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Posted at 1:00 PM ET, 01/31/2011

Super Bowl Smackdown I: Texas or weeknight chili?

By Tim Carman
PH2007013000383.jpg Weeknight chili or weak night chili?
(Julia Ewan/The Washington Post)

As America braces itself for this week's ultimate battle -- no, not the one on Sunday, but Joe and Bonnie's annual Super Bowl Smackdown recipe contest -- we here at AWCE Central will recount the previous match-ups between Food Editor Joe Yonan and Deputy Food Editor Bonnie Benwick. Let's start at the beginning:

The inaugural Smackdown, in which a native Texan (Yonan) tries to convince a non-Texan (Benwick) that beans and veggies have no place in a chili pot. Check out this heavyweight title-type banter from 2007, when Yonan and Benwick each supplied readers with a chili recipe for Super Bowl XLI:

One of us threw the first flag by suggesting publication of her favorite recipe, a comfort-food riff that includes vegetables and ground beef. The Texan launched a long drive about how real chili, which needs six to eight hours on the stove, has none of the above. The non-Texan said readers could make hers in a fraction of the time and could surely stomach much more of hers than his, which is really just chili-fired beef (and only beef) stew. The Texan not very graciously offered the translation of "chile con carne" from the Spanish, mumbled something about the world championship cook-off in Terlingua, and threatened to use quote marks when referring to her version.

Since there was no online voting in the first Smackdown, we will now ask you to place your bets. Which chili recipe -- Joe's or Bonnie's -- wins your heart, mind and palate? Tell us your favorite in the comments section below.

By Tim Carman  | January 31, 2011; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  Comfort Food, Recipes  | Tags:  Super Bowl, Tim Carman  
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If I was making chili for myself and a few (guy) friends I would go with Joe's, but the chili that I make on Super Bowl Sunday is a lot closer to Bonnie's except that I don't use mirepoix, just an onion, two cans of dices tomatoes (with liquid) and a couple of diced bell peppers. The remaining liquid is a bottle of chili sauce and a bottle of good, dark beer. The palates vary too much and people enjoy the comfort food factor.

Posted by: AlligatorArms | January 31, 2011 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Joe's is great, but it's not a meal. He'd better be making some corn bread and collard greens while it's cooking.

Bonnie's is a nice winter meal. I don't care for kidney beans, so would substitute a can of black or pinto beans and might add a sweet bell pepper for contrast.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | February 1, 2011 9:33 AM | Report abuse

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