8 Genius Ways to Up Your Chili Game in the Kitchen

Blossom Lady
Jan 22, 2021 07:28 AM
8 Genius Ways to Up Your Chili Game in the Kitchen

It’s no secret that cold weather and chili go hand in hand — but chili is a great year-round crowd-pleaser. Chili is also endlessly versatile, easy to make healthy or vegetarian, and fun to set up a chili bar with lots of toppings, like grated cheese, chopped scallions, sliced avocado, and more. You might even find yourself making it so often that it starts to get a little, well, boring. But those days are over. Today I’d like to share with you some more kitchen hacks and easy, unexpected ways to change up your chili and give it a big flavor boost. I hope, these simple ideas and tips will make your time in the kitchen a little bit more pleasant!

Spice it up

8 Genius Ways to Up Your Chili Game in the Kitchen
Why limit yourself to the usual chili powder or cumin? Sprinkle in some smoked paprika for extra smokiness, cinnamon for a hint of warm sweetness, or garam masala or tandoori spice blend for Indian flair. For a toasted-spice profile, add a small fraction to the skillet or pot while sautéing the garlic before combining all the ingredients. It accentuates every subtle nuance.
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Taking the sting out of cut chiles

8 Genius Ways to Up Your Chili Game in the Kitchen
Mincing fresh chiles can lead to hand burns that last for hours. Here are some tips for avoiding that unpleasantness.
A. Protect yourself with a grater and a zipper-lock bag. Using the bag as a glove, hold the chile and grate it along the surface of a box or rasp grater. This method doesn’t allow you to remove the seeds, so you will get maximum heat from chiles prepared this way.
B. For those times when you need to chop a little more carefully, coat one hand with oil (not the hand you use to hold the knife), and then cut the chiles, making sure to touch them only with your oiled hand. When you’re done, wash your hands with hot, soapy water.
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Easy chile mincing

8 Genius Ways to Up Your Chili Game in the Kitchen
For a quick way to season your dips and sauces with chipotle chiles or pickled jalapeños, simply put a small amount of chile into the well of a garlic press and squeeze.
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Seeding chile peppers

8 Genius Ways to Up Your Chili Game in the Kitchen
Using a knife to remove the seeds and ribs from a hot chile pepper takes a very steady hand. Here’s a safer and equally effective alternative.
1. Cut the chile in half with a knife.
2. Starting opposite the stem end, run the edge of a small melon baller scoop down the inside of the chile, scraping up seeds and ribs.
3. Cut off the core with the scoop.
4. To easily seed very small chiles before slicing them, remove the stem and halve the chile crosswise.
5. Roll the chile gently, breaking the ribs off and forcing them, and the seeds, out the cut end. The seed-free chile can be sliced into rings.
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Seedless jalapeño rings

8 Genius Ways to Up Your Chili Game in the Kitchen
To make neat rings of jalapeños without the seeds or spicy ribs for garnishing nachos and the like, employ a vegetable peeler.
1. Cut off the stem end of the jalapeño with a knife, then insert the peeler down into the chile. Using a circular motion, core the chile and pull out the ribs and seeds.
2. Shake any remaining seeds out of the chile, then slice it into rings.
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Roasting chiles

8 Genius Ways to Up Your Chili Game in the Kitchen
It is tedious and inefficient to hold small chiles over a flame with tongs to roast them. Try this method for roasting multiple chiles at a time. Place the chiles on a wire rack and lay the rack flat on top of the burner. You can easily shake the rack, and therefore turn the chiles, by grasping at the outer edge with an oven mitt or tongs.
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Easier stuffed chiles

8 Genius Ways to Up Your Chili Game in the Kitchen
Poblano chiles are good for stuffing and baking, but their long, tubular shape can make filling them a challenge. Get help from a drinking glass. After cutting off the poblano’s top and removing its seeds, set it into the glass, which holds it upright and stable while it’s stuffed.
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