Monday, August 17, 2009

Award Winning Chili

Award Winning Chili

From the Easter Acres Chili Cook-off

These recipes cannot be entered in the chili cook-off!

for personal use only...

Paul and Phyllis’ Thai Basil Chicken Chili

Yield – 8 servings

First Place, Mild, 2005, 2006


1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

¼ cup butter

2 cups chicken, cut into half-inch cubes

1 32-ounce can Great Northern beans

4 cups chicken broth

1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped

1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh Thai basil, finely chopped *

Juice of ½ lime

1½ teaspoons chili powder

1½ teaspoons cumin

½ teaspoon oregano

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon white pepper

¼ teaspoon red chili flakes

*If Thai basil is not available, use regular basil (though you will lose a bit of the East-meets-Southwest flavor).


  1. In a 4-quart pot, cook onion and garlic in butter over medium heat until onion is tender.
  2. Stir in remaining ingredients and bring just to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  4. Serve.

Tweaks by Phyllis–

This is the recipe as it was printed in the Seattle Times on August 28, 2005, titled “Kathleen Showalter’s White Bean Thai Basil Chicken Chili”. I simply shortened the name because that’s such a mouthful. I have made a few changes to suit my taste. First of all, I always make a triple batch in a huge pot because it gets gobbled up really fast. The chili ends up rather soup-like, so I make a paste of approximately ¼ cup flour to 1 cup cold water and add it to the chili to thicken it after it has cooked thoroughly. Add this gradually to the simmering pot, while stirring to avoid lumps. I also go a bit heavy on the cilantro, basil and lime because that is what makes it so distinctive. My last change to the recipe is to add one 14-oz can of coconut milk (per triple batch) just before serving. You can heat through, but Do Not Boil after adding the coconut milk or it will separate. If you do add the coconut milk, you should use less chicken broth to keep it from becoming too soupy.

Allan’s Chili del Mar

Prep: 15 minutes Cook: 60 minutes Serves: 8 servings

Winner: 1999 Easter Acres Chili Cook-off - Hot

Here is a unique chance to tantalize your palate combining chili and seafood. Usually it can be made peasant style – using whatever comes up in the nets (or is in the refrigerator). It is a tasty combination of salt-water fish and shellfish. Ideally, you should start with a good fish stock, although I used wine and canned vegetable broth.


3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large white and 1 large red onion, diced

7-10 garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 cup cilantro, minced

4 stalks of celery, diced

2 carrot, diced

1 pound large shrimp, peeled, de-veined

1/2 pound of medium scallops

1 pound fillet of fresh salt-water fish (monkfish, sea bass, etc.) cut into bite-sized chunks

1 (32 oz) box of organic vegetable broth and 1 cup dry white wine, or 3 cups of fish stock

2 (14 1/2 oz) cans diced tomatoes

4 jalapeño peppers, cored, seeded, and diced

1/2 medium green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced

1/2 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced

3 tablespoons cornmeal

2 (15 oz) cans small white beans, drained but not rinsed (black beans work good, too)

2 whole bay leaves

1 teaspoon rosemary

3 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon ground cumin

3 tablespoons sambal oelek

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon sea salt

2 teaspoons lemon pepper

Sour cream for optional garnish


  1. In a large heavy-duty pan or flameproof casserole, heat oil over medium heat.
  2. Sauté onions, garlic, celery and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and translucent; about 6 minutes.
  3. Add broth, wine, 1/2 of the cilantro, rosemary, bay leaves, bell peppers, jalapeño peppers, chili powder, oregano, cumin, and sambal oelek, sugar, salt and pepper and stir well to mix. Stir in beans and simmer for about 12 minutes.
  4. Stir in tomatoes, sauce and corn meal; reduce heat to medium-low, stirring often.
  5. Heat until bubbling, then cover, lower heat to low and let cook for about 30 minutes.
  6. Add fish, scallops, and shrimp and simmer until all are opaque when cut in two; about 12 minutes. Add the other half of the cilantro.
    I recommend this step just prior to serving to avoid overcooking the seafood.
  7. Remove from heat. Garnished with sour cream, if desired.


Serving Size: 8 + Preparation Time:2:30 - 3:00

1998 Winner at Easter Acres annual Chili Cook Off - Hot Category

1/2 cup Olive oil

2 Large yellow onions - Chopped -- about 4 cups

8 Medium garlic cloves - Peeled and chopped

10 - 15 Tomatillos - diced

2 tablespoons Cumin

2 tablespoons Chili Powder

3 pounds Boneless pork shoulder - Cut into 1/2" cubes

1/2 cup Flour

5 cups Chicken stock or Canned broth (2 cans Campbell's)


16 oz jar Salsa Verde - Medium Hot

28 ounces Canned diced mild Green chilies

1 can White beans - drained

3/4 cup Cilantro - chopped

4 tablespoons Lime Juice

1 - 4 tablespoons Chipotle Mexican hot sauce

Optional: 1 1/2 tablespoons Dried oregano - Preferably Mexican

  1. Shake pork in bag with flour to coat. In heavy pot, brown pork cubes in two batches in hot oil and cook until pork has lost most of its pink color, stirring as required to prevent excessive sticking. Remove and keep warm.
  2. Heat the remaining 1/4 cup oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook stirring once or twice, for 10 minutes. Stir in diced tomatillos, cumin, and oregano. Cook with occasional stirring for 5 minutes.
  3. Return meat to pot.
  4. Stir in half the chicken stock, 1 tsp of salt, chilies, and salsa. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer covered, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add more chicken stock if mixture becomes too dry.
  5. Add beans, half of cilantro, and 1 Tablespoon Chipotle hot sauce. Add more chicken stock to reach desired consistency. Cook, stirring often, for another 30 to 45 minutes or until the pork is tender and the chili is thickened to your liking. Skim excess fat from surface. Taste for correct seasonings, add Chipotle to desired level of heat, and stir in lime juice and remaining cilantro. Cook another 5 minutes.

The recipes I started from all called for oregano, but I forgot to toss it in. I would have used 2 cans of white beans but we only had one in the pantry. If you don't like beans in yours, just ignore them. I also added one small can medium hot green chilies - just depends on your taste. The Chipotle will add all the heat necessary. I used 2 tablespoons Chipotle in a larger quantity than called for above and one other chili at the cookoff may have been a little hotter. I cooked more because the package of meat was larger than 3 lb but with bones and it was more usable meat than I expected. I also added another medium onion.


First place, Hot, 1988 (year one!)


½ lb. bacon

1 med. yellow onion (chopped)

3 cloves garlic (peeled & chopped)

2 jalapeno peppers ( diced-leave seeds in)

2 red chili peppers ( diced-leave seeds in)

2 habanero peppers ( diced-leave seeds in)

1 ½ lb. chuck or stew beef (1/2 in. cubes)

3 spiced hot, sausage links (cut in ½ in. pieces)

2 cans (14 oz. each) diced tomatoes

1 small can tomato paste

3 tablespoons chili power

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon oregano
1 can of beef broth
(If beans are desired, add ) 1 can of hot chili with beans
1 stick of cinnamon
cayenne, salt, coarse ground black pepper, and sugar to taste after 4 hours of cooking.


  1. Fry bacon in skillet until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp. Save 2 teaspoons fat in skillet. (reserve rest of fat)
  2. Add diced onions, crushed garlic, & peppers and cook until soft ( 10-15 minutes).
  3. Brown beef & sausage in reserved fat in a large pan. Place meat in bowl. Use ½ cup beef broth to deglaze the browning pan.
  4. Add browned beef, soft onions, garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, cinnamon, 1 cup beef broth with cup of deglazing broth in a Crock Pot.
  5. Simmer for at least 8 hours on Low or Auto.
  6. Season to taste with salt, cayenne & black pepper (after 4 hours of cooking).

Opal’s Beef and Bean Chili

‘First place, mild, 1999

2 Lbs ground beef
2 cans kidney beans
2 small cans white or pinto beans
4 cups cooked tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce or paste
1 green pepper, cut up
1 onion cut up

2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1 Tbsp chili powder or more to taste
Red pepper flakes to taste
2 T butter

Brown meat in butter,

Add all the other items, cook slowly for at least two hours.
If cooked tomatoes from a can are used, cut up before adding.
You can add more tomato sauce or paste to either thicken or thin.

Opal Liljegren

Dan’s Chunky Beef Chili

First Place, Hot, 1989, 1990, 2004

2 ½ lbs. boneless beef chuck – trim and cut into ½ inch pieces

2 cups onion, coarsely chopped

1 cup green pepper, coarsely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 T cooking oil

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups or more beef broth

2 28 oz. cans Italian plum tomatoes, cut up and undrained

(or the equivalent of fresh tomatoes)

3 T chili powder

2 T fresh oregano, chopped, or 2 t dried

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 6 oz. can tomato paste to thicken

1 cup or more red wine


Kidney beans


  1. Brown beef, onion, green pepper and garlic in oil in large pot. Pour off drippings as they accumulate. Sprinkle salt over beef.
  2. Add tomatoes, beef broth, seasonings and tomato paste. Cover and cook slowly 1 ½ hours or until beef is tender.
  3. Add wine and drained beans if desired and continue cooking, uncovered, 20 – 30 minutes.
  4. Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese, chopped onion, chopped avocado, sour cream, as desired.

At the 2008 chili cook off we handed out recipe books of past winning chili. This is one that didn't make the book. It was a winner in the mild category for several years.

Avis’ Chili

Fry: 5 slices of bacon (cut into small pieces).

Pour off the excess fat.

Add: One medium sized onion chopped fine

1 lb. hamburger

Brown this mixture.

Add: 1 large can tomatoes

chili powder--1 to 2 T. (to taste)

Add: 2 15 oz. cans of beans

(I like to use Busch brand for one and a seasoned kind for the other)

2 T. brown sugar

1 T. vinegar

Simmer until flavors are blended.


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