Make Something New Every Day

This blog is inspired by all those who love to cook, whether experienced or not, and who continue to experiment with new ideas & ingredients, and best of all, share their passion with others.

The first entries are recipes prepared by the students of Lionel Wilson College Preparatory Academy in Oakland, CA. Fifteen students with varying cooking experience participated in my weekly workshop (via Tutorpedia), and successfully prepared various meals, snacks, and baked goods as part of an after-school program.

Along with the recipes from that class, I will continue to add new seasonal items, spanning every genre of the culinary world, as well as a helpful list of links to recipes, instructional videos, and places to shop and volunteer in your area.

Feel free to ask me questions and share your recipes and ideas as well. I look forward to cooking with you.

September 30, 2010

Vegetarian Chili & Jalapeno Cornbread

This chili recipe is easily altered, depending on what you have around. Make more, make less (if you can), or change the types of beans and vegetables. The cornbread is a variation on a recipe I found on a cornmeal package. I prefer finely ground cornmeal for a really soft bread. The cheese helps make it moist and extra delicious.

1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
1 2/3 cups coarsely chopped red bell peppers (about 2 medium)
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 15- to 16-ounce cans black beans, drained, 1/2 cup liquid reserved
1 16-ounce can tomato sauce

Chopped fresh cilantro
Sour cream
Grated Monterey Jack cheese (or whatever you prefer)
Chopped green onions

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, bell peppers, and garlic; sauté until onions soften, about 10 minutes. Mix in chili powder, oregano, cumin, and cayenne; stir 2 minutes. Mix in beans, 1/2 cup reserved bean liquid, and tomato sauce. Bring chili to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until flavors blend and chili thickens, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Ladle chili into bowls. Add toppings if you wish. Serve with cornbread (recipe below).

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups cornmeal (fine grind, like Arrowhead Mills brand)
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
2 cups milk
6 tablespoons butter, melted
4 tablespoons honey or sugar
2 cups grated pepper jack cheese
2-4 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped

Preheat oven to 400’F.

Grease a 9x13" pan with oil or butter.

Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in one bowl.
Combine eggs, milk, oil/butter (melted), honey/sugar in a separate bowl. Beat well.
Combine all ingredients, until just moistened. Stir in the jalapenos and most of the cheese (leave a little aside to top the batter before baking).
Pour batter evenly into prepared pan.
Sprinkle remaining cheese over batter, and bake approximately 20 minutes, until edges are golden and center is set (springs back to the touch).
Cool bread in pan(s) at least 10 minutes before serving. Wrap leftover bread (once cool) in plastic and store at room temperature up to 3 days.

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