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Chili side dishes


MelissaH
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Hi everyone,

The chili cook-off is coming at a good time. Our local college hockey team has a game this Saturday afternoon at 3 PM, which is a rare event since most games don't start till 7 or so. But the timing is perfect for inviting the buddies we sit with back to our place afterward for dinner. And the plan is to have a crockpot full of chili cooking for us through the day, and ready to eat after the game.

But what goes with chili? I'm particularly looking for things that are either quick, or can be done in advance. (Or both!)

We're planning to do cornbread in some form; I'm hoping that we might be able to do that ahead of time and then just reheat it right before serving. (Our backup plan: just have someone bring a bag of tortilla chips.) We're also thinking maybe salad, since that's also easy and quick, and someone else could bring that. Any other suggestions for sides to go with chili? And I'm particularly stumped about dessert. Is there a classic dessert to follow chili? Or should I just whip up a batch of brownies in the morning? Make sure I have ice cream in the freezer? (Or hope someone else offers to bring something?)

Thanks,

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

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Melissa, I would try to keep it simple. Get some raw veggies (think celery, carrots, cauliflower, etc.) to serve with some ranch dressing. Make two kinds of cornbread (with and without jalapenos, or maybe one with sharp cheese). For dessert I would serve cinnamon ice cream or tres leches ice cream with a caramel sauce. Cookies would go with the ice cream if you wanted to go overboard. :smile:

Edited by MarkinHouston (log)
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To go with the chili you could bake some potatoes and serve the chili over a potato half with lots of cheese :biggrin: ...sour cream and scallions are good too.

The cinnamon or caramel ice cream sounds like a perfect idea...

T

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For sure, have some typical condiments -- grated cheese, chopped onions, chopped green or red peppers of varying types and heat, sour cream, crackers, which some folks like to crumble into their chili.

And cornbread, as you said, with butter and honey.

If that's not enough, then the baked potatoes are a great idea. As are hot dogs, so some folks can make chili dogs if they'd like.

For dessert, S'mores are fun and kind of in keeping with the 'cowboy' theme.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Rice.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

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Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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A bread bowl to serve the chili in, plenty of raw veggies, tortilla chips, fresh salsa, and an artichoke dip to "cross dip" the bread bowl, veggies, and chips into.

"Live every moment as if your hair were on fire" Zen Proverb

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You don't have to reheat the cornbread. Instead, before heading out to the game, prep the dry ingredients and set them aside; prep the wet ingredients and put them in the fridge. When you get home, turn on the oven, nuke the wet ingredients just barely enough to bring them to room temp, and when the oven hits the right temp mix up your batter by combining the dry and wet, pour it into the pan and stick it in the oven.

What else to serve? Well, Mark's raw veggies certainly works, and it's no fuss with a nice dip. Slightly more fuss, but excellent as an accompaniment, would be cooked greens in garlic, which you can cook in advance and simply reheat with oil or butter in a pan while the cornbread bakes.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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I can't eat chili without saltines. Lots of saltines. Oyster crackers would be good, too.

I love the ice cream idea, and I love the smores idea. I'll also throw in cupcakes. And you can never go wrong with chocolate chip cookies.

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I definately agree with hot cornbread served with chili.

As rlibkind mentioned, there are easy ways to have the mixings for cornbread ready to pop in the oven so that you have fresh cornbread. With the recipes I've used, I've premixed the dry ingredients ahead of time in a batch for each pan full. Have pans ready, preheat oven as soon as you walk in the door. Add in liquid ingredients, mix briefly and pop in the oven.

For a crowd, I often make some rice also, as mentioned above. And don't forget toppings for people to add. Some ideas are grated cheese, chopped scallions or red onions, chopped jalapenos, sour cream, chopped cilantro, lime wedges.

An easy, make ahead dessert idea for a crowd might be Texas Sheet Cake, a chocolate-cinnamon cake with chocolate frosting. There a few different recipes posted on RecipeGullet here.

Another nice and easy dessert would be cajeta sundaes. Could also top these with glazed pecans and serve with bizcochito cookies or some simple cinnamon sugar cookies.

Edited by ludja (log)

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The magic of eGullet: I thought I had the chili dinner nailed, but I'm excited by the ideas here beyond cornbread and rice.

I know Wendy's does it, but I love the baked potatos/topping thing. And cinnamon ice cream (Hot chocalate sauce!) and S'Mores are just brilliant, as is the flan -- a lime-flavored flan, perhaps, with chocalate-dipped lime icebox cookies?

Margaret McArthur

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To those who have suggested cruch, be it raw veg or tortilla chips, thank you. This meal was starting to sound pretty mushy...

I love crunch. I love texture, and different textures.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I've made a Southwestern rice salad with black beans, corn, roasted green chiles, red peppers, and green onions, tossed with a lime-jalapeno-cilantro dressing.

It goes very well with chili, and it can be made the day before.

Another salad idea is julienned jicama, red peppers, orange segments, red onion, and avocado with a chipotle-orange-lime dressing. This can mostly be made ahead -- just don't add the avocado until right before serving.

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Definitely all of the above suggestions. I made the Whacked Out Chili on Sunday (coming soon to a cook off near you :biggrin: ) and we were too tired to do the cornbread since that would have required a trup to the store for buttermilk so we had buttered saltines. I had forgotten how good that is.

I love the ice cream ideas. We had bought some pumpkin ice cream and topped it with some of the last of my dulce de leche and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Hominy! Essence of corn.

I like cornbread with chili too, but hominy is my favorite. I use dried hominy from a local amish market. Simmer one part dried hominy to 4 parts salted water for about 3 hours until plump and tender. It can be made ahead. its best reheated by sauteeing in buter until lightly browned and sprinkled with ground pepper.

Canned hominy is OK and most grocery stores have it, but it can be very salty and/or have a canny taste. If using canned, I recommend that you rinse it well in a colander and do the sauteeing as above.

I put the hominy in the bowl under the chili. Top with diced sweet onion and hot sauce.

You can gild the lily with grated jack cheese and sour cream.

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If you're going to do the last minute baking of the cornbread, put the pans with their fat in the oven before you leave the house. When you preheat the oven the moment you walk in the door, the pans will heat and the fat (bacon grease or butter usually for me) will be sizzling too, helping to set the crust.

... we were too tired to do the cornbread since that would have required a trup to the store for buttermilk so we had buttered saltines.

I rarely have buttermilk in the house. When I need some for cornbread, I just stir some plain yogurt or sour cream into skim or lowfat milk. See my recipe, here.

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. . . and we were too tired to do the cornbread since that would have required a trup to the store for buttermilk. . . .

As Rachel suggests, yogurt or sour cream can sub for buttermilk in cornbread. But Mark Bittman's suggestion to "sour" your own milk is easy, too: to a cup or cup and a quarter of milk, nuked to room temperature, add one tablespoon plain white vinegar and let it stand for 10 minutes. I think it results in a cornbread that tastes even better than one using yogurt!

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Shhh . . . I was tired and being out of buttermilk was a good excuse. :biggrin:

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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