Scott Phillips, Get Your Grill On – Too often people tend to reach for a one size fits all bottle of chili powder as the basis for their chili seasoning. While there’s not anything necessarily wrong with that, I believe that if you use a one size fits all seasoning, that’s the kind of chili you’re going to get. Start from scratch with your spices though, and you can create a signature flavor that’s all your own.
I start my chili seasoning with about a dozen large dried California Chiles. Half go directly into the blender and are ground into a powder. The other half go into a hot cast iron skillet and heated until they are smoking, brittle and just short of scorched (you might want to open a window.)
Once cooled, they go into the blender, too. The scorched peppers have a pungent, smoky flavor with lots of depth. They can be a little overpowering, which is why I mix them with the other dried chiles. You can adjust the ratio to your liking.
Once your chiles are ground into powder, they serve as the foundation for your own custom chili powder. Beyond the basics of the ground chiles, salt, and garlic powder, the sky is the limit.
- 2 Tbsp Ground “Scorched” California Chiles
- 2 Tbsp Ground California Chiles
- 2 tsp Kosher Salt
- 2 tsp Cumin
- ½ tsp Garlic Powder
- 1½ tsp Cocoa Powder
- ½ tsp Instant Espresso Powder
- 2 tsp Sugar
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
- Mix everything together