Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cincinnati Chili

I will never forget the first time I saw a bowl of chili - with spaghetti mixed in. We'd just moved from Arkansas to Indiana, and the school menus said they were having chili - not spaghetti. In my Southern-bred little mind, that was just entirely too strange to comprehend.

But I was hungry enough to eat it anyway, and it turned out to be okay after all. And although I never quite got used to the sight of spaghetti noodles worming their way through my chili, life went on.

Fast forward 20 years or so, and my constant search for new recipes led me back to an old one. I found a recipe for the classic Cincinnati chili (aka Skyline Chili) and decided to give it a go. It's quite tasty, though I think I will make a couple of changes next time I throw it together. First, I'm leaving out the pork. I can't really taste it, and it adds a lot of fat. Second, I'm going to cut down the cocoa powder by about half. It didn't dissolve well in the chili and it has a slightly powdery texture that I'm not crazy about. Otherwise - yum.

Even with the spaghetti.

Cincinnati Chili

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1 large onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans kidney beans, rinsed & drained
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
1/4 c white vinegar
1/4 cup baking cocoa (cut this down some)
2 T chili powder
2 T Worcestershire sauce
4 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp oregano
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp allspice
2 tsp hot pepper sauce
3 bay leaves
1 tsp sugar
hot cooked spaghetti

In a large soup kettle, cook beef, pork, onions, and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the remaining ingredients, except spaghetti. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 90 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Serve over spaghetti with typical chili toppings (sour cream, cheese, tomatoes, etc)

Serves 8.
NI (1 cup, without spaghetti): 421 calories, 16g fat, 38g carbohydrate, 11g fiber, 32g protein

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