October 22, 2009

Michelle’s Chili, Luscious Jalapeño Cornbread

Tailgate Thursday - Week 8

Hate is such an ugly word.

Think about it; think about all it conjures up. Now I know Tailgate Thursday is not the time to bring up such talk, to evoke such sensitivity but I have to say it. I hate cold weather. Yep, it dipped into the mid-forties down here and I hate it. Just the mere drop sent my little, well . . . toes shriveling up. As I mentioned to Trix, I finally had to put on some shoes.


It is however, a great time to fire up some warm and soothing comforting foods, like today’s recipes. Thanks to my wonderful friends, I have something to snuggle up with - a nice, warm bowl of Michelle's chili and a delicious bite of pure southern bliss: cornbread to sop up all the mouth-watering contentment while I enjoy my favorite fall pastime - College Football.
Hope you will enjoy these too!

Michelle’s Chili

from her blog page:

The web was full of recipes, so I finally settled on one and then went ahead and tweaked it to suit my tastes. Since I don’t like very spicy foods, the amount of chili powder and cumin in this recipe probably seem low to the chili aficionados, but it’s just as easy to ramp them up, so adjust them to suit your own personal tastes. The amount that I include in the recipe is enough to taste the seasonings, but not enough to set your mouth tingling.

This is one of the best homemade bowls of chili I have ever had. The combination of flavors is fantastic, the beans make it a truly hearty meal, and the absolute key is the long slow simmer that allows all of the flavors to meld together and thicken into a fabulous chili with a smell so enticing that it would wake up the soundest of sleepers. I would suggest the 2-3 hours of uncovered simmer as a minimum – I actually simmered uncovered for 2 hours and then covered the pot and simmered for another 2 hours. It improved substantially in that time. I served chili with the traditional accompaniment – cornbread. I fell in love with this recipe last year and it’s probably the most authentic (save for a cast iron skillet) that I’ve tried yet. Enjoy!!

Chili
(Adapted from Recipezaar)

2 lbs ground beef
1 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans (with liquid)
2 (15 ounce) cans pinto beans (with liquid)
1 medium onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups water

1. Brown ground beef in a large pot (I used my 7.25 qt Dutch oven) over medium heat.
2. Drain off the fat.
3. Combine the beef plus all the remaining ingredients, and bring to a simmer over low heat.
4. Cook, stirring every 15 minutes, for 2 to 3 hours.



Luscious Jalapeño Cornbread
Here is the post and recipe by Tasty Trix

Until making this dish, I hadn't baked for years. I had given up on it. At best, everything I made turned out crooked, deformed, or messy-looking. But recently I got hit hard with a hankering for jalapeno cornbread, and I figured I might as well give baking another shot.

There was no way I was going to cut corners and use some mix - that's just not how I roll. This was going to be made from scratch, or not at all. So I hunted around online for recipes, but nothing felt exactly right. There was too much sugar, or not enough. Too much white flour. Canned corn. Too few eggs. And so on.

Plus, I had this idea to incorporate corn milk into my recipe for extra moisture. If you've ever made maque choux, you know what I'm talking about. Corn milk is the creamy liquid left behind if you only cut off half of the kernels from a fresh ear of corn. You scrape out the milk with a knife, and it looks like this:

So, keeping in mind the basics of ingredient proportion, I made up my own recipe. And not only did it not turn out deformed in any way, it was just about the richest, most moist cornbread I've ever had. It was so good in fact, that I made a second batch to take to a barbeque, where it was a hit. (When you show up to a party with a still-warm batch of sweet-smelling cornbread, who is not going to love you?)

Luscious Jalapeno Cornbread

1 3/4 cups organic ground cornmeal
1/2 cup organic all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup jarred jalapenos, drained well and chopped
kernels from 2 ears of swet corn, plus the corn milk

First, with a sharp knife, slice about 1/2 the kernels off of the cob. Scrape the milk from the cob and set aside. (If you can't get fresh corn, I imagine you could do this with thawed frozen corn cobs, though I haven't tried it myself.)
Saute the corn kernels in a pat of butter until tender; set aside to cool.
Sift together all of your dry ingredients: cornmeal, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, melted butter, eggs, and cornmilk. Whisk together vigorously, until bubbles form.
Stir the corn and jalapenos into the liquid.
Gently incorporate the liquid into the dry ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Don't stir too much - just get it to a smooth consistently.
Pour into a greased 8 by 8 baking pan and bake in a 400 degree oven for 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Rub the top with a bit of butter.

Thanks goes to Michelle and Trix for these recipes - see ya next week for more football recipes.

4 comments :

  1. ooooo...love the look of that chili. I would love to pile that high up onto pancakes and enjoy it all by myself. Yes, I hate the cold too.

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  2. I live in so. florida and last weekend it dipped into the 50's. That was a nice change but 40's.....no thankyou!
    The chili looks delicious and chili is one of my all time fave foods. I've been switching to turkey instead of ground beef. (trying to lose weight and all).

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  3. Chili and jalapeno cornbread - yum, perfect for Sunday football too.

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  4. That's my kind of football-watching meal! Thank goodness for food blogging friends.

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