Final birthday guest post from Penny at OptimumTen

Friday, 4 July 2014
It's been just under a month since KneadWhine celebrated its first birthday and this is the final guest post to celebrate that.  I've got a few posts and recipes of my own that are very nearly ready to share and I'm looking forward to taking over the reins again now that I have a bit more time to cook.

Penny is a really good friend of mine.  She's one of those mum friends that has been around since D was tiny, with her daughter C.  C and D have grown up together, been to Tumble Tots together and it's been amazing to see them change from tiny babies who didn't interact to preschoolers who can have whole complicated conversations and games together.

It's also been lovely spending many an evening over a meal setting the world to rights with Penny and other mum friends.  Mum friends are great, aren't they?

Anyway, Penny began her blogging life as Sensitive Flour, one of the places that got me back into blogging again.  She was gluten free at the time but has now escaped back into the world of proper bread.  She's now starting a new blog which I can't wait to see grow - it can be found at Optimum Ten and is based around the idea of managing to get the ten fruit and veg a day.  Sounds like the kind of thing that will be extremely helpful when I start pointing in 2015...

She's sharing a wonderful recipe today that I'm looking forward to having a go at.  Chilli and cornbread is a great combination and not one that I've had a go at for a while...

Anyway, over to her: -

Happy 4th July! Since I love all things Tex-Mex this seemed the perfect day to roll out one of my favourite comfort food combos of all time. Chilli and cornbread. In this one pot meal the chilli is first prepared in an oven-proof casserole dish, and the cornbread added to the top before baking in the oven. A lovely start to any weekend. Serve with any of your favourite Tex-Mex accompaniments, such as fresh salsa or guacamole to up the vegetable count, or just a dollop of sour cream or low fat Greek yogurt.

Serves 4-6
Prep time – 10 minutes
Cook time – 60 minutes


  • 1 tbsp light olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 green pepper, deseeded and diced
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (optional), deseeded and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped finely
  • 250ml lager or pale ale (such as an IPA) or vegetable stock
  • 1 x 350g jar crushed tomatoes (I use Cirio Passata Rustica)
  • 1 x 400g tin black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 x 400g tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 level tbsp smoked paprika (sweet or hot – your choice!)
  • 1 x 215g tin spicy refried beans (I use Santa Maria)
  • Salt & pepper
  • Hot sauce (such as sriracha or tabasco)


    • 60g melted butter
    • 250ml milk
    • 3 eggs
    • 180g cornmeal (yellow maize flour - not quick cook polenta or cornflour)
    • 70g plain flour
    • 3.5 teaspoons baking powder
    • 3 tsp caster sugar
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 small can sweetcorn, drained
    • 2 red or green chillies, deseeded and finely diced OR 2 spring onions peeled and sliced (optional)

  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 190oC fan-assisted.
  2. 2. Melt the butter for the cornbread in your oven-proof pan and then pour this into a separate bowl or jug.
  3. 3. Add the milk and eggs, whisk thoroughly, and place to one side.
  4. 4. Now add the olive oil to the pan and gently fry the diced onion, peppers and garlic for 5-10 minutes over a low heat until soft and golden.
  5. 5. Add the ground cumin and paprika and cook for another minute.
  6. 6. Add the beer or stock, turn up the heat to medium/high and stir well.
  7. 7. Add the crushed tomatoes, and all three cans of beans and mix.
  8. 8. Season with salt and pepper and simmer over a low heat for 10 minutes.
  9. 9. In the meantime, make the cornbread by combining the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a bowl.
  10. 10. Add the egg, milk and melted butter mixture from earlier and mix well.
  11. 11. Stir in the drained sweetcorn and chillies or spring onion if using.
  12. 12. When the chilli is ready, check the seasoning and spiciness. Add hot sauce to taste.
  13. 13. Remove the chilli from the heat and spoon over the cornbread batter.
  14. 14. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, checking about half way. Loosely cover with foil if the top is getting too brown too quickly. Bake until the cornbread is golden and an inserted skewer into the middle of the bread comes out cleanly.
Adapted from Food Network Veg Head Three Bean Chilli Recipe


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