Real Food for Real Life

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Cincinnati favorite...

A 3-Way with Frank's Red Hot

In the Cincinnati area we like to eat a Greek inspired chili quite unlike the Tex-Mex chili that most people think of.  For a brief history of this chili and an alternate recipe click here.  I have made this chili for years using ground turkey (not traditional, I know), but I have made it before with beef, and with all the flavoring going into it I did not notice much (if any) taste difference, so I'll stick with the healthier (and usually cheaper) ground turkey.  

When I was looking in the freezer for inspiration the other morning, I unearthed a package of ground turkey and asked Chris if he wanted chili spaghetti (what we call it) for dinner.  His reply..."Yes!!  Chili spaghetti!"  So that decided that.  We eat this with just shredded cheese (not as much as you would get in a local chili parlor), known as a 3-way, and hot sauce for Ben and I.  Add chopped onions and make it a 4-way, add kidney beans and make it a 5-way.  However you choose to eat it, it will be good.  Also try using it to make a chili dog- steamed hot dog, mustard, chopped onion, and cheese, or not, in a bun, again with hot sauce if desired.  Another use for the chili is what  is known locally as Skyline Dip, after Skyline Chili, one of the most famous of the Cincinnati chili parlors.  The name refers to the Cincinnati skyline, which is a pretty cool view crossing the river from Kentucky.

Cincinnati Chili
adapted from Better Homes and gardens "Chicken"

This recipe double, or even triples, easily.  Make a big pot of it and use some now for spaghetti, hot dogs, and dip...just freeze the rest for an easy meal (or meals) in the future.
1 lb. ground turkey
1 larged onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced (3 tbs.)
3 tbs. chili powder
1 tbs, unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. coarse salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 bay leaf
1 15oz. can tomatoes, stewed or diced
1 8oz. can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 tbs. red wine vinegar
1 tbs. molasses
For serving (as desired): cooked spaghetti, shredded sharp cheddar, diced onion, canned kidney beans (warmed), oyster crackers, and hot sauce of choice (we like Frank's Red Hot for this particular dish) 

In a large pot, cook the turkey, onion, and garlic over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink and the onions are soft.  Add the dry spices (I like to have them measured out together in a small bowl beforehand) and cook for a few minutes, until lovely and fragrant.  Add the undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, vinegar, and molasses.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover,  and simmer for at least an hour.  Uncover and mash with a potato masher to break up any large meat, tomato, and onion bits to a nice even consistency.  Simmer uncovered to thicken if desired, otherwise, it is ready to serve.  Ladle over cooked spaghetti and top as desired.
 This is the consistency you are looking for.

Chili Dip

8oz. cream cheese (we use reduced fat)
1/2 recipe of Cincinnati chili (or 1 can of prepared chili)
4oz. shredded sharp cheddar
tortilla chips and hot sauce of choice for serving

Grease as pie plate or small casserole before spreading the cream cheese evenly on the bottom, top with even layers of the chili and then the cheese.  Bake at 35o (preferred) until hot and bubbly, about 20 minutes, or microwave until hot and the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.  Serve hot or warm room temperature with your favorite hot sauce and tortilla chips.


  1. I've been wanting to try this out. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  2. It is certainly unlike the chili there in Texas :) I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.


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