Tuesday, April 07, 2009

One last chili dinner...

...before we loose the cool nights completely.

I love living where it's warm or warm-ish most of the year. I don't mourn the absence of seasons; the way I see it, we have seasons, they're just warmer ones. But ever since I was pregnant with Sammy, I've been a soup crazy mamma. And I can't really see serving a hot soup dinner when it's 102 outside. So we may not be having chili and cornbread much more until it turns cool again in fall. I had to squeeze one more chili dinner into the spring during our current cool snap. Easy, tasty, accompanied by salad from the garden. Can't beat that!

My cornbread recipe is as simple as they come. I bake in a thrifted 8" cast iron skillet that my mother reclaimed from a thick scale of rust and dirt for me early on in my days of living in Austin. I would say this is my mother's recipe, but her recipe is in her head and in her hands. She doesn't have to look at a card or measure much. I, on the other hand, decided I would make cornbread more if I put it on my Recipe Cheat Sheet. It's a work in progress, based on Amy Karol's (from Angry Chicken; I don't know her personally but as she is neither angry nor a chicken, it seems more fitting to use her name. And, as she did, I plan to share the whole cheat sheet when I get it just right). I do make more cornbread now, much to the boys' delight. I was never much for cornbread but I can say it's really grown on me. Maybe it goes along with my pregnancy soup obsession, but I'm so glad I can look at the side of the fridge and throw this together.

1 c flour
1 c cornmeal
2 T sugar
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
2 beaten eggs
1 c milk
1/4 canola oil

Preheat the oven to 375 (I leave the 8" cast iron skillet in while it's preheating).
Mix the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
Here's how I avoid extra dishes (it's easier to me but if it isn't easier to you, just add in the wet ingredients): Break those two eggs into a 2 cup measuring cup and break them up with a fork. Add a cup more of milk, then a 1/4 c more of oil into the measuring cup (what I mean is that the eggs are usually about 1/2 c so I fill the milk to the 1 1/2 c line. Then I add the oil to the 1 3/4 c line).
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined.
Swirl a pat of butter around in the cast iron skillet (or grease a pan) and pour in the batter.
Bake 375 for 20 minutes.
Enjoy accolades of all nearby men and boys - or is that just at my house?

And after seeing this post about this recipe, I tried it with my leftover chili, heating the chili through in an oven safe bowl, then adding an egg and baking. I topped it with cheese and a slice of red pepper. It was delicious! But, it holds the heat a really long time and I burned my mouth. Darn. I was warned, even.


  1. Nope, not just your house. The male I cohabitate with "loves him" some cornbread, and we frequently prepare it with tortilla soup (recipe posted on my blog - very good, by the way). I will have to try this. If I manage something homemade, I think it would impress my household.

    We hit record lows in Austin this morning - it was 37 when I pulled up to one of my schools at 7:15 am. As I'm okay without seasons (probably a result of never living north of Dallas, Texas), I'm ready for spring weather.

    Let's see what we will be blogging about around July 15th. ;-)

  2. This sounds so good and reminds me of my grandma's recipe. (She made cornbread this way every. single. day.)

    This is one of my favorite dinner combos! We had tortilla soup here tonight since it was chilly & rainy. Putting sour cream in your chili? You're my kind of girl....