I’ve been trying to get my friends in med school to do a chili cook off for a long time. We’re talking… 2+ years. As my birthday rolled around this year and we started talking about what to do (dinner out? beer garden? bowling??) we all agreed that given the utter insanity of this year and our very different schedules, an all-evening hang out at my house where everyone could trickle in as they pleased was in order. In the past these evenings have often motivated us to bring out the fancy in our cooking repertoires. This time though, we wanted to do something that wouldn’t involve too much time or money to prepare so we could maximize time spent sitting in clusters on the floor, with a beer in one hand and a cup ‘o something warm and home made in the other, listening to bluegrass and reminiscing about the gross and fascinating things we’d all seen during the week. Perfect opportunity for a chili cook off!
I personally provided some very well-received corn bread. (Not too hard to please with this much Cabot and a recipe stolen from Ina Garten.)
I doubled the recipe and saved half the batter to make another batch the next day. This one came up Mt. Washington with Chris and me. Actually, it was our breakfast, early snack, rapidly-eaten-(due to freezing fingers)-lunch/snack on the summit, and afternoon snack. Never let us down.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/4 cup sugar (I used less)
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 cups milk
- 3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra to grease the pan
- 8 ounces aged extra-sharp [CABOT HUNTERS SERIOUSLY SHARP] Cheddar, grated, divided
- 1/3 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts, plus extra for garnish, 3 scallions
- 3 tablespoons seeded and minced fresh jalapeno peppers
Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and butter. With a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until most of the lumps are dissolved. Don’t overmix! Mix in 2 cups of the grated Cheddar, the scallions and jalapenos, and allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking pan.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with the remaining grated Cheddar and extra chopped scallions. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and cut into large squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.