Where can you find the best cornbread in the city?  Just for You Cafe in the Dogpatch.

Just for You is the place-to-be for tasty big breakfasts: fried eggs, ham, home fries and their freshly baked cornbread.  I love my cornbread sweet rather than savory, but not too sweet and I love it moist with a little bit of gritty texture.  Just for You’s has all these wonderful elements.  Enjoy it with a generous spread of butter or with their sweet strawberry jam.  The corncakes are equally good, too.  They have that melt-in-your-mouth, buttery and gritty goodness that I love.  And a visit to Just for You is never complete without indulging in their puffy beignets.  So delightful.

Inspired by Just for You’s cornbread, I ventured out, bought myself some corn meal and made my own cornbread.  And there’s no better way to enjoy a warm, fresh-out-of-the-oven piece of cornbread in this cold winter than to pair it with a tasty bowl of hearty homemade chili.  For that, I solicited Dennis’ help to make his mom’s homemade chili, the chili he grew up with in chilly Ohio.

Homemade Cornbread Recipe

1-1/4 cup yellow corn meal
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup fat-free milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 400F. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish.  You can use a pyrex dish, a non-stick baking pan or you can also use a muffin pan to make corn muffins.

Combine the corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl.  Combine the milk, oil and egg in a separate bowl. After mixing them well add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and pour into your baking dish.  Note that the original recipe called for a cup of flour to a cup of corn meal but for a grittier texture I added a 1/4 cup more corn meal and used 1/4 cup less flour in this recipe.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Mom’s Homemade Chili Recipe

Chili Spices
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder or freshly minced garlic
1/2 tsp cumin (optional)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Great-tasting chili is very much a cook-until-the-way-you-like-it sort of comfort food.  So feel free to experiment with the spices as you wish.

1 to 1.5 lbs of extra lean ground beef
1 can black beans
1 can red kidney beans
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 small can of tomato paste
1 medium to large size onion diced
1-2 green or red bell peppers chopped
Worcestershire sauce (start with 1 Tbsp and then add more to taste)

Cooking time is 2-4 hours.  Slow cooking is best.

Brown the ground beef in a large stew pot over medium heat.  Don’t thoroughly cook the meat but only up to a point when most of the fat has come out.  If you prefer a finer texture break up the ground beef completely but if you like a chunkier chili, as I do, break it up in larger bite size bits.

Extra lean beef (less than 5% fat) is recommended, which is the healthiest choice. If you do use extra lean beef there is no need to drain the fat out. Otherwise, drain the beef fat using a colander and return it to the pot. I think it’s a smart idea to give up the beef fat so you can indulge in butter with your bread later!

Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, and peppers to the browned beef and mix well.  It will be pretty thick but there is no need to add water here as there will be plenty as the vegetables continue to cook.  Add the Worcestershire sauce and chili spices and mix well.  Let this cook and come to a slow boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer.  Add the red kidney and black beans to the mix and stir well together.


Now, here’s the fun part, or well, at least Dennis thinks so.  Take a break and let it simmer for about an hour while stirring it occasionally.  Come back and taste the chili. If you think it needs a little more oomph add more Worcestershire, salt, chili powder and perhaps more garlic powder or freshly minced garlic.  Cook for another half an hour on low heat and stir well occasionally. Continue adding more salt and chili powder if you prefer but remember to stir everything well.  Let it stand for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Great-tasting chili is truly a season-to-taste slow cooked meal.  Chili powders have different levels of potency so feel free to experiment.

Enjoy a bowl of chili with a piece of warm cornbread or some saltine crackers on a chilly winter day. Some folks love red onions or grated cheddar with their chili but I love it just the way it is with some sweet cornbread.  For breakfast, scramble some eggs in butter and top it with chili and a piece of cornbread.

By the way, I don’t think I have found the best chili in the city.  San Francisco doesn’t really strike me as a city for chili but maybe I’m wrong. What do you think?

  • http://psychosomaticaddictinsane.wordpress.com Iya Santos

    i havent tried chili with scrambled eggs yet. i love it with lots of cheese paired with cornbread (with pimiento!)

    ay nakakagutom naman.

  • terry

    looks really yummy! i love scrambled eggs but haven’t tried chili with it too…really great photos, they really might convince me to try your recipes!

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  • Jay

    Thanks for the cornbread recipe :-)
    I’ve been looking for a good one for a while and this one fits the requirement mmm mmm mmm mmm mmm yummy!

  • Monet M.

    Thanks for the recipe! Will try it. Very nice pictures!

  • Gina S.

    Thanks for your awesome cornbread recipe! I needed it for a cornbread stuffing recipe because the boxed cornbread I was going to use originally turned out horribly. The stuffing was amazing, everyone loved it. Going to the store today to purchase the ingredients to make the chili!

  • Gina

    Sounds good and looks good! Will try both but if you bake your cornbread in a cast iron skillet comes out just like old country backwoods hillbilly person at the old wood stove.

  • Guarabana

    Interesting idea to put in Worcheshire sauce. Your recipe is almost the exact same as mine, except I put in a tablespoon or so of brown sugar and cilantro.  

  • MaryAnn

    Sounds like a good hearty Chili recipe for the oncoming Michigan winter.  I can’t wait to try this :)

  • mason younG

    I have my Parents Cast Iron Skillet…and even though I have one that actually bakes it into slices, I always use the old Family Pan…I think that’s what makes it taste better…

  • Rxanne Jeffcoat

    sounds like a great recipe  and I look forward to making and sharing .

  • Elsa

    Hi Jun…I had never made chili before and googled several recipes. I wanted something that didn’t require alot of ingredience and found yours. It was perfect…My neighbor was making chili at the same time so I took over this one, turns out no one touched hers I felt bad but also felt good because everyone liked the one I made.  I did change it up alittle by adding oregano and Louisana Hot Sauce to taste.  Thanks for sharing your recipe.  I will be making it for New Years again…Elsa in Mission TX

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    That’s wonderful, Elsa!  Good call on the oregano.  Happy New Year to you!!

  • Hook’em Horns

    Parents made this Chilli today, and LOVED it!!!!

  • Ashlee

    I was just wondering, ive never made chili before but do i cook the beans first then add them to the mix?

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    The recipe calls for canned beans, which are cooked already. So you just need to add them to the mix.  If you’re using dried beans then soak them in water overnight , cook them the following day and add it to your chili.

  • chili boy

    finally, a simple recipe i’ve been searching for. i’m a fan of this soup. don’t know how to cook it or what the ingredients are. unfortunately, there is only one store i know where i can buy this in manila – “the soup kitchen”. can’t wait to try this at home.

  • Marta

    I just made your cornbread but it turned out a little too sweet and cake-like. Other than that I loved the recipe and will make it again for sure (maybe adding less sugar and more cornmeal?).

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BX7Q3RKO7UTT6Q7TJE27NVGPQE lonestarlady

    I tried the chili and it is delicious! I didn’t have cheese to put on top, but put a dollop of sour cream on top, yuuuuum!

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    Love a dollop of sour cream in my bowl of chili, too!

  • cwr

    i am a country backwoods Hillbilly with a old wood burning cook stove and have about 16 iron skillets and about to make this chilli, only i am using Deer meat.

  • http://www.facebook.com/janice.plumbdavison Janice Plumb-Davison

    My cornbread is in the oven with a pre-heated cast iron skillet, if this doesn’t work, I give up, my son Sean has said.

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  • Raphella Marcelenna Hunter

    cooking this right now. my hunny is sick and i wanted to make him something hot and hearty for when he came home from work today. i know its june but we have some rain here today and from the way things are looking and smelling its gonna be a great dinner tonight!!!

  • Adrienne

    I tried your cornbread tonight and it was awesome! Everyone loved it, just slightly sweet and moist. Really wonderful, thank you so much for the recipe. This is the only cornbread I am making from now on.

  • http://www.arthur-in-the-garden.com/ Arthur

    Yummy! We love it!