Fall…..ing – Sheet pan Cauliflower Chili with Corn Bread Biscuits

Fall…..ing – Sheet pan Cauliflower Chili with Corn Bread Biscuits
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 4-6
 
It’s fall, the leaves are turning and fall…ing. The gardens are slowly screaming “no more veggies or fruits for you this year”. A few are holding on and gracing with us just a few more raspberries, a handful of beans, an abundance of beets and leeks, and never forget the greens that keep on giving.

I pull out and clean up beds as the demise of the crop demands but I also start at the top terrace and work my way down trying to do everything possible on that terrace until one day I look along it and all is done for this season. That is where I find myself today…at the top terrace looking along it and at the beehives just above. Just a month ago the bee hives had 3 to 7 supers on top of them, increasing their height 2-3 times and the bee activity was awesome and the buzz of the bees almost deafening. I have learned to hear the state they are in….the steady happy buzz of everyone doing their job…..the frantic buzz of a hive guarding their entrance from robbers……the wildness of a swarms buzz. Without looking I can have a good idea of what is going on…just listening. Now the hives are down to just the hive bodies, heavy with honey, where these busy gals will over-winter. On top of each hive is a larger feeder bottle where we are trying to help them build up their winter nutrition storage. The buzz is low and gentle. I can tell by listening that their numbers are fall…ing as they preparing for winter. The quiet popping every few seconds of the electric bear fence is almost hypnotic. I often wonder about my bees being exposed to EMF’s from the fence but then realize that a few EMF’s is better than a bear.

The two upright growing trellises’s for pole beans are empty…except for a few stray stems still twisted around the wires and fall….ing. All the dead twisting thick stems from the rambles of the winter squash are gone and resting in the compost bin. Those squash and pumpkins are on my kitchen counter. The garlic is harvested and the bed is filled with new compost. The extra carrot bed is also cleaned out and a new crop of cilantro is coming in. I have weeded it to give the cilantro every last chance to grow large enough for one more batch of cilantro pesto in the freezer. The terrace is weeded…the pine straw still in good condition until next year when I’ll refurbish it. Two in-ground yellow jackets nest have been eliminated and the skunks have come at night to clean out the larvae and comb. I still need to fill the holes in.

Well, that is one terrace….maybe we can talk about the others later. For now, I’m gonna stand here for a few more…appreciate the clean-up, the completion, contemplate how much life it supports, and remember the greenness that was before fall…ing.

Then I’ll go pick some more leeks and a poblano pepper out of the garden that is almost finished and make this crazy good, crazy simple recipe. It sounds different but I promise it is delicious!
Ingredients
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 poblano chili pepper, seeded and diced
  • 4 leeks, rough chopped (substitute scallions, onions, etc.)
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 t cumin
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • ¾ c cornmeal, all-purpose
  • ½ c flour, all-purpose
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 t brown sugar or honey
  • 4 T butter, cubed
  • ⅔ c buttermilk or whole milk with 1 t vinegar or any milk substitute you prefer
  • ⅔ c sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, undrained
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 ¼ c corn kernels (opt.)
  • 1 ½ c veggie broth (or beef or chicken if you prefer)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the Broiler. Toss the cauliflower, poblano and leeks with the olive oil, chili powder, cumin and salt and pepper and spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil until the veggies are browned around the edges…7-10 minutes.

  2. In a medium size bowl, make the biscuits. Combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, brown sugar and ¾ t salt. Cut in the butter until crumbly. Stir in the milk and ⅓ c cheese with a fork until combined. Set aside.

  3. Remove the baking sheet from the broiler and preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Add the beans and their liquid, tomato cause, corn, broth and ½ t salt and dash pepper to the roasted veggies and gently stir. Spoon the biscuit dough on top in 12 mounds, about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle the biscuits with the remaining ⅓ c cheese.

  4. Bake until the chili starts bubbling and the biscuits are golden…about 30 minutes.

  5. Doesn’t get much easier….or yummier. You will be fall…ing in love with this recipe.

 

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