Something chili-ish and something cornbread-ish

Something chili-ish and something cornbread-ish

A few nights ago I cooked up some big local grassfed chuck steaks for dinner. They tasted great (and were on sale, which is why I bought them), but chuck is a difficult cut to tenderize, so they made a pretty chewy meal and we ended up saving most of the meat for another day. Last night I diced it up and threw it in our VitaClay with a can of black beans and a bunch of veggies: red onion, garlic, ruby chard stems, and carrots. I seasoned it with chili powder, cumin, coriander, paprika, and a few other items, and cooked it for an hour. The result was a bowl of something chili-ish that tasted great with a dollop of real sour cream. Theo was just excited that I made bean “soup,” and Jeremy thought it had great flavor, which is high praise coming from him.

To go with our ish-chili, I thought it would be fun to make some ish-cornbread. These turned out to be gluten-free blue corn ebelskivers with millet and almond flour, fluffy yet moist little bites with a crisp exterior, perfectly accompanied with a discreet drizzle of honey. Jeremy took a bite and exclaimed, “They’re like beignets!” I suspect the city of New Orleans would disagree on that point, but you get the idea. They were great as a side for our spicy chili-ish soup, satisfying enough to behave as dessert, and equally at home on my breakfast plate the next day with fried eggs, ham, and homemade sauerkraut. While I was making them, I was very tempted to stuff them with something: sharp cheddar, fruity jam, or even bites of Theo’s favorite uncured bison hot dog would equally fare well, I suspect. And the piece de resistance was that, although Nolan wouldn’t touch them in ebelskiver form, he did eat several muffins that I made from the same batter, perhaps the first time he has willingly eaten more than a crumb of cornbread.

Gluten-free blue corn ebelskiversGluten-free blue corn ebelskivers

Blue Corn Ebelskivers

I have the best luck cooking my ebelskivers through if I do two 90 degree turns with a bit of cooking time in between, instead of flipping 180 degrees all at once. It makes the finished shape a little irregular, but I’d rather have that than an unintended gooey center, and it also makes stuffing easier.

1 C cornmeal (any color, with a fine texture)
1/2 C almond meal
1/2 C millet flour
1/4 C sweet (glutinous) rice flour
2 eggs
1/3 C sour cream
2/3 C whole milk
1/4 C melted butter or coconut oil
2 T honey
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Stir together batter while ebelskiver pan heats over medium heat. Brush pan lightly with oil or butter, and scoop by 2 T into each well. Use a toothpick, skewer or other precision implement to flip the ebelskivers when they are golden brown underneath. (I did two half turns to cook through.) Repeat with remaining batter. Delicious with a drizzle of honey.

Variants: Stuff with anything you like. A few ideas I’d like to try: Sharp cheddar (maybe with green chiles or minced ham); strawberry jam; sautéed apples; feta cheese and bacon; and bison hot dog pieces for a bite-sized corndog perfectly sized for a toddler fist.

For muffins: Dish by 1/4 C into muffin liners (I use silicone). In my microwave, a single muffin was cooked through in 45 seconds. In my steamer, the muffins were set and nicely moist after 10 minutes.

If you try the more traditional route of baking in the oven, using either a large pan or muffin tin, be sure to let me know how it goes! I’d like to try this recipe in my cast iron skillet to keep that nice crisp crust.

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