Chili with crunchy cornbread for dinner

December 29, 2011 § 2 Comments

When the weather gets cold, that’s our excuse for making soups and stews.  Last night temperatures here were all the way down to 50 (cold by Southern standards), so we cooked up some chili and cornbread.  Chili is fairly standard fare, although we do tend to zip our version up a little with extra spices and seasonings.  Here’s our recipe, with the seasonings toned down a little…you can always add more cayenne pepper if you like things a little spicier.  Chipotle pepper is another good addition, if you like it really hot (start off with adding just half a teaspoon).  We also prefer using black beans instead of kidney beans, because we find them less mealy.

You can also make this vegetarian*, try substituting some vegetarian meat crumbles for the ground beef.  We have done this many times, and no one can tell the difference.

Chili

1 1/2 pound hamburger

1 medium onion, diced

28 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained (feel free to substitute a couple of cans of Rotel tomatoes, if you like it spicy)

15.25 ounce can black beans, undrained

1 tablespoon chili powder

3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon Hungarian paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

Brown meat and the diced onion.  Drain fat.  Stir in undrained tomatoes and black beans.   Add spices.  Simmer for about an hour, adjust seasonings, and then serve.  Serves 3-4 (for us it serves two, with enough leftover the next day for one of us to bring into the office for lunch).

*To make this vegetarian, substitute 1 package of meat-substitute crumbles (or 4-5 vegetarian burger patties, chopped into pieces), which you can add along with the undrained tomatoes and black beans.

Crunchy cornbread

Make this cornbread in a cast iron pan for a crunchy bottom crust and tender inside.

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup white flour

4-6 tablespoons sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1 egg

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 425-degrees F.  Stir together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.  Whisk together the milk, egg, and oil.  Stir in the flour mixture.

Place the butter into a cast iron frying pan (or a glass 8-inch baking pan), and place into the oven,  Heat until the butter is melted.  Remove from oven, and pour in the cornmeal mixture.  Return pan to oven, and bake for 21-minutes, or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.  Makes 4 – 6 servings.

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