Corn and Black Bean Chili

Corn and Black Bean Chili

With the sudden drop in temperature and the start of football season, I have been craving chili.  I have made a ton of chili recipes, but wanted to create one that emphasized corn and black beans.  The combination of corn and black beans just intrigues me.  So I went through my spice cabinet and started grabbing spices. After a few changes, I got the flavor that I was craving.  This chili ended up being one the tastiest that I have made.  The addition of the corn kernels added a nice texture and flavor.  You have to try this chili.

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Green Bean Casserole from Scratch

Green Bean Casserole from Scratch

For Easter I wanted to tackle something new. Something that was traditional, but done in a new way. So, I picked Green Bean Casserole. That tasty concoction of cream of mushroom soup, green beans and crunchy fried onions. So I oven fried onions, made homemade cream of mushroom soup and even trimmed real (not canned) green beans. Although this took about 30 minutes longer than using all canned ingredients, it was awesome!

Green Bean Casserole – From SCRATCH

Topping: – (From Alton Brown)

  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Casserole – (adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)

  • 2 tbs + 1tsp salt
  • 2 lbs green beans, ends trimmed, and halved
  • 3 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 lb white button mushrooms, stems removed, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, ground
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbs all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Preparing the Topping

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.

Combine the onions, flour, panko and salt in a large zip top bag and toss to combine.

Slice the onions and coat with panko breading

Coat a sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray and evenly spread the onions on the pan. Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes. Toss the onions 2 to 3 times during cooking.

Oven Fried Onions

Once done, remove from the oven and set aside until ready to use.

Preparing the Beans

While the onions are cooking, prepare the beans. Bring a gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil in an 8-quart saucepan. Add the beans and blanch for 5 minutes.

Blanch the Beans

Drain in a colander and immediately plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.

Chill on ice

Drain and set aside.

Making the Cream of Mushroom Soup

Melt the butter in a large pot or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms release their moisture, approximately 5-6 minutes.  I sliced my mushrooms a little big.  Make sure to chop them a little smaller.

Fry the mushrooms

Add the garlic and nutmeg and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute. Add the broth and simmer for about 2 minutes. Decrease the heat to medium-low and add the half-and-half.

Add the cream and reduce

Cook until the mixture thickens and reduces to roughly 3 1/2 cups, approximately 12 minutes. Make sure to take your time here and let the sauce thicken before removing it.  Also taste the sauce, it may need salt and pepper.

Assembly of the Casserole

Remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 of the onions and all of the green beans.  Arrange in an even layer in 3-quart (or 9×13-inch) baking dish.

Mix the mushrooms, onions and beans together in a 13x9 pan

Sprinkle with remaining topping and bake until top is golden brown and sauce is bubbling around edges, about 15 minutes.

Bake until toasty and browned

Serve immediately.

This was excellent.  I sliced my mushrooms a tad bit too large.  Next time I make this, the mushrooms are going to be chopped smaller.

Almost gone

Besides the size of the mushroom, this was an excellent side dish.  More tasty than the original.

Green Bean Fries

Green Bean Fries

A couple of weeks ago I was emailed by a reader to try Green Bean Fries, like the ones at T.G.I. Friday’s. So I went to the source and tried them. They were good, but mine might have been sitting around for a while as they were a little mushy. So I got home, plugged in the deep fryer and started to experiment. The first two tries were alright but not amazing. Then I figured it out and created some of the tastiest Green Bean Fries around. In my opinion they were even better than the ones at Friday’s.

Green Bean Fries

I served the green bean fries with a side of ranch dressing. Although a dill veggie dip might be amazing too.

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Super Chili

Last week was the big game.  I was really excited that the Saints won.  Mostly because of my hatred for Peyton Manning.  Besides that,  I loved the game because I got to make my Super Chili.  I recreate this awesome recipe once a year on a Super Sunday!  Last Sunday was the big day.  The chili is full of meat, beans and has a tad bit of heat.  Served with a dollop of sour cream, it is amazing!

Super Chili

I like to serve the chili over freshly baked corn bread.  The combination is to die for!

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Cowboy Baked Beans

Cowboy Baked Beans

As you can see I am prepping this week for barbecue.  Yesterday was some awesome potato salad.  Today we are making cowboy baked beans.  I wanted to make beans from scratch.  Just a word of warning.  Making beans from scratch takes longer than barbecueing a whole hog.  The end result, was totally worth it.  And to my frequent reader Bond, yes, there is bacon and beer in this recipe.

Delicious Cowboy Baked Beans

The baked beans were soft, tender and delicious.  As you can see from the picture above the beans are laced with smokey bacon and some of the trimmings from my pulled pork.  Pork and beans is the best combination in the world.

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