This week was one of our staple late-fall-winter-early-spring dinners: Vegetarian Chili and Caribbean Cornbread. We eat this a bunch of times over the course of the colder six months of the year. The J-M bambinos are, literally, being raised on this. I’ve been making it for them from the start. They really, really like this meal a lot. I always serve the chili with various “add-on’s,” four of them always consistent: sour cream, freshly grated cheese, chopped cilantro, and flour tortillas. We spread these four, and any others I’ve got, out in the middle of the table, and let everyone eat it their own way. Braydon and I like to eat the chili as-is, with a dollop of sour cream, a handful of cheese, and a sprinkling of cilantro. The boys sometimes eat it this way (often stirring the sour cream, cheese, and ciliantro in completely so that the chili ends up actually looking pinkish). But all three kids actually love to eat at least some of it “burrito style” by spooning chili into a tortilla, layering on cheese, sour cream, and cilantro, and then rolling it up like a burrito. And, of course, everyone loves the cornbread—which we actually call “Corn Cake,” because it is so cake-like (and so decadently moist that it is hard to believe it is supposed to be “cornbread”). This meal is a real winner around here and I imagine (hope) that someday when they are adults my three will remember this meal fondly as an anchor-meal in our family dinners.
Vegetarian Chili ~~ I posted this recipe on the blog in March of 2009. Here it is (click!).
Caribbean Cornbread ~~ I just searched and searched our blog to try to find this recipe… I thought that for sure I had posted it before, but apparently I have not! Whoa. You’ve gotta make this recipe! It is the best corncakebread in the world. It comes from a cookbook that I have definitely mentioned on the blog before, one of my top favorite cookbooks of all times, At Blanchard’s Table: A Trip to the Beach Cookbook by Melinda and Robert Blanchard. My parents travel to Anguilla every year, and have more than once come back raving about a special dinner at Blanchards Restaurant. One year they brought me back this cookbook as a gift. It is one of my favorite gifts I’ve ever received. I love this cookbook! The cornbread alone makes this cookbook a gem. In addition to being a great side with chili, this cornbread is awesome for breakfast – toasted with butter and jam. With a mug of black coffee… YUM! (We’ve been having it for breakfast every day since the swap!) Here’s the recipe—
Blanchard’s Caribbean Cornbread
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 ½ cups cream-style corn
½ cup canned crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
- Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter and flour a 9-inch square glass cake pan. Whisk together the flour, corn meal, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
- In a mixer, cream the butter and sugar. While the mixer is running, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the corn, pineapple and cheese and mix to blend. On a low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix until blended well.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until golden brown around the edges and a cake tester stuck in the center comes out clean, about 1+ hour.
As for Shalinees swap meal this week…. oh, and Happy Birthday Dave!….. here’s my email to her:
email, from Heather, to Shalinee, Oct 27, subject: swap!
Shal, We had your dinner tonight. First of all, the dessert was a crazy hit. The three thought they had died and gone to heaven. Especially when the sprinkles were revealed. No joke. The dinner was semi-successful. They all loved the broccoli (I had never made broccoli that way– always have steamed it– so now I’ll be making it that way very, very often!!!). Meera and Kyle would not eat the casserole. Owen and Braydon could not get enough of the casserole (by the way, Braydon LOVED it… I very rarely make casserole-type dinners, but Braydon LOVES them and he had THIRDS of yours tonight!!!!). I was the middle-man… I liked the casserole but didn’t love it. All in all, a good night was had by all here! xo, hbj