I did a version of this for our Canterbury Students. Sherry loved the cornbread crust. I used mushrooms and spinach because I had them on hand and I wanted to “stretch” the results. For a more “Mexican” feel, you may omit these. I’m not a fan of ground beef, so I use pork sausage. Ground chicken, turkey or beef will work just fine, but you may want to adjust the seasoning to add more flavor.
2 pounds breakfast sausage, browned and crumbled
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 sweet peppers, seeded and chopped (Mixture of red, yellow, green, and orange works well.)
2 poblano chiles, cleaned of seeds and membranes; chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
28 ounce canned diced tomatoes
16 ounces canned tomato sauce
16 ounces frozen corn
6-ounce can black olives, sliced
1 1/2 pound white mushrooms; sliced (optional)
1/4 cup chili powder (more or less as to taste. I like more.)
1 tsp cumin
1/2 to 1 teaspoon black pepper, ground
2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 pound baby spinach (optional)
cheddar cheese, grated
oil for the pan
cornbread batter (below)
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 Tablespoon baking powder
6 Tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup milk
1/4 – 1/2 cup salsa
1/2 – 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil and begin cooking the onion. After a few minutes, add the peppers. Cook for 10-15 minutes; then add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and garlic.Stir in corn. Add chili powder, black pepper, and cumin. Simmer for 30 minutes or so. Add black olives and mushrooms. Simmer another 10-15 minutes.
While the pot is simmering, stir together flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar, baking powder, eggs, and milk. Stir only until dry ingredients are incorporated. Stir in salsa and cheese.
Divide chili between two 11″ x 9″ baking pans. Divide spinach between two pans and fold into the chili. Divide grated cheese and sprinkle on top. Pour batter over the two casseroles. Use back of spoon to spread evenly.
Bake at 400 degrees until batter turns light brown or golden and is firm to the touch. (15-25 minutes).
Note: For a thicker crust, you can bake this off in one larger pan rather than dividing between two pans.