Monday, September 2, 2013

Hot damn & cornbread!

It's close enough to fall to enjoy a nice bowl of chili and some cornbread, right?  It's actually hotter lately than it has been all summer, but nevermind that.  We need to enjoy some chili and cornbread!

OMFG, I just love it when Serious Eats veganizes a recipe.  Because they don't do it halfway.  This is (seriously) the best vegan chili I've ever had.  There are two things that make this recipe seriously great:  the dried chilies used to make the sauce, and the chopped garbanzo beans to give it a meatiness.

My favorite chili recipe used to be Bluto's Beer Chili from Dinner & A Movie (and it's still a pretty rockin' recipe, veganized with Gimme Lean sausage and/or seitan.  Beer in chili?  Yes, please!), but this one has it beat, hands down. 

When I made this current batch, I used eight dried chilies all together:  a mix of dried anchos and New Mexico chilies. Another great thing about this recipe?  I can get all the ingredients at my local (five to ten miles away from house) grocery stores, rather than having to drive all the way to Lexington. I skipped the chipotles in adobo sauce, because honestly, I'm not that big a fan of the smoked jalapeno flavor (you can keep the smoked paprika, too).  I just subbed in a can of chopped roasted green chilies instead.  Finally, I didn't have any kidney beans (another of "not-my-favorite-things")  so I added a can of black beans and a jar of homemade canned corn (grown by a local Amish family!) in their place.

So, what are you waiting for?  Go make yourself some chili!

And what goes better with chili than cornbread?  I've veganized one of my favorite recipes for a yeasted version below.  This cornbread makes seriously good toast for your homemade preserves, as well.  Enjoy!

Sweet Yeasted Cornbread (veganized from a recipe in The Farmhouse Cookbook by Susan Herrmann Loomis)


1-1/2 cups vegan milk ( I used unsweetened almond)
4 T. vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
1/4 cup agave syrup or agave-maple blend (from Trader Joe's!)
1 tsp. salt
1 pkg. or 2-1/4 tsp. instant dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
2 cups cornmeal
2 to 3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour


1.  Combine the milk, butter and salt and heat in the microwave (or in a saucepan on the stove) until the butter has melted (about a minute or so).  Remove and let cool to room temperature.
2.  Meanwhile, dissolve the yeast in the warm water in a large bowl.
3.  Once the milk mixture has cooled enough, add it to the yeast mixture and stir.
4.  Stir in the cornmeal.  Then gradually add the flour ( about 1 cup at a time) until the dough is starts to get thick and stiff.  Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth.  Try not to add more than three cups of flour total; you want the dough to be relatively soft.
5.  Place the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a towel.  Let rise for about two hours, or until doubled in bulk.
6.  Punch the dough down, and shape it into either a. one big round loaf or b. about six to eight smaller round loaves.  Place the loaf(s) on a cookie sheet covered with either a silpat baking sheet or parchment paper.  Cover loosely and let rise again for another thirty minutes.
7.  Bake in an oven pre-heated to 375 degrees F.  If you want, you can use a sharp knife to make some slashes in the top of the loaf prior to bakingBake for about 35 minutes, until golden and the bread sounds hollow when tapped with your finger.

Yield:  1 large loaf or 6-8 smaller loaves

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