The Slow Cooker: Chilli and Cornbread

Friday, 22 May 2009

I'd been planning to make chilli this week since we did our shopping and as we've got some polenta in the cupboard to use up I also thought of making cornbread. Now, I know that cornbread is a southern American tradition and this is probably as far from real cornbread as you can get but, I don't care. It was delicious and it complimented the chilli perfectly.

I made the chilli using braising steak which I browned in a pan before adding to the slow cooker. I chopped and onion and some mushrooms and used up half a tin of tomatoes that was sitting in the fridge. I used Discovery Chipotle Paste - actually I used the last of it and rinsed the jar with water which then got thrown into the slow cooker too. I also added a few dried chillis, some cayenne pepper and some cumin seeds. I left the cooker on high (as I didn't put it on until quite late) for about 5 hours by which time the smell was amazing.

The cornbread recipe was very simple. I had been browsing recipes for a while thinking that maybe muffins might work but a lot of them used ingredients that I didn't have in. I thought this recipe was perfect as it could be added to the slow cooker and left to its own devices while I cooked the rice and got on with other things. I found the recipe here and made a half batch as my slow cooker is tall and round rather than a large oval. I skipped the onion and chilli in the cornbread and just kept it fairly plain (apart from the cheese).

This is the recipe as I made it (the original is slightly different) so this is the half batch. Feel free to double it if your slow cooker in the large oval kind.

1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp melted butter
1/2 cup milk
1 small egg, beaten
Grated cheddar cheese

In a bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, granulated sugar and baking powder. Add melted butter, milk and egg and stir well until ingredients are combined. Add grated Cheddar cheese stir again.
Drop cornbread batter, by spoonfuls, over the top of the mixture. Cover and cook on high for 30 to 40 minutes, until topping is set.


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