Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cornbread-Chili Casserole

By Paul Briand

I thought this was a brilliant idea -- combining the staples of a chili dinner (chili and cornbread) into one dish.

I saw the recipe in the March 21 issue of Parade magazine in my Sunday newspaper and wanted to give it a try.

It was easy to create, though I think I used a slightly larger casserole dish than what was called for, which meant that my cornbread layer over the top was a little thin. But that actually turned out for the better since the cornbread complemented the chili as opposed to overpowering it.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 pounds of ground chuck (I substituted turkey)
1 1/2 cups bottled salsa (I combined a mild with a medium hot)
One can of corn, drained (I substituted frozen corn)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, optional
1/4 cup of water
Cumin, chili powder and black pepper
One box of cornbread mix
1/3 cup milk for the cornbread
1 large egg for the cornbread

1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and saute the union until soft;
2. Add meat and cook until no longer pink;
3. Discard fat then stir in the salsa, corn, water and cheese;
4. Season to taste with cumin, chili powder and pepper;
5. Pour the mix mixture into a large skillet (recipe recommends 7-by-11 inch) and smooth the top;
6. Prepare the cornbread according to the package instructions, and spread a layer over the chili;
7. Bake in an oven set at 375 degrees for 40 minutes, then let cool 10 minutes before serving.
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