I’ve been wanting to do this dish for some time. Some things undeniably belong together: fish & chips (not on my menu), French fries & ketchup (very seldom on my menu), soup & crackers, bagels & cream cheese, eggs and sausage, burgers and fries, beer & pretzels… The list is endless so no point in going on. Chili and cornbread has a prominent position on that list.
Rather than have cornbread as an accompaniment to the chili I topped the chili with a cornbread crust.
I was certain this had been done a million times before but, as usual, I averted my eyes from the internet to avoid having my ambition deflated and creativity suppressed. I prefer to discover later that I am the million and one(th) person to “create” such a dish.
Ingredients for the black bean chili were:
- small green chili
- dried red arbole chili
- Serrano chili
- sprig of fresh rosemary
- red Fresno chili
- red sweet pepper
- Italian Tofurky Sausage
- coarsely ground cumin seeds
- chipotle powder
- smoked paprika
- crushed tomatoes
- precooked black beans
- kosher salt
It started with dried arbole chili, sprig of rosemary and coarsely crushed cumin seeds sautéed for a few seconds in olive oil before chopped onion, garlic and an assortment of peppers were added and sautéed with a little kosher salt.
When the onions had softened a bit I added the chopped Tofurky Italian Sausage followed by rinsed and drained precooked black beans.
Next I added crushed tomatoes and the dried oregano, chipotle powder and smoked paprika.
While the black bean chili simmered I put together the cornbread batter, using House Autry Self Rising Yellow Corn Meal. It is made with whole grain yellow corn and doesn’t contain anything I wouldn’t use if I was to make it myself from scratch. I added chopped home grown pickled jalapeños, egg and milk to the self rising cornmeal.
I spooned some of the black bean chili into greased individual baking dishes, added chopped cilantro and poured the cornbread batter on top, tucking the cilantro under the batter as needed.
Baked in a 350ºF oven, these individual dishes of black bean chili and cornbread turned out exactly as hoped. I was a little concerned that with all the peppers used it might end up being intolerably hot, but it turned out to be within the pleasant range of moderately hot.