The Chili Cookoff

We had our church's annual chili cookoff this past weekend. I clearly remember last year's because we had only been here for a few weeks and I had to work that night. I took my supper break right as it started so I could sample everything and get back in time to get the paper out.

 This time was different because I specifically had the night off and I made two different kinds of chili. One was my meatless chili, which uses soy burger crumbles instead of hamburger. It's one of my personal favorites, but it's definitely a different taste and texture.

The second batch was a variation on a pork chili that I absolutely adore. Apparently the judges did, too, because it won first place in the mild category. I have included the recipe at the bottom of this post so you can try it and judge for yourself.

And the next best thing to chili - the dessert table! We have so many wonderful cooks and bakers in our church that I am truly humbled. Humbled enough to try as many samplings as humanly possible without exploding. I believe I succeeded.

I have a plan for next year's entry in the "hot" category. I'll let you know how that turns out. I imagine it will need some practice in the coming months, don't you?

Pork and Salsa Chili

1 pound ground pork
1 16-oz jar chunky salsa
1 15-oz can red beans, mostly drained
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
chili powder to taste

1. Brown meat in a large pot and drain.

2. Stir in salsa, beans, sauce and chili powder.

3. Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes.

4. Serve immediately or transfer to a slow-cooker and keep warm until time to serve. (I kept mine simmering for about 6 hours and then took it to the church. Hmmm...maybe that's the key?)


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