This chili with cornbread is my favorite thing to make for parents of newborns. It's a delicious way of showing you care and are excited for and supportive of the new family.
The art of bringing food to a new mom (or dad) isn't just in choosing a recipe and making it. The whole point of bringing a meal is to be helpful and supportive, so you want to bring everything in a way that's as low maintenance as possible. I bring things in recyclable or disposable containers, and make it clear that I don't expect them to be returned. Often, I buy a new dish, bake the food in it, and give the meal and the dish to the family as a gift. When I bring the food I try to include a note about what's in everything, and I make an effort not to stay too long when I'm dropping off the food (unless I'm invited to stick around).
1large onion, chopped 1large green bell pepper, chopped 2 Tablespoonsolive oil 1 1/2 cupsfake ground beef, crumbled (or real beef, if you want a meat meal) 1 14oz cantomato sauce 1 14oz candiced tomatoes with juice 1 19 oz cansbeans, your choice 12 ozfrozen corn 1poblano chili pepper, seeded and minced 1 teaspoonsalt 2 teaspoonsunsweetened cocoa powder 2 Tablespoonschili powder 2 Tablespoonsmolasses 1/2 teaspooncumin 1/2 teaspoongarlic powder
1 cup + 2 Tablespoonsmilk (use soy or rice milk if using beef in chili) 1 Tablespoonapple cider vinegar 1 cupflour 1 cupcornmeal 2 Tablespoonssugar 2 teaspoonsbaking powder 1/2 teaspoonsalt 2 Tablespoonsvegetable oil
Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly oil a 9x13" casserole dish and set aside.
In a large saucepan on medium heat, sauté the onions and green peppers in oil until onions are translucent. Add the rest of the chili ingredients and simmer for 5-10 minutes. If using real beef, simmer for at least 15 minutes.
To prepare topping: in a small bowl, while chili is cooking, stir together the milk and vinegar. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the oil, and the milk mixture, stirring together gently until just mixed.
Transfer chili from pot to baking dish and spoon biscuit batter evenly on top of chili. Bake, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes.
Garnish with grated cheese, chopped green onions, and sour cream.
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Tamar Fox is a writer and editor living in Philadelphia. Her children's book, No Baths at Camp, was published in 2013 by Kar-Ben, and her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, the Jerusalem Post, Tablet Magazine, TheJewniverse.com, and many other publications.