Sunday, December 4, 2011
Calabaza Chili for a Long Weekend
I sent my boy upstairs because he is not allowed anything but clear fluids today. I made us a quick skillet chili. It turned out amazingly good for something so simple, so I thought I would share this nice autumn recipe with you. Yes, I served it in a Christmas bowl, and that still seems appropriate. We are trying to get the lights put up today, and baby, it is cold outside. This chili has just enough heat to warm Santa's bones too. The unique recipe has volume due to the unusual ingredients--three kids of squash. Calabaza is the Spanish word for winter squash. This has pumpkin, Delicata and zucchini. Any small diced squash would work and add a nice texture and sweetness to the chili.
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 large zucchini squash
1/2 Delicata squash (or use a whole if you like)
1 cup pumpkin puree
8 ounce tomato sauce
1 tbsp sun dried tomato strips
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp beef bouillon crystals
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp- 1/4 cup water, optional
Dice onion, squash and zucchini. In a large skillet, break up ground beef. Add the diced vegetables while the meat is browning. Drain fat after vegetables are fork tender beef is browned. Add the remaining ingredients, stirring to incorporate spices. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add a little water if chili become too thick, or if a thinner souplike chili is desired.
This has a great thick texture, and does not taste at all like vegetables. I started out planning to make a chili-mac type skillet dinner, but chose to add the pumpkin to make it more like a chili. It was good both ways. I added a little jalapeno pepper salt and some Tabasco sauce to mine; the others did not. It is all gone now, so I have no more room to experiment. I made some Pepper Jack cheese crisps to sub for crackers, and all was good. Wonderful way to recover from a rough weekend. Now onto some prep cooking for the week.