Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I can see for miles and miles

I loves me a challenge, & the challenge of trying to find something on the Internet is a type of research I can really enjoy. Especially now since we have high speed 'net instead of ye olde dial up. And also especially when many of my waking hours are spent in a chair keeping my head still... So here I am, Detective JT, at your service...

I kept thinking about Darren's chili recipe that I mentioned in this post. I remembered it was something called his hometown name chili, and I was certain it was a city in Ohio, like Columbus Chili or Cincinnati Chili or Cleveland Chili... so I did a Google image search on Ohio chili. Which led me to a blog called Not Eating Out in NY and gave me the answer: Cincinnati Chili! Not just chili, The Famous Cincinnati Chili.

Side Note: My link above to the blog, Not Eating Out in NY, doesn't necessarily mean I'm recommending it to you, but only because I haven't read much of it yet... I was quite excited to find what I was trying to remember (Cincinnati chili) that I moved on to my continued research for Darren's recipe. But this blog looks very interesting, and I am looking forward to perusing it further. And, hey, anyone who quotes Thoreau in their about me bit on their blog gets good points in my book. I also really like her blog layout.

So, back to my research. I found some cached pages on Google searches. Then, thanks to a handy little thing called the “Internet Archive Wayback Machine,” I finally found Darren’s Cincinnati Chili recipe. Yay!

You can see the complete, original post, text only, here and the post title is, "Onions... Chili Powder... Cumin... Juicy Ground Chuck? It's Chili!"; though no photos. (If that link doesn't work for you, try this one and click on the January 26, 2007 link there.)

It’s worth the read, because as I’ve said, he’s a talented writer.

This is an excerpt from his post; you should check out the Camp Washington Chili web site he recommends.

I should tell you, though, that what you’re about to make is really only a homemade approximation of Cincinnati chili. For the real thing, you’ll have to go to the city this chili hails from and order it from a place called Camp Washington Chili. Don’t waste your time with Skyline or Gold Star.

Side Note: Not Eating Out in NY would seem to agree with Darren's opinion on Skyline. Interesting, eh.

So here is Darren's recipe for Cincinnati Chili...

1 ½ lbs. ground beef
2 11 oz. cans dark red kidney beans
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
3 bay leaves (remove before serving)
1 tbsp. white vinegar
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. un-sweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp. chili powder
½ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. all spice
½ tsp. cardamom
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper

Brown the ground beef and drain. If you want to be a purest and get the ground beef as finely ground as possible, put it in a food processor or a blender for a few seconds after you’ve drained it. Put everything into your crock-pot and stir it up. Simmer on low heat for five to seven hours, stirring thoroughly once every hour. Good luck staying out of it because, jeeze Louise, your whole house is going to smell like heaven for the rest of the afternoon. Serve over well cooked spaghetti noodles, top with a mound of finely shredded cheddar cheese, and then smother that mo-fo in some sort of cayenne hot sauce, preferably Frank’s. What you end up with will look like this:

[Note: this is not Darren’s photo.]

A word about the plates. You can, I suppose, eat Cincinnati chili on a regular round plate. However, if you want to eat this dish the way God intended, you’ll serve the chili on eleven and a half inch white oval platters.

I ordered mine from Fishs Eddy.

I did some half-hearted research on white oval platters like the one Darren got at Fishs Eddy, and truly, I think he got a good deal on them at about six bucks each. When I make Darren's recipe, we will be eating this chili on our usual everyday plates, however, because as much as I would really like to order some of those platters (me want!), CMU keeps wanting our money (we just recently paid Joycie's Spring semester tuition and books bill... ouch; though to her credit, Joycie's scholarships have helped).

I had mentioned I got the tip about using a potato masher while browning ground beef to make it fine from Darren's post, and I don't see that suggestion in the text... maybe it was in the comments, or perhaps in a different post. I stick to my original credit to Darren, though. Coz it works really well, and I'm stubborn that way.

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