On Labour Day Weekend, my lazy Saturday started with a vigorous masturbation session
and only got better from there. On Hippo’s JV Footy Open Thread,
he encouraged us commentists to spice up our game-watching activities by making some wagers.
Redshirt and I stepped up as UCLA and Cincinnati were playing each other at the Rose Bowl. The bet was as follows:
Should the Bruins win, Redshirt would have had to go to a health food store, buy vegan patties, and make himself a vegan burger. He could add whatever toppings he wanted.
Should the Bearcats win, I would make and eat legitimate Skyline Cincinnati-style chili. I could choose as many ways as I wanted.
What I’m about to tell you is 100% true. I did this to myself knowingly and in full command of my faculties.
Yeah, I know.
Before I begin, though, let’s reflect on what amazing times we live in! One Amazon app opened, a quick search, a click of a “One-Click Buy” button, and three days later four cans of genuine Skyline chili arrived at my doorstep.
That’s fucking cool.
Let’s peruse the ingredients:
Looking at it, Skyline chili is actually relatively healthy! Only 500 calories a can with 8 grams of carbs and 46 grams of protein? That’s pretty damn good! Also, you can recognize the ingredients!
Now , I did do some research and discovered that there are five standard “ways” to eat this dish:
- Two-way: spaghetti topped with chili (also called “chili spaghetti”)
- Three-way: spaghetti, chili, and cheese
- Four-way: spaghetti, chili, cheese, and onions
- Four-way bean: spaghetti, chili, cheese, and beans (beans substituted for the onions)
- Five-way: spaghetti, chili, cheese, onions, and beans
I decided to make mine a Three-way as it sounds sexier, I hate raw onion, and I don’t care for kidney beans. I fart enough as it is.
I Mexicanized/Californianized the recipe by using Mexican spaghetti and Trader Joe’s Shredded Mild Cheddar. Thank you to Redshirt for suggesting mild cheddar as the cheese of choice.
The instructions were simple enough. After all, I am not Yeah Right and I don’t mind store-bought or Internet-bought ingredients.
Interestingly enough, though, for you do-it-yourselfers, Yeah Right did catch wind of this wager and vowed to make his own version from scratch and make a post about it. So, stay tuned for that coming soon!
For my lazy ass, the instructions were simple:
1) Heat chili in a saucepan.
2) Cook spaghetti in a pot.
3) Put cooked spaghetti on plate.
4) Ladle chili over spaghetti.
5) Grab fistfuls of cheese and place on top.
I decided to make it as dinner for my Mom and Dad on Thursday Night, right on time for the season opener.
Here is what it looked like as soon as you open up the can:
The texture is definitely runnier than what most people think of when they think of the word “chili”, but I had done my research and I knew what to expect.
I also prepped my parents by explaining that it was going to be more like a sauce instead of chili on top of spaghetti.
I poured two cans into the saucepan and it looked like this:
Now, you can blame my camera or my picture-taking skills, but I will tell you right now I was getting nervous. It did not look great. And keep in mind I was feeding it to my parents!
As the chili heated up, though, it started to shine. The house started smelling good. As directed on the can, I occasionally stirred and this worked well to incorporate the flavours and let them play with each other.
I occasionally tasted, but I never got a real sense of what the final product would be like. It would remain a mystery until the first bite.
Once the spaghetti was done and the chili was adequately heated, it was time to assemble:
I tell you what, this was getting better by the minute! That looked tasty and smelled delicious.
I took the first bite with plenty of spaghetti, chili, and cheese…
The first thing that hit me was the paprika. As I mentioned in the Open Thread on Thursday night, the paprika is strong in this one. That was certainly unexpected, but it was actually a pleasant surprise.
In fact, that was my Dad’s first comment upon taking a bite:
Papa Balls: Me agarró descontrolado, pero esta bueno! (It shocked me, but it’s good!)
The paprika definitely gives it a spice and kick that makes it worthy of the name chili. My dad and I both dug it. Unfortunately, my mom can’t handle spice anymore, so upon hearing us talk about the taste, she tried a little bit of the sauce on its own to see if she could handle it.
She could not. However, she did have comments:
Mama Balls: Que cocina extraña es ésta? (What strange kind of cuisine is this?)
Mama Balls: Oh…
My dad and I dug in and finished our plates surprisingly quick.
Let me tell you, I have no idea how someone came up with this dish and decided to combine these ingredients in this specific way, but it works. It just fucking works!
The cheese pairs perfectly with the kick and spice of the chili and the spaghetti balances the entire thing with some carby heft. I could see how the onions could be added for some extra acidity while the kidney beans would add more protein and heaviness to the dish. It makes sense that these are the add-ons.
Overall, I’m not only pleasantly surprised by the dish, but I can honestly say I liked it, enjoyed it, and would eat it again!
Thank you to Redshirt for making the wager with me and providing a vehicle for my introduction to this Cincinnati classic.
In fact, you have inspired me to make a recurring post out of this fun adventure!
Please add in the comments your suggestions for regional cuisine specialties that you enjoy and are proud of. I will seek out the original legit versions, try them, and report back. The stranger and more exotic, the better.
Feed me, DFO, feed me!
And now, the only possible way I could end this post: