Saturday, December 8, 2012

Spicy & Sweet Autumn Chili w/ Southern Style Buttermilk Biscuits

This morning I woke up bright and early and decided to make spicy chili for dinner and I wanted to give it an autumn theme.  Instead of using beans, I decided to add cubes of roasted butternut squash in at the end to balance the spiciness of the chili with the sweet and nutty flavor of roasted butternut squash.  I normally don't make my chili very spicy, but today I wanted to bump it up a few notches with heat -- and this chili definitely does just that!!!  I love roasted butternut squash and thought the combination of spicy and sweet would work, so I made "Spicy & Sweet Autumn Chili".  This chili is packed with flavor and spices and the texture from using both ground and cubed beef was really good.  When I wrote the chili recipe up below, I carefully made note of the spicy ingredients and mentioned which ones to reduce or omit to knock the spiciness down -- this chili was REAL spicy...and might be too spicy for some, although both hubby and I enjoyed it a lot -- topped with a dollop of sour cream and some freshly shredded Wisconsin Red Hoop Cheddar cheese.  The spicy ingredients that might need to be reduced or omitted if you don't like your chili spicy (and particularly if you are serving it to young children) have the "less spicy suggestions" listed beside them.  Use your judgement and if unsure, add just a tiny bit of heat until you have tasted it first -- you can always add more spice, but I haven't yet discovered a way you can take too much out!  :-) 

I had originally intended to prep the chili this morning and put it in my crock-pot to cook all day, but since I was home I just let it simmer for a couple of hours on low on the stove.  Because of the time involved chopping everything up, this is probably not a "weeknight chili recipe", particularly if you work during the day.  However, if you put it together ahead of time (chop your veggies and meat and pre-cook them) you could easily put it in your crock-pot in the morning and cook on low during the day.  You would just need to roast the cubed butternut squash when you got home.  When I've used butternut squash in the past, I purchased it fresh and already peeled and cubed.  Today I wanted to try doing that myself.  While it wasn't difficult, it definitely was more time consuming and a bit messy...so if you want to save some time, I would suggest enjoying the luxury of buying it already cubed and ready to use.  If you don't like butternut squash or don't want the extra carbs they add to this chili, you could easily omit adding it. 

I decided southern style buttermilk biscuits would go great with our chili, so I made some using blanched almond flour.  I used a combination of both butter and cream cheese in them (the cream cheese was used as a substitute for the "shortening" frequently used in traditional buttermilk biscuits).  Instead of rolling these biscuits out and cutting them, I used my small retractable trigger type ice cream scoop to portion the dough out into 12 equal sized mounds onto my baking sheet and then lightly tamp them down on top (they were about 1-inch thick).  As they baked, they spread out some and touched each other.  The batter was surprisingly very light and airy and not dense like other biscuits I've made using almond flour.  I added one full cup of thick rich buttermilk to the dough and they turned out very light, tender and moist.  Next time I make them I will see if reducing the buttermilk to 3/4 cup (and adding more as necessary) might keep them from spreading out as much.  These tasted just like regular southern buttermilk biscuits and were very delicate (these might be difficult to slice in half though because of their tenderness).  We enjoyed these lightly brushed with melted butter on top.

I snapped a few photos for you to see below as well as the recipes for the chili, roasted butternut squash and the biscuits.  Enjoy!

Voila!
BOOM!





 
Spicy & Sweet Autumn Chili

Ingredients:

1 lb. ground sirloin
1 lb. boneless beef chuck arm roast, diced into 1/2" cubes
2 - 3 tablespoons oil, to saute vegetables and brown beef
1 cup onion, diced
1-1/2 - 2 cups red, yellow or orange sweet bell peppers, diced
1 Poblano pepper, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
5 - 6 cloves garlic, minced
Spices:
   1 tablespoon chili powder
   1 teaspoon "chipotle chili powder" (or use regular chili powder to reduce heat)
   1 teaspoon hot Hungarian paprika (or use sweet paprika to reduce heat)
   1 teaspoon ground coriander
   1 teaspoon cumin (I used 1/2 tsp regular cumin and 1/2 tsp. roasted cumin)
   1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (use less or omit to reduce heat)
   1 teaspoon oregano
   1 teaspoon Kosher salt
   1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or less to reduce heat)
1 14.5-oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes (including juice)
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 6-oz. tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth
1-1/2 cups water (more or less, depending on preferred thickness)

Directions:

In a large stockpot, add a couple tablespoons of oil and quickly saute onion, sweet bell peppers, Poblano and jalapeno peppers until almost tender; add minced garlic and cook a couple more minutes, stirring frequently (covering the pan for a bit helps speed up cooking the veggies).   Using a slotted spoon, remove the veggies and set aside on a platter.  Add additional tablespoon of oil and brown beef cubes well, until almost done.  Remove browned beef cubes and set aside on the platter along with the cooked pepper and onion mixture.  Add ground sirloin to the pot and brown quickly, breaking up and crumbling the beef as it cooks.  When the ground sirloin is cooked, add the platter of cooked beef cubes and pepper mixture back to the pot.   Add all the spices, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, chicken broth and water and stir well.  Bring to a medium boil and taste to adjust seasonings, if necessary.  Cover the pot and turn heat to low and simmer for 2 to 2-1/2 hours on low (if desired, at this point the chili can be placed into a crock-pot and cooked on low for 8 - 10 hours instead of simmering on top of the stove).  

Ladle chili into bowls and stir in roasted butternut squash cubes (recipe below); top with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese, if desired.  Serves approximately 6.


  
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Roasted Butternut Squash

Ingredients:

4-6 cups of cubed fresh butternut squash
Celtic salt or sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a cookie sheet with foil and place the cubed butternut squash in a single layer on it.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste; toss squash cubes with olive oil and spread back out in a single layer.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 35 minutes or until lightly browned; stirring a couple of times to evenly brown,  Remove from oven when squash is tender on the inside and lightly browned on the outside.  

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Southern Style Buttermilk Biscuits

Ingredients:

3 cups blanched almond flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon Kosher or Celtic salt
3 tablespoons chilled butter, small diced
2 ounces very cold brick style cream cheese, diced
3/4 - 1 cup cold buttermilk (start with 3/4 cup; add additional if necessary to moisten dry ingredients)\
1 or 2 tablespoons of butter, melted (to top biscuits with near the end of baking)

Ingredients:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Place flour, baking powder, soda and salt in a medium mixing bowl and whisk to mix well.  Add diced chilled butter and cream cheese.  Using a pastry cutter, quickly cut butter and cream cheese into dry ingredients until it appears crumbly.  Make a well in the center of the mixture and add cold buttermilk, starting with 3/4 cup, stirring to mix well (add additional buttermilk as necessary to wet dry ingredients until it pulls together into a dough).  Mix quickly until a soft sticky dough forms.  The dough will be light, airy and fluffy.  On a parchment paper lined baking sheet (I used lightly buttered non-stick foil), use a cookie scoop or retractable ice cream scoop to make 12 equal sized mounds of dough on the baking sheet, spaced evenly apart.  Lightly tamp mounds down on top to approximately 1-inch thick.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes; remove and brush tops lightly with melted butter; return to the oven and bake an additional 5 minutes or until light golden brown.  Let cool about 5 to 10 minutes before serving.  Makes 1 dozen biscuits

***Note:  I used the full 1 cup of buttermilk which produced very tender, delicate moist biscuits that spread out a bit as they baked.  To help reduce the spread, start with 3/4 cup buttermilk and add just enough extra to moisten the dry ingredients and form a light, fluffy dough.

     

24 comments:

Lisa L. said...

Suppose I was allergic to nuts? What flour would you suggest using instead of almond flour? Would you be able to keep the carbs low also? No wheat/rice flour?

KSM said...

Okay, so you are turning into a "Gourmet Cook after my own heart!" My husband will love this chili recipe! And another version of the biscuit! Yum! I see you tried the ice cream scoop this time. Easier, right? Thanks for the recipe.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi KSM! The chili recipe is good -- and spicy. This biscuit has a completely different texture than the others I have made -- probably because of both the buttermilk and a touch of baking soda. Yes, it is easier with the ice cream scoop (just not as neat and pretty...lol). But, it did go much faster using it than rolling the dough out -- that's for sure! Hope you enjoy. :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Lisa L. -- I have not made biscuits using coconut flour before, but had saved this recipe I found on another blog called "Heavenly Homemakers" to try -- and it was given to her by her friend named "Lisa"....here it is -- I hope this helps:

Coconut Flour Cheddar Drop Biscuits

¼ cup coconut oil or butter, melted
1/3 cup sifted coconut flour
4 eggs
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Blend together eggs, coconut oil or butter, salt, and onion powder. Combine coconut flour with baking powder and whisk into batter until there are no lumps. Fold in cheese. Drop batter by the spoonful onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. For a cheesier biscuit increase cheese to ¾ cup.

This recipe makes about 10 biscuits.

Gotta Garden said...

Made your biscuits tonight and they were great! I am so excited!

I'll have to try those coconut flour ones, too.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Gotta Garden (cute name)!

I am so glad you liked the biscuits. Since I haven't tried the coconut flour ones yet -- let me know how they turn out if you try them too! :-)

Deborah Lewis said...

Hey GGC, I made the buttermilk biscuits for breakfast today. Had to make my own buttermilk. Easy peasy. Just add 1 tsp lemon juice or white vinegar to 1 cup milk (I used half & half). Biscuits were a big hit with the guys. These were very satisfying. My big guys only ate one or two a piece. If they had been made with wheat flour, I know they would've eaten them all. Thanks for sharing.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

So glad you and your family enjoyed them Deborah! :-)

Annabelle said...

How do these last (provided they don't all get eaten at one sitting!)? Regular biscuits are best fresh...would you suggest refrigerating/freezing the dough, or the baked biscuit? Or just make a smaller batch as needed? There is only two of use and hubby is still questionable on this type of eating! :) Thanks!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Annabelle -- maybe at first you should just make a 1/2 batch until your husband has a chance to try them. They last okay at room temp for a few days. I just pop them in the toaster on low (whole because they are delicate and fragile).

Anonymous said...

The buttermilk biscuits are DELICIOUS! They just melt in your mouth. I love them. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful recipes!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

So glad you liked the biscuits! :-)

Debra Grannick said...

For anyone allergic to nuts, I made these biscuits using coconut flour and ground flaxseed.
Because the coconut flour is so absorbent, I used
1 & 3/4 C Coconut flour with 1/4 C ground cold milled flaxseed ( bought at Costco).
These came out DELICIOUS! I added some aged cheddar and onion powder , too.
I used 1 C buttermilk plus a little extra.
Total yom! I am starting the wheat belly diet Wednesday, but I am practicing with coconut flour and flax seed before I actually start.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Debra -- your biscuit version sounds great! Great idea to get some practice recipes in before starting too! I wish you great success -- and I buy my flax meal at Costco too -- love it! :-)

CyberSis said...

Made the biscuits tonight and they were great ... even my skeptical hubby loved them!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

So glad you and your hubby enjoyed the biscuits! :-)

CyberSis said...

Hi GGC,

I've made these biscuits *many* times ... we love them! FYI, the last couple times I substituted ricotta for the cream cheese, since I'd run out, and it worked great. (I mixed it with the buttermilk first.)

Also, I've never been all that good with a pastry cutter, so I've been using the food processor to make the dough. It works for me, just have to be careful not to over-process, or you end up with "cookie-biscuits" ... ask me how I know! :-) Still yummy, but not exactly how I want them to turn out! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis! So glad to hear you have been enjoying these biscuits! Sometimes it is the "little things" that we enjoy most it seems! LOL about the "cookie biscuits"! I hope you have a Happy 4th and that you have better weather than we are supposed to! :-)

Alice said...

GGC,

I wonder if CyberSis' "cookie biscuits", with a little SF sweetening added, might make a good Shortcake type base for berries and whipped cream?

Hoping to make these biscuits on Sunday (have a new bottle of buttermilk in the fridge), though I see you have also updated this recipe in later months.

Regardless though, I want to make Buttermilk Biscuits that are LC/WF/SF, etc.!

Many thanks,
Alice B.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Alice,

Your suggestion would probably work for shortcake type biscuits. Maybe CyberSis will see it.

I do like my improved version of buttermilk biscuits a little better (not quite as fragile) but these are good, too. I'm curious as to which one you prefer. :-)

Alice said...

I haven't gotten to make either biscuit yet, GGC. Hoping to tomorrow but will probably start with your later version. With your saying in that post that your hubby approved, that sounds like great kudos! We Southerners LOVE and KNOW good biscuits (I'm in Texas and we consider ourselves part of the South!!)

Hope you have a great day!

Alice

CyberSis said...

Hi GGC,

I dearly love your original biscuits ... not that I don't like the new and improved ones, cuz I do! :-) Wow, I had to jog my memory, but I did use the original recipe for strawberry shortcake. They were the "regular" shaped ones, which I sliced in half ... but maybe I should make a batch of the "cookies" on purpose to try. :-)

I haven't made shortcake with the newer recipe yet, but perhaps those would be better if you're concerned about crumbling. At the time we weren't worried about a few crumbles ... too busy eating ... yum!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis,

Wow, it does get confusing with so many biscuit variations doesn't it! LOL I plan to play around with shortcake/biscuit/cookies some time in the near future. Have to get ready for strawberry season! ;-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Alice,

Whichever version of biscuits you decide to try...I hope you enjoy them. Let me know what you think.

Yes, I agree...with biscuits, it's always a good thing to have the "southern" seal of approval! ;-)