A season or two ago, Cornbread Chili Pot Pie was made with Oregano Corn as a side dish. Every time I tried to schedule it for publication, another recipe with an immediate seasonal ingredient became a priority. Slowly, it became a forgotten recipe, but it’s a lovely dish. When late autumn arrived, I looked at the recipe, and scheduled it for Superbowl season. Such a hearty recipe is better for extremely cold weather. How was I to know about this year’s unusually mild winter season?
With tolerable cold weather in the Northeast, it’s silly to ask for your favorite comfort food dish without a snowstorm, hail or freezing temperatures swirling outside. New York City received its first day of snow this winter season last week, and the next day increasing temperatures melted it away. I’m a bit concerned because of global warming, fascinated about the Mayan calendar predictions and curious about massive solar flares being emitted from the sun. Who knows what the weather will be tomorrow, a week later, or on December 21, 2012?
Superbowl is less than two weeks away. I’m not much of a football or any type of sports fan. At the time of writing this, I don’t know who’s in the playoffs. Without further ado, I finally present this comfort dish on a mild winter day. We can’t predict the weather or the winning team on February 5th, but this Cornbread Chili Pot Pie is a predictable winner no matter when it’s made.
Cornbread Chili Pot Pie with Oregano Corn
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium red onion; diced
2 to 3 celery stalks; diced
2 to 3 cloves garlic; minced
1 jalapeno or poblano; seeds discarded and diced
1 green bell pepper; diced
2 to 3 carrots; diced
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
2-1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 cup ground chili and/or chipotle pepper; plus more to adjust seasoning
1 tbsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground caraway
Sea salt and fresh black pepper; to taste
2 pinches of crushed red pepper or to taste
1 lb. of ground dark turkey meat
1 lb. of ground white turkey meat
(Optional) 1-14 oz. canned red kidney, black and/or pinto beans; rinsed and drained
1-14 oz. canned plain, chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp. tomato paste
2 to 3 tbsp. red balsamic vinegar
(Optional) 1/4 cup red wine
1 recipe for Buttermilk Cornbread batter mixed with 1-cup sharp organic cheddar cheese and 4 diced scallions
1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and celery for few minutes, until the onion is transparent. Add the garlic and mix for 30 seconds. Add the jalapeno, green bell pepper, and carrots and frequently mix until they just start to soften. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Add all the spices and stir frequently for about 5 minutes.
3. Add the meat and stir frequently, breaking up large chunks, until cooked thoroughly. Adjust seasonings.
4. Add the beans (optional), canned tomatoes, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, and red wine.
5. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer, occasionally taste to adjust seasoning. Let cook for 20 to 30 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F and make the Buttermilk Cheddar Cornbread batter with cheddar cheese and scallions. Butter a 13x9x2-inch baking dish.
7. Spread meat mixture in the baking dish. Carefully spread Buttermilk Cheddar Cornbread over the meat. Be careful not to mix batter into the meat. Don’t worry if the batter doesn’t reach the edges of the baking dish, for rustic is better than perfect.
8. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in just the cornbread topping comes out clean. The top will look golden brown.
9. Let cool for a few minutes before serving with Oregano Corn (recipe below).
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
1 small red onion; diced
2 to 3 cups fresh or frozen, defrosted corn
3 tbsp. roughly chopped fresh oregano
Sea salt and fresh black pepper; to taste
Crushed red pepper; to taste
1. Heat olive oil and butter over medium to high temperature.
2. Add the onion and stir frequently until translucent.
3. Add the corn, salt, and peppers to the onion. Stir for about 2 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the corn.
4. Add the oregano and continue stirring for about 1 minute.
5. Place aside until ready to serve.
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