Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pam Tooke's Cincinnati Chili

My friend Pam Tooke gave me this recipe.  She is a crack up. She makes me laugh.  I love her comments on stuff.  Too bad she lives in Conneticut. I miss her.

But she knows chili... Cincinnati Chili.  It's like no other chili out there, it's got a yummy, warm spice to it, and there are no beans. It's the perfect chili for a hot dog, or do some crazy thing that they do in Cincinnati, put it on spaghetti noodles. 

I got to know Pam on a bus, in Ireland.  We were part of a business tour (all play, no work) in England and Ireland. 27 Bridal Directors from around the U.S... what a hoot.  Pam and I had to sit in the front of the bus, every day... because we get car sick. Have you seen the roads in Ireland?
So we sat together.
At the front, eyes on the horizon.
Have I mentioned that Pam can talk... a lot? 
If you know me, you know I can talk quite a bit too.
We were instant buddies. 
She is naughty too.. which is why I liked sitting next to her.

Pam, thanks for the great recipe and for being such an enthusthiastic fan of my blog!

(I made a triple recipe, so there is more ingredients shown than listed below)

Serves about 4-8, either as a main dish or a side dish
1 lb ground beef (I now use ground turkey), preferably fine ground
1 12 oz can of Tomato Paste
3 Cans of water
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1-4 Tbsp chili powder
3 bay leaves
2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp allspice
1 teaspoon cumin and/or Cayenne pepper

Combine all the ingredients, there is no need to cook the meat or onion ahead of time.  Just mix and bring to a boil, stirring to keep the pieces small.  I used a potato masher to make sure that the consistency was fine without any chunks.  It looks kinda gross at this point... I won't lie.

Reduce to a simmer, and cook for 2-3 hours, stirring every 20 minutes or so.  Keep a lid handy and the mixture covered to reduce splattering as it simmers.  I cracked the lid in order to reduce the moisture and thicken it. . Be sure to stir the mixture to break up the meat. It should have a fine consistency. This is a photo of the chili about half way through the cooking time.

Serve over fine spaghetti with shredded sharp cheddar cheese and diced onions. I used whole wheat pasta.... pretty darn sure that is probably wrong on some many levels if you are a purist.

I borrowed some of the details below about Cincinnati Chili from Wikipedia, because I thought it was fun!

Ordering Cincinnati chili is based on the series: Chili, Spaghetti, Shredded Cheese, Diced Onions, Beans. The number before the "way" of the chili determines which ingredients are included in each chili order. Thus, customers can order a:
Bowl: chili in a bowl
Two-way: chili and spaghetti
Three-way: chili, spaghetti, and cheese
Four-way: chili, spaghetti, cheese, and onions
Five-way: chili, spaghetti, cheese, onions, and beans
and optionally, the:
Four-way bean: chili, spaghetti, cheese, and beans (beans substituted for the onions)
(The preceding basic menu is entirely traditional. Some chili parlors have altered the traditional menu method, declaring on their menus that a Four-way is chili, spaghetti, shredded cheese, and either diced onions or beans.)

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