When I was growing up, my father’s signature dish was his Chili Soup. On cold dark windy evenings in the middle of Kansas he would combine fried hamburger meat and chopped onion, pinto beans, tomatoes and seasonings of cumin, chili powder and oregano into a delicious bowl of soup. Simply topped with hand-crushed saltine crackers, it was certainly a treat.
Over the years I’ve enjoyed it with flour tortillas, corn tortilla chips, topped with cheese, sour cream or chopped green onions, even chocolate shavings and more recently served with cornbread. Chili seems to be a welcome canvas for so many toppings but to this day my favorite way to eat it is with crushed saltines or corn tortilla chips. How do you take your Chili Soup?
My love affair with corn bread got off to a very long, dry, grainy, stick in the throat start. Jiffy, Marie Calendar’s, and even homemade found me wondering what the attraction was. I’m very well aware that any of my friends that are from Texas, live in Texas, or even are married to a Texan wouldn’t hear of having a bowl of chili soup without it, so started my search for a good corn bread recipe.
One day, out of the blue, my good friend Linda, who is married to David from Texas, unwittingly brought over a pan of the most delicious and moist cornbread that I have ever tasted. I was an instant fan and finally understood what all the fuss was about. I’ve made her recipe several times and served it this past Sunday with my big pot of chili for our Superbowl Party. Let’s take a look.
Linda’s Moist Cornbread Recipe
1 cup yellow corn meal
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs — beaten
1 cup buttermilk
3 Tbs canola oil
1 can corn — drained
1 cup shredded cheese — mexican mix
3 Tbs pickled jalapenos — diced
1. Preheat oven to 375. Combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and oil. Gently fold the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients until a batter is formed. Fold in the corn, cheese, and pickled jalapenos.
2. Pour batter into a lightly greased 8-inch square baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the crust is light-brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the heat and let cool a few minutes.
I’ve had several of you ask me what the “Z” stands for in the title of my blog. Zia is our little Yorkie, whose name, soon after joining our family, was abbreviated to simply Z. Zia hails from New Mexico, and as her sun symbol name implies, is a ray of sunshine in our life. This photo is Linda holding puppy Zia the day LeRoy delivered all 2 pounds of her to Colorado.
Linda’s Moist Cornbread…It’s What to Serve with Chili.