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Poll: What kind of chili? Texas or Cincinnati-style??

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Thread: Cincinnati VS Texas - What is Chili?

  1. #1

    Smile Cincinnati VS Texas - What is Chili?

    For Superbowl Sunday this year, I have decided to go with some traditional football fare and make some chili. However, I have never made chili with meat! The only recipe I have is for a vegetarian chili - it is very good, but not very manly .

    As I have searched, I see that there seem to be two big camps out there. The Texas Chili folks who claim that "real" chili has NO TOMATOES and NO BEANS! I saw one Texas recipe that had bacon in it. The main spices seemed to be cumin and chili powder.

    Bacon in chili? No beans? No tomatoes? I guess I'm more from the Cincinnati Chili camp (though I grew up in New York). Cincinnati chili seems to "allow" tomatoes and beans and has a larger range of spices.

    So, what camp are you from? Texas? Cincinnati? Other? And if you have any good recipes you'd like to share, that would be great too!

  2. #2
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    Wanna try Tijuana?

    Before I was born, my father was stationed in San Diego and he and my mother - both adventurous, people-loving types who got the whole family into and enjoying all the different people and cultures we encountered on our travels - used to go to Tijuana regularly. Mom's an excellent cook, cooking light, tasty meals long before it became a fad.

    Anyhow, Mom learned to make chili from the Mexicans she knew. Her recipe uses ground beef ('real' chili meat should be chopped fine, they told her, but with 4 kids, who had the time), tomatoes, beans and spices. Note: she's one of those who shaves baking chocolate into her chili. Not a lot of it; maybe 2 teaspoons. But it adds depth to the tastes.

    Yum! Maybe I'd better make some, myself!
    Last edited by beejayw1; 01-28-2002 at 04:23 PM.
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  3. #3
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    I've only ever had chili made without tomatoes and beans. I can't imagine chili without those two ingredients. I've also heard that Cincinnati chili has chocoa powder in it. The vegetarian chili I make has chocoa powder and I'm not sure what it adds to the flavor, butit sure tastes good!

  4. #4
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    Cincinnati

    I live in Cincinnati for years & love the Cincinnati style chili, although its nothing like the chili I grew up on. Within Cincinnati there are fans of the different chili parlors too. I'm a Skyline person myself, but others favor Gold Star or others.
    Mary Ann

  5. #5
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    Have lived in Texas longer than I've lived anywhere else (thoug originally from Chicago). Will have to agree that most Texans don't put beans in the chili (and never ever kidney beans). Though I think most don't care one way or another about tomatoes though most would prefer tomato sauce as opposed to chunks of tomatoes. Have made Cincinnati chili and had many a Texan eat it with no complaints. Since we rarely go on trail rides and cook around the campfire anymore...

    Here's a recipe that we like but sans the beans but we serve rice on the side:

    HALFTIME CHILI


    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 1/2 cups chopped onions
    8 large garlic cloves, chopped
    3 pounds ground chuck
    5 tablespoons chili powder
    1 tablespoon ground cumin
    1 teaspoon dried basil
    1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree (I use tomato sauce)
    1 14 1/2-ounce can low-salt chicken broth
    1 12-ounce bottle beer
    1 6-ounce can tomato paste
    1 15- to 16-ounce can prepared chili beans ( prefer to omit but would use a can of pinto beans if push came to shove
    )


    Heat oil in heavy large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic. Sauté until onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. Add chuck and sauté until brown, breaking up meat with back of spoon, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, basil, oregano and thyme. Stir 2 minutes. Mix in crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, beer and tomato paste. Simmer until thickened to desired consistency, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Mix in beans. Simmer 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Refrigerate until cold, then cover. Rewarm over low heat before serving.)

    Serves 8 to 10.
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  6. #6
    Texas Style, definitely.

    I am from OKlahoma and my dad started cooking in chili cook-offs about 18 years ago, and helped start an annual one in our hometown. If it has beans in it, he will not call it chili, rather "Chili beans". For the cook-offs he's been in, you cannot have chunks of anything besides meat. I always finely chop onion, which is OK. No tomato chunks, and absolutely no beans!
    My chili has ground sirloin, onion, fresh jalapenos (with the seeds), tomato sauce, beef broth, garlic, cumin, mexican oregano, salt, and beer.
    Jennifer


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  7. #7
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    What, no saltines?

    At our house, chili in whatever form is not to be sneered at. (Admittedly, I've never made Dad any Cinncinnati chili, since the one thing HIS chili must have is lots of crumbled up saltine crackers to soak up the juices.
    Anna
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money.
    Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine,
    something Brussels sprouts never do.
    P. J. O'Rourke, humorist
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  8. #8
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    I voted for Texas before reading the thread.

    I've always thought of Cinn. chili as very tomato-y chili served over pasta. That's the part that's strange to me. You just might as well have a good Italian pasta sauce.

    I do put tomatoes and beans in my chili (as does everyone in my family who lives in Texas), but sans spaghetti. I will, on occasion, make chili-mac (chili served over macaroni), which is awesome. Never served it with rice. Chili over a big slice of cornbread is also good.

    Much like my pizza philosophy, I think free-thinking and creative contents in cooking are great! Go for it and use whatever ingredients you want!

  9. #9
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    Even less than 2 hours from Cincinnati, I can't begin to think that it's real chili. The consistency is terribly different from the "real" stuff: it's more like soup. I allow for a huge range of spices, but the cinnamon flavor of Cinti chili is overpowering.

    And to serve it over spaghetti??? YUCK!

    My vote goes to other. What is chili without beans in it?
    --Mary Kate--

    "In all our woods there is not a tree so hard to kill as the buckeye. The deepest girdling does not deaden it, and even after it is cut down and worked up into the side of a cabin it will send out young branches, denoting to all the world that Buckeyes are not easily conquered, and could with difficulty be destroyed." - Daniel Drake, 1833

  10. #10
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    I voted for Cincinnati chili. Although, I have never had anything specifically called "Cincinnati chile" but I have grown up eating chili with beans and tomatoes.

  11. #11
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    Little Bit

    Round oyster crackers are usually served with Cincinnati chili. Funny, I never thougth of it as "real" chili either & understand the strangeness of the spagetti thing, but it is really good no matter what you call it. Many people use the spaghetti/chili sauce/shredded cheese as a platform to add lots of other stuff - beans, onions, hot sauce, peppers...
    Mary Ann

  12. #12
    I'd have to consider myself an "other" gal.

    To me, chili consists of a very spicey gathering of tomatoes, beans, chilies, cumin, chocolate and often corn... with a nice smokey finish.

    It's usually a vegetarian affair, sometimes with tofu to boost the "meatiness" of it. But generally I find that a variety of beans (black, kidney, great northern) is enough to keep my husband (yes, even a man) happy

  13. #13
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    As of right now, the votes are running equal for Texas vs. Cincinnati...I voted for Cincinnati, too, as I can't imagine chili without beans and tomatos, meat, too, but I use ground turkey to keep it low-fat. I haven't had "Cincinnati Chili", but always use beans. We like ours very spicy and I do put shaved chocolate in on those occasions it's too spicy for little taste buds. The chocolate is used to tone down the hot sauce, so for you new cooks out there, remember that for reference in case you add too much tabasco or pepper sauce to a recipe. Some slivers of chocolate or some cocoa will remedy overkill on the hot sauce. I read this in an information packet with an order of Texas Gunpowder and have found it very useful !

    Heidi

  14. #14
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    I think I'd have to go with "both" -- (I know that wasn't a choice).

    Texas and Cincinnati chili are so different, they probably shouldn't even be considered the same dish. And while a lot of places on the East Coast attempt to do Texas-style chili, I've never seen Cincinnati style chili in the East at all.

    My best friend and her DH moved to Cincinnati about six years ago, and I've been there to visit several times -- when I describe Cincy chili to people back here, they're amazed at the idea of chili served over spaghetti. To me, Cincy chili seems more like pasta with an elaborate meat sauce -- but, however you describe it, I really, really like it. My friends have become Gold Star people, but I've also been to Skyline a number of times -- can't visit Cincy now without my "chili fix."

    Most of the chili you find in restaurants in the Northeast is bastardized (can I say that on the BB?) Texas style, often with beans and chunks of tomatoes. That's the way I usually make it at home -- I use the recipe that came with my crock pot. Or, I use a veggie version from one of the Moosewood books, which uses bulgar to provide a "meaty" texture -- I think it's called something like "Black, Gold and Red Chili."

    Helene
    "We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our founding fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake."
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  15. #15
    Originally posted by Heidi H.
    The chocolate is used to tone down the hot sauce, so for you new cooks out there, remember that for reference in case you add too much tabasco or pepper sauce to a recipe. Some slivers of chocolate or some cocoa will remedy overkill on the hot sauce. I read this in an information packet with an order of Texas Gunpowder and have found it very useful !
    Heidi
    Really?? That's very interesting and slightly disappointing to note. Does that apply to MILK chocolate? Or to ALL chocolate?

    All this time I've been using chocolate and limes in an effort to add flavor. Both of these ingredients are used commonly in Central and South America to add a lovely depth to chili. For those of us who like "kickin' it up a notch" it would be disappointing to note that while we're adding depth we're also eliminating heat

  16. #16
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    I love Skyline chili. I voted for Cinci styke. I have a recipe that call for unsweetened choc. and cinnamon. Very yummy. Vicky

  17. #17
    Originally posted by lorilei
    But generally I find that a variety of beans (black, kidney, great northern) is enough to keep my husband (yes, even a man) happy
    My poor hubby is not much a bean fan, so he was so very patient to "suffer" through my vegetarian years and be happy with a meatless, bean-filled version of chili. He's generally adventurous and tolerant of most anything and a wine-lover, but somehow on Super Bowl Sunday I think he pictures drinkin' beer and eatin' chips and something with meat! So, for one day, I'll cater! Hmmm...we have lots of leftover turkey meat, I wonder if turkey would be "meat" enough???

    Interesting to read everyone's versions and impressions about chili. And sorry I didn't have the "both" option - there's always at least one choice that I seem to forget on these polls!

  18. #18
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    Here is a link on the allrecipes.com website. It has some useful info about chili.

    http://allrecipes.com/cb/w2m/weeklys...li/default.asp

    Oh, and I will be making chili as well for the Superbowl. DH and I took a superbowl chili class this past weekend and got some great recipes (White Bean and Chicken Chili, Spicy Beef Chili, Potato Herb bread, Triple Chocolate Brownies...too die for!). If anyone wants them I will post!

    Enjoy!

    Anita

  19. #19
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    Originally posted by masimmons
    ... Round oyster crackers are usually served with Cincinnati chili. ...
    OYSTER crackers? with Chili!! Hmmm ... . I'm guessing that idea would go over like a lead balloon at our house.

    BTW, I voted "Other" since we put beans of one sort or another in our chili, and couldn't be bothered to chop the meat instead of grinding it.
    Anna
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money.
    Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine,
    something Brussels sprouts never do.
    P. J. O'Rourke, humorist
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  20. #20
    I voted "other" because I'd never had chili before I became a vegetarian. So my kind of chili is all beans and tomatoes, no meat!

    For those who like a vegetarian chili, here is my favorite. I always worry about the fact that the beans are not presoaked, but the recipe always works and it tastes great. I do sometimes need to add water to the beans while they cook, and I always add extra cashews.

    Cashew Chili
    from the Cabbagetown Café Cookbook, by Julie Jordan

    1 ½ cups uncooked pinto or kidney beans, sorted for stones and rinsed
    6 cups water
    2 bay leaves
    2 tablespoons light vegetable oil
    2 onions, chopped
    4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
    2 green peppers, chopped
    2 celery stalks, chopped
    1 tablespoon butter
    2 tablespoons ground cumin
    1 tablespoon ground coriander
    ¼ teaspoon cayenne
    ½ teaspoon dried oregano
    ½ teaspoon dried basil
    ½ teaspoon dried dill weed
    ½ teaspoon black pepper
    2 teaspoons salt
    1 quart canned tomatoes
    ½ cup cashews
    2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

    1. Measure the beans, water, and bay leaves into a medium-size pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Cook until the beans are tender, about 2 hours.
    2. In a soup pot, heat the oil. Add the onions and garlic and saute for about 2 minutes. Add the green peppers and celery, and cook until the vegetables are tender but still crisp, 8 to 10 minutes.
    3. Melt in the butter, then add the spices, herbs, pepper, and salt. Saute for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently so nothing burns.
    4. Add the tomatoes and their juice to the mixture, and crush the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from the heat until the beans are ready.
    5. Toast the cashews in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Be careful not to burn them.
    6. Add the cooked beans, liquid and all, to the vegetable mixture. Add the toasted cashews and the vinegar. Simmer for 30 minutes to blend the flavors.
    7. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

  21. #21
    Anita,

    Thanks so much for that link - it was very informative. I now realize that I am really in the "just plain-ol chili" category!

    If you wouldn't mind posting the Chicken Chili recipe - I'd appreciate it! Sounds yummy. I'd ask for the brownie recipe too, but I'm better off NOT knowing!

  22. #22
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    I would have also voted "both", because they are SO different. I didn't know what Cincinnati chili was until I moved here. It is actually Greek in origin, and it always has meat with a sorta runny tomato sauce flavored with cinnamon, cocoa, and some other spices. It's not hot like the chili I grew up with. Beans are NOT always included in Cincinnati chili. If you order it in a restaurant, you can order a three-way, which is spaghetti with the meat sauce & topped with shredded cheese; a four-way, which can be the above with the addition of either chopped onions or beans; or a five-way, which has all those things. You can also order a Cheese Coney, which is a hot dog topped with the Cincinnati Chili meat sauce & shredded cheese. My personal favorite is a Skyline four-way with onions! Yum!

    When I'm making the more traditional chili, I use meat (usually ground turkey), kidney beans, tomatoes, etc., so I guess it's not exactly Texas Chili. Maybe I've never had Texas chili.

    Either way, I like both versions!

  23. #23
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    Talking I live in Texas, but . . .

    Now, admittedly I'm a recent transplant to Texas . . . so those of you who are natives, I'm not trying to represent the whole state! Not only do I put beans (all kinds - white, black, kidney - I love 'em all in my chili!) and fresh tomatoes in chili, I leave out the meat.

    Honestly, moving down here from Seattle, I didn't realize that there were still restaurants where you can't get a vegetarian meal. But driving through TX, stopping for a meal in Fort Stockton, there were no veggies to be found!

    I have started eating chicken and pork since moving, but no beef yet. And no meat in my chili!

  24. #24
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    Originally posted by lorilei
    All this time I've been using chocolate and limes in an effort to add flavor. Both of these ingredients are used commonly in Central and South America to add a lovely depth to chili. For those of us who like "kickin' it up a notch" it would be disappointing to note that while we're adding depth we're also eliminating heat
    Hi there -

    I'm the person who posted about Tijuana-style chili, up at the top, and mentioned chocolate.

    (1) baker's chocolate is what you're supposed to use. Maybe cocoa powder (the good stuff in a pinch) but not semi-sweet or milk chocolate (Or, not if you're Mexican.)

    No, it does not cut down on the heat. Believe me on this one.
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  25. #25
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    I voted "other." I like a lot of different chilis, and I do like beans and tomatoes, but I'm not wild about Cincinnati chili. Before you pick Cincinnati chili, know that the flavor is different from most other chilis.

    The cinnamon, etc., spice combination is just strange, in my opinion. If I want that combination, I'll make moussaka or something else that's Greek. I like chili that's got a little kick to it.

    Having gone to school in Milwaukee, home of a chain called "Real Chili," where they serve chili over spaghetti, I'm not opposed to serving chili over spagetti.

  26. #26
    I voted for "other" though I do like Cincy chili as well. I prefer meat AND beans AND tomatoes in my chili.

    I usually make the CL Crockpot chili recipe and doctor it up with some chipotle chili powder. I have to have chili powder, chipotle chili powder, and cumin in my chilis

    That being said, one of my favorite convenience foods is the Chili Magic can sold in the canned bean section of the grocery--add a pound of ground round (or turkey), diced onion, and a can of tomatoes, warm up some cornbread, and you've got a delicious meal on the table in about 15 minutes. I throw in a few more spices for good measure, though.... My MIL turned me on to this product originally cause she never felt she could get her chili spice "quite right" so she considers it a blessing not to have to add spice...

  27. #27
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    Lindrusso,

    Here it is...

    Chicken and White Bean Chili (6-8 Servings)

    Ingredients
    1/4 cup oil - I doubt you need this much
    1 lb. chicken cubed
    1 lb. Italian turkey sausage
    2 cups onions, diced
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    2 green peppers, roasted, diced
    2 jalapeno peppers, diced
    2-3 TBS cumin
    2 TBS cilantro
    2 Bay leaves
    1 tsp soy sauce
    1 tsp worcestershire
    2 cups chicken stock
    12 oz beer
    salt and pepper to taste
    2 cups white beans, cooked

    1. Heat oil and add chicken and sausage
    2. Cook on high heat until just cooked through
    3. Add onions, garlic, and peppers. Saute until wilted.
    4. Add seasonings and stir. Add stock and beer.
    5. Heat mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes....up to 2 hours.
    6. Add beans just before serving to hear through.
    7. Garnish with sour cream, chopped jalapeno, green onions, salsa and shredded cheese.


    Here is the brownie recipe too!

    Ingredients
    3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    1/4 tsp baking soda
    1/3 cup butter, unsalted
    3/4 cup sugar
    2 TBS water
    12 oz bittersweet choc.
    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    2 eggs
    1/2 cup chopped nits
    4 oz EACH bittersweet and white choc., chopped

    1. Preheat oven to 325 and prepare pan.
    2. Mix dry ingredients.
    3. Heat butter, sugar, and water until boiling. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
    4. Stir in chocolate and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Let cool.
    5. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Gradually stir in flour mixture.
    6. Add nuts. Pour into prepared pan.
    7. Sprinkle with dark and white choc.
    8. Bake 30-35 minutes. Cool.

    Enjoy!

    Anita

  28. #28
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    Born and raised in Texas, I have to say I have tried and enjoyed many kinds of Chili, but the one I grew up with is VERY simple. Coarsely-ground meat, garlic, cumin, chili powder water and little bit of flour to stiffen it up. Sometimes a bottle of beer if you want to add some personality. That's how my Mama made it, and that's how her Mama made it.


    I like vegetarian chilis and bean chilis, but I don't particularly care for beans *in* my regular chili. I guess I've been brainwashed that it's just not "right"--and don't even get me STARTED about chunks of tomato. Eek!!!!

    Like I said, before I've branched out and tried all different kinds of chili and I like them for what they are, but in my heart of hearts, I know that real chili simply doesn't *need* a bunch of other stuff to make it good.

  29. #29
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    How funny to see everyones different views on chilli!

    I voted Cincinnati - beans, meat and tomatoes are definitely included, but the chili I make is by no means soupy! It has to be nice and thick and we love it served over pasta and topped with sour cream cheddar cheese and green onions!
    kim

    "Nothing takes the taste out of peanut butter quite like unrequited love." -Charlie Brown

  30. #30
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    I voted Cinci since it has tomatoes and beans but I really should have voted other since there is no cin. or choc.

    My MIL makes hers with meat, potatoes, mushrooms and beans. That took a while to get used to. Tastes good, I just wanted to call it something else. My chili is ground burger, tomato chucks and beans. The usual spices- chili powder, garlic, cumin.
    You can't drink rum on the beach all day if you don't start in the morning.

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