Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Winter Comfort Food: Cornbread and Chili

The recipe for cornbread is right on the cornmeal bag. I bring back medium grind cornmeal (I like Bob’s Red Mill 100% Stone Ground Whole Grain cornmeal, found in the Health Food section of the stores that tend to carry it) when I travel, but I have also found cornmeal in a variety of grinds in Kuwait from time to time. You want to buy cornmeal in a store with high turnover, because it gets bugs if it has sat too long in a warm environment. I store mine in the freezer, and pull it out when I need it.

The secret to truly excellent cornbread is using a cast iron skillet. As the oven is heating, you stick the skillet in. When the oven has reached 425 F/220 C, you pull the skillet out and pop 2 Tbs butter in. Let it melt, and pour in the batter.


As my Southern husband reminds me “it isn’t Southern unless you start with a stick of butter.” You can try it with a stick of butter (1/2 cup) if you want, but I want to live a long HEALTHY life, so the 2 TBS are enough for me.

2 TBS butter (melted in skillet)
1 Cup Cornmeal
1 Cup Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
4 tsp. baking powder
1 egg
1 cup milk

Measure the cornmeal and flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl, add egg and milk and mix until smooth, but don’t mix too much. Bake in a buttered skillet at 425 F / 220 C for 20 – 25 minutes, until golden brown on top.

I also put some butter on top when it comes out of the oven, and spread it as it melts.

500 grams / 1 lb ground beef
1 chopped onion
2 cans red kidney beans, drained
2 small containers tomato paste
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp masa harina (this makes it real, but I don’t know if you can find it in Kuwait)
2 – 5 TBSP chili powder
4 cups water

Brown ground beef in medium large pot, drain beef in colandar. While draining beef, brown the onions. Add beef back into pot, add tomato paste, salt, cumin, masa harina, chili powder to taste, and water. Stir well, bring to a boil and then turn to lowest heat and let simmer 2 – 4 hours. Add more water if it gets too think or it starts burning on the bottom. The long slow cooking makes everything tender, and blends all the flavors.

Cornbread and chili

Break cornbread into small pieces in bowl.


Cover with hot chili. Beans and corn are a complementary protein, so you can feel very virtuous eating this – besides, it just smells SOOOO good after those hours of simmering. To add even more healthiness, add some grated cheddar cheese over the top of the hot chili. YuMMMMMMM.


In the South, people break up their cornbread into a glass, and fill the glass with milk. My husband assures me it is delicious. I believe him, but because I didn’t grow up that way, it looks gross and I can’t even watch him eat it that way. But comfort food is comfort food, and if it works for him, I don’t have to watch!

January 17, 2007 - Posted by | Cooking, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Health Issues, Kuwait, Lumix, Marriage, Photos, Recipes, Relationships

1 Comment »

  1. […] (A cast iron skillet is heavy metal, and a shiny grey when you buy it. You season it by rubbing it with oil and putting it in an oven on low heat for hours, even overnight. You never wash the skillet with soap, only with water and scouring pads, so you don’t lose the seasoned coating. When you have a well-seasoned pan, you carry it with you so you don’t have to start the process over! You can see a photo of my skillet at Cornbread and Chili) […]

    Pingback by Kitchen Souk? « Here There and Everywhere | February 1, 2007 | Reply

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