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Cornbread and Chili Warm Up Fall Suppers

 

Martha White®Nashville, TN – As the days shorten and cool, those hearty soups and stews start sounding good again.

“There may be no other meal that folks look forward to more in the fall than that first big pot of chili and a skillet of hot cornbread,” observes Martha White® baking expert, Linda Carman. “Chili and cornbread are both easy to make and fun to serve on a lot of different occasions – a family supper, tailgate outing or a casual get-together with friends.”

Jalapeno Cornbread Shortcake with Black Bean Chili, White Chicken Chili with Cheddar Hush Puppy Crust and Country-Style Chili Con Cornbread.

Jalapeno Cornbread Shortcake with Black Bean Chili, White Chicken Chili with Cheddar Hush Puppy Crust and Country-Style Chili Con Cornbread.

Culinary Diversity

Traditional foods like cornbread and chili are good examples of how diverse a single dish can be and how passionate we are about our favorites. There are countless ways to make both chili and cornbread, and any variation can stir up heated controversy.

Cornbread lovers have very strong opinions about white vs. yellow corn meal, the merits of sugar in the cornbread, and whether it has to be cooked in a cast iron skillet. On the other hand, “chiliheads” can argue endlessly about the type of meat, variety of beans or combination of seasonings that make the best chili.

American Roots

Interestingly, both chili and cornbread are truly American dishes. We all know the story of corn and other native foods saving the Pilgrims during those first cold winters in the New World. Throughout our history, corn has been an American staple.

And in the South, cornbread recipes are cherished family heirlooms from humble hoecakes to the ethereal corn meal soufflé called spoonbread.

Maybe not so well known is that chile peppers also are native to the Americas. There is some evidence that Mexicans cooked beef with chiles, but most food historians agree that the dish we know as chili or chili con carne is American, probably originating in the Southwest.

San Antonio has a long history of making stew with meat and chile peppers from as early as the 1600′s. However, it was the unveiling of Texas chili at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago and the introduction of a commercial chili powder in 1896 that eventually made chili a national favorite.

A Few Suggestions for Great Chili

There are almost as many versions of chili as there are chili cooks; however, aficionados do agree on a few things.

  • Chili powder: Most chili powder is a combination of dried chiles, cumin, oregano and garlic, but brands can differ greatly in heat and flavor. Experts advise using a good quality chili powder and trying several until you find one that suits you.
  • Beans: Purists insist on cooking dried beans to put in their chili – whether they use pintos, navy, black, kidney or small red. For most of us, good canned beans will be fine. Do drain and rinse before adding to your chili.
  • Meat: Competitive chili cooks almost all use beef roast (some variety of chuck or tri-tip) diced into about 3/8-inch cubes, however a good quality ground beef (coarse ground, if available) is perfectly acceptable. Chili may also be made with pork loin, chicken, pork sausage, venison or with no meat at all.

Cornbread and Chili

Chili is delicious served with wedges of crisp cornbread or corn muffins, but for a change you can make Country-Style Chili Con Cornbread. It is a traditional chili, made with ground beef and sausage, with crisp cheesy cornbread baked right on top.

For a quick and easy supper, Jalapeno Cornbread Shortcake with Black Bean Chili can be ready in less than 30 minutes. The cornbread is made with a convenient cornbread mix and the tasty chili is quick to make with ground beef seasoned with salsa, chili powder and cumin.

White Chicken Chili with Cheddar Hushpuppy Crust is a completely different take on chili – made with chicken and cannellini (white kidney) beans. It is gently seasoned with green chiles and lime juice, then topped with Cheddar cornbread.

And don’t forget extra cheese, salsa, onion, sour cream, avocado and/or cilantro to top it all off. For more heartwarming fall recipes, go to www.marthawhite.com.

Jalapeno Cornbread Shortcake with Black Bean Chili

Jalapeno Cornbread Shortcake with Black Bean Chili

Cornbread Shortcake

1 egg, beaten
2 (6-oz.) pkg. Martha White® Cotton Country ™ or Buttermilk Cornbread Mix
1 1/2 cup milk
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 to 4 tablespoons chopped jalapeno peppers

Chili

1 lb. lean ground beef
3 cups chunky salsa, divided
1 1/2 cups water
4 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 (15-oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
Salt to taste, if desired
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, if desired

Toppings: Sour cream, salsa, cheese and/or sliced green onions

Preheat oven to 450° F. Place 10 1/2-inch cast iron skillet in oven for 6 to 8 minutes or until hot. In medium bowl, combine egg, cornbread mix and milk; mix well. Stir in cheese and jalapeno peppers. Pour into hot skillet. Bake at 450° F. for 13 to 17 minutes or until golden brown and center is firm.

Meanwhile, in large skillet, cook ground beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in 2 cups salsa, water, chili powder, cumin and water. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in black beans and remaining 1 cup salsa; cook and stir until thoroughly heated. Before serving, stir in salt and/or cilantro, if desired.

Cut cornbread into 8 wedges; split each wedge horizontally. Place bottom of each wedge on a serving plate. Top each with about 3/4 cup chili and top of wedge. Add toppings, if desired.

8 servings


White Chicken Chili with Cheddar Hush Puppy Crust

White Chicken Chili with Cheddar Hush Puppy Crust

Chili

1 tablespoon Crisco® Olive Oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 (19 oz.) can cannellini beans (white kidney beans), drained
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 (14 oz.) can chicken broth
1 (4.5 oz.) can mild green chilies, drained

Crust

1 egg
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 (6 oz.) pkg. Martha White® Cotton Country™ or Buttermilk Cornbread Mix
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Sour cream, salsa and/or cilantro, if desired

Heat oven to 400° F. In 10 1/2 -inch cast iron skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook and stir 1 cup onion, garlic, green pepper, cumin and chili powder in olive oil about 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add remaining chili ingredients; simmer about 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl, beat egg. Add milk, butter and cornbread mix; mix well. Stir in onion and cheese. Pour over the chicken chili in skillet. Bake at 400° F. for 20 to 25 minutes or until cornbread is golden brown. Top each serving with sour cream, salsa and/or cilantro, if desired.

6 servings

® Crisco is a registered trademark of The J.M. Smucker Company.

Country-Style Chili Con Cornbread

Country-Style Chili Con CornbreadChili

1 pound bulk pork sausage
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 (16-oz) cans red kidney beans, drained
1 cup water
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground red (cayenne) pepper or to taste

Topping

1 1/2 cups Martha White® Self-Rising Corn Meal Mix
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup Crisco® Vegetable Oil
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese

In large saucepan, combine sausage, ground beef, onion, bell pepper and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat until sausage and ground beef are thoroughly cooked, stirring occasionally. Drain.

Stir in all remaining chili ingredients. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Additional water may be added if necessary.

Heat oven to 400° F. Spoon chili into ungreased 13×9-inch or other shallow 3 quart baking dish. In medium bowl, combine corn meal mix, milk, oil, egg and 1 cup of the cheese; blend well. Spoon batter over chili in baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

Bake at 400° F. for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown.

8 servings

® Crisco is a registered trademark of The J.M. Smucker Company.


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