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Easy Entertainment: Chili & Cornbread

Cooking for a crowd? Chili and Cornbread is your answer for easy entertainment. I had a few friends come over last Sunday for an arts & crafts lesson and wanted to serve something filling, delicious, but without having to spend hours in the kitchen.

Chili and cornbread is a great idea because you can make chili a day in advance and use a cornbread mix!

Easy Entertainment: Chili & Cornbread

for the chili

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 celery ribs, peeled and diced
2 green peppers, diced
2 pounds ground beef
to taste: chili powder, coriander powder, cayenne pepper, smoked bourbon paprika, salt & pepper
4 cups pinto beans {I cooked mine in a pressure cooker, but you can use 2 cans of beans}
4 cups black beans {I cooked mine in a pressure cooker, but you can use 2 cans of beans}
2 cups chickpeas {I cooked mine in a pressure cooker, but you can use 1 can of beans}
1 can corn
2 cans diced tomatoes

for the cornbread
1 tablespoon butter
1 box of Jiffy cornbread mix
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 cup corn (defrosted or fresh or canned)
1 jalapeno, sliced

1) Heat a large heavy bottomed Le Creuset or an equivalent on medium heat. Add oil and allow to heat.
2) Add onion, celery, and peppers and saute for about 10 minutes.
3) Add the spices and saute for another few minutes.
4) Add ground beef and saute until the meat is no longer pink.
5) Add all the beans, corn, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer covered for a few hours.
6) Make the cornbread as you normally would, but add corn into the mixture and top with jalapenos before baking. I made mine in a cast iron skillet that I preheated in the oven and then let the butter melt inside before adding the batter.

Now let's talk about toppings: I provided cheese, scallions, and sour cream. My friend Sarah brought avocados and salsa. Colleen and Allison brought wine and dessert, and Ming brought canvases and paints for us to use for the art project.

What's your idea of easy entertainment?