As I was doing a little fall cleaning, I found the chili recipe that I'd thought was lost forever. I remember entering this batch into a chili competition for the 3rd Annual Chili Cook-off almost 5 years ago! It took second place, but to be fair - the first place folks were very handsome television folks. And they had a pretty dang good chili, too.

A buddy of mine - who has since passed on - helped me craft this. It's been "tweaked" a few times but really, this is his creation. He was crazy about his peppers. R.I.P., Scott.

My family loves this recipe. It takes a little extra time to make but if you're looking to really "wow" your football party guests or to take your tailgating to the next level, go for it. Side note: We like our chili a little spicy. if you're looking to make the same, here you go: (serves 6 - 8)

Ingredients:
1 1/3 lbs ground beef
2 2/3 onions, diced
24 ounces of your favorite tomato sauce
1 1/3 green pepper, diced
2 – 3 roasted and diced poblano peppers* (see roasting instructions below)
1 1/3 tablespoons jalapeno, finely chopped
4 diced tomatoes. Add olive oil and Italian seasonings and set aside. I like the fresh tomato option but you can also add a couple cans of Mexican-style tomatoes (you can get creative with different varieties like Rotel which include garlic, a variety of peppers, onions, etc.)
2 2/3 tablespoons cumin
1 1/3 teaspoons salt
2/3 teaspoon cayenne pepper (season to taste – this tends to “heat it up” quickly)
2 2/3 tablespoons chili powder
2/3 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 (18 2/3 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (18 2/3 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/3 cups water

Directions:
1. Cook ground meat with onions and peppers in dutch oven.
2. Drain excess grease and add tomatoes, seasonings, and water, bring to a boil.
3. Add beans, cover and simmer 1-2 hours. (This is where you drink a few beers)
4. Serve with toppings. (sour cream, Fritos, green onions, shredded cheddar cheese, etc.)

Roasting Poblano Peppers (gloves recommended while handling peppers)
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Spray each poblano pepper with cooking spray or olive oil.
Place the peppers on baking sheet.
Broil for about 5-10 minutes per side or until the skins turn dark or begin to bubble or “blister”.
You want them crispy, not burnt. (I crack the oven door a little to watch them as it’s a delicate process)
Remove the peppers from the oven and place in the bowl to cool. Cover and set aside for 15-20 minutes.
Gently remove the skin of the pepper under cold water. Remove the top stem cap of pepper and gently remove any of the seeds.