Stef’s Cincinnati Chili Seasoning Mix

Stef’s Cincinnati Chili Seasoning Mix

Photo - 's Cincinnati Chili Seasoning Blend
… was first tried this fall after one of our besties and her partner invited us to enjoy a  bowl of homemade Cincinnati Chili.  My girlfriend loves a well-known seasoning blend, named after a restaurant chain, that is a bit hard to find hereabouts.  It’s also rather pricey to purchase online.

Being a woman who likes to mix her own, I decided to look it up.  And came across what seems to be the “first” version of Cincinnati Chili!  Along with a bit of it’s history.  (Check it out yourself.)

Oh the excitement!

So I made a batch, tweaked it to fit and voila!  A very satisfying portion of happiness.

However! The seasonings are many, so today, while pulling together a double batch to dine on tonight and freeze, in portions, for later, I decided to measure out a second portion of the dry seasonings to save for next time.

(I love cooking ONCE for multiple meals!)

In other words, I “packaged” my own Cincinnati Chili Seasoning Mix to keep handy in the cupbord!  🙂

Hope you like it!

Stef’s Cincinnati Chili Seasoning Mix

YIELD: Add to 1 double pot of Cincinnati Chili

What you’ll need …

2-3 bay leaves, set aside until the end
• 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) chili powder (use Stef’s Chili Powder Blend)
• 2 teaspoons (10 ml) ground allspice
• 2 teaspoons (10 ml) ground cinnamon
• 4 teaspoons (20 ml) ground cumin*
• 1 teaspoon (5 ml) red (cayenne) pepper
• 1 teaspoon (5 ml) coarse, unrefined salt (this is what I use)
• 2 to 3 Tablespoons (30 to 45 ml) unsweetened cocoa
• 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) organic brown sugar (Optional. To cut the acidity of the tomatoes in the chili recipe)

* I like cumin to be a major note in my chilis.  However, that might not be to everyone’s taste.  Since my Chili Powder Blend also has cumin in it, use my blend and leave out the additional cumin called for here if you prefer. 

How to “package” it …

1. Except for the bay leaves, mix together all.
2. Funnel into a glass container that holds just over 1/2 cup and that has a tight lid.
3. Push the bay leaves partially down into the seasoning blend, leaving the tops free to grab out later when you’re ready to make your chili.
4. Cover tightly if not using immediately.

Use with Stef’s Cincinnati Chili recipe.

Next time you make chili, you’ll find this as tasty as any commercial blend.  And much fresher!

Stef’s Notes:

If you wish to make single batches of chili, split your mix into 2 containers and store the unused portion(s) as described.

 It’s best to store your dried spices and herbs in a cabinet or drawer to protect them from direct light. Their natural oils will break down more slowly which helps keep them stay fresh and  flavorful for longer.

 How long it lasts depends on how fresh your spice ingredients are to begin with. If they are new, this should keep for about 6 months to a year if stored in an airtight, glass container out of direct light.

 To avoid ingesting pesticides and other questionable things, I always purchase organic herbs and spices when they are available.

Sweet and Savory Blend

Sweet and Savory is one of my favorite flavor blends.

Spice displays call to me like “hunny” to Pooh Bear. I cannot resist them. Each delectable scent beckons; sweet spices, e.g., cardamom, coriander seeds, ginger; spices that seem exotic to many of us in the United states; e.g., fenugreek, zatar and sumac. Mixing these with more commonly known flavors makes for an interesting and multi-dimensional dish.

Yields about 3/4 cup

What’s in it …
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) caraway seeds
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) coriander, ground or seeds
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) fennel seeds (this is what I use)
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) ground ginger
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) dried rosemary leaves
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) dried sage leaves
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) dried thyme
2 teaspoons (10 ml) dried mustard
1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground fenugreek (optionalthis is what I use)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) dried marjoram leaves
1 teaspoon (5 ml) sumac (optionalyou can buy sumac here)
1/2 teaspoon (5 ml) mixed peppercorns
1-2 dried porcini mushrooms (optional)
1-2 dried edible roses (optional. Found in middle eastern markets or online at amazon)

How you pull it together …
Working in small batches, drop one or two ingredients into a mortar and then grind with a pestal until finely textured. OR use a clean coffee grinder (When I’m feeling lazy, this is what I use to grind my spices and herbs.)

As you finish each batch, empty it into a glass container that has a tight lid and will hold more than a full cup. When every ingredient is finely ground, cover the container and shake shake shake until everything is fairly evenly blended. Store tightly covered.

This is fab with …
Roast chicken, pork, beef, lamb. Butternut squash (what isn’t great with butternut squash?!), eggplant, roasted tomatoes. Try a bit in a pot of soup to add something unexpected.