If plucking a chicken hasn’t made you feel like a pioneer (woman), this butternut squash chili recipe certainly will. Simple ingredients, but not “fast and easy.” Don’t try this when in a hurry. Be prepared for a two-day process.

I discovered, this gourd was more nut than butter

I discovered, this gourd was more nut than butter

Last October butternut squash recipes popped from every newspaper. Was tradition calling, was it the season? Or did people have nothing better to do? Anyway, I was thrilled by the possibilities. The food pictures looked great.

My chili recipe seemed easy, with very few and widely known ingredients. However, I had never dealt with butternut. I needed 3 cups of cubes. Soon I discovered that this squash was more “nut” than “butter.”

Baking butternut wedges

Baking butternut wedges

PEELING: Slice off both ends of gourd, stand squash upright, and halve it through the middle. Remove seeds. Little did I know, here comes the peeling part.

MY MISTAKE: I had already cut the squash into ca. 1-inch-thick wedges. And neither knives nor peelers would safely chisel off the wooden, gourdy peel.

MY FIX: I baked the squash wedges pasted with olive oil for 30 minutes at 370 F. After wedges had cooled off, I made incisions down to the rind and shaved out the pieces, like on a honey dew melon.

Cut out wedges

Cut out wedges

Butternut 3 Pepper Chili Recipe

  •  —-PREP WORK—–
  • 3 cups butternut cubes (roasted)
  • 2 poblano peppers (to be roasted with squash)
  • 2 other sweet peppers, diced (bell, etc.)
  • —-FOR THE MASALA/BASE
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium jalapeño, diced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp salt & pepper each
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • —-STEW PART——
  • 1 cup beans (kidney, pinto), presoaked
Here is the stew

Here is the stew

DAY BEFORE: Buy/prepare your butternut cubes, roast them with the poblano peppers, keep all in the fridge. Soak the beans, 2 inches under water.

MAKING THE CHILI:

  1. Roast onions & jalapeños in a large pot (low/medium heat, 10 min).
  2. Add dry spices & garlic, keep on stirring, until its nicely fried together (5 min).
  3. Add beans & sweet pepper, stirring until well combined (5 min).
  4. Add water to cover all, bring to a boil, then simmer until beans until cooked (60-90 min). Add more water as needed.
  5. Finally, add in squash cubes & poblano, heat everything well through (10 min).
  6. (OPTIONAL: Add more seasonings to liking: allspice, red chili, salt, fresh pepper, sweet cream, a dash of sugar.)
Serve with rice

Serve with rice

MY REVIEW: Butternut is an interesting experiment. After you learn to cut the cubes, you can make stews for 16 persons (double the recipe) from one butternut squash. I liked the chili, but in the end this is clearly a “bean lovers soup.” Not my typical recipe, but a seasonal splurge.

As always, the simplest things are the best, such as the olive-roasted butternut au naturel. Just with a little lime on it and eat it just so—if you like squash.

THE NEXT STEP: Maybe I would use canned beans to speed up the process for this stew. OR: Make a creamed soup. OR: Use butternut in a bean salad.

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