Last night, during David's scorpion hunting routine, I noticed that the evenings here in AZ are slowly, but surely, getting cooler. Hip hip! Most excellent news. Anyway, this (small) climate change has got me dreaming of cooler weather, sweaters, Halloween and of course - chili and cornbread. I really love both of these things for an autumn meal (and this cornbread recipe is amazing).
(image from "Baking and Books")
Chili2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/4 inch dice (about 3/4 cup)
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef (could use ground turkey)
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 Tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 can (15 oz) black beans, undrained
1 can (15 oz) pinto beans, undrained
1 can (28 oz) crushed or diced tomatoes, with their juices
1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Dried red pepper flakes (optional)
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder (up to 1/2 tsp is fine, depending on tastes)
Freshly grated Cheddar cheese
Sliced Green Onions
Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until the onion and garlic are soft but not browned, about 1 minute longer. Add the meat and break up with a wooden spoon.
Increase the heat to medium-high and add the cumin, chili powder, and oregano. Cook, stirring frequently, until the meat is browned and cooked through, about 7 minutes.
Add the chipotle powder, tomato paste, black beans, pinto beans, and diced tomatoes, with their liquids, and bring the chili to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the chili simmer, gently stirring occasionally until thickened and the flavors are concentrated, about 45 minutes.
Add the salt, then taste for seasoning, adding more salt as needed, black pepper to taste, and red pepper flakes, if using. Serve the chili hot with bowls of grated cheese and sour cream on the side, if desired, and corn bread. If you are not planning on serving the chili at this time, let it cool to room temperature. It can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
Chipotle Cornbread with Cheddar Cheese and Green Onions
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup milk
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 Tablespoons chopped chipotle chilies (optional)
1/3 cup sliced green onion tops
1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese
Preheat an oven to 425 degrees. Butter a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Stir to mix. Make a well in the center.
In another bowl, combine the egg and milk and whisk until just blended, about 10 seconds. Add the melted butter, chipotle chilies, green onions and cheese and whisk until smooth. Pour the egg mixture into the well in the flour mixture and fold gently until the batter is just blended.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean, about 18 to 20 minutes.