. Bite after bite I was blown away by the depth of flavors and creativity of the entire recipes. Stacey, send me your address…you have won the grand prize — a $100 Visa giftcard!!
Thanks for following along this year…now, get to chili making!