NKADD Chili Cook Off

I’m not sure if I like this whole header image thing. This might be a one time thing.

Today is the NKADD’s Super Bowl Chili cook off. I expected fewer participants. As of 10:00a (the last time I updated this post) I saw at least 14 other chili competitors.

my chili
My entry into the cook off.

I love making chili in winter, especially during cold weather like we’re experiencing now. (Cold weather, not polar vortex, just cold). I make three kinds of ‘chili,’ Cincinnati/greek style, six bean, and winter warmer. Today I made my winter warmer chili. Its based on a heavily modified version of a recipe I found on PBS. Doubling the turkey and spices, adding tomato paste and another type of beans are among the changes I make. I also have a few secret additions that, I think, give my chili a bit more flavor depth. It’s definitely a hot chili since I switch out the recommended peppers for cayenne.

The six bean chilis is a modified version of a knock-off Wendy’s Chili recipe. I add extra varieties of beans to give it more mass on the cheap (feeds more people that way). I also tend to skip the celery, I’m not a big fan of how it tastes and I don’t think it adds much to the chili.

Some of the competition.
Some of the competition.

Cincinnati or greek-style chili is the chili of my people. I’m Greek on my mother’s side, and I grew up eating Cincinnati style chili without really knowing that it was really popular here. As fate would have it, I moved to Cincinnati the place where the most popular foods remind me of home. My own Greek chili recipe is all in my head and has few measurements. I will not even try to recreate it here as its more a system of spice-and-taste with a few key ingredients that any skyline recipe is going to have. One thing I do want to mention though, putting your onions into a food processor and slow cooking them until the essentially dissolve adds nice flavor to a greek style chili without scaring off folks that are adverse to onions.

In case you’re interested, here is my current chili recipe (though I’ll be making more changes to it soon!)

I think I remember you saying you liked my chili, in case you were interested here’s a copy of my recipe:

Recipe: Spatholt’s Chili
Prep Time: 10 min(s) | Cook Time: 20 min(s) + Overnight

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium/large sweet onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 pound ground turkey or lean ground beef

Start with the smaller amount and go to taste:
2-4 tablespoons chili powder
1-2 tablespoon cumin
1-2 teaspoon oregano
1/2-1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1-2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (or more)
A good toss of cinnamon (to taste)

1/2-1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2-1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes
1 (16 ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (16 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (16 ounce) can of mild chili beans
3 chicken bouillon cubes or 3 chicken concentrate
1-2 teaspoons of molasses
Optional toppings: Sour cream, shredded cheese, thinly sliced green onions


Heat the olive oil in a soup pot on medium high heat OR in a crock pot set to high or brown.

Add the onions and cook a few minutes until softened, stirring occasionally.

Add the garlic, and cook for one minute before adding the ground turkey, chili powder, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, and cayenne chili powder. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the tomatoes, kidney beans, black beans, salt and pepper. Crush the tomatoes while they are cooking with a wooden spoon. Add the chili beans, cinnamon, and molasses

Add the water and bouillon cubes and cook the chili on high for 10-15 minutes until the liquid has noticeably reduced.

Add optional toppings and/or serve immediately OR let it sit on warm in your crock pot over night.

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