Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Mock Cincinnati Chili
Having been privileged to live in Cincinnati, Ohio, for several years, I learned to love Cincinnati foods from Cincinnati chili, to Graeter's bakery products, and Graeter's incredible ice cream! I remember our very first visit to a local restaurant, not a chili parlor, when the waitress reviewed the specials and said "chili spaghetti". I replied "chili or spaghetti?" and she responded, "No, chili-spaghetti, it is all-in-one, mixed together." I was hooked forever and sometimes make chili alone, but oftentimes, boil a pot of spaghetti along with my chili!
I love any kind of chili from the Texas brew to Cleveland chili contests, but my favorite is Cincinnati chili, which has a rich dark color! Since many of our meals today lean to vegetarian, I have adopted the original Cinti chili to what we prefer, a meatless chile. Since beans are considered as "meat" in the new food tables, and I much prefer vegetables to meat, I include a few of the Cinti secret ingredients in my veggie chili.
When I do not have time to make the vegetarian version of what I call "real" Cincinnati chili per the many recipes I have from the natives, I make "mock" Cinti chili by adding heaping teaspoons of cinnamon and one heaping tablespoon of chocolate cocoa powder to my small pot of chili.
Pictured below are some of my "secret" ingredients and my bowl of chili plus cheese! The traditional cheese used in Cincinnati chili is a yellow shredded cheese, but I love mozzarella cheese and use it on anything!