Saturday, September 25, 2010

Queen City Cincinnati Chili for the King Of My Heart

Making fresh pasta for the chili tonight
     I learned many things about Cincinnati the first time my husband brought me back for a visit to his hometown. Cincinnati is a charming big city that has found a way to be modern and cosmopolitan without sacrificing it’s small town charm. There is a respect for tradition and history and it is evident in the civic pride the architecture and especially the food.

     One of the first things you learn about Cincinnatians is the love they have for their food traditions. When one asks a local for advice on what to do in town the answer will invariably be a list of the most amazing places to eat. These ice cream parlors, grocery shops, bakeries and butcher shops are described with pride and affection and are as much a part of their history as Riverfront stadium. A million memories of family, friends and growing up are tied to each one. When you see the smiles on their faces and the light in their eyes as they share these recollections you instantly understand who they are. It is the connection we all have to food memories and feelings and nowhere have I found it to be more evident than n Cincinnati.

    It was here I was first introduced to the glories of the delectable Cincinnati Chili. This is not the earthy sturdy Chili of Texas or New Mexico whose flavors fed the west. The Western Chili has a refined sophisticated Northern sister who has traveled the world picking up ingredients as souvenirs, hints of exotic flavors is so tantalizingly different that your palette is at once surprised and intrigued and you must have more.
This chili smells amazing

     Cincinnatians have rules about their chili. I learned very quickly that there was a specific way to order the chili (all served with Oyster crackers)

A three way is spaghetti topped with Chile and grated cheese
A four way adds  onions
A five way adds  beans

Tonight we serve the 5-way variety

     It is with much affection that I prepare Cincinnati chili for our dinner tonight. It’s a tribute to John’s hometown. We love the flavor of this dish and we love the Queen City. 
½                  Onion                $.59
1/2 lb            Ground beef       $2.30
3/4 Tbs         Chili powder
2                   Cloves garlic      $.30
1/2                Tsp allspice
3/4 tsp           Cinnamon
1/2 tsp           Cumin
1/4 tsp           Cayenne
1/4 oz            Chocolate         $.40
1/2 table        Cider vinegar
1/4 cup          Water
1/2 can          Tomato sauce   $1.00
1/2 table        Worcestershire
1                       Bay leaf
I sauté the onion beef till just about done
Add garlic & chili powder 
(I grated the garlic on a garlic grater)
My garlic grater

Add allspice cumin cayenne pepper salt chocolate
Tomato sauce cider vinegar &
Worcestershire sauce

I add a bay leaf (remove before serving)
Simmer for an hour
Put   the chili on top of a pile of Spaghetti 
Top  the chili with red beans  $.99
top   the Red Beans with diced onion
top   the onions with finely grated cheddar $1.50
Total $7.08 give or take a few cents

TIP OF THE DAY: When visiting a city that is known for a certain dish, make sure to try it. Part of any good trip is experiencing the regional cooking. There is usually a reason that the dish is celebrated so, embrace the experience. You may just wind up with a lifelong friend.


John said...

I have to say, she has really come through with a "better than the real deal" with this one! She made fresh pasta, the spices were fresh and ground at cooking time, and the taste is very authentic. I am a proud (and stuffed like a tick) husband!

Condo Blues said...

I love Cincinnati Style chili! The last time we bought at a drive through my dog barked his order into the microphone! They have dog treats at the window.