Chili Out

Written by Niki DAndrea Category: Local Products Issue: January 2014
Group Free


Warm up this winter with a local family recipe that calls for Arizona ingredients.

Jeremy Cox grew up eating chili at his grandparents' cabin in Christopher Creek in northeastern Arizona. When his grandfather died, the family recipe for "cabin chili" passed to Cox's father, who took over the weekly tradition of cooking it. For the past seven years, Cox has shared his family's legacy with the public through his Phoenix-based Christopher Creek Spice Company, which sells spices and rubs complete with recipes on the boxes. "It's really hard to mess up chili," Cox says. "I love to cook and I love to experiment, and I have dozens of variations on my website ( using my spices and rubs."

So when mother-daughter duo Sharyn and Rebecca Seitz, the new owners of heritage business Sphinx Date Co. in Scottsdale, asked Cox to concoct a version of his family's chili using their Medjool dates, he was happy to oblige. "You can go sweet or savory with [dates]," Rebecca Seitz says. "That chili is a good example."

The Seitzes were so pleased with the renovated-recipe results that they offer a "pantry box" ($49.95) containing the chili mix, beer, dates, pasta and hot sauce, along with a card containing Cox's recipe, at their Palm & Pantry store. Here's how everything comes together.

Cabin Chili with Medjool Dates (makes 8 servings)

• One box Christopher Creek Spice Company Cabin Chili

• Two pounds lean ground beef or turkey

• Two 15 oz. cans garbanzo beans, undrained

• Two 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes

• One 15 oz. can tomato sauce

• One 15 oz. can chicken broth

• One pound Sphinx Date Co. Medjool dates, chopped and pitted

• Two whole cinnamon sticks

• One package DeCio Tri-Chile Fiesta pasta

• One 12 oz. can SanTan Devil's Ale beer (optional)

• A dash of Arizona Spice Company roasted green chile & garlic hot sauce (optional)

• A dash of Sting 'N' Linger ghost pepper seasoning (optional)

1. Cook pasta according to package directions and set aside.

2. In a medium sauce pan, combine Medjool dates with beer. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. 3. Remove from heat and let cool for 20 minutes. Put mixture in blender and puree until smooth.

4. Brown meat, drain fat. Add Medjool date mixture, canned goods and Cabin Chili spice pack. Mix well.

5. Add whole cinnamon sticks and bring to a boil, uncovered, stirring often.

6. Reduce heat to medium-high and continue cooking, uncovered and stirring often, for 30 minutes.

7. Reduce heat to medium-low, add pasta and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

8. Remove cinnamon sticks and serve.

Sphinx Date Co. Palm & Pantry
3039 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale