Monday, November 8, 2010

Fall Chili & Cornbread

WB 177

Chili and cornbread go together like bosom buddies. One is always asking for the other, inviting it over for sleepovers, and giggling together under trees dressed in their autumn colors. So why try and separate what should be together? I know, I know, you’ve been burned before. Chili so hot you’ve had to pop Tums all night just to keep from breathing fire, or cornbread as thick and dry as a hay bale. If you’ve ever suffered from such moments of culinary disaster, let me give you some free dinner therapy. It starts with a quick and easy chili so warm and delicious, you’ll ask for another bowl. It’s low on heat, but if you’re into that kind of thing feel free to add more. Then you’ll top it off with wedges of cornbread that will make you talk with your mouth full. When it’s warm, a slip of butter melts in like a memory, and my kids come away with yellow freckled crumbstaches. Mmm hmm! It’s that good. So grab your beans and corn and let’s get started!

In-a-Hurry Turkey Chili


  • ½ small onion chopped
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 28oz can stewed tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ c. ready made salsa
  • 1 T chili powder

Alright, now get out your knife and Master-Chef your onion into a nice dice. Put it into a pan with your ground turkey and brown it. Meanwhile, drain and rinse your beans, and then chop your tomatoes. This is where you might decide to do things differently. I’m not big on huge chunks of tomato swimming around in my chili, so I plop the entire can into the blender and do a coarse chop before dumping it into the pan with the rest of the ingredients.

Add the salsa and chili powder, stir and let it come to a bubble. Serve with your favorite toppings.

Now on to the cornbread. I often make an 8x8 pan instead of 9x13 so there will be less for me to indulge on as the night goes on. I’ve included the half measurements in parentheses for your convenience:

Gimme More Cornbread

Adapted from Myra’s Corn Bread

  • 2 c. (1 c.) flour
  • 1 c. (½ c.) cornmeal
  • 2 ½ t. (1 ¼ t.) baking powder
  • 1 t. (½ t.) salt
  • ¾ c. (6 T.) butter
  • 3 (2) eggs
  • 1 c. (½ c.) milk
  • 1½ (¾ c.) sugar
  • 1 t. (½ t.) vanilla

See that vanilla? It gives you the hint of the deliciousness you’re about to embark into. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Sift together your flour, cornmeal, powder, and salt, and set aside. Beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy (about five minutes).

Once your batter is fluffy, begin mixing in the dry ingredients and milk by fourths, alternating dry and wet (beginning and ending with flour) until smooth. Pour into a well greased 9x13 pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

If possible, cool in pan ten minutes before cutting into fat squares and serving with butter, or better yet – honey butter.

Now dust off your upper lip and tell me that didn’t make you smile.


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