When the days get blustery and John Madden’s face fills my television screen, there is only one food I yearn for: Chili. I don’t know whose genius idea this was, but I do know that football goes hand in hand with a good bowl of Indiana Jones face melting chili. And that’s doubly true on Super Bowl Day.
So as the Saints traveled to Miami for their very first Super Bowl last Sunday, GrubHub.com employees fired up their crock pots for the company’s very first Chili cook-off. The competition was fierce and all seven entrants brought their culinary A-game to the table.
All morning long, walking past the Rock Band room was an exercise in will power. The smells of bubbling tomatoes, chili pepper, and other spicy goodness emanating through the office made the noon lunch hour seem like eons away. Fortunately, the wide variety of chilis did not disappoint and everyone agreed there wasn’t a bad entry on the table. We had a seafood chili courtesy of our social networking diva, Amy L., a brown sugar & beer infused veggie chili from our marketing maven, Mandy, a veritable veggie cornucopia (with those aforementioned Indiana Jones face melting properties) from the web interface guru, Josh, a classic meat chili entry from our head honcho, Matt, and the crazy cats over in Data represented big time with a Cincinnati sweet chili from Brittany, a classic bean filled vegetarian chili from Jen, and a green tomatillo chicken chili from Daniel.
Everyone had to vote for one meat chili and one vegetarian chili. And in a contest that was nearly as nail-biting as the Super Bowl (up until that big ol’ interception…), the second place vegetarian chili came down to a blind taste test by the one person who had not yet voted for a veggie chili. Josh & Jen grasped hands like they were in a Miss America Pageant as Amy covered her eyes and got spoon-fed the top two vegetarian chilis giving Jen the vote she needed to take second place. While founding padre, Matt Maloney, took home first prize with the most votes out of all the chilis.
I think it is safe to say that this contest was the first but definitely not the last.
Mayer’s 3 IPA Ancho Chili
This was originally my father’s chili handed down to me when I moved out of the house. Over the last ten years I’ve extended his original recipe to include influences from a Mexican mole and South Indian curries. If you’re hit with inspiration when cooking this recipe, follow it and see where you end up. If you like it, let me know and if you don’t… well hopefully you enjoyed the IPA’s.
2 lb thick gauge ground chuck (2x standard grind)
4 strips thick cut bacon
3 IPA’s chilled
2 dried ancho chilis (rinsed)
1 knuckle of garlic
4 large yellow onions
2 jalapeno peppers
4 large green peppers
3 large red peppers
2 15oz cans of kidney beans
2 15oz cans of cantinelli beans
2 28oz cans of diced tomatoes
1 28 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes
3 Tbs chili powder
~2 Tbs coarse kosher salt
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp cinnamon
Plenty of red pepper flakes
JEN’S LAZY VEGETARIAN CHILI
1 medium onion, diced
1 tblsp olive oil
1 can diced tomatoes w/ garlic & onion
1 can diced tomatoes w/ jalapenos (Ro-Tel works well)
1 can (16oz) can tomato sauce
1 can pinto beans, drained & rinsed
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1/3 cup dry TVP (or you can use 1 cup of frozen Veggie Crumbles)
1 tblsp chili powder
1 tsp McCormick’s Chipotle Chili Powder
1/2 tsp cumin