Summer Turkey Chili and Cornbread

Yes. This is it.

A combination of all things good, Summer Turkey Chili is easy, refreshing, healthy and delicious.

I avoid every other chili like the plague that it is. Most chili has a heavy mixture of beans and meat covered in a sauce as close to lava as the cook can make it. If you are haunted by a series of unfortunate events for hours after eating it, the cook has achieved his goal.

Death by flatulence.

Most cooks will take any reputation they can get. Go figure.

The first time I was served this dish, I was torn between being a gracious, thankful guest and looking for a convenient place to dump my bowl. Maybe in the big flower vase in the corner.

The recipe was cooked up between an inventive girlfriend and her sister, and there comes a time when you have to trust your besties, even when the word “chili” is involved.

On the first experimental bite, I realized this chili actually resembles a salsa on steroids, or a taco without the shell. It’s an explosion of flavors that come together like a Farmer’s Market basket of fresh goodies, without even a hint of hotness.

In my opinion, if the cook has to disguise the flavor of the actual food, he’s hiding the fact that he can’t cook. I’ve stopped going to many different restaurants over the years because the food is consistently too peppered, too salty, too spicy or just thickly breaded or sauced.

Take these ingredients and throw them into your crockpot for the day on ‘low’.

1 lb. cooked ground turkey
1 C chicken broth
1 15oz can black beans, rinsed
1 14.5oz can tomato sauce
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
10oz bag frozen corn
2 minced garlic cloves
1 Tbsp chili powder
2.5 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper

The original recipe says to simmer things at the stove for a half hour, then add four or five diced Roma tomatoes. As I prefer moving from beginning to end on a zip-line, I simply used the canned tomato products you see in the above list instead. Crockpots rule.

I also have chicken broth I’ve made myself out of real chickens, stashed away in the freezer for things like this. And I keep a jar of minced garlic in the fridge. I like cheats.

The masterpiece is finished when you top your bowl with your favorite ‘tasty bits’.

Mine is garnished with the first cilantro leaves from my garden pots. Cilantro is the little sparkling piccolo in the soupy symphony. You’re chewing along nicely, savoring the harmonies and suddenly cilantro comes along and tickles your tastebuds. Love that stuff.

Other terrific toppers: diced onion, crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, grated cheese, and avocado slices.

This recipe makes a nice amount for a voracious family of four or a fastidious family of six.

Tonight, I made cornbread muffins to go with. I make a basic recipe right off the side of the cornmeal box (as follows) and then once in a while I get crazy (and tired of my opinionated kids) and tweak the cornbread just for me and Hubby. I throw a fistful of grated cheese into the dry ingredients and 2oz of diced mild green chilis from a can into the wet ingredients.

So. Good.

I catch heck from the kids for ‘ruining’ the cornbread. Fine. More for me.

Dry
1 C cornmeal
1 C flour
1/4 C sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Wet
1/3 C oil
1 C milk
1 beaten egg

Combine the two and plop into your lightly oil-sprayed muffin tin (which is actually made of silicone because it’s awesome) and bake your dozen muffins at 400* for 15 minutes precisely.

Double the recipe and pour into a buttered 9×12 glass pan at 400* for 21 exact minutes.

The regular recipe is a ‘sweet’ cornbread, I’m told. We smother our squares in butter and honey, just to make sure. I have a secret family recipe for a version of cornbread casserole that adds things like cream cheese to the mix. Cornbread is the ultimate comfort food.

But tonight, it’s a savory muffin next to a tasty chili at the end of a long busy day.

Dig in!

Mmmmmmmm

Mmmmmmmm

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