Monday, September 26, 2011

Chili-Corn Casserole

Remember when I told you to save those few cups of Slow-Cooker Texas Chili for later?  Well, have no fear.  It is now later.  And we're about to make some magic by mixing this chili with corn, scallions, polenta, and cheese.

Get on this.  It is heavenly.

I shouldn't have to "note" this, but I will, just to make sure you know...You can use any chili you like in this dish.  You don't have to make the Slow-Cooker Texas Chili recipe.  You should make it because it's  delicious, but I realize it may not be for everyone.  So have at it with whatever kind of chili you want.

Now can we just jump right in?  Because I'm starving (as usual) and I need my sustenance.

Chili-Corn Casserole
from Food Network Magazine

  • 1 - 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 - 5 ears of corn, kernels cut off* (I used 5 because my ears of corn were small)
  • Salt
  • 6 scallions, chopped
  • 3 - 4 cups Slow-Cooker Texas Chili (or any chili you have on hand)
  • 2 cups white cheddar cheese and Mexican blend cheese (or you can use any cheese you like)
  • 18 oz tube precooked polenta, cut into 1/2 inch rounds
  • Cooking spray

* Here's an awesome and time-saving tip I learned from the Shutterbean blog: Use a bundt pan to catch the corn kernels when you cut them off the ears!

1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

2) Melt the butter in a pan over medium-high heat.

3) Add the corn and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until tender.

4) Toss in the scallions and cook for about 1 minute, or until the scallions are soft.

5) Lightly spray the baking dish with cooking spray. (I used a 1 1/2 L pan, but the original recipe calls for an 8-inch square baking dish. Choose your poison.) Spread the chili in the bottom of the dish.

6) Sprinkle half of the corn mixture, and then half of the cheese over the chili.

7) Add the polenta rounds on top of the corn mixture.
8) Sprinkle the remaining corn mixture and cheese over the polenta.

9) Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.  Watch the dish to ensure the cheese is golden and bubbly.  You really just want the entire casserole to heat through.

10) Let the casserole stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.

This was my first time trying ready-made/tubed polenta.  I found out that I didn't really like it on its own.  But once the polenta was soaked in the chili broth, then combined with the melted cheese, tender beef, fresh corn and spicy scallions, it was a whole different story.  I ate forkfuls of this casserole without even thinking.  I could probably finish half of the entire thing in one sitting.  I think next time I would try using creamy polenta in place of the ready-made polenta, but that would be the only change.  Other than that,  I would say you should whip this up as soon as possible for a quick and easy brunch or dinner!

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