Thursday, August 1, 2013

No-Egg Chile-Ricotta Cornbread

It's only a couple days before pay-day, and the month just won't seem to let go. We are over our grocery budget for the month, so it's throw together "things" to make "meals" time. Yup. Not only is the refrigerator looking bare, but the freezer and pantry are too.

Last night it was biscuits and sausage gravy (with reprises for breakfast and lunch today and breakfast tomorrow) and Chili for the foreseeable future.  

Chili is one of my favorite meals. A staple in my house growing up, it was easy to throw in the crock-pot and let simmer all day, it was cheap and used up whatever was lying around, half-rotten in the fridge. For me Chili is a very flexible dish that will accept most anything you throw in it (I know there are some chili purists who would disagree), but there are some non-negotiables: meat, beans, lots of chili spice and carrots. Yes, CARROTS! I love that slightly sweet, creamy bite as a counter to the biting spice of the chilies. 

Today as we were bare-bonesing it -- this is what we threw in the pot. 

  • Meat medley (a leftover unlabeled Burger (Beef? Bison? Who knows.), Butcher's Blend (beef, veal, pork), and shredded lamb's liver)
  • Kidney beans (soaked overnight and slow-simmered on the stove),
  • a big can of whole tomatoes, broken up by hand,
  • a small can of diced tomatoes,
  • a can of Ro-Tel
  • a can of tomato juice
  • leftover chilies in adobo that was sitting in the fridge
  • frozen pepper strips
  • 3 sad floppy carrots from the bottom of the crisper drawer
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 mostly-full carton of vegetable stock that was sitting in the fridge
  • some frozen mixed vegetables
  • some frozen "Latino Blend" veggies
  • Gelatin, just because
  • Salt, onion and garlic powder, chipotle chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, sweet paprika and oregano

*If you're thinking this is a ton of food, you're right. It filled our 6-quart crock-pot up to the very top*

I enjoy mine all sorts of ways, plain when there's nothing else around, with cheese, green onions, tortilla strips, sour cream, and lime when things get fancy up in here. One of my favorite ways, however, is to pour my chili over cornbread and let the cornbread thicken the chili to an almost creamy consistency.

Problem is, I didn't have eggs. But I did have ricotta... hmmm my search for a no-egg ricotta cornbread didn't turn up much but I did find this recipe from My Recession Kitchen, and de-veganized it. The result? A deliciously moist bread with a touch of spice and cheese. Enjoy!

No-Egg Chile Ricotta Cornbread

2 Tbls   ground flax seed
6 Tbls   water
1 c         all-purpose flour
1 c         cornmeal
1/4 c      evaporated cane juice (sucanat)
4 tsp     baking powder
1/2 tsp  baking soda
1/2 tsp  salt
1 c         sour milk (but you can use regular with a tablespoon of lemon juice, or buttermilk, or yogurt)
1/4 c      melted butter or ghee
1/2 c      ricotta
1 c         corn
2            diced whole chilies from a can

buttered 10" pie plate

Preheat your oven to 425°

  1. Heat the water in a small pot over a low heat. Add the ground flax and simmer for 3 minutes whisking occasionally until it's thick. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cornmeal, sucanat, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, melted butter, and flax goop.
  4. Measure out the corn, ricotta, and chiles. Set aside.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold to combine. Fold in the corn, ricotta, and chiles.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool for 30 minutes before cutting.

Perfect meal for a rainy day

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