Friday, March 30, 2012

Spicy chorizo chili with sweet skillet corn bread


Cornbread:
1 cup AP flour
1 cup stone ground corn meal
2 t baking powder
1/2 t sea salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
2 T buttermilk
3 T sugar (1/2 t reserved)
3 T melted butter

Preheat 7" cast iron pan over medium-low heat and the oven at 400 degrees. Blend dry ingredients in one bowl and beat the egg with wet ingredients, except for the butter, in another. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just moistened. Melt the butter in the pan, making sure to entirely coat the pan. Pour the butter into the cornbread mixture and stir to mix, then quickly (remove the pan from the heat so the remaining butter doesn't burn) pour the mixture into the pan, sprinkle with remaining sugar, and bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Turn out onto a rack to cool.



Chili
1 cup dried navy beans (soaked/reconstituted in water for 2-3 hours, changing the water 2 times)
~ or 1 can of prepared navy beans
2 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)
1/4 cup prepared salsa
1 stalk celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 roasted piquillo peppers, diced
1 small tomato, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t cumin
1/2 t dried ancho chile powder
1/2 t dried chipotle chile powder
1-2 t sea salt
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 package mushrooms, sliced
1/4 lb chorizo

If using dried beans, soak ahead of time and simmer (covered) in water over low heat for 1 hour. Use only enough water to keep covered, adding chicken stock when beans are tender. Or start here with rinsed, canned beans in chicken stock. Add salsa, carrot, celery, peppers, garlic, spices, salt and a pinch of the cilantro and simmer for 30-45 minutes until everything is cooked tender (I usually put the cornbread in at this time). If you don't have dried chiles, you could add a can of diced green chiles or salsa verde, or even a diced fresh jalapeno. Leave it covered if you want it more like soup or uncovered if you want it thicker, like a stew. If you want if really thick (like me), stir often to slightly break down the beans.










While the cornbread is cooling, saute the chorizo, onions and mushrooms.


When the chorizo mixture is done, add about 1/3 of it to the chili, setting the rest aside somewhere warm. Deglaze the pan with a few tablespoons of beer or water and add to the chili (mega flavor here). Simmer for another 10-15 minutes to let the flavors marry. Stir in more cilantro just before serving to maintain the fresh flavor and color.


 Top with more of the chorizo mixture and serve with sour cream, cheese, fresh diced tomato and more cilantro. Makes about 4 servings. It's great reheated the next day or cooked down to thicken and served like refried beans in a burrito.



Special Tidbits

Serve Italian style with spicy Italian sausage and herbs instead of chiles.


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