A Chill In the Air, Award-Winning Chili On the Stove

It may be pretty humid and hot this week, but the first day of autumn, September 23, is right around the corner. I swear I even felt a bit of a chill in the air the other night, and that made me hungry for a big pot of chili.

Lucky for us, we have a big, spicy batch of excellent chili recipes, courtesy of the award winners of the AllSpice chili contest, last month at the 2019 Iowa State Fair!

The blue-ribbon, first prize winner, Jeffrey K. of Newton (pictured, above), shared his recipe for Colorado-Style Pork Chili, made with Poblano chilies, pork tenderloin, coriander and Mexican oregano.  He roasts the Poblanos over an open flame, and sears the meat and sautes the vegetables on the stove, before finishing the chili in the oven. It fills the whole house with a delicious smell by the time it’s done!

Second place went to Rebecca H. of West Des Moines, who created a Sweet Potato, Poblano, and Chorizo Chili that was out of this world, including a recipe for making your own homemade chorizo.  The natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes balance out the fire of the chorizo and the spices (including Guajillo, de Arbol, and Poblano chilies). The finishing touch of goat cheese, melted into the soup, is perfect.

“My Spice Level” AllSpice Chili by Pamela R. of Norwalk took third place in our 2019 Chili contest. It’s a straight-ahead chili with ground beef and canned tomatoes and beans, but with a twist: she takes one can of white beans and purees them, before mixing them in with the other beans, meat and seasonings. Her spice blend recipe, which includes Ancho Chile, Cumin, and our Chile-Coffee Rub is marvelous, and you can, as her chili name suggests, adjust the amount to suit your heat / spiciness preferences.

To accommodate the preferences of the vegetarian and vegan folks in our lives (and to give us even more recipe options), we also awarded two ribbons in the Vegetarian Chili category:

First prize for vegetarian chili went to Sara C. of Des Moines, whose Miso Chili was a wonderful medley of sauteed vegetables (baby corn, beans, peppers, onions, tomatoes and green tomatillos), in a bouillon and red miso broth. The chili is spiced with chili powder and cumin, along with Gumbo File Powder and Chinese Five Spice blend. The end result is so good!

Bridget L. of Norwalk won second place for her excellent Vegetarian Chili. Her recipe starts with oven-roasted carrots, which go into a broth with tomatoes and Italian Seasoning Blend, which works really well with the subsequent additions of onion, bell pepper, and beans. The spices also included a combination of Paprika, Chipotle Brown Powder, Cumin, Cayenne, and Chili Powder for a rich-but-not-overly-spicy chili.

You can find all our award-winning 2019 Iowa State Fair recipes at this link.