Saturday, July 2, 2011

Cincinnati's Spaghetti Red Chili Recipe

Cincinnati's Spaghetti Red Chili
I had my first Cincinnati chili-mac dish at the Cincinnati airport on a connecting flight to Los Angeles a few years back. From that point on, I was hooked. Like what the cheesesteak did to Philadelphia, Cincinnati's claim to fame has produced rival variations of the red spaghetti chili-mac dish: Skyline and Gold Star.

Cincinnati chili is ordered by saying “one way”, (basic bowl of chili) “two way”, etc... with “six way” including chili, pasta, sauce, cheese, onions and garlic; but may include, beans, and jalapeƱos.

The 3 way means: chili, cheese, and noodles.
The 4 way means: 3 way + onions or beans
The 5 way means 3 way +onions and +beans

I'm not big on beans, but you can always add them.
Interestingly enough, the two factions in Ohio making the chili, Goldstar and Skyline both have their fans, and the vast array of varied chili recipes that have come out of the area have varied from their Macedonian origins into no one particular agreed upon winner. Credit goes to a immigrant hot-dog pushcart vendor by the name of Tom Kiradjieff who likely combined his chili with pasta popularized during the Italian immigration spike in the early 1920s. Then and now, it's known as Empress chili after its restaurant namesake.


While I'd never claim this is a Skyline chili recipe, as it leaves out the nut-meg, cinnamon, and cloves common among the sweeter "Greek" version, (but feel free to add it) this recipe is exactly how I like my Cincinnati chili-mac when I make it at home:

Ingredients Chili:
2 pounds of ground beef.
2 cups of crushed tomatoes
2 cups of water
1 tablespoon white vinegar
½ fresh diced onion
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon of cumin
2 teaspoons of sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
¼ teaspoon of onion powder.
¼ teaspoon of cayenne powder (optional)
2 Tablespoon of all-purpose flour.
1 Tablespoon of corn starch
pinch black pepper

Also, don't forget the noodles (typical spaghetti noodles).

Method:
1. Brown ground beef
2. Add all ingredients for the chili.
3. Simmer on medium-low heat for approximately 10 minutes.
4. Boil spaghetti noodles per manufacturer's instructions
5. Plate spaghetti, top with chili.
6 Garnish with cheese and other toppings. - serves 5-10 people.