This year, City Hall's Human Resource Department hosted a Chili competition. Kristy Conner and Allison Hudson from the Finance Department partnered to make the winning chili. Here, they share their secrets:
Q: How many other entries did you compete against?
A: I think around twelve.
Q: Did you think competition was stiff?
A: Definitely! There are some major cooks throughout this City and they all showed up for the chili cook-off. Jeremy Wallace's white chicken chili was incredible, all the competitors brought their A game! Larry, our City Manager, also competed with his own recipe this year. In some cultures, the boss always wins things like this.
Q: So, are you ok with beating the boss?
A: Yes, Larry is always good sport. Although, I'd say he makes a better City Manager than Chef! Larry is always really great about showing up, participating and supporting his staff, so even though he didn't take the gold, he should definitely get an "Honorable Mention."
Q: What is one or two things that you think set your chili apart?
A: We really wanted to do a healthy chili that didn't leave you feeling stuffed! We chose a low-carb, gluten-free chili, full of beans and veggies. Our chili was thicker than most of the competitors and we weren't sure if that was going to work in our favor or not, luckily it did! Kristy is a stickler for good ingredients, instead of using a store bought taco seasoning that is usually full of preservatives, sodium and mystery ingredients, Kristy uses fresh spices she buys wholesale at Sam's.
Q: What advice would you give to other chili chefs out there?
A: Always wash and rinse those canned beans really well. Chili is one of those items that needs to be refrigerated overnight so that all those ingredients can meld together. Don't be afraid to tweak a recipe!
Kristy and Allie's Chili Recipe
2 pounds ground beef 90% lean
2 can (16 ounces) Dark Red Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (6-1/2 ounces small can) kernel yellow corn rinsed and drained
1 large onion, diced
1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes and green chilies, un-drained
1 can (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, un-drained
1 can (14 ounces) Tomato Juice-Original
1 Teaspoon Garlic-minced or one garlic clove pressed with garlic press
1 Teaspoon Seasoned Salt
1 Teaspoon Cumin
2 Tablespoons Taco Seasoning
2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
2 Tablespoons dried parsley flakes
1 Teaspoon pepper
1 Teaspoon Oregano
1 Teaspoon sea salt
In a large skillet, placed diced onions and beef in skillet and cook beef until no longer pink. Placed cooked meat and onions in like a 5 quart pot. Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a small boil and reduce heat to a low simmer for 2 hours uncovered.
Helpful hint: Once cooled down refrigerate and serve the next day. Once it sits overnight in the refrigerator the seasonings taste better the next day.