Dad’s Chili Spice Mix

Blended using the best organic herbs and spices I could find, Dad’s Chili Spice Mix has surprised me in its versatiliy. Just about any dish calling for chili powder to provide a Southwestern or Mexican vibe will benefit, in my humble view, from the complementary spices in DRB Chili Spice Mix. Try it in the recipes below and have fun trying new combos as well.

It all started in a little hut in a sleepy Mexican village. Well no, it actually started in my kitchen in 1999 when I started fooling around with spices for my chili. I riffed on the chili spices listed in a recipe from a brand new cookbook I got for Christmas that year. I fiddled and faddled and came up with the basic design for the Mix. Over the years, I used it whenever I needed a kick out of an otherwise bland dish. We hope you have fun with our Chili Spice Mix!

Basic Blend

Make a batch using the amounts shown here for several recipes. Store unused Chili Spice Mix in a baggie or plastic container. Freezes well if you must. I use all these ingredients in ground form. If you use fresh, remember that 1 oz fresh equals 1/2 oz of ground, as a general rule:

Chili powder1/4 CupAny chili powder will do, but I like Ancho chili powder. Open to suggestions.
Oregano1 1/2 TablespoonsTurns out that is “Mexican Oregano” is actually something else, but called oregano in the stores. I’m using Mexican oregano in my latest batches ’cause it just seemed right.
Coriander1 1/2 TablespoonsThe dried seeds of the plant also known as cilantro. Who knew?
Cumin1 1/2 TeaspoonsCommon to many dishes from Mexico City to Mumbai.
Cayenne pepper1 TeaspoonCareful with this. The proportion in my Spice Mix may give you more heat than you bargained for, but this depends on personal preference and the specifc Cayenne pepper you choose. Use with care. You can add heat, but it’s awful hard to take away.

Top 10 Recipes

How to use Dad’s Spice Mix Comments
1. Dad’s Cookoff ChiliFollow the link. Vary the cayenne pepper to adjust heat.
2. TacosUse Spice Mix instead of taco seasoning when you saute beef for tacos, enchiladas, or taco salad.
3. Pan-fried fishSeason your flour with Spice Mix before pan frying your tilapia, cod, or latest fishing trip catch.
4. Butter chickenYes, we think of butter chicken as a curry-flavored dish, but why not give it a south-of-the-border angle?
5. Spare ribsDad’s Spice Mix makes a great dry rub for ribs. Wrap the ribs in plastic and marinate for a day or so in the fridge. Then bake, grill, etc. Use Spice Mix if you roll your own sauce.
6. Spicy mayoAdds zing to sandwiches, chicken salad, whatever.
7. Breakfast casseroleSubstitute Spice Mix and chorizo for a new perspective.
8. Deviled eggsUse Spice Mix instead of paprika and in the mayo.
9. Spiced nutsFor the holidays or anytime, you can’t eat just ten.
10. Pulled porkAdd Spice Mix to the prepared pork or use it to create your own in a slow cooker or on the stove.
11. Your idea???