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