Sunday, October 10, 2010

"Hidden Veggie" Chili and Perfect Skillet Cornbread

Fall is absolutely my favorite season.  Sometimes it's still warm during the day, you can wear a jacket or not, and you can have a great day outdoors and have something warm and tasty in a bowl for dinner.  So because it was fall, and for no other particular reason, I made an old-fashioned chili and cornbread dinner.
When I told Shaheid (a.k.a. "Rhymes with Rasheed") that I was making chili I got one of those "Oh no..." looks.  He then proceeds to tell me that he thought that HE was the chili maker in our house, because it's not one of my strong suits. After I finished rolling my eyes and quickly reminded him about the time he microwaved two ribeyes in an effort to defrost them, I started my chili.  I decided to add some "hidden veggies" to the recipe because there is no such thing as too many vegetables especially when your two year old and your husband (or whatever picky eater is in your life) don't even know they're there!  I used 96/4 ground beef and didn't miss the great flavor of it's fattier friends with all of the great spices in this dish.

I made a few changes to a skillet cornbread recipe from The Pioneer Woman, adding some sugar to the recipe and subbing in fat-free and low fat dairy.  The edges were crispy and the inside was soft and a tiiiny bit sweet, just what I'm looking for in a great skillet cornbread.  If you don't have cast iron pan, try using a cake pan or other baking pan and heating it in the oven as it preheats.  That should get you as close as you can get to the same crispy crust achieved in cast iron.  P.S. I wish I had a piece right NOW!

Hidden Veggie Chili
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/2 an onion, diced
  • 3 tb. ground chilies (or chili powder)
  • 1/4 ts. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 ts. cumin
  • 1/4 ts. onion powder
  • 1 ts. salt
  • 1 1/2 ts. garlic powder
  • 1 - 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 - 28 oz. can petite diced tomatoes

In a large pot over medium heat, brown the ground beef and drain any excess liquid.
Add the onion and allow them to soften for 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the zucchini and carrot and cook for an additional two minutes.
Next add the crushed and diced tomatoes with all their juices.
Heat the mixture through, add the spices and cook over medium-low heat for 20 to 30 minutes.

Perfect Skillet Cornbread
adapted from The Pioneer Woman
  • 1 cup Yellow Cornmeal
  • ½ cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup fat-free Buttermilk
  • ½ cups 1% Milk
  • 1 whole Egg
  • ½ teaspoons Baking Soda
  • ¼ cups Shortening
  • 2 Tablespoons Shortening

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Combine cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. Stir together.
Measure the buttermilk and milk in a measuring cup and add the egg. Stir together with a fork. Add the baking soda and stir.
Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir with a fork until combined.
In a small bowl, melt 1/4 shortening. Slowly add melted shortening to the batter, stirring until just combined. In an iron skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons shortening over medium heat. Pour the batter into the hot skillet. Spread to even out the surface. (Batter should sizzle.)
Cook on stovetop for 1 minute, then bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Edges should be crispy!

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