Sunday, March 6, 2011

Chili and Cornbread!

This is the cornbread I made to go with a big pot of chili tonight.  The chili was really nothing to write home about, but the cornbread- it was spectacular!  Here's the recipe:

Scallion Cheddar Bacon  Corn Bread

Makes an 8 inch cast iron skillet full!

¾ cup corn meal
1 ¼ cup AP flour
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg beaten
¼ cup vegetable oil or bacon drippings
2 scallions, chopped
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
6 strips of cooked bacon, crumbled

Preheat oven to 400.  Grease an 8 inch cast iron skillet, or put it in the oven with some extra drippings in it while the oven preheats.  Blend all dry ingredients.  Stir in all other ingredients until all is moist.  Pour batter into greased and preheated cast iron skillet.  Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Why should you use a cast iron skillet instead of another type of pan?  This is why...

See those yummie crispy bits? You won't get those unless you use a hot cast iron skillet.  Trust me on this.  It will blow your mind.  You will never look at cornbread again the same way.  Here's a shot of the chili.  This is the way I like it....cornbread crumbled on the bottom of the bowl, then chili, then shredded cheese, then some chopped avocado and tomato.  Sometimes I put a little dollop of sour cream.

Beautiful, huh?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Crock Pot Ribs

I made these ribs for dinner tonight. I will be making them again. And again. And again. So easy and so good.

I found the recipe on one of the hundreds of food blogs I follow. I don't remember which one I stole it from, so if someone recognizes it, please let me know and I'll give credit where credit is due!

Here's the recipe:

Crock Pot Ribs
               2 racks baby back ribs, cut into 2 to 3 rib portions
               Salt and pepper
               1 1/2 cups ketchup
               1/3 cup honey
               1/4 cup chopped onion
               1 1/2 tablespoons Tabasco Chipotle Sauce, or to taste
               1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
               2 teaspoons chili powder
               1 tablespoon prepared mustard
               2 tablespoons cider vinegar
               1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
               1/2 teaspoon salt
               1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Heat oven to 375°.
Line a large baking sheet (with sides) with heavy duty foil. Place rib sections, rib sides down, on the baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour.
Combine remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender; process until smooth.
Transfer ribs to the slow cooker; cover with onions and pour the chipotle barbecue sauce over all. Cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours, or HIGH for about 4 to 5 hours.

Serves 4.

I decided to serve these ribs over some polenta...only I didn't have any.  So I substituted grits.  Yes, grits.  I made them with chicken broth and wine instead of plain ole water, and added a crushed garlic clove and a couple of tablespoons of cream cheese, plus 2 big handfuls each of grated sharp cheddar and pepper jack cheeses.  Yeah- they didn't suck, either.  The combination of the two was rather outstanding. 
The only thing I will change next time is to add a bottle of beer to the crock pot at the beginning.  So what are you doing just sitting there?  Go make these!

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