The greatest gift arrived at my house on Inauguration Day: 4 inches of fluffy white snow (followed up by an e-mail from the boss with the g0-ahead to work from home!) Woot woot!
To celebrate the momentous occasion of the 44th President’s Inauguration, the chill in the air outdoors and the warmth indoors, I decided to cook the meal Barack Obama most enjoys making for his family: Chili!
I’ve been craving this meal since the beginning of winter, but a snow day seemed like the most opportune and joyous of days to get in the kitchen. You may want to check out Barack’s famed recipe, though I opted to use this Cooking Light version of Turkey and White Bean Chili (with some variation). The recipe uses ground turkey. I am opposed to any chili recipe using meat pulled from a roasted bird. And it’s super easy to prepare.
Rather than using cilantro called for in the recipe, I selected chopped green onions. For other toppings, I used a dollop of low-fat sour cream, a sprinkle of cheddar cheese and the juice of a lime wedge.
This chili is divine. And I have to say, don’t skip the green onions and lime juice. The onions add a bright crunch, and the lime juice–an acidic freshness. Since most of the other ingredients are straight out of the pantry, it’s worth springing for these two fresh ingredients. For the canned diced tomatoes, I had a Del Monte product on hand: diced tomatoes with mild chiles and spices. I’ll recommend that as well.
To round out the chili meal, I had to make cornbread. My mom makes an awesome Mexican Cornbread with corn kernels, onions and cheese in it (I suspect she leaves out the spicy ingredients). So I was steering toward a savory, rather than sweet cornbread recipe, with some crunchy texture to it. I got this Jalapeño Cornbread recipe off the bag of Arrowhead Mills organic yellow corn meal.
1 cup onion, finely chopped (I used frozen, already chopped!)
4 T vegetable oil, divided
1 cup white flour
1 cup yellow corn meal
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 cup milk
2 T honey
1 1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
Prepare an 8×8 pan with cooking spray.
Sauté onions in 1 T veggie oil until translucent.
Combine flour, corn meal, baking powder and salt.
Beat together the eggs, milk, honey and remaining 3 T of veggie oil. (Room temperature ingredients would help here so the honey doesn’t become a solid mass)
Add the dry ingredients to the wet.
Stir in onion, 1 cup of cheese and peppers.
Pour mixture into prepared pan, top with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese.
Bake 20-25 min at 400°.
The cornbread came out beautifully, and tasted great, too. Just a touch spicy, and I love a surprise crunch in each bite. This is a recipe I will most definitely turn to again. I may even try adding a little more heat and corn kernels. I bet it would make great muffins…next time!
I am so happy to add two solid recipes to my repertoire. This will be a staple winter meal from now on.
On the subject of chili, I made this Moroccan Chickpea Chili last winter. It’s a delicious vegetarian alternative, pumped up with vegetables and an exotic medley of spices. Your mouth will thank you, and your stomach will, too. Very filling.