My family moved to Cincinnati when I was 13 years old. I soon learned that there are many food items and brands associated with Cincinnati that Cincinnatians are very proud of. Some of those are Montgomery Inn Ribs and Sauce, Graeters Ice Cream, Busken Bakery's Smiley Face Cookies, LaRosa's Pizza (very saucy, my favorite!), and of course, Cincinnati Chili! There is debate of who rules, Skyline or Gold Star, but I prefer Skyline (mostly because I get the jingle stuck in my head...)
Cincinnati Chili is very different from a chunky, beef and bean type chili that's super hearty and a meal in and of itself. Skyline Chili is more like a sauce, the meat is almost pureed, and always served over a heaping pile of spaghetti, or topping a coney (a hot dog).The chili is very spicy and hot, it has incredible depth of flavor, and it's very hearty.
There are a few traditional ways to eat Cincy Chili:
3-Way: Chili over spaghetti topped with mounds of Cheddar Cheese
4-Way: Add minced, raw white onion to a 3-way
5-Way: Add cooked kidney beans to a 4-way
Anyway you eat it, it's delicious. When JJ and I go, we usually each get a 4-way coney and share a 4-way spaghetti. You can buy skyline chili in the freezer or in a can, but it's not the same, so I decided to tackle making it at home.
I love to incorporate Morningstar Farms crumbles in place of ground beef whenever I can, and it actually was perfect for this chili. Since the meat is broken down so far it's almost pureed, the crumbles were just the right texture.
I think I hit the spice blend pretty well, but I think not having the beef flavor made it a little off, but it was pretty close! This meal was delicious and reminded me of home!
Vegetarian Cincinnati Chili 4-Way
1 tbsp. EVOO
1/2 medium onion, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 package Morningstar Farms Grillers Crumbles
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. allspice
2 tbsp. Dutch process cocoa powder
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 c beef stock (or vegeable stock)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
1/2 lb. Barilla plus spaghetti
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Diced raw white onion
Heat a soup pot over medium heat.
Add EVOO, onions, garlic, and season with salt.
Cook for 3-4 minutes, until onions are translucent.
Add crumbles,spices, tomato sauce, stock, worchestershire, and bay.
Simmer covered for 30 minutes.
If it's too watery, simmer uncovered, if it's too thick, add some more beef stock.
Prepare pasta and mince onion.
Plate pasta, ladle chili over, top with cheese and minced onion.
A Year Ago yesterday: Chocolate Oat Pancakes and the day we bought Black Bean!
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