Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spring Break CHILI NIGHT!

This year we are not going away for Spring Break. It feels good to be home, get things done that I need to get done (ok, like taxes), and have some time for being lazy as well. I've also been doing working a little too... webinar yesterday, meeting today, meeting tomorrow, and need to work on some paperwork too. But, having time is so nice!

I actually had time to cook yesterday - which I love to do, but doesn't happen often. I browsed recipes on the Food Network and found an interesting chili recipe by Rachael Ray. I added a dollop of sour cream to calm the chili down (I may have used too much chipotle chili powder. Pretty spicy..) I also made a cornbread recipe by Paula Deen - boy, was it YUMMY!

So, if you are in the market for a great chili night, give these recipes a try! DELICIOUS...

Paula Deen, Food Network

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 large Vidalia or other sweet onion, chopped
1 (8-ounce) package cornbread/muffin mix
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup whole milk
1 cup sour cream
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried dill weed
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with vegetable oil cooking spray.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and saute the onion until tender, but not browned, for about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the muffin mix, egg, milk, sour cream, 1/2 cup of the cheese, the salt, and dill weed. Stir to combine. Pour into the prepared pan and top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, until set and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly before cutting into squares.

Rachael Ray, Food Network

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 pounds ground sirloin
2 tablespoons grill seasoning(recommended: McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning) a palm full
1/2 pound baby Portobello mushrooms, chopped
1/4 pound shiitake mushroom caps, sliced
1 medium yellow skinned onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
4 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped, with their juices or 1 generous palm full ground chipotle chili powder, about 2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon ground cumin, half a palm full
1 bottle imported beer (recommended: Stella Artois (...imported just 'cause we're Uptown and that's all they drink here.)
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 cup beef stock (8-ounce box)
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
8-ounce piece smoked Gouda, shredded
1 small white onion, finely chopped
Heat a deep, large skillet or a pot over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and the meat. Season it with grill seasoning and sear it up, browning and crumbling it, for 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer meat to a plate and return pot to stove. Reduce heat to medium- high and add another tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Add the mushrooms and begin to brown them before adding the other veggies. After 2 or 3 minutes the mushrooms will begin to shirk and soften. Push the mushrooms off to one side of the pot and add all the remaining veggies to the opposite side of the pot surface. Once the onions, celery, peppers and garlic have been working for a few minutes as well, mix the veggies with the mushrooms. Add the meat back, season with Worcestershire sauce, chipotle in adobo or chipotle powder and cumin. Add in beer to deglaze the pot, scraping up all the pan drippings. Reduce the beer by half, about 2 minutes. Add the black beans, tomatoes, stock and thyme to chili and simmer 10 minutes for flavors to combine. Taste to adjust seasonings. Top bowls of the chili with shredded smoked Gouda and finely chopped raw onions.

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