Flaky Corn Meal Ring with Chili Mexican – 1960s

Okay, so a little confession, which probably isn’t that surprising considering the amount of “five ingredients or less” recipes I’ve tried on this blog, but I actually really prefer those sorts of simple recipes, for a few reasons.

First off, I get a quick food experiment without having to invest in ingredients I might not have on hand. But secondly, and maybe more importantly, I like the day-to-day quality of those recipe. Yeah, elaborate, multi-hour meals can be really tasty and fun when I have extra time, but you know, even in the 50’s and 60’s when more women were housewives, that people weren’t pulling out these recipes for your average Tuesday dinner.

All that is to say that, when I found a recipe that was pretty much corn meal coated biscuits, I had to give it a shot. I mean, I’m from Appalachia- traditionally the two main types of bread are cornbread and biscuits (or biscuit-bread as a lot of people called it). I was also short on time and ingredients, so the fact that I just had to do a rush-trip to the store for canned biscuits and milk was a plus.

The results however, were…. well, mixed.


Ingredients on a counter including yellow cornmeal, Pillsbury biscuit dough, and milk.
  • 2 cans Pillsbury Refrigerated 12 Flaky Baking Powder or Buttermilk Biscuits
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup yellow corn meal
  • 2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans chili with beans

:Ingredient note: I really only did a quarter of the recipe, since I only got a five pack of biscuits… but I have to wonder, do they even make 12 packs of biscuits now? I mean, I’m assuming it means 2 (12-count) cans of biscuits. Also assuming that these aren’t referring to Grands biscuits, but rather the small size (which I’m increasingly finding difficult to find by Pillsbury, rather than store-brand).

First step is getting our oven ready, setting it at 375° F, since it’s not going to take much time at all to get our biscuits prepped. I also took a moment to grease up the baking pan.

Now, to start with the ingredients- release the biscuits from their metal and cardboard prison and separate them out.

a plate of separated biscuit dough, a plate yellow corn meal, and a bowl of milk

Dip each of the biscuits in milk and roll it in the cornmeal. Now, a quick note. I don’t know if I just used a lot more cornmeal than I should have, but I measured out 1/8 of a cup of cornmeal (over double what I needed for 5 biscuits) and I was almost out by the time I was finished, so there’s one problem encountered.

a plate with a bit of leftover cornmeal scattered across and one cornmeal covered biscuit on the side

Okay, so evidently we stand the cornmeal coated biscuits around the sides of a greased 9-inch layer pan… I just used a baking pan I had on hand. Based on the picture in the cookbook and basic dough behavior, I’m going to assume that will give us the flat bottom that allow them to be formed in a upright circle around the chili. At least, that’s what I’m hoping for.

Five cornmeal covered biscuits, stood on their sides, pressed against the sides of a greased baking pan

Bake the biscuits for 25 to 30 minutes, until they’re golden brown… a little long for biscuits that have an original baking time of something like 8 to 11 minutes, but we’ll go with it for now.

Meanwhile, we heat up whatever chili we’re going to use (I just heated up some homemade stuff from my freezer because I’m already ingesting enough carbohydrates because of the biscuits). After all that is done we’re supposed to serve the chili in a large bowl, surrounded by a ring of biscuits, but serving them on the side should work just fine.

The Verdict:

Well, I was right about a couple of things. First off, they did end up flattening out so that they could sit flat on a plate… not that the shape ended up highly resembling the cookbook picture. Unfortunately I was also right about that whole bake time thing. I should have checked them ahead of the minimum 25 minutes I let them bake for. They weren’t overly burnt, but there were definitely some dark brown edges on there.

three baked cornmeal covered biscuits resting on a small plate. The edges are slightly burnt.

I kind of want to try them again, however, because the texture, with the chili, is awesome. The outside has a nice crunch while the inside is still nice and soft. It’s the perfect chili delivery system.

Two cornmeal covered biscuits sitting on a small white plate. A cup of chili with beans sits beside them.

Unfortunately, that excessive bake time really did do a number on the overall experience, because they just ended up tasting and smelling burnt.

Appearance – 2.5
Aroma – 3
Texture – 4.5
Flavor – 2.5

Overall 3 – I really think these would be pretty good, but the bake time was just way too long, and the amount of cornmeal called for in the recipe isn’t really enough to coat the biscuits. I’m going to try these again keeping all of that in mind.

Flaky Corn Meal Ring with Chili Mexican

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Rating: ★★★
  • Print
from The Pillsbury Convenience Cookbook1960s


2 cans Pillsbury Refrigerated 12 Flaky Baking Powder or Buttermilk Biscuits
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup yellow corn meal
2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans chili with beans


Separate the dough into 24 biscuits. Dip each of them in milk and then roll in corn meal.

Stand on edge around the sides of a greased 9-inch baking pan.

Bake at 375° F for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.

While the biscuits are baking, heat the chili. Serve the chili in a bowl ringed by the biscuits.

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