Sausage, Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili with Sriracha
October 18, 2011
Aunt Suzy says . . .
Thank goodness it’s gotten back to normal fall weather! The first 11 days of October were 80 degrees up here in the northern climes of Minnesota – unheard of! At first I loved how warm it was, but after a few days I starting yearning for the cool, crisp air of fall. Since our temps are more autumn-like now, I thought it was time for a pot of chili. I’m always looking for unusual recipes for chili so this one caught my eye. Chili purists may argue with this approach, but this recipe is really tasty. Randy says that it needs to become part of our regular rotation, if for no other reason than it makes the house smell fabulous! We served it with Harvey Cornbread – a must around here with a bowl of chili, no matter what kind it is. A dark beer or glass of Zinfandel (that isn’t too high in alcohol) taste great with this dish.
November 2012 update: We served this over brown rice and loved it. I think we might serve this way from now on!
This was definitely a hit in my house, too! I always love anything with butternut squash in it, and my husband and sister-in-law both liked it as well, especially because of how spicy it is. The only downside to making things on the spicy side around here is that I have to come up with something different for my son to eat…he used to like spicy foods, but everything now has to be served mild and at room temperature for his sensitive toddler tongue!
The only different thing I’ll do next time is just go ahead and throw a fourth sausage in (they come 4 to a package, and it would have been just as good with the extra sausage in it). Otherwise, it was great!
Makes 6-8 servings, more if you serve over rice
1 small butternut squash
Canola Oil – for roasting the squash and for sauteing the sausage
3 soft chorizo sausages, split lengthwise then sliced in 1/4-inch half moons (I used AmyLu’s chicken chorizo available at Whole Foods)
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 poblano pepper, membranes and seeds removed, cut in ½-inch pieces
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2-3 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
28-ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes (I used Fire Roasted)
2-3 cups chicken stock (depending on how “brothy” you want the chili)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon sriracha, plus extra for serving
1 bay leaf
1 large can of black beans, drained and rinsed (2 cups)
salt and pepper to taste
Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped for serving
Chopped fresh avocado for serving
Prepare the squash: Preheat the oven to 400. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Cut in 1/2-3/4-inch slices. Line a large jelly-roll pan with foil and spread a little canola oil over the surface. Place the slices of squash on the oiled foil, turning once to coat both sides. Bake for a total of 15 minutes, turning slices over half-way through. Remove from oven and place cooked slices on a platter to cool. When cool, peel and cut into 1/2-inch dice. Set aside 3 cups of the diced squash. (Set aside any additional squash for another use.)
Make the chili: Heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil in a stockpot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add sausage pieces and saute for about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel. Set aside.
Add the onion to the pot and saute for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the peppers; saute 3-5 more minutes, until all begin to soften. Add the garlic and stir to blend, cooking an additional minute. Add the dry spices and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and stir to blend. Add the tomatoes with their juices, the chicken stock, the reserved cooked sausage, the Sriracha and bay leaf. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir in the cubed squash and black beans. Simmer 15 more minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. NOTE: I felt that additional salt was not necessary, given both the sausage and tomatoes added plenty of salt.
Serve in bowls garnished with cilantro, chopped avocado and a drizzle of sriracha.
NOTE: Like many recipes of this ilk, all quantities are subject to adjustment. I used more chili powder and more chicken stock than originally called for, as an example.