Cincinnati Chili

I’m not from Ohio, but I lived there for several years.  I even worked for the state government.  What they call “Cincinnati chili” is not anything like Texas chili.  It is a Thing though, and it is tasty in its own way. Or rather, Ways.  You order it at chili shops/parlors as a “way” depending on how you want it.

Ways of Cincinnati Chili

Two-waySpaghetti and chili
Three-waySpaghetti, chili, and cheese
Four-waySpaghetti, chili, cheese, and onion
Four-way Bean (in some places)Spaghetti, chili, cheese, and beans (substituted for onions)
Five-waySpaghetti, chili, cheese, onions, and beans
These are the ways of Cincinnati Chili

Yes, you read that right.  Spaghetti.  Cincinnati chili is more like a sauce than a stew and it’s also good for making coneys (also known as chili-dogs).

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Cincinnati Chili

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Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp EVOO
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 c tomato sauce
  • 2 c water
  • 1/4 c red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 c (4 Tbsp) chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp hot sauce (Red hot, Tabasco, etc.)
Method
  1. Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high.
  2. Add onion and garlic; saute for 3-4 minutes, until beginning to soften.
  3. Push mixture to the sides and add beef in the middle, breaking up.
  4. Brown meat, mixing in with onion/garlic mixture as it’s broken up.
  5. Drain off grease. Add meat to a 6-7 quart slow cooker.
  6. Top with remaining ingredients. Stir.
  7. Cover and cook 5 hours on LOW.

Slow Cooker Creamy Lentil Soup

Lentils are supposed to be good for you, but most of my family would probably eat them even if they weren’t billed as a healthy food.  My daughter, especially, enjoys them.  This soup is a little different, in that it has cream cheese in it but it is very tasty.  We make Slow Cooker Creamy Lentil Soup when my son won’t be eating dinner at home because lentils are part of that dreaded bean family.  And he doesn’t care for anything beany.

Baked Hominy

This is a good side dish for people who like corn but want something a little different.  You can spice it up with hot sauce or Sriracha if you like.  Since it’s already cooked, you’re basically melting the cheese and heating it, so you can cook it along with other dishes in the oven if you adjust the baking time accordingly.

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Baked Hominy

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Nutrition per portion

Ingredients
  • 2 cans hominy
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1.5 c grated cheese
  • 8 oz container sour cream
  • 1/4 c milk
  • Bacon bits to taste
Method
  1. Heat oven to 350.
  2. Grease 13″ x 9″ pan.
  3. Drain hominy and put in large mixing bowl.
  4. Add remaining ingredients.
  5. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes

Spinach Pasta Soup

This is a pretty, Italian-inspired soup.  It has the green of spinach and the red of tomatoes so it can be served to brighten up otherwise colorless meals.  The pasta means it can be served as a meal with maybe some breadsticks or garlic toasts.  For those who insist on meat, some crumbled sausage or tiny meatballs could be added.

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Spinach Pasta Soup

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Ingredients
  • 1 box (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed
  • cooking oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • garlic to taste, about 2-3 cloves
  • 1 carton chicken broth or stock
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 8 oz small pasta
  • 3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • a few grinds of pepper
  • 1 egg
Method
  1. Cook the onion and garlic in the oil. Add 4c water and the broth and bring to a boil
  2. Add tomatoes, spinach, and sugar. Stir well.
  3. Add pasta.  Cook for time on package for “al dente”.
  4. Combine Parmesan salt pepper and eggs in a small bowl, drizzle over soup, stirring and cook for 2 minutes.

Bionico

Oh my, this is tasty when done right.  Trouble is, who decides?  I have two links for you.  As I post this, my grandson is visiting so I can’t use my raw honey recipe and will be adapting by combining the two.  This one is only seasoned with vanilla.  Um, no. The other one has a teaspoon of cinnamon.  Not quite right either, but if you make the creme from the first one and add cinnamon, you get something that works.

 

 

 

Curry Style Chicken Stew

Two thumbs up for this variation.  Curry Style Chicken Stew is a listed variation on an Italian stew from the folks at Family Circle. The recipe calls for thighs, but I’ll sub in breasts for the same weight.  Thighs are more flavorful but breasts are on sale more often. Also, I never put bone-in chicken in the slow cooker except for “rotisserie” style because I don’t care for how the tendons come out.  Personal preference.

Beef Bourguignon

This is one of my favorite beef dishes.  I love, love, love the rich flavor of the veggies and how it all stews together in the slow on-the-stove cooking (over an hour).  The traditional wine for this is Burgundy but nowadays you’ll find it rebranded as pinot noir.  It’s okay to get the pre-sliced mushrooms and toss them in, but they smell so earthy when you’re chopping them.  And, honestly, any dish that starts out with cooking five slices of bacon…well, yeah!   I like to have this with mashed potatoes but any starch to absorb the lovely sauce would do.

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Beef Bourguignon

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Nutrition per portion

Ingredients
  • 5 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 8 oz carrot chips
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 2 lbs lean stew beef, cubed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
  • pinch of allspice
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 8 oz chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1 c pino noir
  • 1/2 c beef stock
Method
  1. In a large skillet, cook bacon and drain on paper towels.
  2. Pour off fat, reserving 2 Tbsp
  3. Saute the onions, carrots, and celery for five minutes, until soft.
  4. Transfer to a bowl with slotted spoon.
  5. Season the beef with salt and pepper, and brown in the skillet.
  6. Crush herbs and sprinkle with flour over browned meat.
  7. Add the mushrooms, vegetables, bacon, wine, tomato paste, and broth.
  8. Cook over low, covered for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  9. Serve with mashed potatoes.