Chili and cornbread go together like bees and honey. A classic, comfort food combination that I love and naturally gravitate towards when the temps dip below freezing and snowflakes are falling past my window. They are both so versatile and can be flavored up so many different ways there is no reason to ever get tired of them.
I used my basic go-to chili recipe and spiced it up by adding sun-dried tomatoes, beer and Chipotle peppers. The tomatoes and peppers gave it a depth of flavor that was rich, spicy and delicious. I don’t know how much the beer added to the final outcome of the chili. It wasn’t discernible in the flavor. I used a pale ale, next time I will use a darker beer and more of it to see if that makes any difference.
I used beer in the cornbread dumplings too, and sharp cheddar cheese. The result is a moist and tender cornbread that you can easily spoon right up with your chili. What could be easier than to cook the cornbread right on top of the chili? The best part is less dirty pans! Well, no, I’m lying. The best part is the eating!
Don’t you hate opening a whole can of Chipotles and only using one or two? I have the solution! Freeze them. Add each one to the corner of a sandwich baggie with a spoonful of sauce. Tie up the bag. Store them all in a ziploc bag in the freezer. Take out as needed. They thaw quickly. You can even put the bag right in a small bowl of hot water if you need them at the last moment.