National Chili Day on the fourth Thursday in February honors one of America’s favorite winter dishes–chili. It’s also known as chili con carne (chili with meat). February 27, 2020.
Chili is most commonly made up of tomatoes, beans, chili peppers, meat, garlic, onions, and cumin. However, cooks offer up so many variations to the basic chili recipe. And, with so many varieties, chili cook-off competitions love to feature chili as a favored entry.
American frontier settlers used a “chili” recipe of dried beef, suet, dried chili peppers and salt. All this was pounded together and formed into bricks and dried. They could then boil the bricks in pots on the trails.
At the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, the San Antonio Chili Stand helped people from all over the United States appreciate the taste of chili. Because San Antonio was a significant tourist destination, it helped Texas-style chili con carne spread throughout the South and West. In 1977, House Concurrent Resolution Number 18 of the 65th Texas Legislature designated chili con carne as the official dish of the U.S. state of Texas.
Before World War II, hundreds of small, family-run chili parlors (also known as chili joints) popped up throughout the state of Texas as well as other places in the United States. Each new chili parlor usually claimed some kind of secret recipe.
Ways to enjoy chili
There are many ways that people enjoy the great taste of chili, some of which include:
- Add chili to hot dogs to create chili dogs.
- Top burgers with chili and enjoy a chili burgers.
- Combine chili and cheese with fries and make chili cheese fries.
- Make the ultimate baked potato by stuffing it with chili.
- “Frito pie” is chili with spaghetti noodles.
- Transform mac and cheese into chili mac.
- Mix rice and chili for another flavor favorite.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalChiliDay
There are so many ways to enjoy chili. Just about everyone has their own recipe, too.
Use #NationalChiliDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL CHILI DAY HISTORY
Rich Kelly of Hard Times Cafe in Arlington, VA founded National Chili Day. The day has been celebrated with cook-offs, pot lucks, feeds and bottomless bowls since at least 2006.
Ingredients2 lbs minced beef or chuck
1 medium yellow onion diced
1/2 medium bell pepper chopped
2 Roma tomatoes diced
Sour cream (we like Daisy in squeezeable application)
Chucky salsa (we like taco bell mild)
1 – 16oz fiesta blend shredded cheese
Guacamole if desired
1 lg bag Tostitos Scoops (you can use any kind of totilla chip you prefer these just make handy cups)
2 pkg McCormick Taco seaoningChopped jalapeno, black olives, melted cheese sauce, are optional.
You can make to many variations to list, including chicken, steak, salsa verde, lime, and anything else you can dream up. I make mine like our family taco night.Farberware 22001 Buena Cocina Deep Nonstick Frying Pan / Fry Pan / Skillet with Lid and Helper Handle – 12 Inch, Black. by Farberware
- In medium pan, brown ground meat.
- Drain excess fat
- Add 1/2 cup water and taco seasoning stirring well to coat meat.
- Continue over medium heat until water has evaporated.
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Chop or dice vegetables as needed. I found a few great shortcuts if there is no one around to help. You can get shredded iceberg lettuce like the restaurants use in the produce section at your local Walmart. If I don’t have the time the also have pico de gallo instead of dicing onions and tomatoes yourself. They add cilantro and typically Serano peppers.
- Spread chips or cups on big tray.
- Evenly sprinkle with cooked, seasoned meat, vegetables, cheese and toppings as desired.
- Feeding a diverse crew? Set everything up and let them add their choices as they like them. This concept also works well for parties and game days too.
virgin or real margarita and maybe Tres Leche cake for dessert.