Nothing Says “Happy Holidays” Like Chili – At Geonetric, Anyway…

Our annual Chili Cook-Off is written in the history books, but the memory of our winning chili might still be lingering on the taste buds of those who attended.

We crowned a new chili winner this year – our own Irene Schultz, who walked away with two of the five chili awards this year – Best Overall and Spiciest Chili.  Irene’s sassy and so was her bold Texas-inspired chili! It won over the taste buds of our judges and many of our employees. We had a total of eight contestants this year, with recipes that included everything from beer and coffee to chocolate and gouda cheese. The Cook-Off is always one of our favorite employee events – it not only lets everyone share some of their creativity, it gives us a chance to join together before we depart for our holiday celebrations.

For those of you who would like to try the 2010 Geonetric Chili Cook-Off winning recipe in your own home, it’s listed at the bottom of this post.

Our annual Geonetric Chili Cook-Off has come to an end, but I know our resident chiliologists are already concocting their recipes for next year’s event. Here’s to all our chili contestants and their great work!

Wishing you all many happy traditions this holiday season and very spicy 2011!

2010 Geonetric Chili Cook-Off Winning Recipe: Texas (but with beans) Chili

  • 4-6 (14.5oz) cans of beans, your choice (I used 2 cans of black, 2 cans of chili beans, and 1 can of dark red kidney beans)
  • 2 (14oz) cans of tomatoes (I used fire roasted tomatoes; you can always add more!)
  • 1.5-2 pounds meat NOT ground (I like to use big chunks of chicken)
  • 1 large onion; chunks, not chopped finely
  • 1 (4oz) can of green chilies
  • 2 coarsely chopped poblanos (no seeds)
  • 4 medium chipotles in adobo sauce, chopped, with seeds
  • 1-2 tsp black pepper
  • 1-2 tsp cumin
  • 1 Tbs garlic (or to taste… more or less, either way)
  • 5 Tbs regular chili powder
  • 1 Tbs hot chili powder

Mix ingredients together until well combined.

For shorter cooking time, use a stock pot.  Boil for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring frequently.  Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently.

For crock pot preparation, use the low setting for 8-10 hours or high setting for 4-6 hours.

Garnish with sharp cheddar (the sharper the better), scallions, and oyster crackers.  A side with hot cornbread drizzled with butter and honey fits perfectly.

Chicken cooking tip: Don’t brown chunked meat (chicken, steak, pork or turkey) before cooking it in the chili. It’ll cook well without that extra heat time; this keeps it moist and tender.

Other ideas: feel free to lessen the amount of chili powder for a milder chili.  For a hotter chili, try to add more peppers instead of chili powder.  The objective with this chili was to create a smoky slow fuse chili that eases you into the bowl instead of smacking you in the face with hot hot heat.

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Anne Ohrt

About Anne Ohrt

As the human resources manager, Anne welcomes every new employee to Geonetric with a smiling face and goes out of her way to make sure every employee feels at home. She is involved daily with recruiting and training employees, as well as coordinating internal communications and managing employee benefits. Anne is the mastermind behind the fun and engaging internal events and parties, and she takes a lead role in organizing the company’s annual client event, the eHealth Symposium.

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