Friday, October 29, 2010

Back in the saddle

After a cooking hiatus for most of the last 3 months and a good portion of this year {after all it is no fun to cook for one and cooking in camper was a bit difficult} I am back in a real kitchen and cooking again. Daniel is thankful to not be eating out for a majority of our meals :)

Last night I made Chili and Skillet Cornbread. It was a great meal to have on a chilly evening.

Chili Recipe {recipe adapted from Aggie's Kitchen}
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 lb Italian sausage
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapenos, chopped {I remove the seeds}
  • 1 cup of corn kernels {I used a can}
  • 1 can chili beans, drained but not rinsed
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained but not rinsed
  • 2 tbsp chili powder 
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • salt {to taste} 
  • 1 cup of chicken broth {the recipe called for Sam Adams Octoberfest or a substitution of red wine, chicken broth or water}
  • 14.5  oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 14.5  oz can of diced chili tomatoes
  • 4 squares dark chocolate (about 1 oz), rough chopped

 Preparation Instructions

  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil.
  • Add onions and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened.
  • Add sausage and crumble.
  • Cook through, then add chopped peppers.
  • Cook for about 10 minutes until peppers begin to soften.
  • Add chili powder, spices, salt and stir.
  • Once all the spices have combined with veggies and meat, pour in chicken broth to deglaze bottom of pot.
  • Cook for 1-2 minutes then add in tomatoes and beans and stir.
  • Bring chili up to a boil then simmer for about 20-30 minutes.
  • Add chocolate to chili and stir.
  • Continue to cook for another 10-15 minutes on low heat.
  • Taste for salt.
  • Serve with your favorite toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream or Greek yogurt, grilled corn kernels, chopped cilantro, green onions {I used whole kernel corn from a can}.
We loved the smoky flavor of this recipe. The cinnamon and chocolate additions were a nice surprise, but really added to the flavor.

Skillet Cornbread {recipe adapted from Pioneer Woman}
  • 8.5 oz Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix {from Walmart}
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • ½ cups Milk
  • 1 whole Egg
  • ¼ cups Shortening
  • 2 Tablespoons Shortening

Preparation Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Place corn muffin mix in a bowl.
  • Add buttermilk, milk and egg to the dry ingredients. Stir until combined.
  • In a small bowl, melt 1/4 shortening. Slowly add melted shortening to the batter, stirring until just combined.
  • In an iron skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons shortening over medium heat.
  • Pour the batter into the hot skillet. Spread to even out the surface.
  • Cook on stovetop for 1 minute, then bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Edges should be crispy!
We really liked this cornbread. Next time I would double the recipe because my cast iron skillet is so huge and we ended up with really thin slices of cornbread. Also, I ended up turning the over down to 350 due to the thinner cornbread. I was worried that I had burned it because the edges were so crisp, but it turned out perfect.

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