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Battle of the Beans Chili Cook-Off

May the Most Delicious Competitor Win

Beat the Winter Blues by hosting your own throwdown party, where chili recipes go head-to-head. Chef, author and James Beard Award finalist Kevin Gillespie and lifestyle experts Erin Chase of $5 Dinners and Kami Bigler of No Biggie, along with Formula 409®, share their recipes, ideas and cleaning tips for a grease-tastic winter party.

Erin's Dutch Oven Chili

by Erin Chase, mastermind behind $5 Dinners, busy mother of four and lover of the quick-clean (she’s got better things to do than clean…like chase those four kids around)

2 lbs. ground beef
1 sweet white onion, chopped
4 cups chicken or beef broth
2 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes with their juices
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 lb. dried beans, 15 bean mix, red kidney beans, black beans or pinto beans
3 Tbsp chili powder
Salt and pepper

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, brown the ground beef with the onion. Drain if necessary. Once drained, return the beef to the saucepan and add the broth plus 4 cups of water, the canned tomatoes and tomato paste and the dried beans. Stir in the chili powder, salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium and let simmer for an hour, or until beans have softened.

Chili with Caramelized Onion Cornbread

Kevin's Texas Style Chili

by Kevin Gillespie, Chef, Author, James Beard Award Finalist and longtime fan of the Formula 409® clean

¼ cup rendered bacon grease
3 lbs. beef chuck roast, cubed
1 large sweet yellow onion, chopped
3 large jalapeno peppers stemmed, seeded and chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
5 poblano chiles roasted, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
6 Tbsp New Mexican red chili powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp Mexican oregano
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp kosher salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 12 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 12 oz. bottle Budweiser
3 chipotle chiles in adobo, chopped
4 cups beef stock
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves, garnish
Finely chopped sweet onions, garnish
Sour cream, garnish

In a large heavy pot (like a cast iron Dutch oven), heat the fat over high heat. Add the meat and brown evenly. Once the meat is a dark brown color, lower the heat to medium-high. Add the onions, jalapenos, garlic, and chili powder, and cook, stirring constantly, until the onions are softened and start to color, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the cumin, oregano, cinnamon, salt, and pepper, and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and beer and cook, stirring, to deglaze the pan. Add the chipotles, adobo sauce and stock, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender, 2 to 3 hours. Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning to taste with additional salt and pepper. Skim any fat from the surface. Ladle into bowls and garnish with cilantro, chopped onions, a lime wedge and a dollop of sour cream.


Erin's Carmelized Onion Cornbread

1 large sweet white onion, cut into thin strips
2 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp white sugar
1 ½ cups white flour
1 ½ cups yellow cornmeal
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp white sugar
¼ cup cooking oil, such as canola or vegetable
½ cup applesauce
2 eggs
2 ½ cups milk

While the chili is cooking, caramelize the onion slices by adding them to a skillet with the olive oil and sugar. Saute for 5 minutes on high heat, then reduce to low heat and cook for 30 minutes, stirring often. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Prepare the cornbread batter by whisking together all the dry ingredients. Stir in the wet ingredients and let the batter sit for 10 minutes. Once the onions have cooked, gently stir half of them into the batter, and then pour the batter into a greased 9×13 glass baking dish. Drop the remaining caramelized onions on top of batter. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cornbread is cooked through in the center.

Kevin's Sweet Corn Fritters

3 ears of corn, kernels removed and reserved
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, separated
¼ cup finely sliced scallions
½ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp granulated sugar
¹/8 tsp finely ground black pepper
¹/8 tsp ground cayenne
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup lard or vegetable oil

In a large bowl, stir together the corn, flour, egg yolks, scallions, salt, sugar, pepper and cayenne. Whip egg whites to stiff peaks. Stir in a quarter of the beaten egg whites into the corn mixture. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the remaining egg whites into the corn mixture in two additions. In a large skillet, heat the lard/oil and butter over medium heat until the butter has melted. Carefully drop some of the corn mixture by tablespoons in to the hot oil, taking care not to crowd the pan. Cook each fritter until browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn each fritter over and brown the other side, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the fritters to a platter lined with paper towels. Season lightly with additional salt. Repeat until all of the corn mixture has been used.

Decorating Tips for a Festive Cook-Off

by Kami Bigler, the brains behind NoBiggie, who’s favorite things include her family (#1!), crafting, cooking and cleaning made simple

1) Make sure everyone knows it’s your chili they are tasting! Create a fall-themed label to set your chili apart from everyone else’s. Use a seasonal accent like a colored leaf or chili bowl. Cut out the desired shape with construction paper and glue to an index card. Label with your name and chili recipe for a festive way to display your winning recipe.

2) Using leftover beans from your chili to make centerpieces for the chili cook-off table. Just fill different sized and shaped clear glass containers with the different leftover beans and place at the table center. Best way to up-cycle unused food!

3) For the ultimate chili display, use the inside of a pumpkin as your chili bowl. Start by cutting a hole into the top of the pumpkin. Open it up and gut the inside as you would if you were going to carve it. Once completely empty, either pour your chili directly into the pumpkin, or if you’re worried about it changing the taste, put a glass bowl or container roughly the same size as the pumpkin inside as a lining. A leftover tomato sauce can from the chili would work perfectly!


Chili Cook-Off Cleaning Tips

plate Make use of the tools in your kitchen! Use the top of that chili pot as a holder for your stirring spoon so you can avoid a saucy stove or counter.

wipe_hand Simmering chili = tomato sauce splatters on surfaces. We’ve all been there—that spoon used to stir is going to leave tomato sauce wherever you set it down. Skip scrubbing tomato sauce, which hardens and stains quickly, by cleaning and wiping down surfaces with Formula 409® as soon as it cools.

gloves Grease splatters are inevitable when browning meat in chili. Don’t let that greasy aftermath become a pain! Put some aluminum foil around the stove burner to make clean up even easier.

sponge Once the stove cools, spray and wipe down surfaces, including the stovehood and backsplash, with Formula 409® Antibacterial All-Purpose Cleaner. And don’t forget the stove grates and around the burners. These are areas that can gather a lot of grime and are often overlooked.

spray Spray Formula 409® Antibacterial All-Purpose Cleaner onto counters to remove grease splatters and to disinfect germs from any raw meat juices. For granite or marble countertop surfaces, use Formula 409® Natural Stone & Steel Cleaner or Glass & Surface Cleaner.

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