Cincinnati – Style Chili

Cincinnati-Style Chili

Cincinnati-Style Chili

Wow!  What an interesting spin on traditional chili recipes.  The idea of serving the chili over spaghetti was new to me and I loved it, especially loading it with add-ons at serving time.

I was definitely intrigued by the use of chocolate and sweet spices in chili, but they were indistinguishable in the finished dish and provided a depth of flavor that was so good.

Grated chocolate and sweet spices are added to the mixture.

Grated chocolate and sweet spices are added to the mixture.

This recipe is low in sodium if that is a concern for you, and it is also flexible in that you can add red kidney beans to the chili, or use them as a topping along with the cheese and green onions.  So if there are folks who would prefer not to have  beans in their chili, it all works to everyone’s satisfaction.

The next time I make this I will add a little extra broth, so it is more “saucy” for the spaghetti.  Other than that I wouldn’t change a thing about this great recipe.   Oh, and did I mention it’s made in the slow-cooker,  so you can start this early in the day and let it simmer, filling your kitchen with an aroma of what’s for dinner.   At dinner time all you have to do is boil some water and cook the spaghetti.

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The recipe makes 10 servings–a lot for two of us–so I cut the recipe in half, and there was enough for us to have it twice.  I also added the kidney beans to the slow cooker during the last hour of cooking time.

 

CINCINNATI-STYLE CHILI

Yield:  10 servingsIMG_8439

Ingredients;

  • 2 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans (8-ounces each) no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 1 can (14.5 0z.) reduced sodium beef broth
  • 2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 1/2 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 package ( 16 oz.) whole wheat spaghetti

Toppings:

  • 1 can ( 16-oz.) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1  1/4 cups shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 2 green onion, chopped

Directions:

1.  In a nonstick skillet, coated with cooking spray, cook turkey, onions and garlic until turkey is no longer pink.  Transfer to a 3-qt. slow cooker.

Cooking the ground turkey with the onion and garlic.

Cooking the ground turkey with the onion and garlic.

2.  In a large bowl, combine tomato sauce, broth, vinegar, chocolate and seasonings; pour over turkey mixture.

Making the tomato sauce mixture.

Making the tomato sauce mixture.

 

Cook, covered, on low 6 – 8 hours.

Add kidney beans during last hour of cooking time.

Add kidney beans during last hour of cooking time, if desired.

3.  Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain.  Remove bay leaf from chili.  For each serving, place 3/4 cup spaghetti in a bowl.  Top with about 2/3 cup chili, 3 tablespoons kidney beans, 2 tablespoons cheese and 1 tablespoon chopped onion.

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 My first bowl of Cincinnati-Style Chili, but certainly not my last!

SOURCE:    Taste of Home

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Broccoli-Cheddar Oven Risotto

Broccoli-Cheddar Oven Risotto

Broccoli-Cheddar Oven Risotto

Risotto is one of those old-time comfort foods that I grew up on.  It was prepared by my Northern Italian grandfather who was so fussy about how it was made that he didn’t trust anyone to get it right except himself.  My mother’s sister, my aunt, watched him carefully as he made the risotto in a big copper kettle, and after my grandfather passed on, she was the keeper of the “secret” of how to make a good risotto. And she was the one who continued the tradition of making it for us.

By watching my aunt make this simple rice dish I too learned how to make a “good” risotto.  Without a lot of details here, let me just say it required lots of stirring, and adding the hot chicken broth in small amounts until it was absorbed, then adding a little more, and so on…. Risotto also needed to be flavored with saffron which gave the rice a light yellow color, and enticing aroma and flavor.

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Although we all loved risotto, it was not made frequently, because it was labor intensive beginning with stewing a whole chicken to get the rich broth needed to cook the rice.  All the meat was saved and stirred into the rice at the end of its cooking time, making this dish very filling and hearty.   My Dad particularly loved my aunt’s rice,  rather unusual for a Swede, but you can’t account for a person’s taste, and like him, I love it too.

With this back story in mind, you can imagine my delight when I came across this recipe for risotto, baked in the oven, and no lengthy stirring required.  Well, I was all over that recipe like flies on a dead pig!!

I made it for the first time this week.   Mr. D. thought it was marvelous and I thought it was great, too.  The addition of broccoli that is roasted in the oven while the rice bakes, then added in at the end with cheddar cheese, produces a tasty, cheesy and filling main dish. I treated it as a side dish, and served it with sliced ham.   Not quite the same as the risotto I remember, but certainly a rendition that I plan to make again.

Baked risotto with ham.

Baked risotto with ham.

Times and cooking methods change.  More and more of the old ethnic dishes are being modernized and fused with new ingredients, so that what was once old is new again.  I, for one, like this trend.

BROCCOLI-CHEDDAR OVEN RISOTTO

Yield:    Serves 4

Ingredients:

Use Arborio rice which produces a very creamy risotto.

Use Arborio rice which produces a very creamy risotto.

  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (use vegetable broth for a vegetarian version)
  • 1 bunch broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 3/4 cups arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 4 oz.)

Directions:

1.  Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 425*F.    Bring chicken broth to a low simmer in a saucepan.

Warm the chicken broth.

Warm the chicken broth.

Toss the broccoli with the olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet.

Prepare the broccoli for roasting.

Prepare the broccoli for roasting.

2.  Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large Dutch oven or ovenproof pot over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 2 minutes.

Sauté onions in butter.

Sauté onions in butter.

Add the rice and stir to coat.

Add the rice to butter and onions and stir to coat.

Add the rice to butter and onions and stir to coat.

Pour in the wine and cook until evaporated, about 1 minute.  Add the hot both, 3/4 tsp. salt, and pepper to taste;  bring to a boil.

Add the wine and chicken broth all at once.

Add the chicken broth all at once.

3.  Cover the pot and set on the bottom oven rack.  Place the broccoli on the upper rack.  Bake, stirring the rice and broccoli once halfway through cooking, until most of the liquid has been absorbed in the rice and the broccoli is tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

4.  Remove the rice and broccoli from the oven.  Add 3/4 cup hot water, the remaining 1 Tbsp. butter, and the cheese to the rice and stir until creamy (add a little more hot water to loosen, if necessary).  Stir in the broccoli.

Add cheese to baked rice.

Add cheese to baked rice.

Stir in roast broccoli.

Stir in roast broccoli.

Incredibly good served with ham.

Incredibly good served with ham.

SOURCE:    Cooking Light