Get your spoons ready!

Sample away Saturday, but here are chili concoctions that won't be at cook-off

Sample away Saturday, but here are chili concoctions that won't be at cook-off

September 20, 2006|by JULIE E. GREENE

Kevin Moriarty would love to toss his coffee- and chocolate-flavored chili in the ring for this Saturday's third annual Hagerstown Suns Chili Cook-Off & Music Festival.

As one of the organizers, he can't do that.

Busy as he will be Saturday, he and the other organizers probably won't even have time to enjoy sampling chili by the 29 teams entered in the fundraiser hosted by the Hagerstown Suns at Municipal Stadium.

So the committee got together at Moriarty's North End home recently to sample chili made by Moriarty and fellow committee members Brian Sullivan and Kim Murdaugh.

The tasting was noncompetitive with committee members making repeated trips back to the chili pots for more.

The chili cook-off and music festival will benefit the nonprofit Community Free Clinic and Walnut Street Community Health Center in Hagerstown, the latter of which Murdaugh serves as executive director.


Last year the event raised more than $18,500 for the arts council.

Cash prizes will be given for the top three teams with the best overall chili with the top prize being $1,000. Prizes also will be given to the winners of the people's choice award and best booth display.

Murdaugh made a healthy chili with ground turkey because she thought using beef would make it heavier and more fattening.

"I always try to be somewhat healthy in what I eat and try not to eat a lot of fat and preservatives," says Murdaugh, of Mercersburg, Pa.

Sullivan's Surf and Turf Chili was inspired by Latino food influences he acquired while living in New York City. The dish includes sofrito spice, green chilies, jalapeos and chorizo.

"I love to cook," says Sullivan, executive director for The Maryland Theatre. "I don't like real hot spicey stuff you can't enjoy. I like the tastes to come out."

Sullivan says he once cooked for Gens. Colin Powell and Norman Schwarzkopf in the early 1980s when they visited Fort Ritchie, where Sullivan was the head cook for the officers' club at the time.

The chili made by Moriarty, executive director for the Washington County Arts Council, had a subtle coffee-chocolate flavoring and was the spiciest with a delayed fiery kick.

Moriarty came up with the recipe in the mid-1980s when he lived in Washington, D.C., where he worked for UNICEF. A party with a chili competition was held for people who worked on or around Capitol Hill, hence his naming his chili Capitol Punishment.

"The recipe keeps changing a little bit each year," Moriarty says. The latest change - substituting regular oregano with the spicier Mexican oregano.

If you go ...

WHAT: Hagerstown Suns Chili Cook-Off & Music Festival

WHEN: Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23

WHERE: Municipal Stadium, 274 E. Memorial Blvd., Hagerstown

COST: Advance tickets are $10, adults; $5, ages 4 to 12. At the gate, $12, adults; $6, ages 4 to 12. Ages 3 and younger get in free. Adult admission includes tickets for four chili samples, each 4 ounces. Youth admission includes two chili samples. Extra samples cost $1 each.

MORE:The festival will feature music by five bands playing original rock, blues and jazz.

Call the Hagerstown Suns at 301-791-6266 or go to

Hot 'n' Healthy Chili

1 pound ground turkey breast
1 small yellow onion
1 red or yellow bell pepper
1 to 2 garlic gloves
40-ounce can kidney beans
28-ounce can diced tomatoes
6-ounce can tomato paste
1 jalapeo pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
Salt, to taste

Brown ground turkey in a skillet over medium-high heat.

Dice onion, garlic and peppers.

Place all the ingredients in a crockpot and cook on low for about 8 hours. Stir occasionally.

Serves 6 to 8.

- Courtesy of Kim Murdaugh

Surf and Turf Chili

2 15.5-ounce cans of red kidney beans
2 15.5-ounce cans of black beans
15.5-ounce can of great northern beans
3 tablespoons sofrito spice
2 ounces top-shelf cognac (Sullivan uses Hennessey)
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
12 sun-dried tomatoes, minced
2 (4-ounce) cans of diced green chilies
5 tablespoons sliced jalapeos, with juice from jar
2 pounds cubed stew beefo12 ounces chorizo, with meat removed from casing
2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice
2 (1.25-ounce) packages McCormick chili seasoning
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon dried red pepper
Sour cream, to garnish
Cheddar cheese, to garnish

Add all beans with liquid, sofrito, cognac, liquid smoke, sun-dried tomatoes, diced tomatoes and jalapeos together in large pot. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.

Brown beef and chorizo together in a frying pan. Drain fat and add to bean mixture in large pot. Bring mixture back to a simmer and let cook for 15 minutes. Add shrimp, Old Bay and dried pepper. Simmer for another 10 minutes.

Top with shredded yellow cheddar cheese, sour cream and a shake of Old Bay.

Serves 10.

- Courtesy of Brian Sullivan

Capitol Punishment

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