Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Joanne's Savory Summary - Chili & Cornbread

Sweet sweet redemption!  After last week's snafu, I made sure to pay extra attention to this week's recipe by following the instructions to the letter and getting great ingredients.  Since David and I were going to a Superbowl party on Sunday, I decided to make this recipe on Saturday.  It especially worked out since my Dad and his girlfriend, Martha, were coming by for dinner.  Otherwise, I'm not sure how David and I would have gotten through a caldron of chili. 

Why don't you cry about it
Earlier on Saturday David and I completed our weekly food shopping and I knocked out the ingredients for my chili and cornbread.  The only thing I couldn't find was the masa harina.  After a quick Google consultation I decided to substitute some of the cornmeal mix I was using for the cornbread recipe.  Definitely not a perfect substitute but it got the job done.  I also decided to make my own Emeril's Southwest Essence.  It turned out great and I can now use it on chicken in the future. 

BAM!  Southwest Essence
This meal was definitely a testament to the art of entertaining and cooking.  I tried to get as much prepped as I could before our guests arrived.  Wegman's did not offer the beef chuck cubed so I undertook the ever so tedious task of cubing a three pound chuck roast.  Then I cried my way through three cups of onions.  Literally there were tears streaming down my face.  I even resorted to wearing my small frame reading glasses soon to be swapped out for my large frame sunglasses.  I can attest to the failure of the bigger the frame the less you'll cry. 

Once my meat was browned and ingredients added, I left my chili to simmer while we played the game Mexican Train.  For any board game fans out there, especially those heavy on the strategy, I would highly recommend this.  It was a blast.  I do however blame my poor performance on constantly checking on my chili and stirring periodically.  With about 35 minutes left to go on the chili and I decided to get the cornbread going.  The simplicity of making this cornbread was amazing.  I was finished making the mixture and popped it in the oven all within 10 minutes. 

Finally it was time to eat and again, similar to my issue with the pasta bolognese, I noticed my chili was a bit thin.  Again I used the expensive farmer's market tomato paste to give it once more chance.  However, I think after this experience I am now opting for the traditional canned version and sending the pricier one to its eternal resting place, the trash.  Despite my concerns over the consistency, the chili was a hit!  I did add one can of kidney beans at the special request of David but they were hardly noticeable in the two quarts of chili.  Also, I used the beer I had on hand, not necessarily a dark beer, and I do think that altered the flavor slightly.  Next time I will definitely use a darker beer. 

I would absolutely make this again.  I have historically favored a more vegetable heavy chili so I was pleasantly surprised I enjoyed this chili given it had so much meat.
Happy Eating! 

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