Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cincinnati Style Chili

There are several differences between my typical chili and Cincinnati style chili.  First of all you cook the ground beef in liquid rather than browning it up before adding liquid.  This makes the chili a finer texture rather than chunky.  Because you don't get the chance to drain the meat, you need to use a lean ground beef, or use ground turkey, so that you don't have a chili that's too greasy.  Also some of the spices are a little unusual too....cinnamon and cocoa powder.  Don't let this scare you away!  The difference that it adds to the taste is pretty subtle and you could always cut it back some.  Cincinnati chili is typical served on spaghetti and topped with a mound of shredded cheddar cheese.  The cheese really makes it yummy in my opinion!

The chili by itself would be considered one-way, on pasta is two-way, on pasta topped with cheese is three-way, with beans or onions is four-way, and with beans & onions is five-way.  So you could set up a chili bar so that everyone could have their chili the "way" they want it!  This would also be awesome on a chili dog!

Cincinnati Style Chili

1lb ground lean beef or turkey
1c onions, small dice
2T chili powder
1T cocoa powder
1t cinnamon
1/2 ground cumin
8oz canned tomato sauce
1c beef broth
1/2 T apple cider vinegar
16oz thin spaghetti, cooked according to package directions

shredded cheddar cheese
diced onions
canned kidney beans, rinsed and reheated in water
oyster crackers

In a medium saucepan, add broth and meat.  Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, until meat is no longer pink.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer on med-low for about 10 mins to blend flavors.  Serve chili over pasta with toppings.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


On my current quest of trying unfamiliar but traditional mexican fare, I started researching, that would be googling for me, posole recipes.  If you are not familiar with this, it sounds like you are saying ole with a poso in front of it.  This is a pork and hominy stew that can be red or green depending on whether you use dried chiles or tomatillos.  I decided to try the red version first.  Hominy is a type of corn which is also used to make grits.  I've never used hominy before but fortunately you can get it canned in the Latino food section so it is very accessible and easy to try.  My recipe is my own version of picking the things I liked out of the recipes I reviewed.  Toppings varied as well from sliced radishes, shredded cabbage or lettuce, sour cream, and crunchy tortilla strips.  We tried a little shredded lettuce and crushed tortilla chips.  I think the sour cream and radishes would be nice to try next time.

I used a chipotle pepper in my posole and I have a tip for you about them.  A chipotle pepper is a smoked jalepeno that is canned in a tomato sauce called adobo sauce.  You can buy a small can that has about 6 or 8 peppers in a can.  To cut down on the heat of the pepper, you can cut it open and scrap out the seeds,  which is what I did and the heat was just right for my family.  I then took an ice cube tray and seperated the pepper with a little of the sauce, one in each well, and froze them.  Once they were frozen I popped them into a freezer bag.  Now the next time I cook chili or even taco meat, I can thaw out a pepper to add to it.  Chipotles add a very nice smoky taste and well worth the additon.

2lb pork roast, cubed in big chunks
1/2 onion diced
1t salt
1/2t pepper
1t garlic powder
1t dried oregano
2t chili powder
1 chipotle pepper (to reduce heat remove seeds)
29oz can hominy corn, drained and rinsed
toppings: sliced radishes, shredded lettuce or cabbage, crispy tortilla strips, sour cream

Add onions,salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano to pork in a large pot.  Add water just to cover pork, bring to a boil and simmer for 1 1/2 - 2 hrs until meat is very tender.  With some of the cooking liquid puree the chipotle pepper in a blender and add back to the pot.  Add chili powder and hominy and simmer for 30 mins.  Serve with toppings.

Chez Lulu

I've been meaning to try this little restaurant in English Village for while.  Chez Lulu was a nice change for Sunday lunch!  They offer soups, sandwiches, pizzas, and on Sunday a great brunch.  The owners also run Continental Bakery next door so, of course, the breads and desserts are wonderful too!  I was very pleased by their kid friendly menu as well.  It is a 3 course meal that offers choices such as ants on a log, apples and peanut butter, bagel cheese pizza, and several other choices.  Then they get the choice of a cookie or ice cream for dessert.  For $6 I think its more impressive than the $4 or $5 choices you get at other restaurants and really my two boys could have shared it and I just order another cookie.

We started with a fruit and cheese plate to share that had brie, blue cheese, and a soft, I think goat, cheese with several fruits.  I chose the Brunch du jour which was a spinach, ham, and roasted red pepper frittata; homemade applesauce, and stone ground garlic cheesy grits.  It was soooo good!  The applesauce was served warm, a little chunky, and had some plumped up golden raisins in it.  I would love to get that recipe!  The frittata and grits were great too and made a great combo with the applesauce.

Of course I couldn't leave without trying a dessert!  I wanted to try a strawberry crepe but they were out so we decided to share a chocolate bread pudding.  So delicious!  Before we left I peeked into the bakery to gaze upon their croissants, scones, cakes, and cookies.  I'm glad they are not in my neighborhood because that would be dangerous to have such good food so close.  It will however now be a favorite Sunday lunch spot.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Middle Eastern Rice with Black Beans & Chickpeas

My friend Kristi found this recipe on the All Recipes site.  It is great website to search for recipes.  This is a nice one-pot dish.  It calls for several spices that may seem intimidating but once you try them you'll probably go looking for more recipes to use them in!  You can find All Recipes' original recipe here.  I cut the recipe in half and adjusted some of the ingredients.  I also thought it was even better the next day.

I have another little tip for you too.  I don't frequently buy fresh parsley because once I use it for a recipe the rest goes bad before I can use it again.  Solution: I found these tubes in the organic section of the produce area that have 3 bunches of chopped parsley in one tube.  You just squeeze out the amount you need and put the rest in the fridge.  It worked great and doesn't cost much more than the fresh parsley especially considering that you don't have to do the chopping and there is no waste!  They also had other herbs, ginger, and chili peppers.  A real find!

Middle Eastern Rice with Black Beans and Chickpeas

1lb ground turkey, browned
1T olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1c instant brown rice
1t ground cumin
1t ground coriander
1/2 t ground turmeric
1/4t ground cayenne pepper
1c chicken broth
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1T chopped parsley
salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over med heat.  Stir in garlic and cook 1 min.  Stir in rice and spices and cook for 5 mins.  Add broth, bring to a boil and cook for 10 mins.  Add cooked turkey, beans, and parsley to rice.  Cook for 5 more mins and add salt & pepper to taste.

Fettuccine with Prosciutto and Sage Cream

This recipe came from Publix.  They feature a recipe every week in their flyer and also feature recipes on the packages of their brand of products.  I have tried several of their recipes and they are great simple recipes.  You can go here to their website to explore more of their recipes.

I had never cooked with fresh sage before so that was why I was interested in trying this recipe.  It really had a very subtle taste in this dish so I may have to try it again where it has a more center stage appearance.  I followed the recipe as it was written, except I left out the mushrooms (which I like but the family doesn't).  We also had sauted broccolini, also called rapini, with this.  It's kinda like a cross between broccoli and greens.  It has some bitterness to it and wasn't my favorite side dish.

Fettuccine with Prosciutto and Sage Cream

1lb chicken breast, cooked and sliced into strips (I grilled mine)
10 sage leaves
12oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
4 slices of prosciutto (2oz), cut into strips
1/4 grated parmesan cheese
1 3/4c chicken broth
8oz fettuccine pasta
1c Alfredo sauce (I just used the whole jar)
2/3c roasted red pepper
olive oil

Cook pasta according to directions.  In a large saute pan, heat a tablespoon of oil on med-hi heat.  Add mushrooms and saute 2-3 minutes until browned.  Add red peppers and chicken and cook 1-2 mins.  Reduce heat to med-low and add chicken broth and alfredo sauce.  Simmer 3-4 mins.  Stir in cooked pasta, prosciutto, and sage.  Top with parmesan cheese and serve.