Saturday, January 12, 2008

sweet cheddar cornbread

This cornbread was quick and easy and a nice addition to the chili posted below. Serving the cornbread with the a fresh garden salad and the chili, you have a healthy and heart dinner!


1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
5 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 green onion or 3 chives finely chopped


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour and 8 or 9-inch square pan.

Sift dry ingredients into mixing bowl. Form a well in the mixture and add the milk, oil, and egg. Stir just until everything is combined – there should still be scattered clumps of flour, about the size of baby peas, gently mix in the cheddar and chives/green onions.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 24 to 30 minutes, until the cornbread is starting to brown slightly (especially at the edges) and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Serve hot.

*adapted from The Cornbread Book by Jeremy Jackson, 2003

pantry chili

There are some nights when we look in the fridge and it is bare...or at least nothing we really want to eat. Then the great debate, do we order in, do we go out? What can we make... it is raining, so going to the store isn't really what you feel like doing after a long day at work, that's when we usually hit the pantry. This recipe was compiled with what we had on hand, I know it is by no means authentic, but I like that you add what you have. If we had had some frozen corn niblets for example, I would have added those. Spiciness is a personal preference, so always start with less and then work up. For the purposes of a rainy Tuesday night, this worked quite nicely, especially when supplemented with some simple fresh from the oven cornbread.

** the steam was perfect to melt the cheddar into the chili**

Ingredients for Pantry Chili

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 sweet onion, diced
1 chopped green pepper
2 cups sliced mushrooms (canned would do fine here)
1 lb extra lean ground beef
2 hot peppers, diced (I had some jalapeƱos on hand)
1 19 oz can of Black Beans
1 19 0z can of Kidney Beans
1 28 oz can of Crushed Tomatoes
14 oz water

4 Tbsp red chili powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground chipotle powder
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp thyme

** shredded cheese to top

In a dutch oven or large pot, heat the oil. Add the garlic, onions, and green and hot peppers, sweat them, being careful not to brown/burn the garlic, when the peppers get soft, add the mushrooms. Add the ground beef once the veggies are all soft. Add seasoning and stir until the ground beef is browned (skim off excess fat, if needed). Add both types of beans, tomatoes and water, let simmer for 20 minutes. Flavour to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with shredded cheese on top.