Ina’s Creamy Mustard Vinaigrette and Odd Chili

September 17, 2009 at 1:40 pm | Posted in Chili, Salad Dressings | 8 Comments
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Wouldn’t it be kinda cool to be famous enough that when someone refers to you by first name that everyone automatically knows who they’re talking about?  Ina…Julia…Giada…Emeril. 

Even cooler is the fact that the world of blogging has brought us normal people celebrities.  We may not identify them by first name, but who doesn’t know everyone’s hometown hero Pioneer Woman.   I started my food blog in May.  My Facebook posts were commonly scrumptous teaser titles of what I was preparing for dinner.  Kind of a “here kitty kitty” to all of my friends.  Finally someone suggested that I start a blog.  What?  I had never read a blog, didn’t know anything about them.  Well, it didn’t take me long to get hooked.  The most pleasant surprise in my new world of blogging is finding so many interesting people who open up their kitchens and their lives to us with similar interests – everyday cooking and life.   

Thanks to blogging, I’d much rather read and cook along with Noble Pig and her mom as they make sauerkraut and pierogi’s.  I always look forward to an email notification of a new post from Karen in Wichita; great recipe ideas and beautiful pictures.  I don’t even know how I found Karen and Cathy, I guess just poking around on different blogs to see what other people were doing.   And see, I’m calling them by first name, have never met them, but feel like I know them better than a few of my neighbors.  I find this much more enjoyable and personal than cooking along with Giada in her perfect kitchen with a view of the perfect beach, with her perfect husband and her perfect friends.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Ina, a huge fan, I Tivo and watch Giada and have saved many of her recipes.  But now a days I’m much more likely to test a pizza recipe that Vickie in Montana posted rather than something I’ve recently seen on television or read in a magazine.   Much more personal, much more fun and easier to relate to.

Was I just on a soapbox?  Ok, back to Ina’s delicious dressing.

I hardly ever buy bottled dressings anymore.  Years ago, I discovered that one can lead a perfectly normal life without a bottle of  Wishbone in the refrigerator.  Homemade dressings are so easy, so delicious and so fresh and most will keep in the fridge for about a week and sometimes longer. 

One of my favorites is this creamy vinaigrette that I watched Ina make one day.  I love this dressing.  Her recipe states that if you’re afraid of the raw egg,  just omit.  I guess I’m not afraid of the raw egg.  I mean, should I be? I always use very fresh organic eggs, purchased at Whole Foods.  I just don’t think the recipe would be as creamy good without it.

Here’s Ina’s Recipe: 

Ina’s Green Salad with Creamy Mustard Vinaigrette

  • 3 Tbs Champagne vinegar
    1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
    1/2 tsp minced fresh garlic
    1 extra-large egg yolk*, at room temperature
    3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
    1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 cup good olive oil
    Salad greens or mesclun mix for 6 to 8 people

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, garlic, egg yolk, salt, and pepper. While whisking, slowly add the olive oil until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Toss the greens with enough dressing to moisten and serve immediately.

Servings: 6

I served this along side Cincinnati Chili.  Cincinnati Chili is about the oddest concoction I’ve ever seen.  So odd, that I decided I better give it a try.  I have to admit, it’s pretty darn good, in a VERY odd sort of way. 

When Googling Cincinnati Chili there were many Cincinnati Chili recipes, lots of ideas, lots of similarities…but one common rule:

Cincinnati chili lovers order their chili by number. Two, Three, Four, or Five Way.


  • Two-Way Chili: Chili served on spaghetti
  • Three-Way Chili: Additionally topped with shredded Cheddar cheese


  • Four-Way Chili: Additionally topped with chopped onions
  • Five-Way Chili: Additionally topped with kidney beans

I don’t have any kidney beans on hand, so we’re ordering up four-way today.  

Cincinnati Chili

Adapted from Taste of Home

Slow Cooker

3 lbs ground beef
1-1/2 cups chopped onions
1-1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 cans (16 ounces each) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans (15 ounces each) tomato sauce
2 cups beef broth
1/4 cup chili powder
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 square (1 ounce) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1-1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp ground cloves
Hot cooked spaghetti

1. In a Dutch oven, cook the beef, onions and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.

2. In a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine the beans, tomato sauce, broth, chili powder, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, chocolate, cinnamon, cumin, salt, oregano, pepper and cloves. Stir in beef mixture.

3. Cover and cook on low for 5-1/2 to 6 hours or until heated through. Serve with spaghetti. Yield: 10 servings.



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  1. Cincinnati chili, one of our most favorite fast food meals when we lived in Northern Kentucky. I always tell folks that you really can’t think of it as chili, it’s more like a Greek pasta sauce (the folks that developed it were in fact, Greek). I have not actually ever seen a recipe with the kidney beans in the sauce. All of the places in the Cincy area just have meat in the sauce.

    Oh, and you really need to use lots more cheese on top 🙂 usually you can’t even see the sauce under all that cheese.

    Oyster crackers are great to help soak up the juices – ah, more carbs 🙂

    • Carol! I didn’t even think about talking to you about Cincinnati Chili! Of course you would know all about it! I did indeed read about its Greek heritage. I think if I remember they were Greek restaurant owners. And LOL – when searching the web for Cincinnati Chili recipes I did see one photo that looked like a giant pile of shredded cheddar cheese. Had to chuckle and show Bob what his dinner was going to look like. We obviously opted for a small amount of the cheese. 😉

      • All that cheese can be a bit scary….but it is oh, so yummy… in the Cincinnati restaurants, our favorite being Skyline, they use really finely shredded cheese so it melts into a single blob…mmmm 🙂

  2. Dana lived in Ohio and still has family back there. His Aunt La (short for Laurie) sends Cincinatti Chile seasoning to Dana about twice a year. I’ve always prided myself on my Texas chili and I was skeptical of chili that tasted like it had sweet spices in it. I have to admit that I love it! We always have it four way and stuff ourselves to the gills! The salad dressing sounds divine, too. Can’t wait to try it.

    • Vickie, I’m with ya! I happen to think my “normal” (as opposed to odd) Chili is about the best on earth. And yes, that would be Texas Style. And why do we say “I have to admit” before we do admit that we like Cincinnati Chili?? I’m pretty sure I said the same thing to Bob upon my first bite. 🙂 Does Aunt La make her own seasoning?

      Lea Ann

      • They do make a dry package of spices that is sold in the Cincy area grocery stores. It’s pretty good, but might have msg in it, I can’t remember.

  3. First off, I totally agree with you about the “normal people celebrities”. I love reading blogs and recipes from people who still burn stuff in the oven (and admit it!), who work all day to make something special only to have their kids take one look and ask for peanut butter sandwiches.

    Secondly, I’ve never heard of Cincinnati Chili. Not surprising, since we don’t really do a lot of Chili back in Canada. I’m so culturally deprived 😀 It definitely looks like something we would love, and since the temperatures are dropping, it’s the perfect time to make it. I’ll let you kow what my girls think!

    My chili recipe(s) is a work in progress. I’ve only been making it for about 3 years, and I keep changing it every time 😀

  4. Know all about that Cincinnati chili. It’s good over spaghetti, although it feels like a chunky spaghetti sauce instead of a chili. No matter, your’s looks great.

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