Shawn Nesaw

It’s the end of November and the weather here in Maryland is sadly hinting at winter. When it’s cold, nothing warms you up like a delicious, hearty bowl of chili so A. Bright Idea held it’s first ever chili cook-off. Nine ‘Bright Lights’ crafted their best chili in hopes of being crowned “chili champion.” The competition was fierce but a winner was declared.

We’re all about sharing so we decided to share several recipes from this years chili cook-off with you. We hope you enjoy them. Let us know which one you’re going to try. Happy cooking!
2016 chili cook-off recipes
1. Guinness chili (Winner)
1 lb – Lean Ground Beef
1 lb – Lean Ground Pork
½ lb – Thick cut bacon
½ a bottle of guinness (other half is for drinking)
1-16 oz. can of beef broth
1-16 oz can of red kidney beans
1-16 oz can of pinto beans
1-28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic, diced
1 Spanish onion, diced
1 Green Pepper, diced
1 Red Pepper, diced
2 Fire roasted hatch chilis, diced
1 Jalapeno, diced
¼ cup of molasses
¼ cup of brown sugar
¼ cup of chili powder
¼ cup of ground cumin
1 tbsp of Tabasco hot sauce
1 tbsp of salt
Cook bacon until crisp and remove from pan, leaving hot bacon grease in pan, dump diced garlic, onion and peppers into pan and sautee in the bacon grease. Lightly season vegetables with salt, pepper, chili powder and ground cumin as they cook, add in crumbled bacon and pour in guinness. Continue to cook vegetables in pot with no lid, until all guinness is cooked down and vegetables are soft. Transfer vegetables into crockpot. Pour beans and tomatoes into crockpot, stir and set on low.

Brown ground beef and ground pork in same pot as vegetables. Once cooked all the way, remove grease and pour beef broth and remaining guinness into cooked meat mixture. Let meat cook with no lid on pan, until the liquid is cooked down. Transfer meat into crockpot and stir all ingredients into crock pot. Pour in half the amount of seasoning, sugar and molasses and cook on low for 8 hours. After 8 hours mix in remaining seasoning, brown sugar, molasses and tabasco hot sauce and cook for another 2 hours. Serve with sharp cheddar cheese and sour cream.

2. Turkey verde chili (Runner-up)
2 pounds ground turkey (can substitute ground pork)
2 pounds tomatillos roasted and peeled
1 pound poblano peppers roasted, peeled, seeded, and cored
1 large onion finely diced
2 bunches of cilantro
3 cloves garlic
32 oz of chicken stock
salt peper
1 cup heavy cream
Brown turkey in a stock pot/ soup pot. Add finely diced onion to soften. In a blender add: poblanos, 1 1/2 pounds of tomatillos, cilantro, garlic, and 1/2 of your chicken stock. Blend well. Chop the remaining 1/2 pound of tomatillos. After turkey and onions are cooked, add in contents of blender, chopped tomatillos, remaining chicken broth, cream. add cumin, coriander, salt & pepper to taste. Bring to boil, then simmer for about 2 hours.

To add some roast, peel, seed, core one jalapeño and add to blender mixture.
Add more chicken broth if you like a soup with more liquid.
3. Turkey, sweet potato, black bean chili
1 lb. of ground turkey
1 onion
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
2.5 lbs sweet potatoes
1 – 28oz. can whole tomatoes
1 – 6oz can tomato paste
Place the ground turkey, onions, garlic, spices, and sea salt in a 4-quart crockpot. Use a wooden spoon to break up the turkey and mix everything together.
Cut the ends off the sweet potatoes and trim off any unsightly bits. Then, cut them into quarters lengthwise. Cut the quarters crosswise into chunks about 1½ inches in size.
Place the sweet potatoes over the top of the turkey mixture.
Place the whole tomatoes and tomato paste in a blender and blend until combined but still chunky. Pour the tomato mixture over the top of the sweet potatoes and turn the crockpot to low.
Cook for 8-10 hours, or until the sweet potatoes are tender. Taste the chili and add salt to your taste.
Serve with any and all toppings you desire.
4. “Yummy chili”
2 29 oz cans tomato puree
2 29 oz cans tomato sauce
1 29 oz can diced tomatoes
1 large can dark red kidney beans, drained
1 1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb chorizo
1/2 lb sweet Italian sausage
1 sweet onion
6 TB brown sugar
3 TB yellow mustard
6 TB chili powder
6 TB cumin
Brown and drain beef and sausage. Saute onion. Add beef and sausage and remaining ingredients. Enjoy!
5. Chicken noodle soup
rotisserie chicken
2 stalks of celery
1 small yellow onion
1/2-3/4 cup of carrot sticks
1 large box of chicken broth
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 box bow tie pasta
3 bouillon cubes
Dice up the onion and celery. Sautee onion, celery and carrots until the onions are translucent. Add everything else and let it cook on low medium for about 30 minutes or until noodles are tender. Serve.
Let us know which recipe you’re going to try in the comments below. We hope you enjoy these as much as we did.