chili + buttermilk cornbread

chili, buttermilk cornbread

I’m surrounded by fabulous cooks. My mom is one of the best cooks I know. As a matter a fact, on my to-do list is to make a compilation of all her fabulous Korean recipes. Not just for myself but for my son and nieces, and hopefully on to their kids. I also married into a family of fabulous cooks. Both my mother and father-in-law create delicious concoctions in the kitchen. My son loves their cooking. It’s a food fest for him when he gets to spend the weekend with them. I hope my in-laws don’t think that I starve my kid at home because he manages to scarf down at least double the amount of food with them than he does at home.

One overcast morning, my son woke up and the first thing he asked for was “papa’s chili beans” for dinner. I personally haven’t tried my father-in-law’s chili, but apparently, my son has. And LOVES it. The first thing I thought was, “Well, I make a pretty fabulous pot of chili as well. Let’s see who can make it better and win a 4 year-old’s approval!”. I know, it sounds ridiculous. I’m not a competitive person at all. I’m that parent at the soccer field who says, “As long as you’re having fun, that’s all that matters”.  But when it comes to cooking, I really want to be the one who brought the best dish to the potluck. I might play it totally cool on the outside, but on the inside, I’m staring at my dish wanting and willing it to be the first one to be cleaned out.

This recipe makes a big pot of chili. Don’t be afraid of leftovers. Chili tastes great (if not better) the next day. It’s perfect for a large group on a chilly or rainy night. It also freezes really well for those nights when cooking is the furthest thing from your mind.

Or it’s perfect for a chili cook-off with your father-in-law. Game on.


2 tablespoon olive oil

2 lbs ground beef, I used 85% 15%

4 cloves, garlic, minced

2 med onion, diced small

1 red bell pepper, diced small

*minced jalapenos (optional)

2 tablespoon chili powder

2 tablespoon ground coriander

2 tablespoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon worchestire sauce

2-15oz cans stewed tomatoes, rough chopped

5-15oz cans beans (I like to use different types for texture and color. I used pinto, kidney, and black beans)

2 cups water or stock

3 teaspoon kosher salt

Topping suggestions:

diced white onion

green onion






sour cream



Heat a heavy bottom pot on high heat, add 2 tablespoon of oil. Add the meat and 1 teaspoon salt. Let the meet brown, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion, garlic, bell pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt until onions are translucent and soft, about 7 minutes. Add chili powder, coriander, cumin and thyme. Let the spices coat and “toast” with the ingredients for about 2 minutes. Add the worchestire sauce and cook for another minute. Add stewed tomatoes and beans. Stir and mix well so everything is coated with the spices. Add water or stock and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, turn down the heat and cover the pot, and simmer for 40 minutes on low heat. Stir occasionally. After 40 minutes, take the lid off and cook for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check for seasoning.

Top with your favorite chili fixings.

*I don’t make my chili too spicy so my son can eat it. But if you want more heat, add chopped jalapenos (as much as you want) when adding onions and garlic to the pot.

chili fixings

What’s better with chili other than cornbread?




1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup fresh corn kernels


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch square pan.

Combine cornmeal, flour, and salt in a separate bowl. Melt butter in large skillet. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture. Add the cornmeal, flour, and salt mixture until well blended and few lumps remain. Add the corn kernels and mix gently. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

buttermilk cornbread