The recent nip in the weather means it’s time to dust off recipes for soups, stews and chili. And as luck would have it, the 20th annual Chili Fest is Friday in downtown Tupelo.

You can either head over to Broadway and pay $5 for a bowl of chili with all the fixings at noon or wait until the evening and pay $10 for the same chili meal, plus samples of all the chilis prepared by the different teams.

If I were going to enter the contest, I think I’d stick with a tried-and-true recipe like my mama used to make. She always served her chili with shredded cheese, sour cream and saltine crackers, but you could take a page from our publisher’s recipe book and top it with a dollop of pimiento cheese.

OLD-FASHIONED CHILI

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound lean ground beef

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons ground cumin

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional)

1 1/2 cups beef broth

1 (14-ounce) can petite-diced tomatoes

1 (16-ounce) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

Saute onion in olive oil over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add ground beef and cook for 6 to 7 minutes, until the beef is browned, stirring occasionally. Add tomato paste, sugar and spices and stir until well combined. Add the broth, diced tomatoes (with their juice), beans and tomato sauce. Stir well.

Bring chili to a low boil, then reduce heat and gently simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let the chili rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Serves 6.

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