Webster keeps it simple. “Chili: noun; a thick sauce of meat and chilies.”
Maryville Rotary spices it up a bit, all the while keeping the need for dictionaries in mind.
The 2009 Rotary Club of Maryville Chili Cook-Off is a day filled with creative cooking, good eating, mellow music and spicy fund raising. Through their annual cook-off, the club raises money to purchase 1,600 dictionaries to give to every third-grade student in Blount County and Maryville City schools.
This year’s Cook-off is 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24, at The Shed at Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson & Buell. Money is raised by team entry fees and sponsorships, and the club is taking entries through Friday afternoon. Music will be a live show by Slow Joe Crow.
Rotarian Jeff Eberting encouraged everyone to come out and have fun at the Shed while also enjoying some good chili. The competition between contestants should be entertaining as well. The contest has judges and a People’s Choice award will be awarded as well. The People’s Choice will be decided by public vote of those attending the event and sampling the chili.
A best decorated booth competition will give the event an even more festive flare. Rotarian Samantha Andersen said the event will be a fun time for families.
“We’re trying to make it like a carnival atmosphere with inflatables for the kids,” said Andersen.
Rotarian John Huffman said that while the main purpose of the event is to support the dictionary project, seeing the community come and enjoy the day is an added benefit.
“It’s always good to get the community together while doing something nice for kids,” Huffman said.
Tickets, which include sampling the chili, are $7.
Check in for the team competition is 11 a.m. Sampling and voting for People’s Choice Award and for the judges begins at 2 p.m. Winners will be announced at 3 p.m.
Teams will serve tastes of the chili to the public as well as to the judges. A contestant’s meeting will be held at 11:30 am Saturday for final instructions for the competing teams.
Each team must cook a minimum of four gallons of chili. Entry fee is $50 per team.
Chili will be judged on texture, flavor, consistency, spice and taste, aroma and color.
For more information, go to www.maryvillerotary.org.
Below are a couple of recipes sure to tempt your taste buds.
John Huffman’s Basic Chili
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped, divided
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 habanero peppers, seeded and minced
2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped green onion
3 (15 ounce) cans chili beans
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes (Hunts Fire Roasted)
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste or puree
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (12 ounce) bottle beer
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1 cup water
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Cook ground beef and pork in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the meat is crumbly, evenly browned, and no longer pink. Drain and discard any excess grease.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in 3/4 of the onion and all of the green pepper, habanero pepper, jalapeno pepper and garlic. Cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir the drained meat into the onion mixture along with the green onion, chili beans, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, beer and water.
Sprinkle with the cornmeal, then season with chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper.
Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat to medium-low.
Simmer at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate overnight.
Reheat the over medium heat until it begins to simmer again.
Top with cheese and remaining chopped onion.
If you like your chili hot, try this spicy chili recipe from Jeff Eberting.
Jeff Eberting’s Hot & Spicy Chili
12 oz tomato paste
16 oz tomato sauce
3 24oz cans red kidney beans (drained)
6 Tablespoons garlic powder
3 Tablespoons onion powder
2 Tablespoons ground cumin
2 Tablespoons parsley
2 Teaspoons oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon chipotle powder
1 teaspoon habanero chile powder
1 medium onion, chopped
4 whole red habaneros (deveined, deseeded and chopped)
6 jalepenos (deveined, deseeded and chopped)
2 New Mexican chiles (deveined, deseeded and chopped)
1/2 pound elbow macaroni
1 pound steak of choice
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
6 oz beer (1/2 can)
Saute the onion in a small amount of olive oil in a large pot until translucent. Bring to a simmer tomato paste, tomato sauce, kidney beans, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper, chipotle powder, habanero powder, habaneros, jalapenos, New Mexican chiles and dry pasta. while this is simmering, grill steak and brown beef and pork in a large skillet.
Drain the meat, and season with salt and pepper. Cut steak into very small pieces, and add steak, beef and pork to sauce along with beer. Cook for 30 minutes. Serve with grated cheese and chopped onions.