The 2012 Rose Bowl Chili Cookoff
“Hey, Uncle Leo, you should come over for the Rose Bowl. We’re going to have a chili cook-off. You can’t bring anything
in a can, though.” That was motivation enough.
There were four judges and 10 entrants. The taste-testing was double-blind. The judges didn’t know what they were testing. And the administrators didn’t know what they were serving. Legit cook-off.
Of course, I waited until last minute to start cooking. It didn’t matter because this recipe is surprisingly quick to make.
At the time, I wasn’t a full-blown amateur chef like I am now. So I was fortunate to have the guidance of a girl I used to know. I got all the credit, but she was the one who suggested adding the secret ingredient that all the judges were asking about: Cinnamon.
Even though the Wisconsin Badgers lost, this recipe won grand prize. Yup.
My Take on Chili Seasoning
Don’t use packaged crap from the grocery store. All you’re buying is pre-packaged chili powder with way too much salt. Not to mention, there’s probably ingredients you can’t pronounce used as preservatives.
Without trying too hard, making your own seasoning is easy. Chili powder, salt, pepper, onions, garlic, jalapenos. My secret chili seasonings (cinnamon and beer) are good, too.
And, it goes without saying, don’t buy canned chili. Ever. You might not make it alive the next day. And if you do, you’re evening in the bathroom will not be fun. Canned tomatoes are cool and they’re used in the recipe.
Good talk and go make some chili. Feel free to take all the credit for this recipe at your next chili-cookoff. A win is a win.
This chili recipe won grand prize at the 2012 Rose Bowl Chili Cook-off. Easy to make and has one secret ingredient.
- vegan crumbled meat - 1 lb
- white kidney beans - 1 can
- black beans - 1 can
- diced tomatoes - 2 cans (14.5 oz each)
- tomato paste - 1 can (6 oz each)
- hot Mexican chili powder - 1 Tbsp.
- onion powder - 1 tsp.
- cinnamon - 1/2 tsp.
- almond milk - 1/8 cup
- multi grain chips - 1 cup (or any kind of tortilla chips that can be crushed, just not Sun chips)
- beer - 1/2 cup (any lager will do)
- salt - to taste
- pepper - to taste
- jalapeno peppers - a few fresh ones (not crucial but makes it much better)
- extra virgin olive oil - 1 Tbsp.
- Chop jalapeno peppers (they’re fun to chop with a chef’s knife, but be careful not to rub your eyes after)
- Crush multi grain chips (blending them is easiest. my vitamix turns them into dust in two seconds)
- Add some extra virgin olive oil (1T) to large pan on medium heat.
- Cook meat crumbles with onion powder, salt, pepper for about 5 min.
- Add cooked meat and rest of the ingredients to a dutch oven or crock pot.
- Mix around and cook for 30 minutes or so.
- Enjoy with friends.
- Be happy.
NOTE: This recipe was posted before veganizing the site. It won the chili contest with ground turkey, but is great with vegan meat crumbles or without. Try it with some Beyond Meat!