Saturday, February 1, 2014

{Leftovers Becomes} Chili and Cornbread with Jalapenos

My husband and I love tacos! Chicken tacos, pulled pork tacos, beef tacos, fish tacos or lingua tacos. If you can put it in a corn tortilla… we'll eat it!

I think we eat tacos at least 2 times a month. Being that we had ground beef in the fridge, I made "American Style" tacos for dinner. Very rarely do we have leftovers, but I guess there's a first time for everything.

With Super Bowl around the corner, I decided to turn our leftover taco meat filling into delicious chili accompanied by cornbread with jalapeños. You can basically make this with any leftover meat you may have. This recipe will probably be delicious with leftover pulled pork or beef roast. Depending on seasoning of the meat you use, you may have to adjust the seasonings a little to your liking. If you like your chili spicier, just add more chipotles. Our leftover taco meat is pretty spicy, so the ratio that I used for this recipe was perfect.

Also, this is very important; don't forget to serve the chili with delicious condiments. Like... chopped scallions, lime wedges, diced tomatoes, diced avocados, cornbread, cheese, radishes or even mustard. These are all a must in my house!

Serves: 6

Soaking the Beans
1 cup Dry Pinto Beans
1/2 cup Dry Red Kidney Beans
1/2 cup Dry Black Beans
5 to 6 cups Water

In a large bowl, add the beans and water (add more water if needed to completely cover the beans). Let stand overnight. Drain and rinse the beans.

Cooking the Beans
2 large Bay Leaves
2 large Garlic Cloves, smashed and paper removed
6 cups Water
Drained and Rinsed Beans

In a large saucepan, add beans and water. Over medium-high heat, bring beans and water to a boil. Once the water comes to a boil, add garlic and bay leaves. Cover the saucepan, reduce the heat to low and allow beans to simmer until tender (about 25 - 30 minutes).

Once the beans are tender, reserve 1 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid. Discard the bay leaves and garlic. Drain the beans, but do not rinse and set aside.

For the Chili
1 tablespoon Olive Oil

1/2 large Yellow Onion, diced
1 Green Bell Pepper, diced
1 Jalapeños, diced small
2 Chipotles, roughly diced
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dry Mexican Oregano
2 teaspoons Smoked Paprika
2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
2 tablespoons Dark Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 (14.5 oz) can Fire Roasted Tomatoes, diced
2 cups leftover Taco Meat
cooked Beans
1 1/2 cups reserved cooking liquid
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a small bowl, combine the dry oregano, smoked paprika, ground cumin, cayenne pepper and brown sugar. Set aside until ready to use.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Saute onions with salt and pepper until translucent (about 3 minutes). Add the bell peppers and jalapeños, cook until softened (about 2 - 3 minutes). Then add garlic and continue to saute until fragrant (about 1 - 2 minutes). You can add our spice mixture and continue to saute until the spices are fragrant (about 1 - 2 minutes). 

At this point, don't worry! The spices will look like they are starting to stick and burn (I promise they are not). Carefully add the Worcestershire sauce (it will steam quite a bit, so be careful not to burn yourself) to deglaze the pan by stirring and scraping any brown bits (from the spices) on the bottom of the pan. Stir in the fire roasted tomatoes and leftover taco meat until combined.

Cover the saucepan, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the beans and the reserved cooking liquid, simmer for another 30 minutes. If needed add more water to the desired consistency. Serve chili with preferred condiments.  

Cornbread with Jalapeños
adapted from Everyday Foods - Issue 86 (October 2011)

1 cup All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 cups Yellow Cornmeal
6 tablespoons Granulated Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, melted
1 cup Buttermilk
3 large Eggs, lightly beaten
1 (7 oz) can Sweet Corn
1 Jalapeños, diced small

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a 9" x 9" baking pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, smoked paprika, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. 

In a medium bowl, stir together melted butter (allow to cool slightly before adding the rest of the liquids), buttermilk and eggs. Once combined, add the mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until combined (DO NOT OVER MIX!). Stir in the corn and jalapeños until combined.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan. Bake for approx 20 minutes (depending on your oven) or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.


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