Tuesday, November 1, 2011

{Recipe} Vegetarian Cincinnati Chili!

My dad is from Cincinnati and will shout its many apparent glories from the mountain tops, making ridiculous claims that this medium-sized midwestern city is the greatest metropolis on earth. Among them: the weather is substantially better than in St. Louis: cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. This belief is blatantly untrue, check weather.com if you have time on your hands. Since I know you don't, I did it for you...I will do anything to prove a point.

can you even tell which is which?

Proof positive: Cincinnati may be one degree cooler in the summer, but it is five degrees cooler in the winter and set a record low. I'm pretty sure way more people die of cold than of heat and winter brings out more grumpiness and overall seasonal depression, so St. Louis wins this battle.

What St. Louis does not win, however, is the chili battle. Mostly because St. Louis doesn't really have a contender in the battle. If we did, we would definitely win. We're just too busy creating toasted ravioli, BBQ and gooey butter cake to turn our attention to chili. Oh, and winning World Series {how do you make that plural? when you've won 11 that becomes important}.

That being said, Cincinnati chili is pretty amazing. It contains dark chocolate and cinnamon. If you can't get on board with that, leave. I recently whipped up a batch of vegetarian chili (could be vegan if you didn't smother it with cheddar cheese....as I did....) that was so delicious I just had to share. No choice, really.

Vegetarian Cincinnati Chili {adapted from here}

1 medium sized white onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon allspice
1 1/2 teaspoon Mexican chili powder
2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 bag of veggie crumbles (I used Morningstar brand because they were the most readily available)
2 ounces dark chocolate
12 ounces pureed tomatoes
3 cups vegetable stock

Get out the big pot that you intend to cook the whole chili in and sautee the onion and garlic in one tablespoon of olive oil for about 5 minutes.  Add in all of your spices. Add in veggie crumbles, vegetable stock, pureed tomatoes and don't forget the chocolate!

Let this simmer with a low boil for about 10 minutes, that put it on low and let it stew for as long as you'd like - 40 minutes to an hour is most desirable - occasionally popping in to stir it up. {as a child I thought that song was about hot chocolate. still not totally sure what its meaning is}

Serve your chili with spaghetti squash and optional cheese if you aren't vegan, and of course, a Cincinnati-brewed Little Kings beer, and it's a chili 3-way dinner!

You can also feel free to top it with kidney beans and uncooked onions to make it a chili 5-way...that was too many 'ways' for me so I kept it simple.

What's a regional favorite of yours?

1 comment:

  1. that almost looks like a kind of TX chili. The chocolate is a great touch. I bet it keeps you warm!