A Chilly Weather Favorite: All About Chili

Chili
A Chilly Weather Favorite: All About Chili

Written for Spice Station Silverlake by: Amanda Csolak 

 

When the Summer temperatures fade away to a crisp chill in the air, and the leaves begin to fall off the trees, many people eagerly await to taste delightful and savory treats that leave their bellies feeling warm and full after partaking in cold weather activities. After all, is there a better way to thaw yourself from the inside out than with a hearty bowl of chili?

Here we will discuss everything about chili. From the history behind it to how you can make it yourself. Good news, this dish is perfectly customizable. So feel free to make it your own and tweek the recipe as you see fit. 

The History Behind Chili

The history of chili is a tale that spans centuries and continents. While chili, as we know it today, is often associated with Texan cuisine, its roots reach back to different parts of the world. The term “chili” actually originates from the Nahuatl word “chīlli,” used by the indigenous people of Mexico to describe spicy peppers. The Aztecs and other indigenous cultures in the Americas have been incorporating chili peppers into their dishes for thousands of years.

Chili con carne, a dish featuring meat and chili peppers, is thought to have originated in the 18th century in the region that is now northern Mexico and southern Texas. This dish eventually made its way to San Antonio, Texas, where it gained popularity, and the first known published recipe for chili con carne appeared in the 1880s. Chili stands and cook-offs began to spring up in Texas during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, cementing chili’s place in American culinary history. Throughout the 20th century, chili evolved and diversified, with various regions in the United States putting their own spin on the dish. The debate over the “correct” way to make chili raged on, with purists insisting on traditional recipes and others experimenting with new ingredients and flavors. 

Since it was first introduced in America, chili has gained popularity all across the United States. However, its strong connection with Texas still stands out. In fact, the Texas legislature officially declared chili as the state’s official dish in 1977.

Today, chili remains a beloved comfort food enjoyed by people worldwide, and it continues to be a symbol of Texan cuisine and American culinary culture.

“Real” Chili

Today, people get into lively discussions at chili cook-offs, where they talk passionately about what should go into making “Real Chili.” For some Texans, the genuine “bowl o’ red” only has chili peppers, meat, and spices. In the Midwest, they often add beans and extra fat to the chili. Some places even put tomato sauce and pasta noodles in their chili.

At these cook-offs, people turn into cooking artists. They create their own unique chili recipes by picking ingredients that they think will make the tastiest chili. They use different types of meat, like beef, sausage, turkey, or venison. Some people make chili without meat and use lots of tasty veggies instead. They also choose chili peppers that give their chili just the right amount of spiciness and flavor.

Shopping for Spices

If your like me than you want nothing but the best. When it comes to shopping for spices, this rule of thumb is no different. I used to be like you, buying my spices in plastic bottles at my local franchise grocery store. That is til I heard about Spice Station Silverlake from a friend. Fresh, unique and rare. Spice Station Silverlake has everything you need to make an amazing batch of chili and whatever else your little chef heart desires. Check them out today by clicking here.  

The Absolute Best Chili Ever

This is by far the absolute best chili recipe out there. A large pot of warm beef, beans and seasoning make it perfect for cold weather days. 

 

Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 45 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes | Servings size: 1 ½ cups | Yields: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • ▢ 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • ▢ 1 onion diced
  • ▢ 1 jalapeno seeded and finely diced
  • ▢ 4 cloves garlic minced
  • ▢ 2 ½ tablespoons chili powder divided (or to taste)
  • ▢ 1 teaspoon dried cumin seed, ground
  • ▢ 1 green bell pepper seeded and diced
  • ▢ 14 ½ ounces crushed tomatoes canned
  • ▢ 19 ounces dark red kidney beans canned, drained & rinsed
  • ▢ 14 ½ ounces diced tomatoes with juice
  • ▢ 1 ½ cups beef broth
  • ▢ 1 cup beer
  • ▢ 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ▢ 1 tablespoon brown sugar optional
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1.  Combine ground beef and 1 ½ tablespoons chili powder.
  2. In a large pot, brown ground beef, onion, jalapeno, and garlic. Drain any fat.
  3. Add in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 45-60 minutes or until chili has reached desired thickness.
  4. Top with cheddar cheese, green onions, cilantro or other favorite toppings. 

*Optional toppings: sour cream, red or green onion, cheese, fresh diced jalapenos, cilantro, avocado & lime wedges, tortilla chips, or saltine crackers.

Variations:

  1. Spice Level: This chili is seasoned just the way I like it, but you can adjust the spice level to your taste. For more heat, keep the seeds in your jalapenos or a sprinkle of chili flakes, or for even more of a kick add a few dashes of hot sauce, such as my personal favorite, the award winning, Mythical Inferno.
  2. Ground Beef: You can use any ground meat you prefer, whether it’s chicken or turkey. If your meat has a high fat content, be sure to drain it before simmering.
  3. Beer: I enjoy the rich flavor that a bit of beer adds to this recipe. However, if you prefer, you can skip the beer and use extra broth.
  4. Spice Swap: Customize your chili’s flavor by adding your favorite spices. For a Tex-Mex twist, toss in this taco & fajita seasoning blend from Spice Station Silverlake.

Chef’s Tip:

If you have extra chili, you can put it in the freezer to keep it fresh for later. First, allow the chili cool down to room temperature. Then, divide it into containers or bags that close tightly. Don’t fill them all the way to the top to leave room for the chili to expand when it freezes. Write down the date and what’s inside on each container so you don’t forget. When you want to eat it again, just take it out of the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge overnight or use the microwave’s defrost setting. Heat it up on the stove or in the microwave, and you’ll have a quick and tasty meal ready to go. Freezing chili is a handy trick for when you’re too busy to cook from scratch.

Tags: chili, chili recipe, Cold weather food

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A Chilly Weather Favorite: All About Chili

Written for Spice Station Silverlake by: Amanda Csolak 

 

When the Summer temperatures fade away to a crisp chill in the air, and the leaves begin to fall off the trees, many people eagerly await to taste delightful and savory treats that leave their bellies feeling warm and full after partaking in cold weather activities. After all, is there a better way to thaw yourself from the inside out than with a hearty bowl of chili?

Here we will discuss everything about chili. From the history behind it to how you can make it yourself. Good news, this dish is perfectly customizable. So feel free to make it your own and tweek the recipe as you see fit. 

The History Behind Chili

The history of chili is a tale that spans centuries and continents. While chili, as we know it today, is often associated with Texan cuisine, its roots reach back to different parts of the world. The term “chili” actually originates from the Nahuatl word “chīlli,” used by the indigenous people of Mexico to describe spicy peppers. The Aztecs and other indigenous cultures in the Americas have been incorporating chili peppers into their dishes for thousands of years.

Chili con carne, a dish featuring meat and chili peppers, is thought to have originated in the 18th century in the region that is now northern Mexico and southern Texas. This dish eventually made its way to San Antonio, Texas, where it gained popularity, and the first known published recipe for chili con carne appeared in the 1880s. Chili stands and cook-offs began to spring up in Texas during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, cementing chili’s place in American culinary history. Throughout the 20th century, chili evolved and diversified, with various regions in the United States putting their own spin on the dish. The debate over the “correct” way to make chili raged on, with purists insisting on traditional recipes and others experimenting with new ingredients and flavors. 

Since it was first introduced in America, chili has gained popularity all across the United States. However, its strong connection with Texas still stands out. In fact, the Texas legislature officially declared chili as the state’s official dish in 1977.

Today, chili remains a beloved comfort food enjoyed by people worldwide, and it continues to be a symbol of Texan cuisine and American culinary culture.

“Real” Chili

Today, people get into lively discussions at chili cook-offs, where they talk passionately about what should go into making “Real Chili.” For some Texans, the genuine “bowl o’ red” only has chili peppers, meat, and spices. In the Midwest, they often add beans and extra fat to the chili. Some places even put tomato sauce and pasta noodles in their chili.

At these cook-offs, people turn into cooking artists. They create their own unique chili recipes by picking ingredients that they think will make the tastiest chili. They use different types of meat, like beef, sausage, turkey, or venison. Some people make chili without meat and use lots of tasty veggies instead. They also choose chili peppers that give their chili just the right amount of spiciness and flavor.

Shopping for Spices

If your like me than you want nothing but the best. When it comes to shopping for spices, this rule of thumb is no different. I used to be like you, buying my spices in plastic bottles at my local franchise grocery store. That is til I heard about Spice Station Silverlake from a friend. Fresh, unique and rare. Spice Station Silverlake has everything you need to make an amazing batch of chili and whatever else your little chef heart desires. Check them out today by clicking here.  

The Absolute Best Chili Ever

This is by far the absolute best chili recipe out there. A large pot of warm beef, beans and seasoning make it perfect for cold weather days. 

 

Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 45 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes | Servings size: 1 ½ cups | Yields: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • ▢ 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • ▢ 1 onion diced
  • ▢ 1 jalapeno seeded and finely diced
  • ▢ 4 cloves garlic minced
  • ▢ 2 ½ tablespoons chili powder divided (or to taste)
  • ▢ 1 teaspoon dried cumin seed, ground
  • ▢ 1 green bell pepper seeded and diced
  • ▢ 14 ½ ounces crushed tomatoes canned
  • ▢ 19 ounces dark red kidney beans canned, drained & rinsed
  • ▢ 14 ½ ounces diced tomatoes with juice
  • ▢ 1 ½ cups beef broth
  • ▢ 1 cup beer
  • ▢ 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ▢ 1 tablespoon brown sugar optional
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1.  Combine ground beef and 1 ½ tablespoons chili powder.
  2. In a large pot, brown ground beef, onion, jalapeno, and garlic. Drain any fat.
  3. Add in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 45-60 minutes or until chili has reached desired thickness.
  4. Top with cheddar cheese, green onions, cilantro or other favorite toppings. 

*Optional toppings: sour cream, red or green onion, cheese, fresh diced jalapenos, cilantro, avocado & lime wedges, tortilla chips, or saltine crackers.

Variations:

  1. Spice Level: This chili is seasoned just the way I like it, but you can adjust the spice level to your taste. For more heat, keep the seeds in your jalapenos or a sprinkle of chili flakes, or for even more of a kick add a few dashes of hot sauce, such as my personal favorite, the award winning, Mythical Inferno.
  2. Ground Beef: You can use any ground meat you prefer, whether it’s chicken or turkey. If your meat has a high fat content, be sure to drain it before simmering.
  3. Beer: I enjoy the rich flavor that a bit of beer adds to this recipe. However, if you prefer, you can skip the beer and use extra broth.
  4. Spice Swap: Customize your chili’s flavor by adding your favorite spices. For a Tex-Mex twist, toss in this taco & fajita seasoning blend from Spice Station Silverlake.

Chef’s Tip:

If you have extra chili, you can put it in the freezer to keep it fresh for later. First, allow the chili cool down to room temperature. Then, divide it into containers or bags that close tightly. Don’t fill them all the way to the top to leave room for the chili to expand when it freezes. Write down the date and what’s inside on each container so you don’t forget. When you want to eat it again, just take it out of the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge overnight or use the microwave’s defrost setting. Heat it up on the stove or in the microwave, and you’ll have a quick and tasty meal ready to go. Freezing chili is a handy trick for when you’re too busy to cook from scratch.

Tags: chili, chili recipe, Cold weather food
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