So... apparently it's still winter.
To warm up last night I fixed up some chili-mac with cornbread. Delicious!
The chili is a recipe my good friend, Libby, and I made up in high school. I use it all the time and I haven't found another chili recipe I like as much. (Though I say it myself...) We also made up a Chili-Brulee song to go along with it, but I will spare you the torture of hearing it, partially because it would be hard to put it on the blog, and partially because it's just scary.
The cornbread recipe is from a family cookbook compiled some years ago for my Mom's side of the family. I can't vouch for its authenticity, but I can certainly vouch for its deliciousness. It is seriously heavenly stuff. Don't skip the buttermilk. It's important. (Okay, you can certainly substitute plain milk for the buttermilk, but trust me when I tell you that buttermilk takes it to a whole different level.)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 lb. ground beef
1, 8 oz. can tomato sauce
2 tsp. chili powder (or more, to taste)
1/2 tsp. salt
a couple good turns of black pepper
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. basil
1 cube beef bullion
2, 16 oz. cans diced tomatoes
2, 15 oz. cans kidney beans, drained
1, 15 oz. can black beans, drained
Heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onions and saute for a minute or two. Add ground beef and cook until browned through. (At this point you can drain the drippings from the ground beef. I don't because I'm lazy like that.) Add in tomato sauce and spices. Add diced tomatoes and let simmer for 5 or 10 minutes. (Longer is better, but who has that kind of time?) Add all beans, and let simmer another 10 or 15 minutes.
You can finish this any number of ways: you can eat it as-is with your favorite toppings; you can serve it with elbow macaroni or shell pasta and a generous handful of cheese to make chili-mac like we did last night; or you can make it truly "brulee" by dishing it into oven-safe stoneware bowls, topping with cheddar cheese and broiling until the cheese is brown and bubbly. (The way Libby and I originally intended.)
"Marie Callendar's" Corn Bread
(This recipe has never failed me!)
2 1/4 c. flour
3/4 c. yellow cornmeal
1/4 c. + 2. Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. margarine, melted
3 lg. eggs, beaten
Mix dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, combine milk, margarine and eggs. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and pour in milk mixture. Mix until moist but lumpy (don't over-mix). Pour into a greased 9x9" pan. Bake at 425 for 25 minutes.
Don't forget the honey butter!