Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Chili and cornbread night...

Just a few days ago, we made a quite sweet version of cornbread in some Sweet Corn Muffins that were more suitable for breakfast or a mid-morning snack. Jeff asked if I would make some cornbread to go along with dinner tonight, so this time we made a more savory version.

In these Jalapeño and Corn Cornbread Muffins, buttermilk is the main liquid ingredient, which allows them to stay tender and moist. Unlike the sweet version linked above, this recipe only has 2 tablespoons of sugar - which is just enough to give them their golden exterior and adds a hint of sweetness. Minced garlic, jalapeño and green onions add color and lend a definite savory element to these beautiful crowned muffins. For another layer of corn flavor, corn kernels are added into the batter and bring little juicy nuggets into each bite - a nice change from a plain cornmeal-only recipe.

I made these into 10 muffins so they would be a little bigger, but you could probably stretch this into 12 and still have them be acceptable. If you do only make 10, be sure to add a little bit of water into the empty wells of the muffin tin so they don't scorch.

What better to go with this spicy cornbread than a hearty chili? Even though we tend to gravitate to chili more in the colder months, we still enjoy it and will make new (to us) versions of it all throughout the year. This recipe, Three Bean and Beef Chili, has a smoky and slightly spicy edge to it from fire-roasted crushed tomatoes along with a diced chipotle chili in adobo sauce. If you want that deep flavor, but not so much the heat, you could remove the seeds before adding the chilies or even forgo them and just add the adobo sauce. Lean ground sirloin is added to onions, red bell peppers and carrots that have gently softened in olive oil and then seasoned with cumin. When the sirloin has crumbled and cooked, the crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth, oregano and the chipotles are stirred in and left to simmer, partially covered, until the mixture begins to thicken. To help the beans retain their integrity, the black, kidney and pinto beans are now added and then the chili will continue simmering to allow the flavors to develop. If you want to take this all veggie, we have had pretty good success using soy crumbles - we both thought this chili had plenty of flavor to go around so this substitute would be a fine fit.


  1. It all looks delicious! Makes my mouth water!

  2. Tim - If you get a chance to try either recipe, please let me know!