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Cincinnati Chili

05/19/2010

Many people are confused by Cincinnati Chili, especially non-Cincinnatians.  Chili with no beans or veggies?  What!?  Welp, Cincinnati chili is a blend of beef (in this case, veggie crumbles) and various spices, herbs, and flavors that make it extremely unique.  It isn’t eaten plain in a bowl like many chilis, it is served over spaghetti or on a hotdog as a coney. My version is all vegan (unless you add cheese on top).

Ingredients (serves 8-12, or fewer very hungry people/young men):

3 bags of veggie crumbles (whatever kind you like)
2 tsp garlic powder
6 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cayenne or red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tsp hotsauce (optional)
1.5 tsp cumin
1.5 tsp oregano
1.5 tsp allspice
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1.5 tsp paprika
3 tbsp light brown sugar
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tbsp red wine vinegar
Olive oil spray or several tablespoons olive oil
3 cups (about 2 15oz cans) plain tomato sauce
2.5 cups water
Salt and black pepper

Extra:

Veggie dogs
Hotdog buns
Spaghetti
Oyster crackers
Hot sauce
Cheese (optional, obviously)
Diced onions
Drained, cooked kidney beans
Mustard

Directions:

In one big pot, coat the bottom with olive oil (or spray).  Brown and cook the veggie crumbles.  Sprinkle a tiny bit of each spice plus salt and pepper onto the crumbles as they cook, to get the flavors started.  Once the crumbles are browned, add the tomato sauce and stir. Add water and stir.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir.  Stir stir stir.  When it starts to bubble, turn it to low and let cook for as long as possible.  The longer the cooking, the more flavor.  Add more salt and pepper to taste as it goes along.

To serve:

Cinci chili is served several ways.  It can be served over spaghetti plain, or with onions/beans/cheese/etc on top (you might have heard of Cincinnati chili served in “ways.”  These are:

Two Way: Chili on spaghetti
Three Way: The above plus shredded cheddar
Four Way: The above plus chopped onions
Five Way: The above plus kidney beans

    It can also be served on veggie dogs with mustard and onions on top (my favorite way), or you know, just on a veggie dog (but I love my mustard).


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