Click an image to see an enlargement. Click the name of a winning chile entry to view/print the recipe.

The Winner Is:

Now really.  There were eight entries from four contestants. In addition to Jonathan's three entries, Katie Pasko, also a previous winner at international competitions, had two dishes. Elmer Coney and Marilyn Heiss each entered one dish.  And they were all delicious.  How did Jonathan win three?  Huh?

But the ambiance was more important than the entries and winners.  A good time was had by all.  And Mimi had so much help from Jan, Marge, and Rob, that she couldn't even complain about all the company that Lily had invited.



5 lbs first cut chuck
2 one pound cans whole tomatoes
2 large onions, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic minced
3-4 oz. (to taste) chili powder *  
1 heaping teaspoon ground cumin**    (Optional)
1 heaping teaspoon ground coriander  (Optional)
1 heaping teaspoon oregano                (Optional)
1-2 teaspoons jalapeño powder (to taste)
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
½ lb. coarse ground chuck
1/4 lb. ground pork

  1. Cube chuck into pieces about the size of a thumbnail.  This can best be achieved by freezing the meat and dicing while it is partially frozen.
  2. Brown cubed chuck in a little oil or in a no stick pan
  3. Crush tomatoes with fingers and put in Dutch Oven or large heavy pot
  4. Add next 8 ingredients
  5. Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 3-4 hours.
  6. Add ground chuck and pork about 1 hour before the end of cooking.

* For best results, use Reno Red Chili Powder.  Available from Stewart Chili Company: P.O. Box 1533 Kemah, TX 77565. Toll Free: 877-736-6733.

** For an extra taste sensation: toast whole cumin seeds in a hot dry skillet.  Grind in a spice grinder.  Add ½ of the cumin at the start and the other ½ about 30 minutes before finish.  This adds a toasty smoky flavor.

This recipe was featured in the March 1995 issue of Food and Wine Magazine.


3 lbs cubed boneless pork shoulder (Chicken can be substituted)
1 can non-fat chicken broth
1 15 oz. jar nopalitos (available in a Latin American food store) drained
21/2 lbs tomatillos chopped
2-3 large onion chopped
4-5 cloves garlic chopped
2 t ground cumin
1 t salt
½ t jalapeno powder or cayenne pepper
4 small cans chopped green chilies (or 1 cup chopped roasted green chilies)
Juice of 3-4 lemons
1 can white or yellow Hominy (optional)
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

1. Place all ingredients except hominy and cilantro in pot and simmer for 2-3 hours.

2. Add hominy to chili verde and cook 30 minutes.

3. Add cilantro.  Cook 5 minutes and serve.

4. Serve with rice and corn bread

NOTE: Can substitute chicken for pork


1 lb. white beans
1 lb. black beans
1 lb. kidney beans
1 lb. lentils
6-8 carrots, cut into rounds
6-7 green peppers chopped
3/4 cup bulgur
1/2 cup wheat berries
2-3 large onions chopped
6 cloves garlic minced
Lots of liquid (beef or chicken broth, tomato juice, water, tomato sauce)
2-3 cups chili powder*
2 T whole cumin seeds

  1. Soak beans over night in water
  2. Bring beans to boil and simmer for one hour
  3. Cook wheat berries as you would rice.
  4. Heat 2 cups tomato juice.  When just starting to boil remove from heat and stir in bulgur.  Let stand for 15-20 minutes
  5. Add vegetables, wheat berries and bulgur to beans.  Add liquid as necessary.  (Will absorb a LOT of liquid)  Add chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste.  If too mild add cayenne pepper to taste
  6. Toast whole cumin seeds on top of stove in a dry pan.  Stir continually   When toasted, but not burnt, remove from heat and cool.  Grind in a spice grinder or mill and add powder to chili.  Will produce a nice smoky flavor.
  7. Cook for 3 hours.  Stir frequently to prevent burning.  Add more liquid if needed.  
  8. Can use other vegetables as the spirit moves you.

* for best results use Reno Red chili mix.  Available from Stewart Chili Company: P.O. Box 1533 Kemah, TX 77565. Toll Free: 877-736-6733 (reno red).

NOTE: This makes a LOT of chili.  You can eliminate one type of bean or halve the amount of beans and lentils.