Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Chilly Weather Chili

Beef and Butternut Squash Chili

Winter continues to batter the Midwest, so keeping warm indoors is becoming an essential survival skill! Our latest recipe from the Cooking School at Jungle Jim's International Market will expand your chili recipe collection to include a beef and vegetable filled rendition of this beloved bowl of soup. Corn muffins slathered with butter are ideal companions for a steamy bowl of Beef and Butternut Squash Chili. A twist of freshly squeezed lime juice and a sprinkle of chopped cilantro will brighter the flavors, so dig in!

The ingredients for this chili are easy to find on the shelves and in the produce section. Our choice of low-sodium products helps reduce the amount of sodium in the finished dish, so please taste the chili for satisfactory seasoning before serving it to your family or guests.

Many of our cooking school students express their interest in learning the easiest way to prepare diced or chopped hard winter squash. Leigh suggests slicing the squash in half lengthwise. Cut off the neck, peel with an ordinary vegetable peeler and chop. Then peel the bottom half of the squash, scoop out the seeds and stringy bits and then chop. Peeling a squash can be a little challenging, but it is worth the work to add this nutritious and delicious winter vegetable to chili.

If you enjoy dishes that are meals in themselves, join us for One Pot Wonders and A Can of Tomatoes Plus...  Taking a cooking class introduces you to new flavors, ideas and techniques that can enhance your skills and renew your excitement for cooking. You are guaranteed to go home with tested, proven-to-work recipes that you have tasted in class.

Beef and Butternut Squash Chili

1 pound lean ground beef
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14.5-ounce) cans Mexican-style stewed tomatoes, chopped
1 (16-ounce) can chili beans
½ small butternut squash, peeled, small dice
1 cup low-sodium beef broth.
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 teaspoon hot sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste

Brown beef in a 4 to 5-quart Dutch oven and drain well. Add bell pepper, onion and garlic and cook 3-4 minutes to soften. Stir in tomatoes, beans, squash, broth, cumin and chili powder; bring to a boil, cover, lower heat and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in corn and hot sauce and simmer, uncovered 15 minutes or until squash is tender and chili thickens. Season generously to taste with salt and pepper.

Serves 6

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