Margaux says . . . . .

Suzy recommended this recipe to me a while ago, when she posted the recipe for salmon with mango salsa.  I thought mango salsa on steak sounded really interesting, and of course I’ll take any excuse to make steak!  This recipe is really delicious, and we will definitely be making it again.  I also think it would be fun to make both the salmon and the steak sometime when we have company…a little of both with the salsa sounds really good to me. I served it with one of my favorite side dishes, green rice (see recipe below).

The recipe for the steak rub said that it can be made with toasted dried ancho, pasilla or guajillo peppers, but that regular chili powder would work, too. I used regular chili powder because I thought it would be less spicy for my little guy, and it was what I had on hand. It was very tasty…probably not as tasty as the other, but if it’s what you have on hand, I say go for it.


For the steak:

Prepare a hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill on high.  You can also make this indoors in your oven’s broiler.  If broiling, position the pan 4-5 inches from the heating element.

2 tablespoons ground dried red chili peppers

2 tablespoons cracked black peppercorns

1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin

1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt

1 beef flank steak, about 1 1/2 pounds

Combine the spices in a small bowl and blend thoroughly.  Pat the spice mixture onto the entire surface of the steak.  Grill or broil for 4-6 minutes per side for medium-rare.  Make a small incision to check the center.  The interior should be slightly less done than desired as it will continue to cook off the heat.  When cooked to desired doneness, remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.  Note that this steak should not be cooked more than medium. Thinly slide the steak across the grain and serve immediately topped with mango salsa.

For the salsa:

1 small red onion, chopped, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 large ripe mango, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 small red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 fresh jalapeno or other small chili pepper, finely chopped
salt and cracked black peppercorns to taste

Mix together the onion and lime juice in a large bowl and set aside. Prepare the remaining ingredients, setting them aside, then add them all together to the onion mixture. Stir together well. Will keep, covered and refrigerated, for one day.

Green Rice

Cook 1 cup Basmati rice according to directions – you can use white or brown rice. When rice is done and resting, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon unsalted butter in a Dutch oven. Add 1-2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced, and sauté 2 minutes, until fragrant. Stir in and cook over medium high heat a total of 5 cups coarsely chopped greens – arugula, spinach, beet tops, watercress, parsley, etc. Cook until just wilted. Stir the rice into the greens and blend well. We usually make double the recipe!

Cincinnati Chili

March 12, 2011

Cincinnati Chili - Sweet and Savory Kitchens

Margaux says…

Aunt Suzy got me a subscription to Bon Appetit, so you’ll probably be seeing a lot of posts with recipes from it. I love this magazine! It gives me tons of (much needed) ideas for weeknight dinners, and this one was one of them. The minute I saw the photo of it when I turned the page, I knew I had to make it. See, I grew up in Steak N’ Shake country, and this looks exactly like one of my favorites, Chili 5-Way. Of course, once I looked at the ingredients I knew that Cincinnati chili is much different from the Steak N’ Shake classic…I’m sure S N’ S doesn’t put cocoa powder in theirs…but that made me want to make it even more. And it is DELISH (I hate to say it, but worlds better than S N’ S Chili 5-Way)!

There’s only one small change I made to the recipe-I’m not from anywhere near Cincinnati, so I’m not sure if this small step makes it unauthentic-but the recipe calls for mixing the beans with the spaghetti noodles, and I’m recommending stirring the beans into the chili mixture instead. The small beans did not mix well with the long noodles, and it was difficult to get a good ratio of beans-to-noodles going in each bowl.  Also, because I was on a budget, I made it with ground beef instead of ground lamb, which is what the original recipe calls for.  I’m sure that would be fantastic, and I will be trying it sometime!

Cincinnati Chili - Sweet & Savory Kitchens

Aunt Suzy says . . .

Margaux’s post inspired me to run right out and to get the ingredients for this so I could make it immediately!  The recipe had also caught my eye in Bon Appetit – I’m a Steak N’ Shake girl, and I’ve loved Skyline Chili when I’ve had it in Cincinnati .  This is a “fancied-up” version – you can see more about authentic Cincinnati chili on this episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.  I made some adaptions as well.  I cooked the meat first without the olive oil, then removed from the pan, sauteed the onions and garlic in a little olive oil, put the meat back in and proceeded with the recipe from there.  I used a combo of ground chicken/ground turkey and chicken stock.  It worked out well, which I thought it would since I do the same for sloppy joes. Be careful about the spices!  I inadvertently added 1 teaspoon of cloves, so the whole thing had slight clove overtones – it’s one strong spice!  I agree with Margaux that this is delicious and a fun Saturday or Sunday supper.

Cincinnati Chili
adapted from Bon Appetit

serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, lamb, turkey or chicken
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • scant teaspoon ground allspice
  • scant teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • scant teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 2 1/3 cups (about) low-salt beef broth or chicken stock, divided
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • scant tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 tablespoon (packed) brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
  • 1/2 pound spaghetti
  • 1 15-ounce cans kidney beans, rinsed, drained
  • Coarsely grated goat’s-milk Gouda cheese or goat’s-milk cheddar cheese
  • Chopped onions
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large deep skillet or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions; sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic; stir 1 minute. Add the meat; cook until browned, breaking into pieces, about 15 minutes. Add cocoa and next 4 ingredients; stir 3 minutes. Stir in 2 cups broth and next 6 ingredients. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered until thickened, stirring often, about 1 hour. Spoon fat from top of chili. Season with salt and pepper. Thin with broth by 1/3 cupfuls. Stir in beans and 1 tablespoon parsley.
  • Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Transfer to large bowl. Toss with 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Divide spaghetti among bowls. Top with chili. Garnish with cheese, onions, and parsley.