My sister has a knack for throwing amazing and creative parties for any occasion. This time it was for her husband’s 32nd birthday and I wanted to get in on the planning action. While she handled the loaded tator tot bar (yes, it’s as awesome as it sounds) I took charge of the chili and corn muffins. We have a recipe on the blog for a Chunky Short Rib Chili but I wanted to do something a little different this time around. I was feeling a little adventurous with myself and also wanted to clear out our pantry, so I looked around and grabbed a few items that took this chili from regular old soup to a spiced up bowl of deliciousness.
I already shared my love for Penzey’s last week so don’t be shocked when I show you what all goes into my chili spice blend. Although cake spice is my favorite blend, I decided that maybe that would’t make the most sense in this dish today. Since I’m in Ohio, I figured I had to put cinnamon in the chili sans beans (that’s the Skyline way for those outside the Midwest).
To make it a little more savory, there is some paprika, granulated onion, roasted garlic (mostly because I was too lazy to chop garlic), black pepper, cumin, salt and sugar to sweeten it up a bit. If you don’t have all these tasty spices hanging out in your pantry and don’t want to purchase every single container, you can head to your nearest Whole Foods Market, Lucky’s or other grocery store that sells bulk spices and load up. On the other hand, you can always purchase a chili blend and call it a day but it won’t be as wonderful as this recipe.
If you are trying to up your veggie intake, you can always add a few other pieces of hearty produce to this dish but I just opted for onions and green peppers. I almost threw in an acorn squash but it seemed like a little too much effort for my Saturday cooking session with an 11 week old wanting to join in on the party every few minutes. Ah, the life of a new mama.
Okay, let’s get to the real stunner of this post. The mini creamed corn muffins. I may or may not have eaten a disturbing amount of these little bites. I feel like that’s the issue with mini sized items, you always eat like triple the amount. Here’s hoping that’s not just me. If you’re wondering, the reason I added creamed corn to these is because I find that corn bread can always be a little bit on the drier side. I was hoping adding the creamed corn would add the perfect amount of moisture and I was so right.
Since I made these for a party complete with a tator tot bar, the chili and corn muffins were great little additions. If you’re just making this at home for dinner with the family, you can use the mini muffins to dunk in your chili or you can smoosh them up and dump the chili right on top. The point here is that no matter which way you decide to nom on these, you’re gonna love it.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 Tablespoon butter
- Chili Spice Blend
- 12oz lager (like Budweiser or Miller High Life)
- 15oz tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- water, beef or chicken stock
- Chili Spice Blend
- 1 teaspoon roasted garlic
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Chop veggies and set aside.
- Mix spice blend and season beef with it then set aside.
- Melt butter in cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add veggies and let them cook for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add spiced ground beef and smoosh up with your wooden spoon and let cook for 3-5 minutes or until browned.
- Add tomato sauce (keep can) and tomato paste then mix with your wooden spoon until it is incorporated well.
- Then, add to a pot (not a crock pot) over medium heat.
- Add beer and let it cook uncovered for 3-5 minutes until beer has mostly evaporated.
- Fill the tomato sauce can with water and add to chili. Let it come to a boil and then simmer for 45-60 minutes or until your desired thickness and taste.
- Season with salt and pepper, as needed. Serve with mini creamed corn muffins and cheese.
- Prep everything before you start melting your butter so you don't have to stop anything to chop veggies or mix your spice blend.
- We prefer to use a cast iron pan for just about everything. You can use a solid non-stick pan but cast iron is seriously just the best.
- I do not suggest cooking this in a crock pot, I would cook in a pot on the stove and then transfer to a crock pot for serving, if needed.
- If you feel that your soup isn't thickening as much as you'd like, you can add 1-3 Tablespoons or corn meal or 1-2 teaspoons of corn starch. Add one Tablespoon or teaspoon at a time and after you mix well, let it simmer for another 5 minutes or so before you add anything else so it doesn't thicken too much.
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 can creamed corn
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 eggs
- 3 Tablespoons melted butter
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Combine the dry (four, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, sugar) ingredients in the bowl of your mixer.
- Combine wet (creamed corn, whole milk, eggs, melted butter) ingredients in a separate bowl.
- Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until fully combined.
- Spray your mini muffin pan with vegetable oil.
- Use cookie scoop to portion batter into pan. Fill to right below the top of the pan.
- Cook for 10 minutes or until poofy and done.
- If you are using a stand mixer, make sure you really mix these ingredients well with a separate spatula so there are no flour clumps anywhere.
- If you like your muffins a little more on the darker side, go ahead and cook these for 12 minutes. But, be sure to watch them so they don't burn!