Chili and Cornbread
Chili is one of the four dinners my dad made for us growing up. He makes one pot meals and never follows a recipe, so chili is the perfect thing. My mom used to make us cornbread a few times a year. Somehow these two things never ended up in the same meal (possibly because my parents have been divorced since I was 8) until now.
This cornbread recipe comes from my beloved Alice, and the first time I’ve made it it replaced any earlier cornbread recipe as the tastiest, easiest recipe in the world and I’ll probably never make another one. Look how beautiful this is!
The texture is smooth but perfectly grainy (cornbread isn’t supposed to be completely smooth), and the flavor is light and sweet and amazing. Adding butter puts this cornbread firmly in the dessert category.
Grandmother’s Buttermilk Cornbread
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 t. baking soda
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 t. salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Grease an 8 inch square pan.
- Melt butter in large skillet.
- Remove from heat and stir in sugar.
- Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended.
- Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture in pan.
- Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and few lumps remain.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
I can’t even tell you how to make chili. Usually I make it on the stove; this time I decided to play with my slow cooker (thank you Seamane!!). Just put everything together and cook it. You don’t need instructions, just play it by ear/taste/instinct/whatever.
Here’s what I know for sure is in here:
- ground turkey, browned
- stewed tomatoes (chopped so Calin will actually eat them) and the juice from the container
- kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- some other kind of bean that isn’t kidney, also drained and rinsed
- a little bit of sugar
- chili powder
- whatever herbs I feel like adding from my collection
The real trick to chili is to let it cook for a long, long time. The longer it cooks, the better the flavors come out. This is pretty much true of all soups, but especially this one. This makes the slow cooker the perfect method – dump everything in the night before (if you don’t have time in the morning – browning turkey before breakfast might be a bit much) and fridge it; take it out in the morning and set it to cook on medium all day, and then eat it for dinner. Or you can prep all the ingredients and bag them up, then dump them in in the morning. So easy.