Friday, February 1, 2008

Cincinnati Chili

It's definently chili weather here in the Midwest (heh--no pun intended). So I decided to break out a new chili recipe last week, this one from Cooking Light. If you're not familiar with Cincinnati-style chili, it's made unique by the use of cinnamon in it and it's traditionally served over spaghetti. The recipe I used is a slight variation from traditional Cincinnati chili, because in addition the cinnamon, it incorporates an Indian spice mix called "garam masala." You can purchase garam masala at most specialty-type grocery stores (I had purchased mine last year at Global Foods Market), but it might also be available at some mainstream grocery stores, too, probably in the Asian Foods section. And if you're feeling especially adventurous, check out this recipe on how to make your own garam masala...don't be scared, you can do it! Anyway, we enjoyed this chili, a nice change from the standard chili, hearty, tangy and not too spicy.

Cincinnati Style Chili
  • 1-1/4 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 T. olive or canola oil
  • 2 tsp. garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 (5 oz.) can tomato paste
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 T. red wine vinegar
  • 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (15 oz.) can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 oz.) can light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Heat a large Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Brown ground beef about 6 minutes, or until no longer pink, stirring to crumble. Drain well and transfer to a small bowl.

Reduce heat to medium and add oil to the pan. Add onions and cook for about 4 minutes. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly (to prevent burning). Add the 4 spices to the pan; cook 1 minute or until fragrant. Add tomato paste; cook 1 minute. Add water, vinegar, and tomatoes to pan; bring to a boil. Add beef and beans to pan; cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.

If desired, serve chili topped with diced onions, shredded cheese, or sour cream.

Yield: 8 servings

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