Thank God it’s fall.
Despite the forecast showing some warmer, rainy days this week, here in Central New York we’ve mostly shifted towards gray fall days with temps in the 50s and frost and flurry warnings haunting the 10 o’clock news. I love this time of year. To celebrate the turn towards colder weather, I made some veggie chili the other night.
For my veggie chili, I start by sauteing some chopped onions, green pepper, garlic, carrot and, if I have it, celery. When the onions are translucent, I throw in a 28oz can of diced tomatoes, 6 oz of tomato juice, and a 15 oz can each of black beans, light red kidney beans, and dark red kidney beans. Then I add chili pepper, cumin, cayenne pepper, oregano, and salt to taste and let the whole she-bang simmer for at least 30 minutes.
I also made some corn muffins to go with our chili. I’ve been using the corn muffin recipe in Rose Levy Berenbaum’s The Bread Bible as a go-to recipe for a couple of years now, and I love it because it’s simple to throw together and a million miles away from the dry cornbread that haunts my childhood memories. The recipe makes 6 corn muffins. Following Berenbaum’s recommendation, I fill up the middle 6 cups in my muffin tin and the fill the remaining cups with about half an inch of water, which is supposed to result in more even heating and a moister texture. Works like a charm.
Quintessential Corn Muffins (from The Bread Bible)
Since I’ve been making this recipe for awhile, I’ve streamlined both the ingredients list and the process a bit.
- 1/2 c cornmeal
- 1/2 c all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 tbsp sugar (I just eyeball the half a tbsp)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- 2/3 c sour cream
- 2 tbsp melted butter
Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and sour cream. Stir egg mixture into flour mixture until just combined. Fold in the melted butter. Fill muffin cups almost to the top with batter. Bake muffins for 15 to 18 minutes in a 400 degree oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool muffins on a wire rack. Makes 6 muffins.