Thursday, January 31, 2013

Chili and Cornbread Tailgate

Picture of Emeril's Chuck Wagon Chili Recipe
Chuck Wagon Chili
As a little teaser earlier this week, Jen started off by paying homage to one of the pioneers of the food television hysteria, Emeril Lagasse and mentioning his infamous Chuck Wagon Chili.  Chili has to be the quintessential tailgating food.  Wash it down with a cold beer and you'll be participating in a national past time shared by thousands every Sunday.  While David's and my loyalty remain with the college football scene (Clemson and Penn State fans), we do watch a fair share of NFL games as well.  Therefore, in celebration of this Superbowl Sunday whether you're looking forward to watching the game or enjoying the food, I thought we would try that old classic, chili.  
Much like the Harbaugh brothers this weekend, we are a house divided on the level of spiciness we enjoy.  And in case you didn't get the reference, John Harbaugh, the coach of the Superbowl bound Ravens is the brother of Jim Harbaugh, the coach of the similarly Superbowl bound 49ers.  Anyway, I like to, in the words of Emeril, "kick it up a notch" whereas anything resembling real food heat would send David running for his Prilosec.  To satisfy both of our food preferences I may just make two batches with mine going a little heavier on the cayenne since how often it is that I get to indulge in homemade chili.  
Chris Rock knows

Besides if the heat gets to be too much I can always turn to chili's must have side kick, corn bread.  In the words of Chris Rock: "Cornbread.  Ain't nuttin' wrong wit dat".  If you have no idea what I'm talking about just YouTube that phrase to see his late 90s music video.  And no you can't have those five minutes of your life back after you've finished watching it.  

For the cornbread,I will be using a recipe I found on the Food Network which intrigued me since it called for a cast iron skillet.  I can just imagine how amazing the bread will turn out using the skillet coated with butter.  In case you haven't noticed, this is definitely not your healthiest of meals but every once in awhile its perfectly fine to splurge.

You may notice this recipe calls for A LOT of ingredients so it definitely something to reserve for the weekend.  But all of those ingredients will blend together beautifully to give you an amazing and flavorful chili.  The prep should only take about 10 minutes but give yourself enough time for it to simmer and blend.  It will yield about two and a half quarts.  I hope you enjoy your Superbowl Sunday!

Happy Cooking!

Chuck Wagon Chili 
By: Emeril Lagasse


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Emeril's Southwest Essence
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 (12-ounce) bottles dark beer
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, crushed, with juices
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-ounce semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons masa harina
  • Grated Cheddar, for garnish
  • Finely chopped green onions, for garnish
  • Chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish


Heat the oil in a large heavy pot over high heat. Add the beef, chili powder, cumin, Southwest Essence, cayenne, cinnamon, crushed red pepper and bay leaf and cook until meat is well-browned. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until the onions soften, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the beers and cook until the foam subsides, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth, salt, and chocolate to the pot. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, partially cover, and cook until thickened and meat is very tender, 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the chili from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Skim off any fat that rises to the top of the chili. Sprinkle soup with masa harina and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer.
Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Serve with the cheese, green onions, and cilantro alongside as garnish.

Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread


  • 1 1/4 cups coarsely ground cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and place a 9-inch cast iron skillet inside to heat while you make the batter.

In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Whisk in the milk, buttermilk, and eggs. Whisk in almost all of the melted butter, reserving about 1 tablespoon for the skillet later on.

Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Coat the bottom and sides of the hot skillet with the remaining butter. Pour the batter into the skillet and place it in the center of the oven. Bake until the center is firm and a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes and serve.


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