Chef Kandii’s Komforts… Chili & Sweet Buttermilk Corn Bread
It’s 8:22 on this Thursday morning, about 22 degrees. Currently I’m exhausted from the work week… And it’s not even hardly over for me. I woke up this morning feeling melancholy. Very blah. I wasn’t sure if it was because of the lack of sleep from the night before or if I was just feeling well you know …lonely. Winter is right around the corner, there’s a chill in the air and even though I had some one laying next to me I was still cold and lonely. This morning I peeled myself out of bed. My alarm woke me at 2:30am on the nose. Showered real quick trying to shake this feeling off. On my drive to work I had just about a little under twenty minutes to get it together before I went into a work overdrive, autopilot kinda thing. The drive was very pretty. People already have Christmas decorations up. Houses lit up, I can smell the fireplaces. Ahhhh kind of reminded me of home. BAM and that’s when it hit me. This melancholy feeling. I get it. I’ve been so occupied with work, and chores, and tasks that need to be done. That even though I’ve been shopping online for gifts for others… The “thought”of the holidays really just well you know, slipped my mind. I’m not really the depressed type so if ever I felt it coming I shoo it away like an annoying bee. Or do what comes naturally and sweep it under the rug. I can hear my grandma saying…baby you keep sweeping dem dere feelings under that rug, they bound to escape when the pile of dirt gets to full. I never really understood that until now. I live in another state far away from the people I know and love. It gets lonely here. My family was far from perfect. But around these times we made it work, that’s just what families do. I miss home and the things that were, oh so familar. I reminisce about my great grandma, who loved me like she birthed me.
I remember the days I use to scream and yell because I wanted to go outside to play with the other kids. But instead grandma had me holding on to her nightgown, standing by the stove. She’d say “now listen baby you want to win a man’s heart ya gotta get to his belly”. No man can ever say no to a good meal, and if ya want something from him ask him after he’s full. I would swing my two pigtails and laugh at her as if I really understood what she meant. I was only 7years old. These are all good memories and they warm me up inside. My melancholy starts to melt. A smile creeps up on me, because what I’m about to share with you is the meal I learned to make that afternoon in grandma’s house, in that tiny little kitchen. There’s nothing better than to end a hard cold days’ work with a pot of homemade chili and my sweet corn bread. Because home is where the heart is. Enjoy!
1 package of ground beef
1 white onion
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
3 cloves of garlic
2 tspOnion powder
2 tspGarlic powder
Sazon in the red packet
Black pepper to taste
Pinch of kosher salt
Red pepper flakes
1 Can of stewed tomatoes
1 can of red kidney beans
1 bottle of Guinness beer
Scallions (about 2)
Sour cream and cheddar cheese for garnish ( optional)
Season the ground beef with the onion, garlic powder, Sazon, black pepper and salt. Cook until half way done, then move the meat over to one side of the pan. Add your chopped onion, peppers, and garlic to the same pot as the meat.
Stir for about 30 seconds. Mix everything together.
Grab a second pot, put the beans and tomatoes in that pot. Do not drain either. We need the liquid for the chili. When your veggies are tender not mushy, drain the meat in a strainer and add that to the pot with the tomatoes and beans. Mix well.
Now we can add chili powder I didn’t give a measurement here because every ones preference for heat is different. So add as much or as little as you want.
Now add the red pepper flakes ..remember less is more if you don’t like heat. Mix well.
Now add about half of the bottle of beer. Mix well. Put a lid on it and turn the heat low to a simmer for about 10-15 minutes until some of the liquid reduces. I like hearty chili so for me I like to reduce the liquid by at least half. While that’s simmering let’s get down to the good stuff!
Kandii’s sweet buttermilk corn bread
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1cup of cornmeal
1 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 can of creamed corn
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 8 inch square pan with a medium size piece of butter. NOT the butter you measured out for the corn bread. You’re gonna need all of that goodness.
Melt the butter in a large pot. Once the butter is melted remove from the heat and add the sugar. Stir this quickly so that it doesn’t burn. Once the sugar is melted, add the can of creamed corn. Now add the eggs and stir, stir, stir! Be sure not to add the eggs to quickly when the pot is too hot or you will get scrambled eggs.
Add the buttermilk, and baking soda. Mix well. Add cornmeal, flour and salt. Mix only enough so that the ingredients are well combined. The key to good bread or cake is to NOT over mix. Once that is done, bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 mins until golden brown. Use a tooth pick or a fork to test, insert slowly. If it comes out clean then your bread is done.
*key tip: when you remove the bread from the oven try to put it on a rack of some kind. Like a grilling rack, backing rack. What you don’t want to do is place a hot pan from the oven on a cold surface. When you do this the bottom of your bread will get soggy and wet from the cold off the counter top. Unless it’s wood of course.
Now it’s time to eat. By this time your chili should be done. I like to eat my chili with white rice. Some people like chili by itself. You can use the sour cream, green onions and cheddar cheese all for garnish. Hope you’ve enjoyed … Remember you have the power to change you day…from my stove to your belly…