Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Another savory biscotti to dunk in some stomach warming chili...

If you have ever glanced at our list of biscotti recipes in the baking section, you will see quite a large list of sweet recipes. However, if you look closely you will see that we have made one savory one - remember the Pepperoni Biscotti from a few months ago? So good!

I wanted to have something dunkable to serve along side of tonight's main dish, so I went the savory route again and made these Cornmeal-Chili Pepper Biscotti. Unlike some hard biscotti recipes, this one does call for a bit of butter which makes them a bit softer, however, they are still quite firm enough to hold up to dipping! A full cup of shredded sharp white cheddar is added when you mash the butter around giving the thick slices a sharp cheesy flavor. To pair with that cheese flavor, a drained can of diced green chilies is added for a smoky depth without adding much heat.

Cornmeal-Chili Pepper BiscottiFor an inviting bite to the biscotti, crunchy yellow cornmeal is added to the dry ingredients, adding to its hearty texture. I did use a combination of all-purpose and whole wheat pastry flour, but as always, you would be just fine using completely all-purpose if you like. I've found some biscotti doughs to be so sticky that you have to wet your hands to work with it, but I enjoyed the texture this one had. It was just tacky enough that you could easily roll and shape the dough, yet I did not have gobs of it cemented to my fingers.

Now what did we dunk the biscotti in? I had to redeem myself after the disappointing beer recipe from last night and made this Beef and Beer Chili to fill and warm up our hungry stomachs this evening. Infusing the beef with flavor as you wait for it to brown and crumble is some chopped red onions, diced red bell peppers and a couple cloves of garlic. Seasoning the meat mixture is a combination of chili powder, smoky cumin, just a dash of sugar and a bit of oregano. Red kidney beans, fire-roasted diced tomatoes, rich beef broth and a bottle of amber ale bulk up the chili with a hearty texture and deep flavor. Once the ingredients have bubbled and married in the pot for awhile, you will notice that the chili is still a bit on the thin side. To bring some body to the liquid, a tablespoon of yellow cornmeal is stirred in - after a few minutes of cooking the tiny grains soften and swell adding thickness. To heighten the taste, a few squirts of fresh lime juice are added right before serving. I thought the amount of ground sirloin was just right, allowing it to still be meaty, yet you still get enough of the other chunky beans and tomatoes for a satisfying variety in each bite.

Beef and Beer Chili


  1. Okay... I'm trying the biscotti right away...these sound great.

    I love biscotti butthe only time I peppered some was a chocolatey one with cayenne ... for which I can no longer find the recipe darn it! We all found it interesting and somehow kind of tasty.. just kept going back for another even though it was strange...

    If the dough seems sticky I just keep dipping my fingers into the flour cannister while shaping the logs.

  2. With our weather that beer and chili would be perfect. I have to tell you that last night my DH brought his student home for supper (he teaches how to fly). So I made homemade bread and your lasagna soup. I have to say that it was a success and the guy re-inveted himself to join us for supper again this month.

  3. Vee - oh?! Chocolate cayenne biscotti sounds very good! I'll have to do some searching and see what I come up with. I've tried chocolate with a bit of Ancho chili in it before and it was good!

    Helene - Awesome! I really love that soup!

  4. Tried the chilli last week and it was great. So glad I stumbled upon your site, always seem to find some great recipes.

  5. Amy - Thanks for the feedback! I'm happy to hear you liked the chili.

  6. Just made the biscotti w/ my husband's chili. We have a ton of thai dragon chilis in our garden so I cut up a few and used that instead. As a result I needed to add some water when forming the dough. It come out just great and I'm getting a ton of compliments on it. Thanks!!

  7. Lyss - Glad you gave it a try!