05 November 2012

Hearty, Spicy, Two-Bean Chili & Yankee Cornbread

After a lot of trial and error, I have perfected my chili recipe! We like it spicy and meaty, with lots of beans, so I started with the recipe in the Betty Crocker Cookbook (2005 edition) and played around with the ingredients and spices until it was perfect. (Side note: I think every bride needs a Betty Crocker Cookbook. It shows you how to make all those things that everyone is supposed to know how to make, and it even gives you things like basic substitutions and vegetable cooking times!) I pair the chili up with the Yankee-style cornbread, also in Betty Crocker. There's a northern and southern version of cornbread in my addition of the cookbook. We prefer the northern version because it's sweeter!

Here are both recipes:

Hearty, Spicy, Two-Bean Chili

1 lb lean ground beef (I prefer 4% or lower fat content.)
1 medium onion chopped
2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
2 cans (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 Tbs granulated garlic
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 envelope spicy chili seasoning (I randomly had this in my cupboard one time and decided to throw it in the chili, and wow, it was the perfect addition!)
1 can (15 oz) kidney beans (I buy the ones canned in spicy chili sauce)
1 can (15 oz) great northern beans (or navy beans if you are from up north!)

In large pot (if cooking on the stove) or skillet (if using Crockpot), cook beef and onions over medium heat, stirring occasionally until beef is browned and onions are translucent. If meat is not low in fat, drain off excess fat. (If using 4% or less fat content, you can skip draining.)

If preparing chili on the stovetop, leave meat in pot and add all ingredients except beans to pot. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low. Simmer covered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. If preparing in Crockpot, place meat and onions into Crockpot, stir in all ingredients except beans. Cook on low heat for 4 hours.

Drain and rinse beans (If using the spicy chili kidney beans, don't rinse). For stovetop, add beans to pot. Turn up heat. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for an additional 30 minutes. For Crockpot, add beans, cook an additional 1-2 hours.

Serve with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and/or Fritos style corn chips.
Serves 4.

Yankee Cornbread

1 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1 egg
1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of 9 inch round, 8 inch square, or muffin pan with cooking spray. (We prefer muffins!)

In large bowl, beat together milk, butter, and egg using hand mixer or whisk. Mix in remaining ingredients all at once until flour is just moistened. (Batter will be thick and slightly lumpy.) Pour into pan or spoon into muffin cups.

Bake 20 minutes for muffins and 20-25 for pan, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm with butter!

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