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Confetti Chili and Corn Bread

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

Finally…the weather here is beginning to actually feel like December…and with a chill in the air, it’s time to warm up the kitchen to make stick-to-your-ribs comfort food.  One of my family’s favorite meals is warm chili accompanied by corn bread, fresh from the oven. This chili is revised from the recipe I first posted in October 2013, with additional beef and slightly more cumin than my original version; small changes which yield a heartier flavor.  The corn bread recipe is my version of a recipe from a 1975 edition of a Southern Living cookbook.  My interpretation of this classic recipe uses far less sugar than the original and substitutes regular canned corn and buttermilk for the canned creamed corn and plain milk used in the 1975 version.  The viscosity of the buttermilk provides the thickness needed for the cornbread batter, and buttermilk’s distinctive flavor yields a cornbread that reminds me of my grandmother’s Sunday dinners.  Maybe this delicious duo will create food memories for your family!


Confetti Chili (Revised)

This recipe is unbelievably easy to make…your can opener does most of the work! The variation in the colors of the ingredients will remind you of confetti…so this hearty soup will please the eye, as well as the palate.

½ pound (8 ounces) lean ground beef (I use ground bison or grass-fed ground beef)
1 can black beans, with liquid
1 can dark red kidney beans, with liquid
1 can great northern beans, with liquid
1 can corn, with liquid
1 can petite diced tomatoes, with liquid
1 tablespoon (heaping) dried, minced onion
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon low sodium Worcestershire sauce
½ cup hearty red wine

Shredded sharp cheddar cheese for garnish

Brown ground beef in a 4-quart pan or Dutch oven, then wrap the browned beef in a paper towel to absorb the excess fat.  Using another paper towel, blot the fat from the soup pan, but allow the browned bits of beef which might have “stuck” to the pan to remain, as they will add flavor to the soup.  Add all the canned ingredients, including the liquid from each can and then stir in the spices, minced onion, Worcestershire sauce and red wine.  Simmer, covered, for approximately 30 – 45 minutes, then remove from heat to allow the soup to “rest” for a few minutes before serving.  Taste the soup at this point to determine if added salt is needed…but I have found that the sodium contained in the canned vegetables is usually enough to flavor this soup without additional salt.
Serve hot, sprinkled with shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
Makes 4 – 6 servings
Note: I also recommend allowing the flavor of the soup to “mature”, so I make the soup one day and eat it the next…or perhaps you could make it early in the morning and enjoy it for dinner that night.



Corn Bread with Double Corn


Adding kernels of canned corn provides a varied texture in this traditional-style corn bread. Serve it warm from the oven with real butter. Warning…it will be hard to eat just one piece!

¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 large eggs, well beaten
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup buttermilk (I use reduced fat buttermilk)
1 cup kernels from canned corn (liquid discarded)

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.  Coat a 9 inch square baking pan with cooking spray.
Combine the flour, corn meal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine the beaten eggs, melted butter and buttermilk.  Stir in the corn kernels.
Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring slowly to blend.  The blended mixture will be thick.  Pour the cornbread mixture into the greased baking pan.
Bake the cornbread for 20 – 25 minutes, until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean.
Slice the cornbread into 10 – 12 servings.  Serve warm.
(adapted from Southern Living’s, For the Love of Cooking, p37, © 1975, Oxmoor House, Inc



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