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Football Sundays

La Petite Maison Verte: Football Sundays

Monday, October 31, 2011

Football Sundays

Although I'm not a fan of professional football, I LOVE college football!  Brian and I are Navy fans and we root for the University of Maryland Terps too (my alma mater).  Maybe it's the fact that college football players aren't getting paid millions of dollars, or perhaps its the intense rivalries between schools - I'm not sure but either way, I enjoy watching our teams play on Saturdays - especially when we can attend a Navy game in person.  Living in Florida now, that's not really a possibility, but we still try to catch Navy football when they're on TV down here.

That being said, I don't really enjoy watching professional football.  A couple times a season I try to watch a game on TV but easily get distracted.  But since the husband enjoys it, I indulge him every so often by letting him watch on Sunday afternoon busy myself with cooking a hearty football season meal or some yummy tailgating snacks he can eat while watching the game:  I can't think of a better meal to go with football than chili and cornbread.

I don't have a recipe for the chili:  I just saute up some bell pepper, onion and garlic, then brown some ground turkey in a large dutch oven.  Then dump in a couple cans of diced tomato, some beans (homemade black beans made ANOTHER showing!) and a ton of spices (cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper) and let everything simmer together for an hour or so.  It's so satisfying with a dollop of cold sour cream or greek yogurt and some cheese melted on top.

For the cornbread, I went with the Barefoot Contessa's Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread.  Ina's recipes almost never disappoint, and this was no exception.  I baked a half recipe since there was only 4 of us and as delicious as it was (everyone had seconds or thirds!) there was plenty leftover.  I decided to make the cornbread in a mini-muffin pan and even with the muffin cups filled to the brim, there was enough for 24 mini muffins plus two full-size muffins.  This was delicious with the chili, with a subtle heat from the jalapeno and a noticeable onion flavor.  They were soft and light, faintly sweet, not too spicy AND cheesy!  Make them for your next football-watching party, I promise they'll be a winner - even if your team loses the game!

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread Mini Muffins
makes 24 mini muffins + 2 regular size muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 cup grated cheddar cheese + 2 tablespoons (I ran out of cheddar and had to substitute half mozzarella), divided
3 green onions, chopped (use both the white and green parts), plus 1 chopped green onion for garnish
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and ribs removed finely minced (use more for more heat)

In a large bowl combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt.

In a separate bowl combine milk, eggs and melted butter.

With a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until most of the lumps are dissolved, being careful not to over-mix.  Gently stir in 1 cup of the grated cheese, the green onions and the jalapeno.  Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 24-count mini muffin pan with non-stick baking spray or line with paper muffin liners.

Divide the cornbread mixture among the mini muffin cups (I had a little extra batter so I made two regular muffins, or you could just discard the extra batter).  Top each mini muffin with a pinch of the reserved cheese and chopped green onion.  Bake 12-16 minutes or until the tops are lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into one of the muffins comes out clean/dry (you might want to start checking to see if they're done around 10 minutes if you don't fill your muffin cups to the brim like I did).

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At October 31, 2011 at 4:58 PM , Anonymous Dee & David said...

Oh my gosh !!! I wish I were eating dinner at your house....the food looks so appetizing, so colorful and I'm sure delicious!!! It is cold here and a nice bowl of chili sounds really good with cornbread. The bread portions are just right too!!!Why do we have to be so far away !

At October 31, 2011 at 7:59 PM , Anonymous HeidiRob said...

Those cornbread mini-muffins look INSANE!! I wonder if I could adapt that recipe for my gluten-free lovey.

At November 1, 2011 at 1:13 PM , Anonymous Jules said...

Heidi - I don't see why not! King Arthur makes a G.F. Multi-Purpose Flour which could be substituted for the AP flour here. If you try it, let me know how the substitution works out for you!

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