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.
On January 7th you can remember the warm, cuddle ups from yesterday. Today you can add even more of those warm memories. January is National Soup Month, National Slow Cooker Month, and National Sunday Supper Month.
You can enjoy soups, stews and many other great dishes by doing some meal prep and slow cooker days. Nothing is better at the end of a long day in the cold than coming home to comfort foods like Beef Stew, Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup, Everyday Beef Stew, Beef Pepper steak, Minestrone, White Chicken Chili, and even regular Chili. Did I mention lots of these are good for game days as well.
Best of all you can do the prep ahead of time and put it in your Crockpot. Imagine a warm hearty comfort food hot and ready to eat after a long day.
Freezer meals and a crockpot should be among some of your best friends. Any of these family-friendly meals will definitely make National Sunday Supper something to look forward to. These are some of the favorites at our house….
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 pkg taco seasoning
- 1/4 c water
- 1/4 medium onion diced
- 1/4 medium green bell pepper diced
- 1 – 2 tomatoes chopped
- 1/2 head iceberg lettuce chopped
- 1 pkg flour tortillas
- 1 pint sour cream 1 8oz jar of your favorite salsa.
- Cheddar or Mexican blend shredded chesse
- Brown fround beef over medium heat. Add pkg taco season and 1/4 c water. Cook another 5-7 minutes allowing water to evaporate.
- Cut all vegetable toppings and place in separate bowls.
- Open pkg of tortillas and warm for 1 minutes microwave.
- Leave spoons in each ingredient to add to tortillas.In our home each person layers the ingredients on the tortilla as they like it. (I like mine full of equal parts veggies and meat. Topped generously with salsa and sour cream. If available I enjoy a bit of guacamole as well.)
- If you fill tortilla to full, you will need a fork and plenty of napkins.
- Roll tortilla tucking ends as you go. They are less likely to break or tear if warmed.
- Enjoy. We eat holding bottom firmly in place. Be cautious when setting down or they can unroll.
- Juices may leak from seams so keep a napkin close by.
by Mission Foods
These are an easy substitute to go low carb or keto.
There are so many options you can use with this basic idea. Substitute chicken, fish or steak, for ground beef. Avocado, refried beans, black beans, corn salsa, rice, cabbage. Any kind of cheese you like. Or use tortilla chips, top and warn for ultimate loaded nachos. Skip the tortillas entirely and add more lettuce for a great salad option. These make a great party food as well. Try some until you find your favorite. Try a new variation for Cinco de Mayo, or make it a game day treat. It’s really fun to try them all.