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Heat it up at Chili Fest

Sep. 11, 2013 @ 06:52 AM

HUNTINGTON -- No beans about it, things are currently simmering and expected to get hotter as the 30th annual ChiliFest gets under way at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14 in downtown Huntington.

Registration is from 8 to 9:30 a.m.

Whether one's taste buds like a little heat or a full blaze, the American classic can be sampled at this year's International Chili Society's sanctioned West Virginia State Chili Championship at Pullman Square in the categories of ICS Red Chili, Chili Verde and Salsa.

The charity cookoff, sponsored by Chili Willi's and WSAZ, is open to current ICS members in good standing or register to be an ICS member before cooking. A one-year membership is $50. Registration fee for the cookoff is $40 ICS Red; $35 Chili Verde and $10 Salsa. Commercial entries entering in the People's Choice category is $100. Proceeds benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Tri-State.

Chili sample tickets are $1 each or six for $5.

First through fifth-place winners are chosen for the ICS Red Chili, with the first place receiving $1,500, a Grand Champion Blenko Glass trophy and representation of West Virginia at the 2013 ICS World's Chili Championship in Palm Springs, Calif. First- through third-place winners are chosen in the Chili Verde and Salsa categories, with first place winning money, a trophy and going to the championship in California.

Best Booth/Showmanship Award is presented to the team best displaying the spirit of the event. Booths are judged in display, costume and spirit. People's Choice goes to the team selling the most People's Choice chili and collects the greatest number of sample tickets. The hardest working chili team gets $100 and a trophy.

Judges are Bob McClain, head; Eileen McLain, scorekeeper; and Ron Smith, chairman.

Other activities available at the event include kids' korner, entertainment, hot pepper eating, beer drinking and shot 'n holler contests and more.

These recipes are from "Taste of Home:"


1 tablespoon olive oil

3 medium onions, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 cups cubed cooked chicken or turkey

2 (15-ounce) cans white kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2 cups chicken broth

1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

Optional toppings: corn chips, shredded Monterey Jack cheese and sour cream

In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions; cook and stir until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Transfer to 3-quart slow cooker. Stir in chicken, beans, broth, chilies and dry seasonings. Cook, covered, on low 6-8 hours or until heated through. Stir in cilantro. If desired, serve with corn chips, cheese and sour cream.


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 medium sweet yellow pepper, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15-ounce) can solid-pack pumpkin

1 (141/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained

3 cups chicken broth

21/2 cups cubed cooked turkey

2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes

2 teaspoons chili powder

11/2 teaspoons ground cumin

11/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

Cubed avocado and thinly sliced green onions, optional

In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and pepper; cook and stir until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Transfer to 5-quart slow cooker; stir in remaining ingredients. Cook, covered, on low 4-5 hours. If desired, top with avocado and green onions.


2 cups cubed cooked pork

1 (16-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15-ounce) can chili with beans, undrained

1 (141/2-ounce) can stewed tomatoes

11/2 to 2 cups green salsa

1 large onion, chopped

2 (4-ounce) cans chopped green chilies

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro

2 teaspoons ground cumin

In large saucepan, combine ingredients. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes or until heated through.

These two "chili" recipes are taken from "Our Favorite Recipes: 130th Anniversary of Milton Baptist Church," submitted by Bobby McKinney and the Mercers, respectively:


1 pound ground beef

1 green pepper, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

2 (1-pound) cans red kidney beans

1 (1-pound) can tomatoes

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

1 to 11/2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon paprika

Dash of cayenne

1 bay leaf

Brown first three ingredients in small amount of oil, if needed. Add beans and remaining ingredients. Cover; simmer 1 ? hours.


2 pounds ground beef

2 cups chopped onion

2 teaspoons garlic salt

2 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce

2 cups water

2 cups chili sauce

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

3 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon mace

1 (16-ounce) package spaghetti, cooked

1 (40-ounce) can kidney beans

Shredded cheese (sharp cheddar)

Sour cream

Oyster crackers

Brown first three ingredients; drain. Stir in next 12 ingredients. Bring to boil, reduce heat; cover and simmer 20 minutes. Add kidney beans; cook additional 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour chili over cooked spaghetti; add shredded cheese and large dollop of sour cream. Add oyster crackers to suit.


1 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon dill weed

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 package original Ranch mix

Mix ingredients together. Pour over two (12-ounce) bags of oyster crackers. Mix well and let set 1 hour.