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Keep Calm and Chili On

  • 9/9/2016 4:53:00 AM
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Keep Calm and Chili On

When it comes to Equipment Maintenance Management Programs, Remi is no doubt the leading expert. Just check out all our published articles. But when it comes to competitive chili cook-offs, what comes to mind? Probably not Remi again. Did you know that we recently held our 4th Chili Cook-Off? It’s one of the most popular events at the company.


This year, we had nine entries and contestants were asked to name their chili creations. Employees got creative – names included: Wholly Frijoles, Reigning Champ Chili (clearly last year’s winner), Crazy Pineapple Chili, Gretchen Wiener’s Chili (an ode to Mean Girls), Homer’s Revenge, Not Just Chili, Chili Chili Bang Bang, White Chicken Chili, and Carolina Chili.


A panel of six judges took their job very seriously. They tasted and re-tasted all the chilies, then voted on a scale of 1-5, with one being their least favorite and 5 being their favorite. First place was awarded to Homer’s Revenge, second place went to Crazy Pineapple Chili, and third was Gretchen Wiener’s Chili. The winners received a full vacation day, a half-day vacation, or permission to leave work an hour early, respectively.


After the winners were announced, employees were invited to enjoy a bowl or two or three of chili for lunch. One contestant remarked, “Aye Chihuahua! I am soooo full! Remi has some terrific cooks and this was so much fun and so tasty too! Looking forward to next year!” Wholly Frijole creator.


A couple of the winners also provided their chili recipes. Below is the recipe for 1st place winner, Homer’s Revenge:

Sautee 2 pounds of ground hamburger. Add in 1 small chopped onion and garlic salt to taste and cook about 5 more minutes. In a large crockpot, mix the meat with onions, 1 large can of light red kidney beans and dark red kidney beans (drain and rinse), 3-4 small cans of pinto bean (drain and rinse), 2 medium cans of diced tomatoes, 1 medium can of crushed tomatoes, then chili powder, cumin, black pepper, salt, thyme, onion powder, brown sugar, ketchup, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes all to taste. Cut one rack of raw ribs however necessary to fit them into a stock pot and boil in brine (very salty water) for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350°, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, lay the ribs out and bake for 1 hour. Shred the ribs and add to the chili; simmer for 1 hour or until you're ready to eat. If too salty, add table sugar to balance out.


Here’s the recipe for 2nd place winner, Crazy Pineapple Chili: In a non-stick skillet over medium heat, cook 20 oz. sweet and/or spicy sausage (casings removed) and 1 medium chopped onion, stirring to crumble sausage.  Once sausage is cooked through, drain off any fat and transfer the sausage and onions to crockpot. Drain 1 20 oz. can of pineapple tidbits, reserving both the juice and the fruit separately.  Add the juice to the crockpot.  Cover and store the fruit in the fridge.  Add 2 28 oz. cans of seasoned diced tomatoes, 1 15 oz. can of black beans (drain and rinse), 1 16 oz. can of tomato paste, 1.5-2 tablespoons of chili powder, 4 teaspoons of cumin, and 2 garlic cloves to crockpot. Stir everything to combine. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, adding reserved pineapple during the last hour or two of cooking, or cook on high for 4-5 hours, adding pineapple during last ½ hour to hour of cooking. Cooking tip: if you’re “put-off” by having chunks of fruit in your chili, just blend the tidbits before adding to the crockpot.


“I want to thank the judges for liking my chili! This was actually a new recipe for me – I tested it out beforehand and then made a couple tweaks to it before preparing the batch for the contest. After tasting Homer’s Revenge chili, I will definitely add one more tweak…brown sugar. I think that will add a nice touch,” remarks the creator of the Crazy Pineapple Chili.


Since fall is right around the corner, post your favorite chili recipe. If you decide to make one of our winning chili recipes, Homer’s Revenge or Crazy Pineapple Chili, please leave a review in the comments. We’d love to know what you think!


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