How do you stretch one cup of leftover chili to serve four people? This cooking dilemma was facing me when last-minute overnight guests showed up due to a family emergency. Going to a restaurant was out of the question and ordering pizza just seemed so unfriendly. What I wanted to give them was a home-cooked meal that would comfort them and make them feel loved.
Then I remembered an old chili cornbread casserole. While I knew I didn't have enough chili to layer on the bottom of the casserole and cover with cornbread batter, I knew I could pump up the cornbread and stir in the chili for a delicious Chili Cornbread Pie. Topped with shredded lettuce and fresh tomatoes, this was just the light and warm dinner we all needed.
So the next time you have that last cup of leftover chili, don't relegate it to a light lunch at the office. Make Chili Cornbread Pie and feed the whole family.
CHILI CORNBREAD PIE:
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup 2 percent milk
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided use
1 cup leftover chili of any kind (see Cook's Note)
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup shredded lettuce
1/2 cup sliced grape tomatoes
Dressing or taco sauce of choice, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine the cornmeal, baking powder, salt, egg, sour cream, milk and 1/4 cup cheese. Stir well. Fold in the chili.
Melt the butter and coat the inside of a 9-inch cast-iron skillet (or 9-inch glass pie plate). Pour the chili batter into the skillet. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the pie and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
Cool for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with lettuce, tomatoes and taco sauce of your choice.
Cook's Note: Any type of chili may be used. Be sure that it is not soupy, though. If it is, you will want to drain off any extra juice or the cornbread will not set. Canned chili may also be used if you don't have homemade leftovers.
Approximate values per serving: 302 calories, 19 g fat (10 g saturated), 91 mg cholesterol, 13 g protein, 25 g carbohydrates, 4 g dietary fiber, 482 mg sodium.
Start to finish: 45 minutes.
Yield: 4 servings.
BLUEBERRY KEY LIME CHEESECAKE BARS
Nonstick cooking spray
30 vanilla cream-filled cookies
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup key lime juice
1 tablespoon key lime zest
1/4 cup flour
green gel food coloring (optional)
1 can (21 oz.) blueberry pie
1 container (8 ounces) whipped
key lime slices
Place baking sheet on bottom rack of oven. Fill halfway with water. Heat oven to 325 F. Line 9-by-13-inch pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray.
Using food processor, pulse cookies until crumbly. Stir together crumbs and butter. Press evenly into bottom of prepared pan.
Beat cream cheese until creamy. Add sugar and sour cream, and beat again until smooth. Add key lime juice, zest and flour, and beat until mixed thoroughly. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat gently after each. Add green food coloring to cheesecake mixture, if desired.
Spread cheesecake batter evenly over crust in pan. Add 1 cup of blueberry pie filling over top of cheesecake. Use butter knife to gently swirl pie filling into cheesecake. Do not let knife go through to crust.
Place pan on oven rack above tray of water. Bake 45-48 minutes. Remove immediately and place on wire rack for 1 hour then place in refrigerator until completely chilled.
Cut into 24 squares and serve with whipped topping, remaining pie filling and key lime wedges.
Prep time: 25 minutes. Cook time: 45 minutes.
A Sweet Spring Treat
When the scent of fresh blooms begins to fill the air, it's a sure sign that spring has sprung. It's the perfect time of year to gather loved ones for a leisurely meal, then linger over dessert as you enjoy this season of refreshment.
No dessert menu is complete without an array of treats, and these creamy, homemade Blueberry Key Lime Cheesecake Bars are the perfect way to put a sweet finishing touch on your celebrations.
The secret ingredient in each of these desserts is what makes this so easy to prepare - canned pie filling. With popular flavors like apple, blueberry, cherry and strawberry, you have plenty of convenient, versatile ways to dress up desserts.