Red Bean Chili with Grilled Polenta Croutons, Birdeye

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Oh CoCo....doing homework and all that...:)
Yes, that retainer needs some denture cleanser

The finished chili with croutons...Jackie kept
making comments about liking his salty
saltine cracker...whatever...these crisp up nice

What it looks like before the chili is added...yum!

Since I didn't wanna open what I had on hand, I slow cooked
red beans all day and realized that I totally tripled the recipe
because it calls for 6 cups cooked beans..well that is 1 lb. cooked,
yes, I learned a lesson today but a delicious one!
Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It's been a busy, busy day today...I've been knocking out my arts council phone calls for the Bill Thomas Memorial Golf Tournament and lemme say what a wonderful community we live in.  I don't ever want to take it for granted!  How wonderfully supportive everyone was today in sponsoring the arts council's fabulous I say, fabulous!  So mid-afternoon, where do I turn?  To Lean Star Cuisine by Terry Conlan from Lake Austin Spa.  Here's a wonderful chili with fabulous homemade croutons!

So, here's how it goes.....

Red Bean Chili with Grilled Polenta Croutons

"This hearty vegetarian chili is for all those leather bustin', trail ridin'. dogie ropin' buckaroos in your family.  When they ask you what those things on the top are, don't tell them they are "polenta croutons", tell 'em that they're cow chips.  They'll love you for it.  Pardner"  I love these comments in his cookbooks! :)

The Croutons
1-1/2 C. yellow cornmeal (I used my Martha White cornbread mix that I use for cornbread)
1 C. cold water
1 C. boiling water
1/4 t. salt
1/4 C. Parmesan

Mix cornmeal with cold water in a bowl.  Add to boiling water in a small saucepan.  Cook, stirring over low heat until thickened about 5 minutes.  Add salt and cheese.

Spread onto a sheet pan and refrigerate overnight (I just put in my subzero freezer for an hour then moved it into the refrigerator).  Cut into 2 inch squares and grill or saute in a nonstick skillet with vegetable spray until crispy on the outside and then cut into smaller squares and use to top chili.

The Chili:
1 T. olive oil
1/4 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
16 oz tomatoes, diced
2 T. tomato paste
1/4 C. chili powder
1 t. oregano
2 t. cumin
6 C. red beans, cooked (I quick cooked pinto and black beans instead of rinsing canned red beans)
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 oz. grated low fat cheddar cheese

Saute onions and garlic in oil.  Add the seasonings and beans and simmer for 20 minutes.  Serve in a large bowl topped with croutons and cheese.  Yield 12 servings.

225 calories, 3.2 gr fat per 1-1/4 C serving

Both freeze well...It's delish even if you made too many beans like me today! :)

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