Nancy and John had a Chili and Cornbread Cook-Off.
There were three categories, Chili, Vegetarian Chili, and Cornbread.
What an aromatic… and filling. Fun and easy!
After 4pm people started arriving with grins, boxes, pots, slow-cookers, beer, wine, and kids.
A serious competition. This group is serious about their Chili.
Pierre, The 2010 Rib Throwdown Winner, brought a Seafood Chili! He was in the general Chili category…if his Seafood Chili was in the Vegetarian category, I would be nervous.
Before the 5:30 Judging… everytime I saw John, our host, he was rotating pots on the range, so they all stayed warm— crock-pots were plugged in everywhere.
I made a Vegetarian Chili. Avocado Cream Cornbread Chili Pot Pie…but I left the Avocado Cream at home!
I didn’t tell. I hadn’t even thought of it yet!
This was my second attempt at vegetarian chili. I was a meat chili girl. I tried one with tofu, but it didn’t work. The white tofu didn’t cut it. No eye-appeal—it tasted all right, but Chili with little white tofu pieces? Chili has to look a certain way.
Elaine and John Sasaki won First Place in the Chili category. And… “mean”? I heard their Chili was “kick-ass!”
I asked Elaine for the recipe for my blog. She sent it and it’s posted in BLOG BURSTS under Recipe: Sasaki’s Prize Winning Chili .
Pierre says he’s sending his Rib Recipe.
I won in the Vegetarian Chili category.
And Nancy won the Cornbread competition.
Nancy said she used Trader Joe’s Mix, and just added a few extra ingredients… for her prize winning mini-muffins.
About my list of ingredients. I think I used every South-of-the-Border spice I could find and a few extras, and made it for nutrition, avocado, beans, tomatoes, grains and rich Chili flavor…this list is long. I tried to organize it. And appreciate any suggestions.
And chopping all those mushrooms…
Have all the ingredients out before you start, you need the Chili powder if nothing else, and whatever you have in your house on this list.
Avocado Cream Chili Pot Pie
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 ½ cups chopped red and yellow onions
1 ½ pounds Crimini or Baby Bella Mushrooms finely chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
1 green bell pepper chopped
1 cup chopped carrots
1 package Seitan, chopped
1 ½ cups corn kernels
3 (15-oz) cans beans, black, red kidney, white kidney, rinse and drain
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 to 3 Serrano peppers, stemmed, seeded and minced, depending on how ‘mean’ a chili you want to make!
1 Chipotle chili in adobo sauce, drained and minced (store the rest in the freezer)
2 cans (14 ½ oz.) organic diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 cup dark beer
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa power
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried coriander
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon Cayenne
¾ teaspoon celery salt
½ teaspoon salt
In a large heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, Serrano peppers, chipotle chili, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the sietan, mushrooms, stirring until the vegetables start to give off their liquid and brown at the edges.
Add the beer, seasonings, one can of the tomatoes, tomato paste, Worchestershire sauce, vinegar, maple sugar and the spices.Stir as you add.
Add the beans, carrots and corn, bring the chili mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer, stir occasionally for about 20 minutes. Cover.
The chili needs to simmer for an additional 30 minutes for all the spices to blend and open up.
This is the turning point.
On top of the stove: Simmer, add can diced tomatoes as needed.
In the oven: Make the Cornbread Crust for the Avocado Cream Chili Pot Pie.
When you are ready to make the Cornbread Crust, pour the chili from the pot into a flameproof dish, lightly greased on the sides. Spread evenly and flat.
Cornbread Crust and Avocado Cream
I tried this recipe with whole wheat flower, the color of the cornbread is dark and the texture dense.
The Avocado Cream lightens up the whole wheat.
But, next time I’ll use an all-purpose flower.
1 cup fine or medium grind cornmeal
1 cup flour (I used whole wheat and it was dense)or all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
1 cup almond milk
2 tablespoons apple cider
1 tablespoon baking power
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 cup sweet corn
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves only, minced
½ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease sides of a flameproof casserole dish.
In medium bowl whisk cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, combine egg, almond milk, apple cider, maple syrup, and mix thoroughly. Slowly add wet ingredients to flour mixture and mix to combine, fold in corn and cilantro. Dollop spoonfuls of batter on top of chili. Spread with spatula all the way to the edge of the dish. Leave no air holes.
Bake on middle shelf until crust is cooked through and chili is bubbly, 23-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in crust comes out clean.
Let stand at least 10 minutes and decorate with Avocado Cream.
2 ripe avocados, mash
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon mayonnaise or Vegenaise.
In a small bowl mix all together until blended. Spoon Avocado Cream into pastry tube with starburst point, and press point on Cornbread, squeeze out cream, and lift. Repeat for rows.