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Chilli With Cornmeal Lid

Asked by vanvliet. Answered on 13th July 2012

Full question

I saw Nigella making a chilli (on Dutch tv) and when it was in its pot she put a top layer of cornmeal on it, before putting it in the oven. She promised it would add flavour. So, when I was in England, I bought cornmeal, but now I cannot find the recipe and I do not know how she made it. Help me please! Vanvliet

Our answer

We suspect the recipe you are looking for is Nigella's Cornbread Topped Chilli Con Carne from Feast (link below). The meat-based chilli sauce is cooked then topped with a cornbread mixture made from cornmeal and plain flour. The pan of chilli is then baked and the cornbread forms a crust on the chilli.

Cornbread is a popular accompaniment to chilli in America and the two go well together. One of the advantages of making the chilli with a corbread topping is that it means each spoonful of chilli comes with its own piece of cornbread and this can be crumbled into the chilli or just eaten alongside. You can make the chilli ahead (it is usually better the next day) then reheated until piping hot and baked with the cornbread topping just before serving. So it is good for easy entertaining - and hence the recipe serves up to 20 people.

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