For those of you unfamiliar with the weather in Portland, Oregon, it rains and rains and rains. It doesn't snow that often. Sure we get a dusting of snow maybe once every couple of years in the city. This of course freaks everyone out and causes them to crash into each other and everything around them. I don't mind that part, after all I am a firefighter and bad weather provides loads of job security. However, this winter, global warming seems to have bypassed the Pacific Northwest. Portland was hit hard with record snowfall a few months back and the snow just lingers on. It seems every couple of weeks we are having flurries of snow. Today it snowed off and on all day. When I got home from work, it was time to crank up the heat and eat some hearty food. I decided to make chili and corn muffins.
I feel like everyone has their own spin on chili. Some like meat only, some like no meat. It really boils down to personal preference. Chili is one of the few meals, I don't use a recipe for. I have a general baseline of ingredients and then I adjust the spices as necessary.
I like a variety of beans, so I throw several cans of different beans into a pot with a can of diced tomatoes and some tomato paste for thickness. I start off with 3 Tbs of chili powder (it sounds like a lot but it's just about right for a large pot.) Then I add about 1/2 - 1 tsp each of Cumin and Coriander. Both of these spices are very strong so it is best to start small and add more later if necessary. I brown about a pound of hamburger, saute a 1/2 cup of onion, and 1 clove of garlic before adding it all to the pot. My chili is not super spicy, my three year old daughter can eat it with out tears of spice induced pain.
Of course to accompany any great bowl of chili, you must have corn muffins. Here is the recipe that I use. It is very simple and turns out great every time.
Gluten Free Corn Muffins: Makes 12 muffins
1 cup fine ground yellow cornmeal
1 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup sugar (my wife likes them a little sweeter, so I use a heaping 1/2 cup)
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk (any kind-we use 1%)
4 Tbs canola oil
Mix thoroughly in a bowl and pour into a 12 cup muffin tin
Bake at 400 degrees F for 13-16 minutes.
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