Monday, July 4, 2016

One of America's Favorites - Chili Mac

Chili mac (sometimes referred to as American Chop Suey, Beefaroni, Cincinnati chili, Goulash,
Chili mac prepared with macaroni noodles
Johnny Marzetti, Macaroni and beef, and Midwest chili ) is a dish prepared using chili and macaroni or spaghetti noodles as primary ingredients, which is often topped or intermingled with cheese. Some versions are made using prepared or homemade macaroni and cheese. It is a common dish in the Midwestern United States, and is also popular in other areas of the United States. It can be a relatively inexpensive dish to prepare, and has been described as a comfort food. Several variations of the dish exist, and prepared canned and boxed versions also exist.

Several preparation methods exist. Some recipes incorporate all of the ingredients together, while
Chili mac prepared using macaroni and cheese
others are prepared with the ingredients separately layered. Those that use cheese may use grated cheese atop the dish, while others mix the cheese throughout the dish. It is sometimes prepared using spaghetti noodles, and onions are sometimes used. Basic versions may be prepared using chopped meat, tomato and elbow macaroni. Another basic preparation method incorporates boxed, prepared macaroni and cheese and canned chili. The dish may be prepared on a range top in a skillet, in a slow cooker or baked as a casserole.

Chili mac a la mode
Some diners in St. Louis, Missouri serve a version called "chili mac a la mode", in which the dish is served topped with fried eggs.

A Cincinnati chili 4-way garnished with oyster crackers

A Cincinnati chili 4-way garnished with oyster crackers
Cincinnati chili is a type of chili mac prepared using spaghetti noodles. It may be ordered at restaurants and food service establishments in various "ways". A "two-way" is spaghetti topped with Cincinnati chili. Traditionally, variations exist up to "five-way", which includes spaghetti, chili, beans, onions, and cheese.

MRE chili mac
Chili mac has been a staple dish at American military dining facilities for years. It was introduced into the Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MRE) field ration menu in 1995 and is one of only three of the twelve MRE meals offered in 1995 that has remained on the MRE menu to date.

Taco chili mac
A variation called Taco chili mac has been consumed by NASA astronauts in space. It is processed by NASA as a freeze dried product.

Vegetarian and vegan
Vegetarian and vegan versions of the dish are sometimes prepared.

Commercial varieties
Hamburger Helper brand purveys a prepared boxed version named "Chili Macaroni".

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