Friday, February 25, 2011 is National Chili Day. The Dallas-Fort Worth area can surely appreciate this holiday because Texas is known for four foods: Chicken Fried Steak, barbecue, chili and Tex-Mex in general.
Many of us might have frozen to death earlier this month without a steaming hot bowl of Texas chili. I cooked up a mean batch during the ice storm. I prefer it with Fritos, grated cheese and I did slice up some avocados--giving in a lighter, healthier appearance.
Chili can be as unique as the snowflakes that fell Super Bowl week. Being a native of this fine state, I support traditional Texas chili. It's the perfect mixture of ground beef seasoned with chili powder, cumin, onion, garlic, etc. Notice that I did not mention beans. I believe that the traditional dish does not include beans.
I've officially quit entering Chili Cook-Offs. I always make my traditional treat--minus the beans and funky stuff--but I add hot peppers to kick it up a notch. A friend made Cincinnati Chili and won the big prize in our neighborhood's chili cook-off. Cincinnati-style chili has some pretty unusual ingredients in it like cinnamon, cloves, allspice or chocolate in it. Hello? Texans don't put cinnamon or chocolate in chili. That's for dessert--like Texas Sheet Cake.
Beans or No Beans? That's the Question
Purists (like me) stick to tradition. I've heard that some chili cook-offs will disqualify you for adding beans. Let's look to one of the experts for some guidance here. Tolbert's Restaurant in Grapevine is famous for its chili and its house specialty is a bowl of red (chili) with no beans. Oh they serve one with beans called "North of the Border Chili." I can only guess that they're talking about Oklahoma.
Don't get me wrong. I do like chili with beans. I sampled some recently at a friend's house and it was quite delicious. But let's take it to the voters and see what you have to say about it.
Do you like your chili with or without beans? That's the real issue here. Regardless, enjoy this blessed day! Thanks for voting in my poll. (Photo courtesy of Tolbert's Restaurant).