NORTHWOODS COOKS: Chili recipes to sample

Readers are invited to submit their favorite recipes to enjoy, along with a note about what makes them special. Send recipes to

Beef Chili
Homemade chili is perfect for warming up on a cold winter's day. Anyone who wants to sample some of the best chili in the area while helping the Hubbard County Food Shelf should plan to have lunch at the Chili Challenge from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, March 1 at the Park Rapids American Legion.
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Cold winter weather pairs perfectly with a hot bowl of chili.

On Wednesday, March 1, there will be an opportunity to sample a variety of chili recipes.

The Chili Challenge will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Park Rapids American Legion. The best chili chefs from the area will be serving up samples for $1 each. All money raised goes to the Hubbard County Food Shelf.

For anyone not able to attend the Chili Challenge, here are two chili recipes from “Our 19 Best Chili Recipes” at Serve with a slice of cornbread drizzled with honey and a salad for a hearty lunch or dinner.

Quick 3-Bean Chili


By Melissa Rubel Jacobson

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

3 slices of bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips

1 onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice

2 jalapeños, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup chili powder

15-oz. can great northern beans, drained and rinsed


15-oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

28-oz. can diced tomatoes

2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Chopped cilantro and sour cream, for serving

In a medium soup pot, heat the oil until hot. Add the bacon, onion, jalapeños and garlic and cook over moderately high heat until the onion is softened and the bacon fat has been rendered, about 5 minutes.

Add the chili powder and cook over moderate heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the beans, tomatoes and stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer the chili over moderately low heat until thickened, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve with cilantro and sour cream.


Cumin Chili

1-1/2 Tbsp.s cooking oil

1 onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1-1/2 lbs. ground beef

3-1/3 cups canned whole tomatoes with their juice (one 28-ounce can), broken up

2 Tbsp. tomato paste


1 Tbsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. fresh-ground black pepper

1-1/3 cups drained and rinsed canned pinto or kidney beans (one 15-ounce can)

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and cook, stirring, until the vegetables start to soften, about 10 minutes. Increase the heat to moderate. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring, until the meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, cumin, oregano, salt and black pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes. Add the beans and simmer, partially covered, until the vegetables are tender and the chili thickened, about 5 minutes longer.

Readers are invited to submit their favorite recipes to enjoy, along with a note about what makes them special. Send recipes to


Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
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