Cincinnati chili a real hot topic

  • Thu May 3rd, 2012 2:35pm
  • Life

By Judyrae Kruse Herald Columnist

When Gary Hinz of Everett recently asked for help connecting with a Cincinnati chili recipe, neither he nor we had the faintest idea that we’d all be off on a great chili adventure.

But, yippy, skippy, we are and today we have another recipe to try, this time shared by Gracie Dinsmore, formerly of the Arlington area but now working her kitchen magic back there in Missouri.

“My husband Dan and I,” she writes, “went to Cincinnati in 2009. Of course, we had to try some of the famous chili. It doesn’t taste like what we would consider regular chili. The ground beef is ground extra fine, no texture at all, and it has a really sweet flavor.

“But the big thing you have to learn is the Chili Code for ordering: one way, chili only; two way, chili with noodles; three way, chili, noodles and Cheddar cheese; four way, chili, noodles plus Cheddar and onions; and five way, chili, noodles plus Cheddar, onions and kidney beans.”

Once back home again, Gracie looked for and found the following chili recipe in a November/December 2008 Food Network Magazine:

Cincinnati chili, five way

2tablespoons vegetable oil

2onions, chopped, divided

2cloves garlic, minced

2tablespoons chili powder

2tablespoons sweet paprika

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck

Kosher salt

1can (8 ounces) tomato sauce

1cup diced tomatoes

1bay leaf

1 1/2 cups water

2tablespoons chopped unsweetened baking chocolate

1tablespoon cider or red wine vinegar

2tablespoons Worcestershire

Freshly ground pepper

12 ounces spaghetti cooked and drained

1can (about 15 ounces) kidney beans, drained and rinsed, more to taste

1pound grated Cheddar cheese

Oyster crackers

Heat oil in a medium Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat. Add half the onion, all the garlic and cook until soft, stirring, about 5 minutes. Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin, allspice, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne and cloves. Cook, stirring, until fragrant. Add the beef and cook the mixture, stirring, until the beef is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon salt.

Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, bay leaf and water; simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thicker. Add the chocolate, vinegar and Worcestershire and cook until the mixture is thickened, but still soupy, about 15 more minutes.

Discard the bay leaf and season the chili with pepper. Divide the spaghetti among bowls and top with the chili, beans, remaining chopped onion and cheese. Serve with the oyster crackers.

Note to Donna Turner: Use 1 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped.

The next Forum will appear in Wednesday’s Good Life section.