Friday, October 23, 2009

Beans and Cornbread: Two Great New Recipes for Fall

Was reminded this week of a great fall recipe I haven't made in a while. It's also a favorite of mine to make for friends who've just had a baby or have a sickness in the family and need a hand. You can also make ahead and freeze to pull out in a pinch. And I've included a new favorite side dish that goes great with it: Grape tomato and Avocado Salad.

Chili Casserole with Cornbread Topping:

1 lb. Lean Ground Beef or Turkey
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 15-oz. can of beans (pinto, black, red kidney, or chili beans)
1 15-oz. can of diced tomatoes (can use diced tomatoes with chili peppers for a spicier version)
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
red pepper flakes to taste

1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, Mexican blend, or Monterey Jack)
1 15 oz. can creamed corn
1 tsp. sugar
1 packet Martha White Cornbread Mix (Can use jalepeno cornbread mix if you like)
buttermilk as needed*

Saute onions and peppers until tender, add ground meat and brown. I add the salt to the meat while it is browning. Next, add beans, tomatoes, and spices. Simmer until well blended and aromatic.

While chili is simmering, prepare Cornbread mixture. Add creamed corn to cornbread mixture with tsp. of sugar. Add buttermilk slowly as needed to help cornbread mixture reach smooth and spreadable consistency.

Pour chili mixture into a casserole dish and add layer of cheese over chili. Then pour/spread cornbread mixture over chili and cheese. Bake in preheated 350ยบ oven for 45 min. or until cornbread is golden brown on top.

Serve with dollop of sour cream and grape tomato and avocado salad.

Grape Tomato and Avocado Salad:

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
3 ripe, but firm, avocados, chopped
1/2 cup Italian parsley or cilantro (or both), chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 T lemon juice
1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt to Taste

Toss all ingredients together in a non-reactive (glass) bowl. Serve immediately or chill for up to 3 hours before serving.

If you try these out, let me know what you like and what you don't. I made this salad for friends who just had a baby last night and wish I had photographed it. It was really beautiful. I may make it again this weekend for us and if I do, I will take a picture and add it.

If you have any great fall recipes you'd like to share, please leave them in the comments section and I will post them with a link to your site.



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Shari said...

I love the tomato and avocado salad recipe. I might make it tomorrow when our friends come to dinner.