The fall is finally here. It won’t be long before it’s time to put away the grills, turn on the heaters, and prepare for the cold months ahead. While you might miss the family vacations, outdoor barbecues, and fun in the sun, there is one thing you can look forward to – comfort food. As a means of keeping warm from the inside out, many households turn to delicious meals like roasts, macaroni and cheese, soup, and, of course, chili.
Whether you live in Cincinnati or some other Ohio city, chances are a nice bowl of chili is on your list of favorite fall meals. While you can find this dish at famous restaurants across the state, making it at home is much more rewarding. If you’ve never made your chili at home, here are a few cooking tips to get you started.
The Right Cookware Makes a Big Difference
A chef is only as good as their tools. When it comes to preparing chili, you need sturdy non-stick pots and pans that heat evenly. If your cookware is outdated, damaged, or inefficient, it may be time to replace it. Fortunately, you can find great deals and offers on cookware by following brands like MadeIn on social media. You’ll need to purchase things like large cooking pots and a sharp knife to cut your veggies.
Select the Freshest Ingredients
The types of ingredients you put in your chili can significantly affect flavor and taste. There are a ton of chili recipes you can follow online, but for the best-tasting results, you’ll want to purchase the freshest ingredients. If you have a garden, use herbs, spices, starches, and vegetables in your dish. If not, there’s always the option to shop at your local farmer’s market or shop fresh organic products as a neighborhood grocery store.
Sugar and Spice Makes Everything Nice
Some of the most famous chilis are known for encompassing a healthy balance between sweet and spicy. When deciding on ingredients for your recipe, try to include sweet items like yams, carrots, or squash. If you prefer your chili to have an extra kick, you can incorporate chilis, green peppers, and jalapeno peppers. It’s always best to start with small amounts of heat and then increase the intensity to taste. If you make it too spicy, you can balance it out by adding things like brown sugar or ketchup.
Experiment for Flavor Boosts
If you’re new to cooking chili, sticking to a basic recipe is recommended. However, seasoned chefs can make their dishes stand out by experimenting with different ingredients, spices, and additives to boost flavor. Go beyond your basic chili powder with things like cocoa, expresso, paprika, turmeric, cilantro, basil, beer, and balsamic vinegar.
Patience is a Virtue
As anxious as you are to enjoy a delicious bowl of chili, patience is the key to the perfect batch. The longer you allow the pot to simmer, the more time the ingredients have to blend as the meat, beans, and veggies, get nice and tender. While each recipe will vary, it is highly recommended that you allow the chili to simmer for an hour or more. If you don’t have that much time to spare, there’s always the option to throw everything in a crockpot. You can set the timer and come home to a delicious meal with very little prep.
Don’t Forget Your Toppings
Once your chili is completed, allow your guests to add toppings of their choice. Some popular options include cheese, sour cream, and chives. Of course, you don’t want to forget to serve it with bread or crackers as well.
If you’re looking for the perfect comfort food to warm you up this fall, you can’t go wrong with chili. Whether you prefer chicken, turkey, beef, or veggie, you can mix and match ingredients to create various hearty meals you can enjoy morning, noon, or night.