January 14, 2011

Chili and Corn Bread

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

There are few dishes that can perfectly compliment a cold winter's night like a steaming bowl of chili. And with the kind of weather that most of the country has been having lately, you'll find yourself with many a cold night to serve this dinner.


Chili is by no means a complicated dish and can be made a number of ways: substitute the traditional kidney beans for black beans (like I did), or use ground chicken or turkey in place of ground beef, or skip the meat and go for a vegetarian version using a couple different varieties of beans. As usual, I like to dial up the spice a bit so I added an extra jalapeno and several healthy dashes of hot sauce to my chili. Whatever your preference of ingredients or spice, the key is to let your pot of chili simmer on a low heat for as long as you can, thirty minutes at the least and 1 1/2 hour at the most.

So while that simmers away, what can you do? Whip up a super easy batch of corn bread! Since I'm a Southern gal I went with a more traditional recipe that leaves out flour and uses very little sugar. But I did add in some cheese and jalapenos because, well, I end up doing that often. If corn bread just isn't your thing, try out some biscuits or rolls instead. But make something on the side, you're gonna need something to mop up that last bit of chili in the bottom of your bowl!

Spicy Chili
1 lb lean ground beef
1 can black beans
1 onion, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes, or can of tomato paste (I used the paste and threw in a couple chopped tomatoes)
1 packet of your favorite brand of chili seasoning
1/4 cup hot sauce
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large pot (you'll need a big one), saute onions until tender, about 5 minutes. Add in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Next, add in jalapeno.

2. Add the meat, breaking up with spoon. Throw in Worcestershire, hot sauce, chili seasoning, salt and pepper. Cook until meat is evenly browned, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and enough water cover all ingredients by an inch, breaking up tomato paste as you stir.

3. Cover and cook until it starts to slightly boil; reduce heat to a low and allow to simmer for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 1/2 hour. Serve hot, garnish with sour cream and shredded cheese.

Corn Bread
(very loosely based on this recipe)
I halved this recipe and had exactly enough for 24 mini-muffins

2 cups yellow cornmeal 
1 teaspoon salt 
1 tablespoon sugar 
2 teaspoons baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
1 cup milk 
2 eggs 
1 cup creamed corn 
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup shredded cheese
24 slices pickled jalapeno
1 Preheat oven to 425°F ; place a 10-inch cast iron skillet into the oven or grease a muffin pan (I used a couple mini muffin pans)

2. In a bowl, combine the cornmeal, salt, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Whisk together to combine well.In a large bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and creamed corn, whisking together to combine thoroughly.

3. Add the dry ingredients to the buttermilk mixture and stir to combine. Fold in the cheese. If the batter will not pour, add more milk to the batter.

4. Add 2 tablespoons canola oil to the cast iron skillet. Pour the batter into the skillet. Alternatively, divide evenly into a muffin pan. Top with slices of jalapeno.Bake until the cornbread is golden brown and springs back upon the touch, about 20 minutes.


  1. It looks good! i never had chili before (believe it or not) cuz i though it was pepper sauce (hence the name, chili lol) and i'm not good with the spiciness. But i should try this one it looks awesome as usual..
    Teslam edeky

  2. lol, you're sill Em Malik! Chili is just beans, meat and tomatoes..but I always make things as hot as possible (and believe it or not, this wasn't hot enough for us, might need to add 2 jalapenos next time!). You can easily dial back the heat and use a mild or regular spice mix packet :)

  3. i dont know how ur kids handle the heat, it must be in heir blood! haha

  4. I love chili! Too bad my husband doesn't. :( He won't eat it because of the beans. And chili is not the same without the beans!

  5. P.S. I recently discovered your blog and I love it! I'm thinking about making pretzels today. :)

  6. EmM: hehe, it better be in their blood, cuz they don't have much of a choice in this house ;)

    Kate: my suggestions i make a pot for yourself and once he smells the aroma through the house, he may be willing to try a bite!;) And thank you so much for your kind comments, I love meeting new readers and especially getting your feedback! Let me know the pretzels turns out, they were surprisingly easy and yummmmmy!


Tell me what you think! As always, feedback and reviews are appreciated...happy cooking!