Kickin’ it Up at Brown Motors

Kickin-ChiliEvery one has a different recipe for it; at Brown Motors we just like chili!  Most of the guys like it spicey hot; I tried kickin it up a notch!  Most still added hot sauce… Any way you like it… chili is very popular!

Let’s see how much you know about chili!

1.  In the 1800s chili was sold from carts in San Antonio to customers who rode in from all over the prairie by:

  • Chili Queens
  • Bean Brigade
  • Cowboy Kings

2. This state named chili its state dish:

  • Maryland
  • Louisiana
  • Texas

3. This U.S. city has 3x’s as many Chili Parlors as McDonald’s:

  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Buffalo, NY
  • Los Angeles, CA

4. This Western Outlaw refused to rob a bank in McKinner, TX  because his favorite Chili Parlor was located there:

  • Jesse James
  • “Doc” Holliday
  • Billy  the Kid

5. Pounds of chili sold by the Bush Brothers in one year:

  • 5.5 million
  • 55 million
  • 55,000

6. Where & when the first chili cook-off was held:

  • Santa Fe, NM – 1923
  • Terlingua, TX – 1967
  • Houston, TX – 1989

7. Mexican dish that was likely the predecessor to American chili:

  • Enchiladas
  • Mole
  • Salsa

8. The amount of chile powder equal to one average-sized chile pepper:

  • 1 Tablespoon
  • 1 cup
  • 1 teaspoon

9. The most traditional bean used to make chili is the:

  • Black bean
  • Garbanzo bean
  • Pinto bean

10. The ‘heat’ of a chile comes from the:

  • Seeds
  • Skin
  • Internal partitions of the fruit

The answers to the little quiz are found below this yummie chili recipe. Hope you learned something new about chili!

Emeril’s Kickin Chili

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 pounds ground beef
  • 4 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Emeril’s Southwest Essence
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 4 (12-ounce) bottles dark beer
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 ounce (1 square) unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chili beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup grated Cheddar, for garnish

1. Make Emeril’s Southwest Essence: 2 T chili powder, 2 tsp ground cumin, 2 T paprika, 1 tsp pepper, 1 T ground coriander, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 T garlic powder, 1 tsp crushed red pepper, 1 T salt, 1 T dried oregano. Mix well; store in air tight container.

2. Heat the oil in a large heavy pot over high heat. Add the beef and brown well, about 10 minutes. Add the onions, chili powder, cumin, Southwest Essence, cayenne, cinnamon, crushed red pepper, and bay leaf and cook, stirring often, until the onions soften, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the beer and cook until the foam subsides, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, brown sugar, and chocolate to the pot. Stir well and bring to a boil.

3. Reduce to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 1 hour, stirring occasionally to prevent the chili from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Skim off as much fat as possible. Add the beans, return to a simmer, cover, and cook until thickened, about 1 1/2 hours longer. Serve with the cheese.


  1. Chili Queens: The Queens, who were for the most part Mexican, made their chili at home and then loaded it onto colorful little chili wagons, on which they transported it to the plaza, along with pots, crockery, and all the other gear. They built mesquite fires on the square to keep the chili warm, lighted the wagons with colored lanterns, and squatted on the ground beside the cart, dishing out chili to customers, who sat on wooden stools to eat the chili.
  2. Texas: Texas designated chili the official state dish in 1977. Texans claim that chili originated in their state, and the Texas legislature proclaimed chili the official state dish “in recognition of the fact that the only real ‘bowl of red’ is that prepared by Texans.”
  3. Cincinnati:  Chili is an important tradition in Cincinnati, but unlike Texas, they serve theirs thin (sometimes beanless) over spaghetti and topped with everything from cheese to kidney beans and chopped onion. On the 2008 presidential campaign trail, both presidential hopefuls, Barack Obama and John McCain, made a pit stop for a heaping bowl of chili at Cincy’s Skyline Chili.
  4. Jesse James:   Frank and Jesse James reputedly ate a few bowls of “red” before pulling many of their bank jobs. McKinney was spared from their criminal activities because of the local chili parlor. They vowed never to rob the McKinney town bank, because “any place that has a chili joint like this just oughta be treated better.”
  5. 55 million:  Bush Brothers sells more than 55 million pounds of chili, kidney, and pinto beans in one year — the weight equivalent to 4,200 male African elephants!
  6. Terlingua, TX – 1967:  Every year on the first of November, the Chili Appreciation Society International holds a chili cook-off contest in Terlingua, Texas. The festive cook-off is preceded by three days of chili appreciation.
  7. Mole:  The ancient dish called mole is a saucy mix of chile peppers, vegetables, chocolate, and cinnamon. Meat didn’t enter the picture until chili sprang up in Texas.
  8. 1 T:  Chile peppers provide both spicy heat and flavor to chili — you can’t make chili without them! Most cooks suggest using two to four chile peppers per pound of meat.
  9. Pinto bean:  A great debate has raged for decades over whether to include beans in chili and what type of bean is best, if you do. Pinto beans are the age-old classic, but many people enjoy black beans or kidney beans, too.
  10. Internal partitions of the fruit: Seeds are not the source of heat in a pepper, as most people believe. Their pungency is derived from a compound called Capsaicin which is produced in the glands and the most heat is found in the placenta of the pepper that attaches the seeds to the pod.

Enjoy your next bowl of chili however you like it!

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