Since our Chili cup event is coming up, I decided to collect some tips on how to enhance your chili experience at home.
1. If you chili is too thick, don’t use water to think it out. Use broth instead. Water deludes the flavors but the broth add to the flavors.
2. If your chili is too thin, you could add some tomato paste to thicken it. If this doens’t work, the next step is to add corn starch or corn meal.
3. Most folks use green jalapenos which are sold at the grocery store to give the chili its hotness. Apparently, there are many types of chiles with different names like: Anaheim, Poblano, Serrano, Santa Fe Chiles, etc. Basically, we can experiment and have fun with the whole process by trying different chiles. It is possible to use a combination of chiles as well.
4. The first step we take is to cook the meat. You need to brown the meat before you add the liquids to the recipe.
5. The better the quality of the meat, the better the chili. If you get meat that is less tender, make sure you cook the meat longer to soften it up and consider using a meat tenderizer.
6. Use fresh vegetables, not canned. There is a major difference. (This makes sense!)
7. Cook the chili the day before you plan to eat it. This way you give all the flavors in your chili time to blend. If you don’t have enough time to cook it the night before, prepare it in the morning and let it simmer all day.
8. Use your own mix of spices, herbs and chiles instead of using a prepackages mix. Prepackaged mixes have a lot of salt and preservatives which can change the taste of the chili. The batch of chili spices you make can be stored in your freezer for up to one year.
9. Don’t use old spices for your chili (or for any other cooking….for that matter). If you happen to have old spices, make sure they have been on the shelf for less than a year. After one year, spices loose flavor.
10. Have fun! Making chili takes time, but it can be a lot of fun as well.