I took dozens of photos of this Chili Cornbread. I tried shots of the entire casserole dish, individual portions and a variety of angles. I finally accepted I would not get the picture this dish deserves. This is not an attractive meal, but what it lacks in looks it makes up for with warmth and comfort. Sweet cornbread cooked over spicy chili makes for a delicious contrast of flavors. When feeling ambitious I make cornbread from scratch, and on busy school nights I use Trader Joe’s chili for a quick pantry meal disguised as slow-cooked Tex-Mex.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
1 can black beans
1 jalapeño, chopped (or more if you like spice)
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon chili powder (we like extra heat, so we add a little more)
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cups tomato sauce
1 package cornbread mix
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the turkey and brown well. Add the chili pepper, bell pepper, onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper, cumin, coriander and chili powder. Stir and cook to soften the pepper and onion, 10 minutes.
Add a splash of water, then stir together the vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and tomato sauce in a small bowl. Pour over the turkey and reduce the heat to a simmer to thicken and combine the flavors, 15 minutes. Pour chili in a casserole dish.
Prepare cornbread batter according to package directions. Carefully spoon over chili mixture. Smooth out to cover. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until cornbread is lightly brown and filling is bubbling.