Black Bean and Corn Chili

I didn't have the chance to see whether Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this year or not, but based off the recent warm weather I was positive winter was over. I should have known that having our temperatures reach almost 60°F was too good to be true. Only a few days later Mother Nature decided to drop a few extra inches of snow on us, just to keep us on our toes. 

Since I'm one of those people who likes to see things on the sunny side, I prefer to think she did it so we had a few more weeks to gorge ourselves on comfort food. I've spent most of the winter chowing down on never ending pots of soup, with a few batches of black bean and corn chili chili thrown in for good measure. While I'm looking forward to having fresh vegetables again, I will certainly use any excuse possible to make another batch of something warm and comforting.

Chili is one of those meals I rely on when I know I'll be rushing around all day long because it's an easy meal to toss in the crock-pot before I leave in the morning. Added bonus: It freezes well so I always keep some on hand for those nights I don't feel like cooking. I may write about food for a living, but even I have nights when I'd rather spend the night on the couch with a good book, a warm blanket, and a meal I didn't have to stand in the kitchen cooking.

If that sounds like you, then make up a batch ASAP, but don't forget to pair it with some delicious Buttermilk Corn Bread. You really can't have chili without it, can you?

Black Bean and Corn Chili | Not Starving Yet

Black Bean and Corn Chili


makes 6 - 8 servings

 

Ingredients

 


1lb ground beef
½ yellow onion, diced
2 Tablespoons taco seasoning
3 (15oz) cans black beans
1 (14.5oz) can petite diced tomatoes with green chilis
1 (12oz) package frozen black bean and corn blend (see notes)
1 Tablespoon chili powder

Directions

 

  • In a skillet, over medium-high heat, add ground beef and yellow onion. Cook until the meat is browned and the onions are slightly translucent. Turn the heat off and drain the excess grease from the pan. Season beef with taco seasoning, then transfer to a crock-pot.
  • Add black beans, diced tomatoes with green chilis, frozen black bean and corn blend, and chili powder. Stir well to combine, then cook for 6 - 8 hours on low heat.

Notes


The frozen black bean and corn blend that I use for this recipe goes by many names. The brand I buy calls it Santa Fe Blend, although I've seen it called Baja Blend as well. What you're looking for, regardless of the name, is a bag of frozen corn, black beans, onions, red and green peppers, with no additional seasonings added.

If you have leftovers you can let  the chili cool completely, portion it out into small microwave safe containers, then freeze it for up to 4 months. I like to keep a few servings on hand for nights I don't feel like cooking, but still want a home cooked meal.

 

Southern-Style Creamed Corn

Before you tell me that you don't like creamed corn I want you to consider something. Have you ever had creamed corn that didn't originate in a can? If not, stop complaining about how you don't like creamed corn, you've never had the real thing. The real thing tastes absolutely nothing like its canned counterpart.

Ok, I'm done with my mini-rant now.

But seriously, creamed corn really is an under appreciated dish because many people do associate it with the high fructose corn syrup laden canned variety they were served as a child. That stuff is just gross (please tell me I didn't just insult your favorite side-dish or childhood memory, or both.) The real thing will make you realize you've been missing out all along, so don't be afraid to give this recipe a try, I promise it really does taste wonderful.

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Southern Style Creamed Corn
makes approximately 12 servings

Ingredients

2 (16oz) bags of frozen sweet corn
2 cups heavy cream
½ cup whole milk
2 Tablespoons white sugar
2 Tablespoons bacon drippings
2 Tablespoons salted butter
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon white pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 Tablespoons all-purpose white flour 

Optional:

If you are planning on making this dish for the holidays a little something red and green will really make this dish festive. Try dicing up a little red and green bell pepper, sauté it in the bacon drippings, then add it to the corn before cooking.

½ cup diced green bell pepper
½ cup diced red bell pepper

Directions

  • In a skillet melt bacon drippings over medium heat and add bell pepper. Sauté and set aside for later.
  • In a separate bowl combine cream, sugar, and flour then add to skillet. Stir in black pepper, white pepper, cayenne pepper and smoked paprika. Continue to stir and let mixture thicken.
  • Add both bags of corn, butter, and bell pepper. Cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Add milk to thin as needed, then serve immediately or put in a crock-pot to keep warm.