I love researching recipes! Because of that, my email inbox is often flooded with recipes from food websites I’ve subscribed to. I usually give them the once over, before eventually deleting the ones that I don’t find interesting. But, I live for those days when there’s that one recipe that jumps off the page because of an unusual ingredient. That was the case a couple of months ago when I saw a recipe for chili that contained the unexpected ingredient of dark chocolate ice cream.
I’ve noticed that chocolate is one of those unexpected ingredients that pops up now and then in some recipes. So, it wasn’t the chocolate that I found unusual and unexpected, because I’ve made several chili recipes in the past that include dark chocolate. It was the fact that it was in the form of ice cream that seemed a bit intriguing.
The recipe is called “Fire-and-Ice Ohio Chili” from foodandwine.com, and of course, the ice cream is the ice. The author of the recipe mentions that the dark chocolate ice cream adds a richness to this chili, and I have to wholeheartedly agree. The other thing that I really love about this recipe is that it’s very reminiscent of Cincinnati Chili, which I love. The author suggests the sauce-like consistency of this chili be served over spaghetti the same way you would when eating Cincinnati Chili.
I’ve been a huge fan of Cincinnati Chili since the first time I tasted it many years ago, when I lived for a brief period in Cincinnati. In Cincinnati, you’re either a Skyline Chili person or a Gold Star Chili fan (the two major venues and competitors). I was always in the Gold Star camp myself. But I would eat either n a heartbeat! After that the only question is whether I want to eat it “5 way” or not (spaghetti, shredded cheese, beans, diced onions, oyster crackers), or simply as a Coney, which is a small hot dog smothered in Cincinnati Chili.
I used to throw a chili party for friends with Cincinnati Chili and other types of chili for those that didn’t care for their chili placed on spaghetti. There would always be several bowls of fixings to garnish the chilis: a couple of types of shredded cheeses, diced onion, sliced scallions, sour cream, red kidney beans, diced jalapenos, oyster crackers, along with a tray of corn muffins. So, when I discovered the Fire and Ice Ohio Chili recipe, I decided to use it as an excuse to have a small intimate dinner party with our niece Vicki, her husband Josh, and our dear friend Sondra.
Vicki and Josh
Fernando enjoying our guests
I also didn’t want to make more than one chili, so I decided to make a few changes to the Fire and Ice Ohio Chili recipe and take it a bit out of the Cincinnati Chili vein. I decided to add black and red kidney beans, cut back on the liquid in the recipe, giving it less of a spaghetti sauce consistency, add some sautéed diced jalapenos to the chili, some leftover chili spices that I had on hand, a couple of bay leaves, 2 cups of chicken stock for added richness, and, lastly, 8 ounces of flank steak that I happened to have in my freezer that I defrosted, cut up into a small dice, and seared off. With everything that I included, it made the chili a bit heartier, as well as spicier.
The recipe also called for a 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes. Canned diced tomatoes contain the chemical calcium chloride in order to help them keep their shape. I wanted a smoother consistency to the chili, so I substituted a 15-ounce can of petite diced tomatoes, which break down faster than regular diced tomatoes. During the last 5 minutes of cooking time, you'll get a very spicy and beefy aroma. The aroma only gets more intense when you add in the scoop of dark chocolate ice cream. As is the case with all soups, stews and chilis, if you allow them to sit overnight in the fridge and reheat them the next day, the flavors and smells just intensify. That was definitely the case with this chili as I made it the day before serving.
I made a pot of spaghetti for those who wanted to channel Cincinnati. I also had on hand bowls of shredded aged white cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses, thinly sliced scallions, diced jalapeno peppers, Mexican sour cream (crema), rosemary and thyme oyster crackers and a platter of jalapeno, cheddar cheese, and honey corn muffins.
For any dinner party, I like to start with a specialty cocktail. I received a Christmas gift of a bottle of Journeyman Distillery Pit-Spitter Cherry Flavored Whiskey. I went on the Journeyman Distillery’s website and found the perfect cocktail to make: a “Pit-Spitter Cherry Sour.”
It went perfectly with the appetizers of puff pastry cranberry brie bites, and popcorn topped with a cognac butter, parmesan cheese, fresh cracked black pepper and Maldon sea salt flakes.
This recipe is my modified version of Food and Wine’s “Fire and Ice Ohio Chili” recipe.
If you prefer to make the unmodified version, just omit the beans, jalapenos, flank steak, bay leaves and chicken stock. Whichever version you decide, I definitely suggest you serve it over spaghetti with all the fixings. It’s a very hearty chili, and with the addition of corn muffins, it’s the perfect meal for a cold winter's night.
Quincy’s Fire and Ice Ohio Chili
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
Yield: 8-10 servings, depending upon if served on top of spaghetti
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Total time: 2 hours 10 minutes
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil divided
2 pounds of ground beef (I used ground chuck which is 80% lean and 20% fat)
8 ounces of flank steak cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 large onions minced
1 diced jalapeno pepper
1 teaspoon of fine sea salt or kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1/4 cup of chili powder (I added 1 tablespoon of homemade chili powder that I had on hand)
1 tablespoon of cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
2 cups water
2 cups low sodium chicken stock
One 15 ounce can tomato puree
One 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, petite if you’d prefer
1 can drained and rinsed black beans
1 can drained and rinsed red kidney beans
2 bay leaves
1 scoop of dark chocolate ice cream
Shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese
Thinly sliced scallions
1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat, and add the teaspoon of vegetable oil. Add the diced flank steak and sear until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, remove the browned meat, place on a plate and set aside.
2. Add the tablespoon of oil and the ground beef to the same pan, and cook over medium-high heat, breaking down the meat with a wooden spoon until browned, about 8 minutes.
3. Once the beef is brown, add the diced onions, diced jalapenos, salt and pepper, stirring occasionally until softened and translucent, about 8 minutes, then return the seared flank steak to the pot.
4. Add the chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, coriander and cloves and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
5. Stir in the water, chicken stock, tomato puree, diced tomatoes, drained and rinsed cans of beans, and 2 bay leaves into the beef and onion mixture and bring to a boil.
6. Simmer over low heat for 1 hour and 25 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching and sticking to the bottom of the pot.
7. Stir in the chocolate ice cream and cook until hot, about 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper if needed.
8. Serve the chili in bowls over spaghetti, with shredded cheese, sliced scallions, sour cream, diced jalapenos, oyster crackers and corn muffins.
You can also make it one day ahead of time, as I did, and just slowly warm it back up and enjoy!
Learn a different type of chili perfect for watching the Super Bowl in our virtual Game Day Grub on Sunday, February 13 at 2pm CST. You'll make this menu just in time to have some winning football food for the big game:
- Caramelized Vidalia Onion Dip
- Black Bean and Turkey Chili
- Honey-Sriracha Glazed Wings