some weekends call for fancy dinners out on the town. others, for a little home-cooked goodness. or shall i say slow-cooked goodness. sure, the weather could have been cooler, or drearier, or resemble what most parts of the country know to be “autumn,” but it wasn’t 80-degrees and for that we were both thankful and more than ready to tackle our latest cool-weather craving -chili. and in this instance, it’s perfect accompaniment, cornbread.
after searching the interwebs for a viable chili recipe, S and i landed on a version that utilized ground turkey (instead of beef) and a crock-pot. thankfully the only thing we had to purchase was the turkey (and the remaining ingredients) because S already owns a crock-pot. one that appeared to be plenty big to accommodate all of the chili components, but one that we later discovered was just a hair too small for two cans of nearly everything. so if you’re using a cooker on the more petite side (less than 6 quarts), you might want to half the recipe. we had to leave out one jar of black beans and had a bit of a mount vesuvius situation for portions of the day (burbling tomato sauce looks eerily similar to lava, just sayin’). nothing that a little 409 spray and a old rag couldn’t amend, but just a forewarning.
live and learn, right?
and because chili just wouldn’t seem right without cornbread, S found another use for his cast iron skillet (have i mentioned he has a great supply of kitchen supplies?) and whipped up his favorite alton brown recipe for creamed corn cornbread. or as i like to call it, good-for-you cake.
slow cooker turkey chili recipe (adapted from two peas and their pod)
1 tbs. olive oil
1 lb 99% lean ground turkey
1 med. onion, diced
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
2 (15 oz) cans petite diced tomatoes
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 (15oz) cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (16 oz) jar deli-sliced tamed jalapeno peppers, drained
1 c. frozen corn
2 tbs. chili powder
1 tbs. cumin
salt and black pepper, to taste
optional toppings: green onions, shredded cheese, avocado, sour cream/greek yogurt
heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. place turkey in the skillet, and cook until brown. pour turkey into slow cooker. add the onion, peppers, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, beans, jalapeños, corn, chili powder, and cumin. stir and season with salt and pepper.
cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours. serve with toppings, if desired.
creamed corn cornbread (adapted from alton brown)
2 c. yellow cornmeal
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tbs. tablespoon sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 c. buttermilk
1 c. creamed corn
2 tbs. canola oil (we used olive oil)
preheat oven to 425 degrees. place a 10-inch cast iron skillet into the oven. in a bowl, combine the cornmeal, salt, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. whisk together to combine well.
in a large bowl, combine the buttermilk, eggs, and creamed corn, whisking together to combine thoroughly. add the dry ingredients to the buttermilk mixture and stir to combine. if the batter will not pour, add more buttermilk to the batter.
swirl the canola oil in the hot cast iron skillet. pour the batter into the skillet. bake until the cornbread is golden brown and springs back upon the touch, about 20 minutes.
i’m a bit of a gringa (white girl) when it comes to spice. alright, a lot of a gringa so the added chili powder and jalapenos had me sniffling through every bite. but then i had an epiphany -crumble the cornbread into the chili. not only did it add a bit of sweetness and texture, it was the perfect anecdote for my over-stimulated taste buds.
except who’s to say how much chili i really consumed this weekend. from the looks of it, you would have thought i just had a bowl full of cornbread.
(never a bad thing, in my humble opinion).