Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fall Chill = Fall Chili

A chill in the air equals chili on the menu.

Fall officially arrived on the County Line yesterday. I pulled on a sweatshirt for the first time this autumn when the open windows overnight made for a brisk morning, even inside the house.

So as I was leafing through a recipe book in search of a meal to take to the field for Randy & Jake, chili seemed the perfect choice. Jake is disking ground ahead of Randy drilling wheat. To save time, I have been taking the noon meal to the field. (Let me clarify: To save time for them, I'm taking meals to the field.)

This was a new recipe for me, but it will definitely be repeated. I found it in a Bisquick cookbook I purchased at school several years ago.

I modified it a bit. The original recipe didn't have beans, but I threw in a small can of chili beans and reduced the amount of chili powder. We're not huge fans of ultra-spicy, so I left out the red pepper sauce entirely. But if your family likes spicier chili, it would be easy to bump up the heat with chili powder, hot sauce or jalapenos.

I had more biscuit dough than I wanted to use for the dumplings. I wanted the dough to be well-cooked in the middle, and I wasn't sure how it would cook in the steamy environment. By the time the dough expanded in the chili, I was glad I'd baked four biscuits separately.

Randy liked the dumplings in the chili, but he also enjoyed the crisper texture of the baked biscuits.

I have an insulated carrier that I used to transport the bowls of chili to the field to keep them nice and warm.

It was the perfect meal for a beautiful fall day.

Chili with Corn Dumplings
2 lbs. hamburger, browned with minced onion
1 can (15.25 oz.) whole kernel corn, undrained
1 can (14.5 oz.) stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 small can chili beans
1 can (16 oz.) tomato sauce
2 tsp. chili powder (you may add more if you like things spicier)
1 1/3 cups Bisquick
2/3 cup cornmeal
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (opt.)
A sprinkle of dried cilantro or parsley, if desired

Brown hamburger with minced onion in 4-quart Dutch oven (or similar pot) until beef is browned; drain well. Reserve 1/2 cup of corn. Stir remaining corn with liquid, tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili beans and chili powder into beef mixture. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 15 minutes.

Mix Bisquick and cornmeal. Stir in milk, cheese and reserved corn just until moistened. (My photo of this step wasn't worth posting - sorry!)

Heat chili to boiling. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto chili. Sprinkle lightly with dried parsley or dried cilantro. Reduce heat to low. Cook, uncovered, 10 minutes. Cover and cook about 10 minutes longer or until dumplings are dry.

The original recipe called for 2 tablespoons of chili powder and 1 teaspoon of red pepper sauce. We don't like things that hot, but you may adjust accordingly. The original recipe also didn't call for cheese in the dumplings, but that was a tasty addition.


1 comment:

  1. I especially liked your comment about taking meals to the field to save time for the guys! That was my theory, too. There were times that I had to fix something that Marion could eat "on the go." No point in arguing about him needing to stop and rest a bit!!