Monday, September 26, 2011

Chili Pie

The start of football season coincides with the beginning of chili season in our home. It doesn't get better than crusty, homemade bread or freshly baked cornbread on the side. This recipe combines the two for a quick and easy dinner that makes a great meal whether you're having guests over, a casual game day, or a combination of the two. It's based on the recipe found in the 2002 edition of Practical Vegetarian Cookery. If you're lacking fresh tomatoes, corn, and dried beans, simply substitute one drained and rinsed can of each for the filling ingredients listed below.


For The Filling You'll Need...
- 1 TBSP vegetable oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 bell peppers (one red, one green), seeded and diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1-2 tomatoes, diced
- 1 1/2 cups corn
- 1 1/2 cups cooked kidney beans
- 2 TBSP fresh cilantro, chopped + plus a little extra to garnish
- salt and pepper, to taste

For The Cornbread Topping You'll Need...
- 2/3 cup cornmeal
- 1 TBSP all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 egg, beaten
- 6 TBSP whole milk
- 1 TBSP vegetable oil
- 1 cup of your favorite sharp cheese, shredded

How To Cook It
1) Heat 1 TBSP of oil in a large skillet and gently fry the garlic, peppers, and celery for about five minutes until they're just softened.
2) Stir in the spices (salt, pepper, and chili pepper), tomatoes, corn, and beans. Bring all to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for ten minutes. Add the cilantro.
3) Spoon all into an ovenproof dish and set aside.
4) Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
5) Mix the dry topping ingredients (cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt). Once well combined, add the egg, milk, and oil. Stir until just moistened.
6) Use a spatula to evenly cover your chili filling with the cornbread batter.
7) Bake the Chili Pie for about 30 minutes, or until golden and firm.
8) Garnish with cilantro and serve.

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