Chili championship

TravelCenters of America is offering the chance to show off your chili-cooking skills and win cash in the TA National Chili Cook Off.

Whether you like it hot or mild, with or without beans, full of meat or heavy on tomato, TravelCenters of America is offering the chance to show off your chili-cooking skills and win cash in the TA National Chili Cook Off.

Truckers will compete for a top prize of $5,000, and the winning recipe will be featured on TA restaurant menus across the country.

“From talking to our customers, we know that a lot of professional drivers like to perfect their very own chili creations when they’re not on the road,” says Paul Huckelberry, vice president of restaurants, TA. “The TA National Chili Cook Off is an opportunity to share their secrets and to debunk the myth that firefighters are the experts when it comes to chili.”

Entries received by May 15 will be eligible for one of five Regional Cook Offs to be held in June. The regional contest will be held at the following TA locations:

  • The Harborcreek (Erie), Pa., on June 3
  • Ontario East, Calif., San Antonio, Texas, and Maybrook, N.Y., on June 10
  • Wildwood, Fla., on June 17.

Fellow drivers and community residents will judge the regional contestants’ chili concoctions. The regional winners will each receive $2,000 plus an additional $500 in travel expenses for their trip to the TA National Chili Cook Off near TA’s Cleveland Headquarters at the TA Lodi, Ohio, location on July 22.

Contest rules and entry forms are available at TA restaurants and online at this site.

Reader Recipes

1 oven bag
1 tray pork chops
6 small potatoes
1 large onion
1 large green pepper
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Heavy aluminum foil

Salt and pepper chops; place in oven bag. Cut potatoes however you want and do the same with onion, peppes and any veggies you like. Salt and pepper them, too, and place in the bag with the chops. Pour mushroom soup in bag over everything and add 1 cup water.

Tie up bag with tie. Take heavy aluminum foil and fold over. Place oven bag on foil and seal the bag all over with foil so that nothing can leak out. Don’t close it up too tight, so it will not burst the oven bag.

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Lift the hood to your truck and place meal on the manifold or as close as you can to motor. Close hood, and you are ready to go down the road. Meal will cook in maybe one hour; it all depends on your motor.

When my husband and I drove, we cooked all our meals this way – any types of meats, veggies, desserts.
Submitted by Pat Suther

Dede’s Barbecued Country-Style Ribs
2 1/2 lb. country-style pork ribs, cut into serving pieces
1 medium chopped onion
1/2 medium chopped green pepper
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
or 1 1/2 T. minced garlic in jar
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup dark molasses
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. horseradish

Place ribs in large glass baking dish. Cover with waxed paper. Microwave 15 minutes on roast. Drain. Turn ribs over. Sprinkle with onion, green pepper and garlic. Combine remaining ingredients. Pour over ribs. Cover and continue cooking 25 to 30 minutes on roast or until fork tender. Let stand covered five minutes. Serve with rice or potatoes. Note: In place of this recipe for sauce, any bottle barbecue sauce will work.
Submitted by Dede Bolder

Chili Cheese American Fries
2 Russet potatoes
1 medium onion
1 clove garlic
1 can Wolf brand chili
3 slices American cheese
2 8-inch tortillas

Peel and slice potatoes. Boil to 3/4 doneness and cool. In an 8 x 11 skillet that covers both burners, sauté sliced onion rings and diced garlic in olive oil. Add diced potatoes and brown. Cover with can of chili and heat ingredients together. Lay cheese slices over mixture. Cover with tortillas and let mixture steam them. Once steamed, remove and fold into quarters. Place mixture on plates and lay tortillas alongside.
Submitted by Duane Huber

Slider’s Ragin’ Cajun Pasta
1/2 red or yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 Vidalia onion, diced
4 oz. fresh sliced mushrooms
1-1 1/2 T. cajun seasoning
1/2 tomato, diced
4-5 T. whipping cream
Parmesan cheese to taste
2 T. butter
1 package Ramen Noodles (discard flavor packet)

Put butter, bell pepper, onion and mushrooms into disposable aluminum loaf pan. Plug in Burton Stove to Go and place pan into stove. Close lid, cook one and a half hours. Stir vegetables. Add cajun seasoning, whipping cream and tomato. Stir well. Break up Ramen Noodles into small chunks. Put into loaf pan, trying to get as many noodles as possible beneath the vegetables and into the liquid. Close stove and cook for another hour. Stir well and top with parmesan cheese.
Submitted by Tom Mattfeld

Chicken Pot Pie
1 chicken
1 can mixed vegetables
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 box Jiffy pie crust
10-12 T. water

Mix pie crust. Pat 3/4 of crust into a loaf pan. Mix chicken, vegetables and soup; pour into pan. Pat remaining pie crust flat and put on top. Bake in oven for 45 minutes or until crust is browned and the middle is hot and bubbly.
Submitted by Ron Wolf

4 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 T. baking powder
Dried milk (optional)
Powdered eggs (optional)

Pour all ingredients into a plastic bag. Add enough water to make very stiff dough. Flour a 4 x 8 bread pan. Bake until done.
Submitted by Gene Olmsted

Rags’ Veggie Chicken and Rice
4 to 6 skinless chicken breasts
2 medium zucchinis
2 medium squashes (I would use yellow.)
1 box Uncle Ben’s rice in a bag
1 small bottle olive, canola or corn oil
1 bottle of marinade (I like lemon pepper and herbs.)
1 gallon Ziploc bag
1 gallon water
1 large microwavable bowl
1 bottle antibacterial dish soap
Paper towels
Wash chicken and cut fat off. Put in Ziploc bag. Pour the marinade in (I would use the whole bottle, but it depends how many chicken breasts you have). Refrigerate for four to 24 hours.
Cook the rice in the microwave as directed on the box. Let that sit in the microwave.

Put your zucchini and squash in a bag or bowl of water and wash. Wipe dry with paper towels. Cut 1/2 inch thick and cut them into fours. Set aside.

Put four to five tablespoons of oil on in a skillet. Put chicken in with marinade for taste.
Cover and cook about 10 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breast. Cut to see if the inside is done. When done, toss veggies in to cook about five to seven minutes steamed with chicken. Warm up rice if desired. Serve chicken and veggies over rice.
Submitted by Tammy “Rags” Nichols

Baked Ham with Apples and Raisins
1 center cut slice of ham
2 boxes Sunmaid raisins
2 cored and quartered apples
Brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice or water

Place apples, raisins, brown sugar and liquid in a Reynolds cooking bag. Mix well. Add chopped slices of ham. Put in Burton Stove To Go, cook one and a half to two hours. Serve with your choice of vegetables, which can be cooked at the same time as the ham.
Submitted by Evan and Crystal Miller

Beef Roll-Ups
3 slices very thin round steak
Spicy mustard
2 dill pickle spears or broccoli
2 slices muenster or swiss cheese
1 envelope dry onion soup mix

Preheat portable stove before beginning. Line with aluminum foil.

Tenderize steak with dull edge of knife, making very thin. Spread with mustard. Place cheese on top of mustard. Add pickle or broccoli. Roll and tie with butchers twine. Put one envelope of onion soup mix into cooking bag. Shake. Place steak roll-ups into bag. Add 1/2 cup water. Cook about one and half hours or until tender.
Submitted by Jan Baker

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