Tonight I made the most divine chili and cornbread. Chili is one of the best ways to use up random pantry items in a tasty, economical supper. I always make my chili a little bit different, it depends what I have on hand, but there are a few things it MUST contain. First you need a good chili seasoning, I personally like to keep Carroll Shelby's Chili Kit in the pantry at all times, it tastes great and comes with the seasonings, masa flour, salt, and chili powder packaged individually so you can play with your proportions. I am a meat eater, so I need a beast in my chili. I've tried ground beef, turkey, chicken, sausages, and bacon. And finally there must be some good veg in there to balance things out, I've put just about any vegetable you can think of in chili at some point, but I really like peppers, corn, onions, and beans, I just mix them up with whatever else I have around and omit what I don't.
So the "recipe" part: Tonight I used chorizo, quinoa, chocolate, flax, green bell pepper, onion, canned tomatoes with green chiles, and kale. Have I mentioned I am from California? This was an amazing combination! It was similar to a molé sauce (I added some sugar to make it nice and sweet) with a complex smoky flavor because I got distracted by the spring rain when I went outside to pick the kale and burned the chorizo a bit... ahem. I also made a kellerweiss hefeweizen cornbread (just substitute the beer for milk in Jiffy cornbread). This was so tasty I don't know if I will ever make normal cornbread again. Gotta love the folks over at Sierra Nevada for making this spicy gem of a beer (thank you Scott your beer is delicious). I mixed up a double batch of this bread and baked it at 325 for 30 minutes in a loaf pan covered in foil, then I removed the foil and cooked it at 350 for 15 more minutes. Unfortunately this wasn't quite enough, it was perfectly golden around the edges but still moist in the center. Luckily there is a great trick for this- just take the bread out of the loaf pan and microwave it for one minute. It will cook the center without the risk of burnt edges you get with the conventional oven.
Okay, enough about dinner let's see the embroidery progress