We haven't had a party at our apartment complex since July 4th for the crawfish boil. My husband and the neighbors decided the next event should be a chili and cornbread cookoff. It turned out to be a great idea. The French Quarter was very busy and the streets were filled with Alabama and LSU fans for the National Championship game. We were lucky enough to have friends willing to brave the crowds with their entries. We had eight total including a white chili, veggie chili, pork chili, steak chili and beef bouillon chili. The only thing that was missing was a seafood chili. My chili and cornbread came in second place. It had beans, plenty of peppers, ground meat and sausage. The cornbread came out really moist and flavorful, like a casserole. I got the recipe from my boss. It had corn, onions and jalapenos too.
The winner was my husband for his steak chili. He used chilies imported from New Mexico because he's so fancy. He also won best cornbread by using his Grandmother's West Virginian recipe. Some of her secrets are whipped cream and honey. Amanda brought a veggie chili and won first place in the spicy category.
Lindsay’s Second Place Pepper Chili
(aka My Bean Beef Sausage Chile Chili)
- 1.5 pounds ground beef chuck
- .75 pound Italian sausage
- 5 strips bacon
- 1 (15 ounce) can light kidney beans, drained
- 2 (15 ounce) cans chili beans in spicy sauce
- 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 (15 ounce) can tomatoes sauce
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 green chile peppers, seeded and chopped
- 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped (from can)
- ½ packet taco seasoning
- 1/2 cup beer
- ½ cup salsa
- ½ tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp. Remove to paper towels. Cook crumbled beef and sausage in bacon drippings just until brown; drain. Stir taco seasoning into meat.
- Pour meat into large crock pot. Add all chili beans, all tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the onion, celery, green and red bell peppers, chipotle peppers, chile peppers, crumbled bacon, and beer. Season with chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper flakes, salsa, salt, and sugar. Stir to blend, then cover and cook on high for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- After 2 hours, taste, and adjust salt, pepper, and chili powder if necessary. Simmer on low as desired. If the chili is too watery. Cook without lid for an hour or two. The longer the chili simmers, the better it will taste. Remove from heat and refrigerate to serve the next day. Top with fresh parsley or cilantro and cheese as desired.