Annnnd I’m back. The holidays have a tendency to sneak up on you and then completely take over your life. Plus moving into a new apartment—into a considerably smaller kitchen where you realize that you own a lot of fancy cooking stuff but someone else owned the basics that you never ever had to think about, like the can opener—severely cuts down on your cooking time, not to mention your writing time.
But now the holidays and the parties have subsided, the apartment is more or less unpacked, save those one or two pesky boxes that I shoved in the corner and am pretty much pretending don’t exist. All of which means it is time to sit back, enjoy the fact that we finally got some measurable rain and are having weather that resembles actual winter. And what better way to do that than with a big bowl of spicy chili and some warm cheesy corn bread on the side.
To me this is the perfect winter food for sitting at home, wrapped up in a blanket, watching endless re-runs of Friends because they have yet to hook up your cable and it turns out those are the only DVDs you own. And of course it is also the perfect excuse for a nice glass of Syrah. Syrah has big and bold fruit to be able to stand up to this hearty winter meal and enough pepper and spice to match with the smokey, sweet heat of the chili and the cornbread.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 white onion, diced
- 1 pasilla chili, diced
- 1 jalapeno chili, minced
- 1 14 ounce can Rotel Tomatoes with chilies
- 1 14 ounce can kidney beans, drained
- 1 14 ounce can black beans, drained
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 ounces sour cream
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
- 2 scallions, chopped
In a heavy bottomed saucepan cook the beef with the onion, garlic, chili and jalapeno over medium high heat until the meat has cooked through and the vegetables have softened. Drain off the excess oil from the mixture and return to the pan.
Next stir in the chili powder, cayenne pepper, ground cumin, paprika, cinnamon and the can of Rotel tomatoes with chilies. Let this mixture come to a boil and then turn the heat down and cover to simmer for about 20 minutes.
Then stir in the beans and let the mixture simmer again, uncovered this time, for another 20 minuets.
Spoon into bowls, garnish with sour cream, cheddar cheese, chopped scallions and serve with Cheddar jalapeno cornbread.
Corn Bread ingredients:
- 1 cup cornmeal
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 4 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 jalapeno minced
Pre-heat the oven to 425°F and grease an 8 inch baking dish.
In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients: cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Then in a separate bowl mix together the wet ingredients: eggs, buttermilk and butter. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold together until there are no more dry spots left. It will still look a little lumpy. Then fold in the cheese and minced jalapenos until they are just mixed in.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middles comes out clean. It should take about 20 to 25 minuets.
Let cool on the counter for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.