Monday, March 23, 2009

Champion White Fajita Chili with a Lid!

How can I keep this short??

It was the best of chili; it was the worst of chili.

Happily, mine was included among the best! Haha.

Yes, I did indeed win the 2009 Commonway Chili Cook-off in Memory of Chris Dennis (pictured far right) and to raise funds for ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease).

Chris, a member of our church, was in his early twenties when diagnosed with ALS. I met him when he helped me on the middle school ministry team. After a brave fight and with a heart ready to begin eternity with Jesus, Chris passed away last fall. He would have had another birthday about a week ago.

In his memory, Commonway held this event, and Chris's parents and brother, among others, judged the chili entries, of which there were about 17.

Several of you sent me chili recipes, which I appreciated SO MUCH, and I considered them all. I made five batches in the week preceding the event, and I finally settled on one that I believe is my own original concoction -er- recipe, although none of the ingredients is exactly unique to a dish like this (Mexican).

Oh, the excitement was thick Saturday night in the building as the organizers announced, "Judging will begin in two minutes; please step away from your chili NOW!"

It was just like Food Network!

In the pics, the guy who looks like a drunk Hawaiian Elvis is not really drunk; he's just a Hawaiian Elvis. Actually, he is a former high school classmate who gave his life to Jesus many years ago. He's an Ironman competitor and marathoner. He pushed Chris's wheelchair in the Indy Mini, and you will see this picture on Jim's monitor. And Jim, next time you enter a chili contest, don't talk smack, esp. if you're going to open a couple cans of HORMEL!

I want to tell you about my display because it's hard to read, and then you can see the pics and the recipe.

On the left panel, it says, "Oh the audacity of chili to be THIS good!" and the recipe is posted below that. In the middle, you will see my man Obama (NOT) and his famous "Yes We Can" quote, with the President apparently holding a white plastic spoon ready to dig into some chili. I added "Win this Chili Cook-off" under his "Yes we can!"

On the right, I have three tag lines: "Vote for Change [white chili vs. red chili]; "No pork in this recipe!" [as in economic stimulus package]; and "Natural Stimilus" [due to beans]. At the bottom is my pic and the caption, "I'm Linda Crow, and I approve of this shameless plea for votes." At the front of my table, I had small baggies full of peppermint Life Savers [for breath], Tums EX [for gas] and small bottles of water [to tame the tingle].

So that's it! Thanks so much. If you make this chili, please let me know if you like it. By the way, I think the fresh lime juice makes ALL the difference! PS: I have no clue why my bangs did the curtains-parting thing, unless it was somehow a lame attempt showcase the chili. But who has time for vanity when one's chili is about to win a contest? Was Aunt Bea vain? I should think not!




So I submitted the recipe to Taste of Home, as follows. (Check out how I've got the recipe lingo "down," like I do this all the time.)


Champion White Fajita Chili

In preparation for a chili cook-off, I created this original recipe which not only has beautiful color and just enough kick, but also distinct fajita and lime flavors. The experiments paid off, as this recipe took first place!

SERVINGS: 12

METHOD: Stove Top or Crock Pot

TIME: Prep: 15 min. Cook: 30 min.

Ingredients:

  • 2 16 oz. packages of frozen fajita chicken breast strips thawed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cans Great Northern Beans
  • 1 12-oz. package frozen Southwestern corn (corn chopped red and green peppers and onions)
  • 2 10-oz cans diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 4-oz pasteurized processed cheese product cut into 1” cubes
  • 1 c. chicken broth
  • Juice of 1 or 2 limes

Directions:

Simmer all in a stock pot for 30 mins., or put into a crock pot and let simmer on low until thoroughly heated, about two hours.

Yield:
Serves 12

Notes: I served with cornbread baked with pimientos, and served sour cream, cilantro and other Mexican toppings.

36 comments:

carol ~ i throw like a girl said...

Congrats! I'm so proud of you - you sandbagger, you! LOL! ;)

My ADHD Me said...

TA & DA!! Congratulations!!
(like there was ever a doubt!)

Melanie @ This Ain't New York said...

CONGRATS! You rock. That's the only time I'll ever see you smiling next to The Big Guy. ;>)

Kim said...

Way to go Lid! Your fame knows no bounds. First you're a personal friend of Clinton Kelly and now you're winner of a big Chili Cook-off?!

You realize you can no longer claim to be a walking culinary disaster waiting to happen? teehee

The recipe sounds delicious! Will have to make some modifications (pretty sure can't get chicken breast strips in any flavor here) but I'll come as close as I can to the Real Deal.

Chatty Kelly said...

I think you have the Midas touch, Lid. Great job!

Mocha with Linda said...

Well lookee there! Congrats!! Although I can't say I'm real surprised. Sounds yummy!

lmerie said...

Way to go Lid! Whoot whoot! Looks like a great recipe!

Melissa said...

WHOOHOO!!! It looks fantastic!! Way to put a smackdown on the competition at the charity chili cookoff! :)

Greg C said...

Way to go Linda. Your recipe does sound better than mine but I am only going to say that once. Congrats on winning the cookoff.

Susanne said...

Well look at that! Way to go, Linda! Congratulations!

Merrie said...

Yum! Looks delicious! I will have to try it!

Pam from alertandorientedx4 said...

And you said you couldn't cook...pshaw! Sounds yummy. White chile is one of my favorites!

Julie said...

Looks absolutely delicious...

I'm glad you won...

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

I am not surprised you won...look at all that fantastic adverstising. ;) It sounds seriously delicious, though, and I really expect to open up my Taste of Home magazine sometime soon and see it featured...."distinct fajita and lime flavors.."

Laurie Ann said...

Look at you! Congratulations! Sounds like a yummy recipe, Lidna!

sojourner said...

The chile looks yummy - i'd try the recipe if i were a good cook - so glad that you won! thanks for visiting my blog from L.L.'s link - i always enjoy meeting new people - i'm e-mailing a printable copy of the poem for your ministry team :0)

Baba's Blog .. Babies Are Special said...

Wow... congratulates Linda on winning the chili cookoff..you look too cute with your red apron on and your hair looks great...I am happy that you won... hugs, Baba

Rachel said...

I am so cracking up that you have the president endorsing your chili! :)

Susan said...

Congratulations!! As hard has you've worked on it, you deserved to win.

Hugs,

Susan

Audra, Green Meadow Lane said...

Thanks for visiting my blog! You guys will la'love Chicago! There is so much here to do and the City is beautiful next to the Lake! Wishing your hubby well in the marathon! I'd give anything to have his stanima! Racing after three kids doesn't seem to compare! (although it may come pretty close! hee...hee!)

Lois Lane II said...

CONGRATS! And I am sooo glad you posted the recipe! I can't wait to try it!

The Bayou Belles and Their Beau said...

Congrats! And that's one snazzy display. You look like you're about to make a presentation at a 7th grade science fair. So cute.

Chel said...

looks and sounds fabulous!! I can't wait to try it!

Chel said...

Oh I forgot!! Congratulations to you! Congratulations to you! Congratulations to you! Sounds like a wonderful event as well. You are so creative!

Things Above said...

Congratulations and what a way to honor your friend! I cannot wait to try this out! My hubby is a huge fan of white chili!

Chris said...

You GO girl!!! Now you'll have your own Food Network show and Nick Arojo will style your hair, you lucky gal!!! Wait, it was hard work, NOT luck!
Woo hoo!

Tammy said...

Yes you can and yes you did!

Dena said...

Congratulations, and what a great cause! My mothers best friend since childhood died from ALS last Summer.

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

So I'm getting a better picture of you in my mind...you don't really hate musicals that much (I just KNOW you don't!), and you really CAN cook!! :-)

I'm SO glad you didn't try the peanut butter trick. Lime was a much better alternative for a secret ingredient! lol

OH and I love the display! Just hilarious! Although, I did miss seeing another picture of George. Maybe next time. ha!

Anonymous said...

Linda, So proud! So very proud! Can't wait to try it!! KDE

Pamela said...

Congrats, cuz! I knew you could do it.

Have a wonderful day.

Debbie @Like a Rose said...

Congrats! Sorry we missed it. Christy said it was a great event.

Jerralea said...

Congrats! Looks like a great recipe, which I'm already thinking I'm going to take to the next potluck at church. Also, you made a great presentation!

Beverlydru said...

Remind me not to enter any competitions against you. I'll only enter if we're on the same team. I'm not crazy about chili but this looks delish!

Jenny said...

So glad you won.. Your slogan board was so funny and I love the bailout treats..LOL:)

Shannon said...

Thanks for stopping by my place and the wonderful compliments. I love your slogan board and bailout treats. You are so clever. And the recipe looks very delicious. I think I will make this for my in-laws who will be visiting next week.