When I was about 16 years old I went to Ft. Thomas, Kentucky to visit my childhood BFF Melissa, who left me stranded in Florida at the end of our 7th grade year. Some of you may be asking, “What is Ft. Thomas?” and if not for Melissa I would have never know about this quaint little town just over the river from Cinncinatti, Ohio. It was like a movie! Everyone knows everyone, football boys, cheerleader girls, hometown feel, just adorable!
While I was there Melissa taught me how to “cook” a meal that I brought with me into adulthood. It’s one of my absolute favorite pregnancy cravings and It was voted, “Best Dinner” by my husband just last night. He made an addition that took it over the top last night, which I’ll share in a moment. The kids heartily agreed and I tried not to feel offended that they think this is the best meal I cook!? Internally I resolved that it’s not and they were just excited.
I say we “cooked” this meal at 16, because all we did was pop a can of Cinncinatti chili, make pasta and toss some Kraft cheddar cheese on top. Voila! Chili 3-way! Thankfully, I’m no longer calling that “cooking”. Over the past 10 (or so…who’s counting?) years I have matured and so has my love for homemade organic food.
But how does Chili, pasta and cheese become “Chili 3-way”? This is the magic! Once you have made the Chili, Cappelinni pasta and you have shredded the cheddar cheese (fresh shredded cheese has so much more moisture than the pre-shredded stuff in a bag. It’s worth the effort. And please, for me, don’t use cheese that has been dyed the bright, screaming, unnatural color of orange. I speak for the cheese, cheddar is not orange!) its time to build.Start with a heap of pasta, spread out slightly, two scoops of chili, a handful of lightly crunched Buffalo Blue Kettle chips (last nights addition by DB) and a nice topping of cheese! Hello!
The trick to this not becoming some kind of strange chili-spaghetti dish is all in the form required to eat it. No mixing allowed. No spinning of the fork. You use the side of the fork, cut straight down then slide that bite up on the fork. The goal is to get all 3 (the chips techniqually make 4) layers on every forkful. Yum. Repeat. Yum again. Repeat again. Seriously this is good!
I think you get the picture. Let me know if we need a video on proper execution of the Chili 3-way. And remember, I learned this right across the river from Cincinnatti. They know their chili.
And on the posts that don’t have a bunch of pictures, just know that it’s because I made a meal that I didn’t intend to blog and as I put it on the plate I think, “I should share this!”. Next time I make this I will photograph the steps and add them to the post
- 1lb ground turkey (seasoned with salt and pepper)
- 2 bell peppers (yellow and orange) diced
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 1 bulb of garlic (or about 8 cloves) finely chopped
- About 4-6 cups of homemade chicken stock
- Black beans - 16oz can drained and rinsed
- Kidney beans - 16oz can drained and rinsed
- Cannellini beans - 16oz can can drained and rinsed
- 28oz can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
- ¾ tbsp red chili powder
- ¾ tbsp cumin
- 1 tsp of garlic powder
- ½ tbsp chipotle chili powder
- Capellini Pasta
- BBQ Kettle Chips
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Season 1lb ground turkey with salt and pepper and brown in a skillet.
- Heat oil in the bottom of a large pot and add the diced bell peppers and yellow onion. Saute for about 5min.
- Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and chipotle chili powder.
- Drain and rinse beans, then add beans, tomatoes, chicken stock and turkey.
- Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.
- Simmer uncovered for 1-3hrs, stirring occasionally.
- Prepare pasta and cheese.
- Set up 3-way by serving a large portion of pasta, top with chili, crushed chips and cheese.