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Sunday Food: Terlingua Chili CookOff


Terlingua chili cook-off locale


Superbowl chili

(Picture courtesy of c.c. chapman at

Chili is something of a Superbowl tradition, and I happen to be a fan, of both.

Being in Ghost Town Terlingua this week, I see a lot of  the Terlingua Chili event that takes place every First Saturday in November.   This year it will occur on November 5.  It draws chili fans from all over the world, and is a big foodie focus.

While many of the restaurants local to Terlingua, TX, offer chili specials, the competition is hot and heavy (no, I cannot resist a bad pun) and often goes to non-natives.

The contestants have to pre-qualify  – you must have qualified and received an invitation. This requires cooks to earn points by placing in CASI sanctioned Chili Cookoffs. A cook earns 4 points for first place, 3 points for second, 2 points for third, and a point for fourth through tenth place. The total number of points required for qualification ranges from 6 points to 12 points and depends on the cook’s state of residence. More details about competing may be obtained from a CASI director or from any of the Pod Great Peppers.

The past year’s competition was won by Bryan Spencer, of Champaign, IL.

Recipes are available, so I will throw one out for you from 2001, to use if this food post makes you crave some chili, of any sort.   The winner that year was Randy Moore of Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Randy’s Fool’s Gold Chili 

Gray 2 pounds of cubed chuck tender beef (or chili grind).

1 14-1/2 oz. Can – Swanson’s Beef Broth
1 8-oz. Can – Contadina Tomato Sauce
1 Cube – Beef Bouillon
1 Cube – Chicken Bouillon
Float 1 Jalapeno Pepper and 1 Serrano Pepper.

Bring to a boil and add:

2 tsp. – Pendery’s Onion Powder
1 tsp. – Pendery’s Garlic Powder
1 Tbls. – Pendery’s Fort Worth Light Chili Powder
2 Tbls. – Gunpowder Foods Texas Red Chili Powder
¼ tsp. – Black Pepper
1 packet – Sazon Goya

Cut back heat and simmer for about an hour, then add:

½ tsp. – Pendery’s Mexican Oregano
½ tsp. – Pendery’s Onion Powder
½ tsp. – Pendery’s Garlic Powder
1 Tbls. – Pendery’s Fort Worth Light Chili Powder
2 Tbls. – Gebhardt’s Chili Powder
¼ tsp. – Black Pepper
¼ tsp. – Cayenne Pepper
½ packet – Sazon Goya

Simmer for approximately 30 minutes. Squeeze peppers and discard pulp. Add:

1 Tbls. – Pendery’s Ground Cumin
¼ tsp. – Cayenne Pepper
½ packet – Sazon Goya

Simmer for approximately 10 minutes. Taste and add salt and cayenne as needed. <br< Good luck and hope to see you on the chili trail!


I recommend cornbread to go with, but all chili is good the way you like it the best.


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Ruth Calvo

Ruth Calvo

I've blogged at The Seminal for about two years, was at cabdrollery for around three. I live in N.TX., worked for Sen.Yarborough of TX after graduation from Wellesley, went on to receive award in playwriting, served on MD Arts Council after award, then managed a few campaigns in MD and served as assistant to a member of the MD House for several years, have worked in legal offices and written for magazines, now am retired but addicted to politics, and join gladly in promoting liberals and liberal policies.