Growing up in Ohio, chili is a STAPLE. I am sure you have heard of Skyline Chili in Cincinnati, the iconic cinnamon spiked beef chili, frequently topped with spaghetti, beans, onions, cheese, and crackers. Or Tony Packo’s chili sauce made famous in the TV show “M.A.S.H.”Every restaurant and every mother has their own recipe, few to be shared with the public. My complete and total inability to keep anything private
including the fact that the night of my honeymoon when my husband and I were…..my cell phone went off and my ringtone was the theme for “Free to be You and Me.” is your gain. (you’re never going to think of that song the same way ever again, are you?
In Ohio, chili is as much a condiment as it is a full meal. Cheeseburgers, french fries, spaghetti, hot dogs, chips,
ladies of the night, all get the chili treatment. If it’s edible, we’ll cover it in chili.
One of my favorite ways to prepare chili is mixed with pasta and baked with cheese. This is not the lightest of all preparations. If your only interest is to eat enough fiber and cheddar that you can clear a room or attract a skunk as a husband, go with that and go with G-d. If you are trying to keep the spice alive by being fit, healthy, and spicy, go with this version.
Healthy, Spicy, Chili Mac-simplified and sexified
1lb 96% lean ground sirloin or sirloin chunks
1.5 -15.5 oz cans (ish) of canned or boxed diced tomatoes
1 giant white onion-diced
1T chopped garlic
1/2 cup tomato SAUCE (not marinara)
1T worstershire sauce
1t instant coffee granules
1/2 t cinnamon
1 package Trader Joe’s or other salt free taco spice seasoning mix (or make your own)
1t chipotle powder (more or less)
1 box whole wheat short pasta (or barilla pasta plus)
6 oz reduced fat cheddar, shredded
sour cream (if you want)
Get out a big old skillet-cast iron or heavy bottom pot. In another saucepan cook pasta until just under al dente. Brown meat and onions together until almost cooked, add cumin and chipotle powder, brown a bit further, add worstershire, coffee granules, and garlic. Add tomatoes and tomato sauce, and packet of seasoning. Simmer for 20-30 minutes on really really low. Add in cooked pasta and cheese. Serve with more cheese, beans and sour cream if you wish. This goes best with a hearty porter beer and Marlo Thomas.
Do you like your chili spicy or mild?
Have you ever topped it with sour cream?