A good hot and spicy chili and cornbread pair really well and is such a hearty and comforting meal right?
Perfect for fall when the weather seems colder, and all one wants is some comfort food to warm up the soul and fire up the taste buds. It’s the kind of meal one can cozy upto on a cold evening perhaps even cozier than one’s blanket! I have attempted baking cornbread earlier and not quite satisfied with the results ,choose to research some recipes for awhile, when I came across this one on Serious Eats.
I quite liked the fact that it’s unsweetened and it called for pantry staple ingredients to work with.While traditionally cornbread is made in a greased cast iron skillet with a lid, I choose to bake mine in a pyrex dish and it worked just fine.
Having Baked Cornbread For A Few Times Now
Here Are Some Baking Tips:
- Use a good quality cornmeal (Bob’s Red Mill Organic Cornmeal works great in this recipe)
- Try not using a hand mixer and mix instead by hand.
- Using sugar is optional,for instance I have omitted sugar in this recipe.
- Once moistened, work quickly with the batter. The moisture will activate the leaveners in the batter.
- Cornbread does not keep well and hence best baked fresh and consumed. You may however freeze cornbread if you wish.
- Traditionally a dark pan is used to bake cornbread and the best option is a cast iron skillet which will yield best results.
- Some recipes call for use of flour, however this recipe uses eggs instead and is a great gluten free option.
- Ideally let the batter sit for about 30 minutes after mixing as this allows the leaveners to work well.
- Handle the batter with care while pouring it into the skillet so as to preserve the bubbles as this is the air incorporated in the batter and will create a lovely rise in baking.
The Chili: A Chili consists of a few key components:
- A good base: Ground beef
- Vegetables: Such as Onions, Bell Peppers, Beans, Jalapeno Peppers
- Spices: Usually Chili, Cumin, Paprika, Dried Oregano
- Sauce: Tomato
- Toppings/ Garnish: Chives, Spring onions, Cilantro, Grated cheese
This recipe here has been minimally adapted and has now become my go-to recipe. The recipe for the Chili is one that I have now been using for many years. It can be made up ahead and I usually bake the cornbread fresh as this does not keep well.This classic cornbread had a wonderful light and moist texture and most often delicious even eaten by itself. All though it makes for a great accompaniment with the Chili. Perfect for weeknight dinners, game night gatherings or just eat in weekends! You could turn this into a potluck casserole, make corn muffins and scoop in the chili or serve it over cornbread roundels just as I have. The sweetish cornbread and the meaty and spicy chili are a winning combination!
Recipe For Southern style Unsweetened Corn Bread: (Adapted from Serious Eats)
- 3 cups medium Grind Organic cornmeal (Bob’s Red Mill)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 teaspoons sugar (optional)
- 2 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted, divided
1.Place a well-seasoned 10-inch cast iron skillet or a pyrex dish on the center rack of the oven and preheat oven to 375°F.
2.Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk cornmeal with salt, baking powder, baking soda.
3.In a separate bowl, whisk buttermilk with eggs until homogenous. Whisking constantly, drizzle in all but 1 tablespoon melted butter.
4.Whisk liquid ingredients into dry ingredients just until thoroughly mixed; avoid over-mixing.
5.Pour remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter into preheated skillet and carefully swirl to coat bottom and sides. Scrape batter into prepared skillet, smoothing the top gently with a rubber spatula. Bake until cornbread is lightly browned on top and a skewer inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
6.Let cool for about 15 minutes in skillet, then serve warm. (Cornbread does not keep well and will lose its texture as it cools, so it’s best to eat it while it’s still fresh.)
Recipe for Chili: Ingredients:
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 cup chopped onion
- ½ cup chopped mixed bell peppers
- 2 ½ tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 4 teaspoons finely chopped jalapeno chile peppers
- 1 (29 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 (16 ounce) can chili beans, undrained
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Dash of tabasco
Directions: 1.In a large saucepan over medium high heat, combine the ground beef, onion and bell peppers. Saute for about 5 minutes, or until beef is browned. Remove the excess fat.
2.Add the chili and garlic powder, cumin, chile peppers, tomatoes, tomato sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.
3.Cover and simmer for at least at hour till the beef is cooked well, stirring occasionally.
4.Stir in the beans and heat well.Add in a dash of tabasco for some extra heat.
5.To Serve: Cut the cornbread into roundels with a cutter and spoon some of the chili on each individual rounds and garnish and serve hot.