Contrary to popular belief, Texans don't love the heat. We don't even handle it especially well. Rather, when the temps get steamy, we do our best to stay indoors. Even inside in the air conditioned cool, though, you don't exactly want to cook.
But you do want to EAT.
And therein lies the conundrum: how to cook hearty, family-friendly meals without slaving over a hot stove.
Best of all, the end result is positively delicious: spicy, sweet, chewy, crispy . . . it hits all the right notes.
I make this using a package of frozen ground burger substitute. You could probably use a pound of ground beef instead, browning it and draining off the grease. If you try it, let me know how it goes!
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 lb ground beef, browned and drained OR 1 package faux burger crumbles
2 14 oz cans diced tomatoes w/ juices
1 1/2 c. corn kernals (fresh or frozen)
1 jalepeno pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. cumin
2-4 Tbs. chili powder
1 tsp. salt (or to taste)
1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese (reduced fat fine)
1 package of cornbread mix for 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 pan, batter prepared according to package instructions
Preheat oven to 375.
Combine all of the chili materials in a large skillet. Heat to a simmer over medium high heat, then reduce heat to medium low and continue cooking for about 30 minutes. (Note: I use a full 1/4 c. chili powder, which isn't particularly hot ... start with 2 Tbs. and see if you want more or not.)
|Unbaked, with batter on top|
|Baked to a beautiful golden brown|
Spray a 9 x 13 pan with nonstick spray. Spread chili in pan. Top with shredded cheese. Pour cornbread batter on top. Bake for about 35 minutes, until the cornbread is golden brown and a knife inserted in the topping comes out clean.
Cool for 5 minutes before serving.