So the weather this week has been atrocious here....rain, a little ice, temps dropped into the 30's.....all around yucky. I know, I know. If you're anywhere in the midwest you've got it much worse than we do, but it's all relative. We're all ready for better days.
But until that happens, comfort food is the only way to get through this shizzle! This dish not only satisfies that need, it would also be a great addition to your Super Bowl party. I think you could even make the chili and the cornbread in separate dishes and they'd be equally delicious. However, this way you have one less pan to wash. Bonus.
The chili recipe has two secret ingredients that really makes it special.....a can of white beans that you puree to give it this incredibly smooth texture and the addition of a small bit of cream cheese at the end for a little zing and richness. As I said, this would be good all on it's own served with the usual Mexican condiments.....tortilla chips, grated cheese, extra cilantro, scallions, etc.
And if you already have a favorite cornbread recipe (I live in the South. EVERYONE has their own cornbread recipe!) go ahead and use that as the topping. Whatever floats your boat, I say.
Here's to warmer weather and a Steeler's victory!! Enjoy the game.
Here's the recipe:
White Chili with Cornbread
King Arthur Flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped, about 3 1/4 cups chopped onion
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped into 1/2" to 3/4" pieces; about 1 1/2 cups chopped pepper
1 small jalapeño pepper, diced; remove and discard seeds for milder chili
1 to 4 cloves garlic (to taste), peeled and minced
1 pound bag frozen corn, thawed; or 3 cups fresh or frozen/thawed corn kernels
2 cans (4 1/2 ounces each) chopped green chiles, undrained
5 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken or turkey meat, white and/or dark
1 can (15 to 19 ounces) white beans or cannellini beans, undrained
1 tablespoon ground cumin, or to taste
3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
3-ounce package cream cheese
1 to 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese, optional, for topping
1 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 1/2-ounce can chopped mild green chiles, drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, optional
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg
1) To make the chili: Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion, peppers, and garlic, frying until the vegetables are soft and the onions are barely beginning to turn golden, about 10 to 15 minutes.
2) Add the corn, chiles, and chicken or turkey, stirring to combine.
4) Place the beans with their liquid in a food processor or blender, and process until smooth. Add to the pan with the meat and vegetables, stirring to combine.
4) Stir in the cumin and salt.
5) Simmer the chili slowly for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. While the chili simmers, make the cornbread topping, and start preheating the oven to 375°F.
6) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, chiles, and fresh cilantro.
7) In another bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the milk, melted butter, and egg.
8) Pour the liquid all at once into the flour mixture, stirring quickly and gently until just combined. Set the batter aside while you finish the chili.
9) Add the cream cheese to the chili, stirring until it melts. Adjust the salt, if necessary.
10) Spoon the chili into a lightly greased 9" x 13" x 2"-deep pan. You'll need about 1" clearance between the chili and the top of the pan, to ensure the cornbread topping doesn't overflow. If your pan is shallower than 2", fill with chili until it comes no closer than 1" to the top. You may also divide the chili among individual serving dishes. The entire recipe makes about 8 cups of chili; if you use 2-cup capacity ramekins or bakers, spoon 1 cup chili into each.
11) Top the chili with grated cheddar cheese, if desired; then with the cornbread batter. For 8 individual ramekins or bakers, use 1/2 cup batter for each.
12) Bake the chili and cornbread for about 25 minutes, until the top is set and a toothpick inserted into the cornbread comes out clean. The individual servings will bake for about 20 minutes.
13) Remove from the oven, and serve hot or warm.
Yield: about 8 to 12 servings.