Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cincinnati Chili

I had a special dinner request for Cincinnati Chili. I absolutely agreed to do it because, Hey! It isn't like he was requesting  lobster, and I am really trying to support my kids exploring food and flavors. Plus, I thought that Cincinnati Chili was just regular old chili on noodles. That just isnt the case, There is a whole giant city in Ohio of rabid chili eaters - that are devouring this concoction that actually tastes nothing like what you think chili "normally" tastes like.

Welcome to a Whole New World of meaty - pasta - cheesey goodness!  I might even sing to you the Disney song from Aladdin. It would be very fitting with the mixture of spices that you are going to put into the Chili. 

I have heard that Cincinnati-ans are rabid passionate about their chili, who can blame them. This stuff is wildly weird and fantastic! We thought it was great at our house, and I invited my in-laws over to enjoy it too. You can taste all the different spices in it and they tickle your nose and your taste buds. 

Here's a little bit of information for you, so you can be super impressed with the whole dish - and ways to order it, and eat it and have it rule your world while you lay in bed and crave it at 2am. 

  • The chili spooned over freshly made pasta and topped with a combination of chopped onions, shredded Cheddar cheese, refried beans or kidney beans, and crushed oyster crackers.
  •  If you choose "the works," you are eating what they call Five-Way Chili. Make sure to pile on the toppings - that's what sets it apart from any other chili dish.
  • To test a restaurant for authenticity, ask for a Four-Way. If the server asks you whether you want beans or onions, you know this is fake Cincinnati chili, since Four-Way always comes with onions.  
And you eat your chili at a place called a Chili Parlor

to recap:
Two-Way Chili:   Chili served on spaghetti

Three-Way Chili:   Additionally topped with shredded Cheddar cheese

Four-Way Chili:   Additionally topped with chopped onions

Five-Way Chili:   Additionally topped with kidney beans

Cincinnati Chili Recipe - How To Make Cincinnati Chili:


1 large onion, chopped
1 pound extra-lean ground beef (hamburger)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin*
1/2 teaspoon red (cayenne) pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa or 1/2 ounce grated unsweetened chocolate*
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 (16-ounce) package uncooked dried spaghetti pasta
Toppings (see below)


In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, sauté onion, ground beef, garlic, and chili powder until ground beef is slightly cooked.

Add allspice, cinnamon, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, unsweetened cocoa or chocolate, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, cider vinegar, and water.

Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, 1 hour 30 minutes. Remove from heat.

Cook spaghetti according to package directions and transfer onto individual serving plates (small oval plates are traditional).

Oyster Crackers  - which I didn't have, so I used Saltines.
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Chopped Onion
Kidney Beans (16-ounce) can

Ladle Cincinnati Chili mixture over the cooked spaghetti and serve with toppings of your choice.

Oyster crackers are served in a separate container on the side.