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Shrimp Chili Cornbread Casserole


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The weather is starting to turn colder (or at least it should be) and that means warmer and more heartier meals are on the menu.  Here in Denver we are having an uncharacteristically warm autumn, but that hasn't stopped the two of us from craving some good autumn food.  Chili is one thing that we tend to enjoy in many different forms (vegetarian, spicy, green, Cincinnati style, etc.).  When we saw this shrimp chili with a cornbread topping we knew we would have to give it a try.  First we had never had shrimp chili and second it was just genius to combine chili and cornbread into one wonderful dish.  This dish was very flavorful and satisfying and will definitely be on the menu again.  Heck we may just used the cornbread topping on other batches of chili that we make this year too.  Again I say whoever came up with this idea is genius.

Shrimp Chili Cornbread Casserole
Adapted from Eating Well

Shrimp Chili:
2 t. canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium zucchini, diced
1 1/2 T. chili powder
1 1/2 T. cumin
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. salt
28 oz. can of no salt added diced tomatoes
1 1/2 lb. raw shrimp
1/2 c. cilantro

Cornbread Topping:
1 c. yellow cornmeal
1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
2/4 c. milk
1/4 c. canola oil
l large egg
1 T. honey

1) To prepare the filling heat 2 t. of oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onion and bell pepper.  Cook, stirring often, until softened.  Add garlic and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds.  Stir in zucchini and cook for about 3 more minutes.  Stir in chili powder, cumin, cinnamon and 1 t. salt cooking for 20 more seconds.  Pour in the tomatoes and their juice, bring to a simmer.  Remove from the heat.  Stir in the shirmp and cilantro.  Pour into a 9 x 13 baking pan sprayed with non-stick spray.

2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3) To prepare the cornbread topping whisk the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and 1/2 t. salt in a large bowl.  Whisk milk, 1/4 c. oil, egg and honey in a medium bowl until smooth.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until moistened.  Drop by heaping tablespoons over the shrimp mixture.

4) Bake the casserole, uncovered for 40-45 minutes, until the top is browned and the filling is bubbling.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.


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