Chili – cook off contest

So I signed up for another local cook off contest. This one was a chili cook off and my family loves the chili I make so why not! However there were 6 surprise ingredients (see above) that I had to incorporate into my chili recipe or come up with a new one. If you want to make this chili without the secret ingredients, you will not be disappointed. 

IMG_4808.JPGWhen I picked up my “secret” ingredients I thought it was so funny that black garlic was one of the ingredients. This is my second contest ever and both had black garlic in the basket. Luckily my daughter first introduced me to black garlic a couple of years ago. My son, who also competed in the last cooking contest found out that he does not like the taste of black garlic. He tossed one of his sauces he came up with because he hated the taste. After he tossed it he wondered if it was just him. Guess we’ll never know!
IMG_4805.JPGA little information on black garlic for those who haven’t seen or used it. It is made when regular heads of garlic are aged under specialized conditions until the cloves turn inky black and develop a sticky date-like texture and the taste is sweet, earthy, minus the heat. You can use the cloves as you would roasted garlic: Purée them with oil, then smear the paste on crostini, incorporate it into dressings, or rub it onto chicken or fish before roasting. If you google it, you will probably see a lot of recipes for black garlic butter; which is what I made for my last contest. That won’t work this time. I will be adding the black garlic as well as regular garlic to my chili.


Donna Clark - Cooking at Clark Towers
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 15 mins
Servings 12


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
  • 2 medium onions diced
  • 1 green pepper diced
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 2 28 ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans rotel
  • 2 cans pinto beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans red kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 large can bush's original baked beans optional
  • 1 medium bulb black garlic peeled (1 of 6 secret ingredients)
  • 6 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 1/2 cup Moroccan tomato onion relish 2 of 6 secret ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon cherry wood smoked white Himalayan sea salt 3 of 6 secret ingredients
  • 1/4 cup no salt Contoocook chili powder 4 of 6 secret ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons Madagascar black peppercorn infused olive oil 5 of 6 secret ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons dark chocolate balsamic vinegar 6 of 6 secret ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher salt


  • In a large stock pot brown hamburger and sausage, drain and remove and set aside.
  • Add olive oil to stock pot, saute onions, celery, green pepper till soft 4-6 minutes. add both garlics and continue sauteing for another minute. add the chili powder, and both salts.
  • Add diced tomatoes and the rotel along with the Moroccan tomato onion relish
  • Add the beans and the browned beef. partially cover and let it simmer for 4 hours
  • Add the balsamic vinegar and taste for seasoning add salt as needed
  • serve with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream

I started writing this the other day, today is Saturday and the contest was earlier today. My Chili; this chili recipe listed came in 2nd. There were six contestants and everyone of them tasted completely different; all were really good but totally different even though all of us had to incorporate those six ingredients. I had a great time and met some great people. I especially enjoyed getting to know my tablemate. I feel bad that they La La Land her. They mistakenly said she came in 2nd place then said that it was actually me.
My tablemate and I speak the same language when it comes to food; I think our paths will cross again; at least I hope so!

2 thoughts on “Chili – cook off contest

  1. Looks amazing! LOVE black garlic. I eat it straight out of the package like a snack. Will have to give this recipe a try. Congratulations on 2nd place – so cool!

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