Thursday, January 17, 2013

Rainy Night In Georgia

It's a rainy night in Georgia and there's even a winter weather advisory in effect! Brrr! So all I had on my mind heading home from work was some good, homemade chili! I figured I'd make an impromptu, "ad- libbed" (not to be confused with Mad Libs, which I love, as well!) version since a normal girl who plans ahead would've had a pot of chili already going in her Crock Pot...
Anyways, I put together a last minute recipe and it was pretty, doggone amazing! (I suspect it'll be even more awesome after it sits overnight!)
Here's how I made it: (Be warned, it's a tad bit spicy!)

2 cans of Bush's Chili Beans
1 can mild Ro-Tel diced tomatoes with chilies
1 can light kidney beans (I would have used dark, but I didn't have them.)
1 jar of Pace medium salsa (16 oz.)
1 small can of tomato paste
1 T. chili seasoning (see below)

Mix everything together in a medium stock pot and simmer on low-med heat for at least 2 hours.
If you want to tone down the spice, you can use mild salsa and diced tomatoes instead of Ro-Tel, but honestly, it was pretty great...
You can add ground beef if you'd like. 1.5-2 lbs should be good. If the MOTH (Man of the House) were home, I would've added beef. I can live without it, though.
(Makes approx 9 cups. 1 c.=168 cal.)

Chili Seasoning Mix
(adapted from Chili Seasoning Mix II)
2 T. chili powder
1/2 T. crushed red pepper
1/2 T. dried minced onion
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp coarse ground black pepper

Mix everything together and seal in an airtight container.

Being the Southerner that I am, chili got me thinking about cornbread...and how I can't make it, but really wished I could. However, I have to say: my mother in law makes the best cornbread you've ever put in your mouth- hands down- and every time I try to use her directions, mine always flops. Out of desperation, I dug in my cookbooks to find her recipe, but instead, I stumbled upon a recipe I found online a while back that failed and thought I'd try it again. I adapted it a bit after a quick phone call to MOTH's grandma and guess what? Another score! Check it out:
Since I had a little help modifying this with grandma over the telephone, we now refer to it as "Telephone Cornbread." Here's how I did it:

Telephone Cornbread
1 c. all purpose flour, leveled
1 c. self rising yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
2 eggs
1 c. shredded cheese ( I used Sargento's Four Cheese Mexican blend)
Mix all ingredients together and pour into a hot 9" cast iron skillet. (If you only have an 8" skillet, only pour 2/3 of the batter into the skillet and make cornbread (4) muffins out of the remaining batter.)
BE SURE to have grease or butter (as the original recipe calls for) melted and your skillet HOT before pouring the batter in. Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until top is golden brown. Let it cool a bit before serving.
(1/8 slice=148 cal. and 1 muffin=145 cal)

If you make any of these, let me know what you think! As for me, I gotta go clean up a dirty little kitchen:
Sigh...Don't judge me...