Sunday, January 23, 2011

White Chili with Cornbread

White Chili with CornbreadNew recipe, White Chili with Cornbread from the King Arthur Flour site.

Notes: It starts with cooked chicken, and the easy route was rotisserie chicken. It took one plus the breasts of a second to get the 5-1/2 c. OK, I might have had 6 cups in there, or maybe a little more. I skipped the fresh jalapeño pepper because I didn't want to deal with chopping it, cut the cumin back from 1 tablespoon to 1/2 teaspoon (I don't like cumin very well, but even so I think I will up to a full teaspoon next time). Skipped the cilantro in the cornbread--I *really* don't like cilantro. And skipped the sugar in the cornbread because, well, sugar in cornbread is an abomination. (Hey, born-and-bread Southerner here!)

My usual pan for this type of dish is a flat Pyrex, and my 3 qt./13"x9" isn't as deep as they called for. I moved up to the 4 qt. Pyrex, and that was right for the amount of chili and cornbread. The effect was about the same thickness of cornbread and chili--seemed nicely balanced to me. This is a personal thing, as younger niece was looking for more cornbread with her servings.

I skipped putting shredded cheese on top of the chili and under the cornbread, and instead sprinkled about 3/4 c. on top of the cornbread where it browned prettily. I think it would have been lost in the middle of the casserole, at least at the amount I'd have been willing to add, even if reduced fat. A big gooey layer of it would have been tastable, of course, but the calorie load....

Tasting results: this went over well. It was not spicy, and I think several of us would like to up that next time--add the jalapeño, certainly, and maybe move up one or more of the cans of mild chopped green chilis to a higher heat level, if I can find them. (I'm not sure they come in anything but mild.) The pureed white beans give a nice 'sauce', and I found the chili mixture to be moist but not soupy, which wouldn't have worked as well under the cornbread topping. From my experiences trying to perfect Beatrice's Chicken Pie, it's difficult to hit that right balance of liquid in this type of dish.

Nephew was very dubious at first appearance, was given a sampler serving, and later went back for a serious full serving. The only person who really didn't eat it was older niece, who said she just wasn't very hungry. However, she did manage to choke down a full serving of cake-of-the-week, the Genoise Tres Cafe--she's a coffee fiend.

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