Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Buffalo Chili n' Waffles, Taco Night

Every now and then, I like to regress and have a good 'l fashioned middle American taco night. No fresh corn tortilla, braised tongue, lime and cilantro (although now I'm craving just that from Taqueria Michocana - scenic Norristown here I come). No, I'm talking about ground beef with pre-mixed spice packet, crunchy taco shelves, grated jack cheese, iceberg lettuce, etc.

The other night I had a pound of ground buffalo meat I wanted to stretch in to a base for chili. Instead of just cooking the meat with the spice packet, I sauteed it with two onions, then added half a can of refried beans. (For the vegetarians out there, this method is a great way to use TVP, which will benefit from being mized with stuff.) It was just as good, and I had lots of leftover meat mixture.

CHILI TIME! And what could be better with chili than cornbread? How's about cornbread WAFFLES? Waffles are great with savory meals because they catch all the sauce/gravy.

The Chili:

I use my 70's "Crock Watcher" for this but if you only have a pot on a stove, cook it on low for an hour.

Into the crock pot goes: The leftover taco meat mixture, a big 28 oz can of tomatoes, the rest of the refried beans and two 16 oz cans of beans (I like black beans. Your taco meat mix provides the seasoning, although I also add a tablespoon of cocoa and a teaspoon of cinnamon. Cook on high 2 hours or low 8 hours.

For the cornbread waffles, I used this recipe, found online at random. I used milk instead of buttermilk, subbing 1/2 cup of sour cream. I wasn't so crazy about it, so after the first batch, I added a quarter cup of honey to the batter. That helped a lot, as did waiting 10 minutes for the batter to set. I still think I'll try another recipe next time though.

The finished product looks great on a plate (above) with a dab of sour cream and some freeze-dried chives. Just don't reach for the syrup (or who knows...?) For the freezer portions, I filled my containers halfway and froze them solid. Then I wrapped the waffles, put one on top of each portion and put the lid on. That way, I can grab a portion and go, and toast the waffle while nuking the chili.

Frugal Factor: For the chili and waffles, I got 10 portions. The half of the meat left over from taco night was $2.50, $0.50 for half a spice packet, $0.25 for the onion, $1.50 for the refried beans, $2 for the tomatoes, $1.50 for the canned black beans. Let's say $1 for the waffles. Maybe $1.50. That's $9.50, or $0.95/portion. Use TVP or cheaper meat in place of the buffalo, mix your own spices and cook your own beans, I bet you could cut that in half.


Anonymous said...

this sounds really tasty. I will try it saturday nite with my kids.

Larraine said...

Nice blog, Rob!