Last nights dinner was my attempt at an American classic, chili and corn bread. In Australia, we don’t usually cook American dishes like this. We have a lot of influence from Asia, Europe and even the Middle East, but not a lot of American cuisine. I often cook ‘mexican’ chili con carne. In recent years I have been making my own spice mix. I am not sure if I make it the right way, but it my best attempt at emulating the Mexican spice mix that you can buy in the packet. This is also my first attempt of making cornbread. I have tried corn bread a couple of times in the past in ribs restaurants They usually serve this as a entree, with lots of butter. I have always really liked the sweet and savory taste of it.
To put this dish together I used the left over rice and Eggplant & Capsicum Pasta Sauce from the day before. I also soaked some adzuki beans over night and cooked them up, so they were ready to add to any dishes. I used the rice to make a crispy base for the casserole. I was considering making a pie, but I didn’t really feel like making dough. I was also worried that if I used puff pastry, then it the sauce would go through it. I saw some recipes using rice with eggs to make pie or quiche bases, so I tried to do that. It turned out to be a really solid base and held the chili well.
For the chili I made my usually spice mix and added the cook adzuki beans and the pasta sauce. The spices really helped give the sauce a more southern taste. It was really easy to prepare and quick.
Lastly, for the top of the casserole I decided to do cornbread, because I had seen it somewhere, but then I couldn’t remember where. So after doing a lot of research and trying to find a vegan version, I came across this recipe for Black Bean Chili Pot Pie with Cornbread Topping from Chipped Bowl. I decided to also add cinnamon to the batter, as I saw this in another recipe by Nigella Lawson. I had to make a double the portion for the size of my casserole, which I adapted below. This was my favorite part of the casserole. It was so sweet and fluffy. I could of just eaten this on its own.
My family were really blown away by this dish, as it was like nothing else they had tried before. I definitely want to make this a regular meal. I’m sure it would be great to serve for guests or family dinners. Let me know what your think of my attempt and how you make this American classic?
Adzuki Chilli Casserole with Cornbread Topping (vegan, gluten free option, soy free, nut free)
Ingredients for Rice Base:
2 cups of cooked rice
1/2 cup polenta or corn meal
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
sea salt to taste
Ingredients for Chili:
2 cups of cooked adzuki beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion flakes or onion powder
1 tablespoon ground sweet paprika
1/2 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
3 cups tomato pasta sauce (I used leftover Eggplant & Capsicum Pasta Sauce)
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons vegan worcestershire sauce
Ingredients for Cornbread Topping:
1 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (use gluten free flour if you prefer)
1 cup polenta or corn meal
3 tablespoons raw sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1.5 cup water
4 tablespoons sunflower or canola oil
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
2. First make the spice mix for the chili. Combine the cumin, garlic powder, onion flakes, sweet paprika, cayenne and oregano in a small bowl.
3. Heat 2 tablepsoons of olive oil in a large pot. Then add the all the spices. Cook for 3 mins on medium heat.
4. Add the cooked adzuki beans to the pot and coat in the spices. Cook for another 3 mins.
5. Add the sauce, water and worcestershire sauce. Adjust seasoning and cook for 15-20 mins.
6. In the meantime, prepare the rice base. Place cooked rice and polenta in a large bowl. Combine the water with the nutritional yeast, then add to the bowl. Add salt to taste and stir it through.
7. Take large casserole dish and grease with some oil, then place the rice mixture and press down so it is equally distributed as a base. Bake for 10 mins, then remove from the oven.
8. In the meantime, prepare the cornbread topping. Take another large mixing bowl combine the flour, polenta, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir well.
9. Then make a well in the centre of the bowl and add the water and vegetable oil and stir till combined.
10. Take the Casserole dish and place the adzuki chili on top of the rice base.
11. Then add the cornbread topping on top of the chili. Bake in the oven for 20-25 mins or until you can place a toothpick inside the topping and it comes out clean.